River cruising is still a popular travel option that takes travelers up close and personal with iconic landmarks and bucket list dreams. Exploring the world in comfort, Viking River Cruise passengers enjoy a host of advantages compared to travelers on a different river cruise line. Let’s take a look:
The Nicely-Appointed Fleet Is Exactly Alike – While they all carry names of different figures in Norse mythology or legend, most ships in the Viking fleet are exactly alike. Exceptions in Europe are ships that sail the shallow waters of the Elbe River in Eastern Germany and tight turns of the Douro River in Portugal. Russia, Ukraine, Asia and Egypt ships are also custom designed as the right tool for those jobs as well. Our ship was named Viking Longship Ve (brother of Gods Odin and Vili) and had the exact same layout and design as Viking Longship Odin sailed on the same itinerary in 2013.
The People Seem Familiar, Regardless Of When Or Where We Travel – Onboard Viking longships we find interesting people who are there for the destinations. That we enjoy their company is initially a nice but not required part of the experience. By nature, those who come to the river from the ocean don’t have really high expectations for interacting with other passengers. But sail with Viking multiple times and a noticeable commonality pattern develops. Viking travelers seem happier, more engaging and more pleasant to travel with. This has absolutely nothing to do with age either.
The Crew Is Genuinely Outstanding, Fleetwide – I remember a time when we would try to figure out when a certain big ship cruise director or Captain was sailing one cruise line or another. Again that theme: we want to repeat pleasant elements of travel. Knowing a cruise director or Captain, was about as good as we could do and even that became difficult to do as fleets expanded. Interestingly, that’s not important with the Viking experience.
Program Directors Are Typically Engaging - On every Viking ship we have ever been on, the Program Director has been a stellar part of the experience. We would like to sail with any of them again.
More Outstanding, More Often - It might be the small ship dynamic that gets this element off to a good start in our minds. In reality, it’s more about the curation of the crew that matters here. The ratio of the crew to passengers is technically about the same as on a good ocean ship. That those crew members are some of the best available speaks volumes.
The Crew Is Treated Well - Similar to any contract crew on any ship or cruise line, it’s a number of months on and then time off. Unique here, a day off for crew members during a running contract brings even more engaging, happy people to craft our travel experience on the front line.
Age Really Not A Factor - We enjoy talking to other Viking travelers ranging in age from 19 to 88. While age is insignificant, interest in seeing the world is required. That was the same spread of ages seen in 2013, perhaps skewing a bit younger now.
Interesting Stories - Aptly tagged as “culturally curious” by Viking helps define the would-be traveler for which what they do would resonate. Onboard at iconic destinations and places where history took place, we get down to business.
Example: travelers with even a small amount of Jewish blood in their veins can’t help but find closure to thoughts about World War II and associated atrocities. Common: everyone seemed to know someone who was a part of that war in one way or another, giving more beneficial meaning to the experience.
Chris Owen shares frank, inside information about cruise vacations on ChrisCruises.com