1st June 2018: Three of our Travel Specialists Claire from Wells, Nigel from Portishead and Brenda from Bath, recently travelled on board Viking Cruises Viking Kvasir to find out what a Viking river cruise is really like. The team sailed the Rhine from Basel to Cologne and detail everything from the service you can expect on board to the array of excursions available during your time cruising with Viking.
Nigel: The check-in process on board the vessel is slick and hassle free. If your cabin is not ready, you are free to either wonder around the ship or have lunch, as I did, until your stateroom is ready. There are no issues with lugging luggage around either. You drop your bag off at the airport check-in and the next time you see it, it’ll be waiting for you in your stateroom. So incredibly seamless, this extra detail helps you start your holiday completely stress-free.
The Viking Kvasir ship is the classic Viking long ship design, as all Viking ships are, sleek, modern and clean lined. Offering spacious public areas, which accommodate all passengers without you worrying if you are going to find a seat in the lounge, bar or restaurant. There is always room for everyone, including the top sun deck and observatory deck.
The ship itself holds 190 passengers across four decks and is home to a beautiful observation lounge, aquavit terrace and it also has its own restaurant on board.
Nigel: The staterooms on board are of the same design, have adequate storage space and bathrooms have a very good walk in shower. They have everything you could want to make your stay comfortable.
Brenda: My stateroom was on the lower deck, so the window was not large but very acceptable. This type of room provides good value for money and shouldn’t be dismissed and, in my opinion, there’s no need to spend so much time in your room when you’ve got a fantastic spacious vessel to explore.
Brenda: The food on board Viking Kvasir is top class and the staff look after everyone very well.
Claire: For breakfast guests can look forward to a lovely buffet breakfast where you can not only choose from a huge selection of delicious pastries, meats, yogurts etc. you can also pick items to be made to order such as pancakes and porridge ready to fuel yourself for a full day of exploring.
Nigel: There is very good choice of food at all meal times of which all diets are catered for. Wine included at meal times are of a good quality and no attempt is made to pressure you to pay extra for wines over and above the house choice which is really refreshing.
Claire: Viking's evening entertainment is lovely. We were treated to performances from a local performer at each location we travelled to. During our time on board we enjoyed beautiful music from a pianist and violinist.
Entertainment on a Viking cruise can vary from classical music, local dance performances to demonstrations by a local chef and even lectures about the local history and traditions of the places you visit.
Nigel: For me, the whole experience on board a Viking cruise is very much about the destination. The chosen locations for the itinerary I experienced saw our Viking long ship moor near the creme d la creme of the town or city you’re visiting.
I found you could easily access the local area on your own which is helpful if you don’t want to go on included or optional excursions.
Nigel: When I did go on excursions the guides were very interesting and knowledgeable and managed a good balance between information you needed to know, and other general knowledge or giving too much unnecessary chatter!
Claire: We enjoyed a beautiful walk around the city of Cologne and took in the sights, including its wonderful cathedral. It was a bank holiday when we visited, so the city was full of locals and tourists enjoying street acts and the glorious sunny weather. There was also a wine festival, so we were able to sample some of Cologne’s local wines.
Brenda: We took an organised excursion to a Dutch cheesemaking farm and saw how the cheese is made as well as sampling some of the product. We also took a walking tour around the UNESCO World Heritage listed Kinderdijk molens or windmills with a most knowledgeable guide.
Nigel: You certainly feel as though you’ve got nothing to worry about whilst on board a Viking river cruise. Everything is well organised and stress free. With very little effort on your part you can have a very memorable holiday.
Claire: This was my first river cruise and Viking did not disappoint, the crew were extremely friendly and made you feel very welcome.
Brenda: I have travelled on other river cruises over the past few years and can honestly say that Viking offer a top-notch product. I would be very happy to travel with Viking again; but for longer please!