European river cruising is one of the fastest growing segments in the leisure travel industry. Viking River Cruises is the undisputed leader in this segment with more than 60 riverboats sailing the rivers of Europe. We have sailed on seven different Viking River Cruise boats since 2003. Here are ten reasons we think you should consider Viking River Cruises.
1. The Viking Longships - In our opinion, the new Viking Longships are the nicest river boats sailing in Europe. These boats are modern, spacious and elegant. We love the clean Scandinavian decor. Every Viking Longship is basically the same design, so once you are familiar with the layout, you will feel right at home on your next Viking River Cruise.
2. Included Excursions - Viking River Cruises includes at least one excursion in each city or town visited. Most excursions utilize local guides, which we have always found to be excellent. Viking River Cruises has a fleet of new, clean and modern motorcoaches to shuttle guests to local excursion departure points.
3. Veranda Stateroom - The veranda stateroom is very efficient and well-designed. We believe this is the minimum cabin you should opt for, just because the veranda is such a luxury. The ability to step outside to take a photo, or just enjoy sailing down the river, is worth the price.
4. Veranda Suite - This is one of the nicest suites we have occupied on any cruise ship. At 275 sq. ft., the Veranda Suite is a substantial upgrade from the 205 Sq. Ft. Veranda Stateroom. The two-room suite has tons of storage, comfortable furnishing and lots of amenities. A full-size veranda with two chairs and a table off the living room is complemented by a sliding door "French balcony" in the bedroom. If you can afford it, the Veranda Suite is the way to go!
5. Excellent Service - You might be surprised to learn that in spite of the rapid expansion of this cruise line that service levels are as high as you will find on any river cruise line in Europe. We have always found the staff and crew aboard Viking boats to be very friendly, engaging and helpful.
6. Free Internet/WiFi - Most river cruise lines offer complimentary Internet, and Viking River Cruises is no different. But, it is worth mentioning. The Viking Longships also include a small Internet Cafe with two laptop computers for guest use.
7. Optional Excursions - In addition to the included excursions, Viking River Cruises offers guests optional (at additional cost) excursions in several towns or cities. We have always found these optional excursions to be a good value. Optional excursions can be pre-booked through the MyVikingJourney.com website.
8. AudioVox - Viking River Cruises pioneered the use of these personal transmitter/receiver systems and they have revolutionized the travel industry. Local tour guides no longer have to yell over each other when you visit crowded museums or local attractions.
9. Food and Dining - Viking River Cruises has continued to improve and expand its food service over the years. We have always found the food served in The Restaurant to be good. Even though we would not go so far as to rate the dining experience as 5-star on Viking River Cruises, we can't recall any major complaints. The addition of Aquavit dining is another big plus.
10. MyVikingJourney.com Website - Viking River Cruises offers booked guests a way to manage their vacation before they leave home through the MyVikingJourney.com website. You can use this website to pre-book optional shore excursions and even schedule your included excursions. The system will show you a calendar of your activities, making planning a snap. You can also pre-order the Silver Spirits drink package and perform a variety of other planning tasks. This is one of the best cruise line websites out there.
The bottom line is this: there are a lot more reasons to take a Viking River Cruises' cruise than not. Seeing the great cities of Europe by riverboat is one of the best travel experiences you will ever enjoy.