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Viking River Cruises - The Complete Guide

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Viking Bragi | Photo Courtesy of Viking River Cruises

Travel to the heart of Paris, experience the great pyramids of Egypt, or marvel at the wonder of the Norwegian fjords; these adventures and more are all made possible with the beautiful Viking River Cruises on their world famous Longships. These intimate ships are designed to take you where larger cruise vessels cannot travel, and provide a unique and magical experience to some of the most beautiful inland cities around the world.

At Harr Travel, when we ask our customers what they love most about a Viking River Cruise, the answer is overwhelmingly “value”. With Viking, the experiences are priority, and with that in mind they offer complimentary excursions at every port, as well as upgraded options. The Restaurant’s menu is based on the area you are traveling through, and there are many informational talks and lectures on board, giving you the opportunity to learn more about the destinations you are visiting! In addition to these amazing perks, Viking also offers discounted and upgraded airfare options in most cases, something that your Harr Travel advisor can help you with.

In most of Europe the Longships are almost all the same size, part of Rhine Class, although there are slightly smaller ships for the Seine, Rhône, and Douro. Despite any variation in size, all ships are exactly the same space, just slightly larger or smaller versions, depending on the class. All boast the same venues, with beautiful Scandinavian design and decor throughout.

TO NOTE: The Viking River ships may vary by region. While the descriptions in this article give a good visual of the classic European river ships, and share similarities with the Egypt river ships, the ships in Ukraine, Russia, Asia, and the Mississippi have slightly different layouts and can offer different venues. For example, the Mississippi, one of the newest ships in the fleet, offers venues modeled more similarly to Viking Expedition and Viking Ocean ships such as the Explorer's Lounge and Mamsen's. Your Harr Travel advisor can go over all of this with you during the booking process.

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Viking Osiris | Photo Courtesy of Viking River Cruises

Throughout the Viking Longships are 4 beautiful decks, each with their own unique features and spaces! From cozy lounges, to an expansive sundeck, there is plenty to enjoy while onboard as you sail through the stunning rivers of the world.

MAIN DECK - The main deck, and the lowest public deck on the ship features the beautiful Standard Staterooms.

MIDDLE DECK - The middle deck is where you will find the reception. This is where the amazing Viking team can help you with any and all of your questions while onboard. In addition, the middle deck is where you will find The Restaurant, the main dining space on board, as well as the kitchen. Here the chefs create menus that reflect the traditional food of wherever in the world you are traveling, making your meal a cultural experience in itself! Also featured on the Middle Deck are the Veranda Staterooms with full balcony, and the French Balcony Staterooms.

UPPER DECK - The Upper Deck is the main space on the ship, the place where you will find yourself spending most of your time while onboard. The upper deck offers more Veranda and French Balcony Staterooms, as well as Veranda Suites, French Balcony Suites, and the ultimate Explorer Suites. Also found on the Upper Deck is a library with a variety of books to choose from, and a complimentary internet cafe (although wifi onboard is complimentary as well). The Atrium is a comfortable space with seating to relax and enjoy a good book, and boasts a delightful pantry with coffee and snacks…this is where you will find Danny every hour or so to grab a delicious cookie. Past the Atrium is the lounge and bar, where you can enjoy the complimentary beer and wine for lunch and dinner everyday. The space is also used for learning, with daily lectures and talks about the places you will be visiting during your cruise, as well as culinary demonstrations. At the back of the lounge the Aquavit Terrace awaits you, with windows and doors that can open up to the terrace for even more space, as they turn this venue into a complimentary breakfast and lunch buffet during the day, and a specialty restaurant for dinner in the evening.

SUN DECK - The very top of the ship is where the sundeck is located. Here you will be able to relax with several different seating and lounging options. You can also try your hand at the putting green or shuffle board. The Sun Deck also has its own herb garden, where the chef’s pick herbs to cook from daily. The solar panels located on this deck make all the Longships more eco friendly.

TO NOTE: There is an elevator onboard the Longships, but the only deck it does not reach is the Sun Deck, which is only accessible by stairs.


Viking River Cruises are best known for their amazing excursions in some of the most famous and beautiful cities around the world! There are typically 1-2 excursions every day, and there are always complimentary excursions at every port stop. You and your fellow passengers will meet in the lounge and then head out as a group to explore. Once your tour is done, you can still go out and explore the city on your own, if you so choose.

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Viking Longship Veranda Suite | Photo Courtesy of Viking River Cruises

Viking Longships offer a variety of beautiful and relaxing accommodations to choose from. From standard staterooms overlooking the river, all the way up to the expansive Explorer Suite, you will always be able to find accommodations to suit your unique needs and desires.

See our 360 virtual tours of each suite and stateroom category HERE.

STANDARD STATEROOMS - Found on the Main Deck, these are the only accommodation options onboard with windows that do not open. Located on the lowest public deck, Danny has nicknamed these staterooms the “Swan View Rooms”, as the water is almost level with the window, providing the perfect view of the passing swans, ducks, and the gorgeous European scenery. These staterooms boast a dividable queen size bed, ample storage throughout, heated floors in the bathroom, a vanity/desk, flat screen tv, and complimentary headsets for your use during the tours.

FRENCH BALCONY STATEROOMS - These staterooms are located on the Middle and Upper Decks, and have a beautiful, large window that opens up to a Juliet balcony, so you can enjoy the fresh air and incredible views as you sail down the river! These rooms come with plenty of storage, a queen size bed, heated bathroom floors, a vanity, and flat screen tv to enjoy the different shows and movies provided onboard.

STEP OUT BALCONY STATEROOMS - Located across the hall from the French Balcony rooms, these Staterooms are the exact same layout, except with the lovely addition of a step out balcony. Here you can relax on your balcony chairs as you enjoy the views of the magnificent European cities and landscapes.

VERANDA SUITES - An upgraded option, the Veranda Suite provides a much larger space than the traditional staterooms. The door opens to a living room with a couch, table, and a comfy chair right next to the step out balcony where you can enjoy your morning coffee while watching the world go by! There is a separate bedroom space that also boasts a French balcony, flat screen tv, and ample storage. The bathroom is much larger than those in the classic staterooms, with heated floors and a large shower. The Veranda Suite also has its own coffee bar space for a little morning pick-me-up. When booking this suite, you are also eligible for special discounts on premium economy or business class airfare, and have noon embarkation privileges so you can board the ship before the other passengers.

EXPLORER SUITES - With only 2 on a ship, these exclusive suites are located at the aft of the Upper Deck, and at 445 square feet, they are some of the largest suites in the entire river cruise industry! The living room is perfectly situated in the corner, providing views out the back and side of the ship, and boast a large sofa, chairs, and a desk. The bedroom is separated from the living space and offers a queen size bed and flat screen tv. The bathroom features a large walk in shower, and the luxurious heated floors. Outside is an expansive wrap-around veranda with table and chairs, so you can enjoy your morning coffee while sailing past some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. The generous space in this suite makes it the perfect place to relax with friends. As a guest in the Explorer Suite, you are upgraded to the Silver Spirits Package, ensuring you have complimentary beverages throughout your time onboard. You also have discounted premium economy and business class airfare available to you, and are provided early embarkation to board before the rest of the passengers.

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Viking Jarl | Photo Courtesy of Viking River Cruises

Viking River Cruises is the pinnacle of river cruising, allowing you to visit deep into the heart of a country or continent! Viking offers their river cruises throughout Europe, as well as Southeast Asia and China, Egypt, and the Mississippi River. On each of these cruises you will learn about the history, and dig deep into the knowledge of the locations you are visiting! The rivers of the world and their beautiful ancient cities are open to you, with unforgettable shore excursions that will immerse you in the history and culture of places around you.

Viking offers a pre and post package; they have a variety of different extensions, which you can put together for a seamless experience. At Harr Travel, we can assist you with alternatives that get you exactly what you are looking for. Viking almost always offers reduced airfare, and your Harr Travel adviser can help you with that as well. We can also help you combine river cruises so you can enjoy even more of Europe, or combine your cruise with Viking Ocean to experience incredible destinations around the globe!

Booking Your Cruise

To book your Viking River Cruise, reach out to your Harr Travel advisor today. We know the cruise ships inside and out, and have an amazing relationship with the cruise line, and will be able to book you the trip of a lifetime onboard a Viking River Cruise!

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