The brand-new Viking Longships are Viking River Cruises’ most ambitious vessels to-date. Offering an abundance of “must-have” features, these game-changing vessels have captured the imagination of river cruise travellers; so much so that in the summer of 2011, Viking River Cruises announced the original four-ship order would be increased to six vessels due to unprecedented demand. Viking Aegir and Viking Embla will join sister-ships Viking Freya, Viking Idun, Viking Njord and Viking Odin as some of the most innovative ships plying the waterways in Europe when they are launched in this spring.
An additional six Longships were announced in March 2012 for delivery by the end of 2013, and the line revealed at the christening ceremonies for Viking Odin that they retain the option for a further six Longships that could be delivered by the end of 2014 should they choose to exercise those options with the Neptun Werft shipyard in Rostock, Germany.
Environmentally-friendly, these innovative vessels offer more of the amenities passengers have been asking for, like full-depth balconies in most staterooms, redesigned accommodations, and modern, stylish interiors crafted by Norwegian firm Yran & Storbraaten, who have been designing deep-ocean cruise ships for over twenty years.
Viking’s Chairman and CEO Torstein Hagen noted, “What has emerged are vessels that will deliver a peerless travel opportunity to aficionados of river cruising and those that have yet to try this unique way to see the world.”
Named after members of the Norse pantheon, they will operate some of Viking’s most sought-after itineraries, including the popular 10-day Tulips and Windmills voyage, the 8-day Romantic Danube, the 8-day Danube Waltz and the spectacular 15-day Grand European Tour.
VIKING ODIN Staterooms
- Explorer Suites will be the largest river cruise suites in Europe at 445 square feet. These two suites each featuring a separate living room, bedroom, bathroom and private wraparound veranda, offering 270-degree views.
- Veranda Suites measure 270-square feet with full-size verandas in the living room and French balconies in the bedroom, offering guests the best of both worlds. Seven of these Suites are aboard Odin.
- Veranda Staterooms with full-size verandas measure 205-square feet, and closely resemble their deep-ocean cruising cousin. Thirty-nine of these well-appointed staterooms are onboard.
- French Balcony Staterooms measure 135-square feet and feature a French balcony. Twenty-two of these staterooms are available on Viking Odin, and include all the comfortable amenities you might expect from a boutique European hotel, including L’Occitane toiletries, heated bathroom floors, and one of the largest flat-panel televisions we’ve seen in a stateroom. Although extremely well designed, if you crave plenty of open space these French Balcony staterooms may not be for you.
VIKING ODIN Public Areas
Careful attention has been put into these six Viking Longships to ensure passengers are constantly surrounded by an environment that is as rich and comfortable as the regions they sail in.
Notable among Viking Odin’s public areas is the addition of a new indoor/outdoor lounge called the Aquavit Terrace. Featuring retractable floor-to-ceiling glass doors, the lounge can be used in any weather conditions and makes the perfect place to enjoy a drink and the company of new friends while admiring the stunning scenery. This is easily one of the best innovations found onboard the new Longships.
Adjacent to the Aquavit Terrace are new Al fresco dining areas. Located on the Upper Deck, these alternate venues offer guests more dining choices, and passengers are no longer limited to dining in the ship’s main restaurant.
Viking Odin also features a main lounge known as the Viking Lounge and an elegantly appointed restaurant, both of which feature floor-to-ceiling windows for unparalleled views of the passing scenery. In fact, you might find it difficult to drag yourself away from the public spaces onboard this ship!
A stunning library, Internet Center and Reception area are also offered. On the uppermost level is the expansive Sun Deck, which boasts ample seating, including plenty of direct-sunlight and shaded options.
River Cruisers Should Know!
- Both standard European and North American power outlets are available in all staterooms.
- If you’re looking for a traditional Scandinavian experience, order some Aquavit from the Viking Lounge; the decanter it comes in is one of the most interesting we’ve ever seen.
- You can control the temperature of the floor in your stateroom bathroom; look for the little dial mounted near the toiletries shelf.
- The entire ship is equipped with free Wi-Fi.
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An avid traveler and an award-winning journalist, Ralph Grizzle produces articles, video and photos that are inspiring and informative, personal and passionate. A journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ralph has specialized in travel writing for more than two decades. To read more cruise and port reviews by Ralph Grizzle, visit his website at www.avidcruiser.com