20 Pros and Cons of Viking River Cruises

Pros And Cons Of Viking River Cruises

Are you considering taking a Viking River Cruise but unsure if it’s the right choice for you? There are certainly pros and cons to this type of travel experience, and it’s important to weigh them carefully before making your decision.

On one hand, Viking River Cruises offer a unique opportunity to explore some of the world’s most beautiful waterways while enjoying luxurious accommodations, gourmet dining, and informative guided tours.

However, there are also potential downsides to consider such as limited onboard entertainment options and less flexibility in itinerary planning.

In this article, we will examine both the advantages and disadvantages of Viking River Cruises so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not this type of travel is right for you.

Pros of Viking River Cruises

  1. Luxurious Fleet and Awards: Viking River Cruises stands out as the world’s #1 river cruise line with its award-winning Viking Longships, ensuring a luxurious and comfortable experience for passengers. The fleet is owned and operated, giving the company more control over service and maintenance, resulting in top-notch facilities and amenities.
  2. Wide Range of Destinations: Viking River Cruises offers an impressive variety of cruise options across multiple continents, including Europe, Asia, the Mississippi, and the Nile. Passengers have the opportunity to explore diverse cultures, historical landmarks, and stunning landscapes while enjoying the ease and convenience of a cruise vacation.
  3. Special Deals and Offers: With promotions like the 25th Anniversary Sale featuring free airfare and special fares, as well as the $25 deposit offer for bookings before July 31, Viking River Cruises provides attractive incentives for travelers to embark on their cruises.
  4. Prime Docking Locations: Having the best docking locations in Europe and around the world, Viking River Cruises ensures that passengers have easy access to numerous exciting destinations and experiences. This strategic advantage saves time and enhances the overall cruise experience.
  5. Extensive Fleet: Boasting the most extensive fleet of river cruise vessels, Viking River Cruises offers a wide selection of ships with varying sizes and amenities to cater to different preferences and travel styles.
  6. Convenient Daily Access: The itineraries of Viking River Cruises are thoughtfully designed to offer convenient daily access to a plethora of destinations and experiences. Passengers can explore iconic cities and lesser-known gems without feeling rushed.
  7. Largest Fleet in the Industry: With approximately 50 river cruise ships in their fleet, Viking River Cruises’ extensive presence in the river cruise industry translates into better availability, more itinerary choices, and greater flexibility when planning a trip.
  8. Rich River Cruise Options: In addition to European cruises, Viking River Cruises extends its offerings to Russia, Asia, and Egypt, providing travelers with diverse river cruise options to explore distinct cultures and historic landmarks.
  9. Excellent Customer Service: Viking River Cruises has earned a reputation for delivering exceptional customer service. From attentive staff to well-trained guides and tour managers, passengers can expect a high level of care and attention throughout their journey.
  10. Cultural Enrichment Programs: Viking River Cruises offers cultural enrichment programs, including onboard lectures, demonstrations, and workshops, enhancing passengers’ understanding and appreciation of the regions they visit.

Cons of Viking River Cruises

  1. Limited Itinerary Flexibility: While Viking River Cruises boasts a significant number of ships, the sheer size of their fleet may limit the ability to customize itineraries extensively. This could result in less flexibility for passengers who prefer highly personalized trips.
  2. Crowded Ports: Being a popular river cruise line, Viking River Cruises may encounter crowded ports, especially during peak travel seasons. Large numbers of tourists arriving at once can detract from the intimacy and tranquility often associated with river cruises.
  3. Fixed Departure Dates: Some travelers might find the fixed departure dates of Viking River Cruises restrictive, especially if they have specific travel preferences or time constraints. Limited departure options could lead to potential schedule conflicts for certain individuals.
  4. Onboard Crowds: Despite offering spacious ships, the sheer number of passengers on larger cruise ships might lead to occasional crowding in common areas and during activities, reducing the feeling of exclusivity.
  5. Additional Costs for Optional Excursions: While Viking River Cruises covers essential excursions in their package, some optional excursions may come with extra fees. This could add up for travelers who wish to participate in multiple additional activities.
  6. Weather Dependency: As river cruises heavily rely on the water level and weather conditions, there is a slight possibility of itinerary changes or disruptions due to unfavorable weather, which could disappoint some passengers.
  7. Limited Onboard Entertainment: Unlike ocean cruises, river cruises generally have more limited onboard entertainment options. While cultural enrichment programs are available, those seeking extensive onboard amenities and entertainment might find it lacking.
  8. Smaller Cabin Sizes: River cruise cabins are generally more compact compared to ocean cruise staterooms. Passengers accustomed to more spacious accommodations might need to adjust to the more intimate setting.
  9. Less Time in Ports: River cruises often have shorter port stays compared to ocean cruises, as the ships need to navigate along narrower waterways and may have tighter schedules. This could leave some passengers wanting more time to fully explore certain destinations.
  10. Age Demographics: The predominant age group of Viking River Cruises passengers tends to be older, as river cruising often appeals to retirees and older travelers seeking a more relaxed and culturally immersive experience. Younger travelers looking for a vibrant party atmosphere might find it less suitable for their preferences.
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The Advantages of Viking River Cruises

The benefits of embarking on a journey along the winding waterways of Europe with Viking are plentiful.

One major advantage is the opportunity to visit fascinating river destinations that may be difficult to access by other means of transportation. The carefully curated itineraries take you through picturesque towns and cities, allowing you to immerse yourself in local culture and history. You’ll have the chance to explore iconic landmarks, sample delicious cuisine, and interact with locals.

In addition to the captivating destinations, Viking River Cruises also offer top-notch onboard amenities. From spacious staterooms with comfortable beds to gourmet meals prepared by skilled chefs, every aspect of your voyage is designed for maximum comfort and relaxation. The ships are equipped with modern facilities like fitness centers and libraries, as well as luxurious features including spas and panoramic sun decks.

Plus, with attentive staff members always on hand to assist you, you can sit back and enjoy the views without worrying about anything else.

Potential Downsides to Consider

Before booking a trip, it’s important to weigh the potential drawbacks of exploring Europe by boat with Viking River Cruises.

One major factor to consider is cost considerations. While Viking River Cruises offer all-inclusive packages that cover meals, excursions, and accommodations, they can be quite pricey compared to other forms of travel. Additionally, if you want to splurge on optional activities or alcohol during your trip, those costs can add up quickly.

Another potential downside to keep in mind is itinerary limitations. While river cruising allows for easy access to smaller towns and cities along the way, it also means that you are limited by the stops on the cruise’s itinerary. If there is a specific destination you have your heart set on seeing that isn’t included in the cruise’s route, you may need to make alternative arrangements for transportation or accommodations.

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It’s important to carefully review the itinerary before booking a Viking River Cruise and ensure that it aligns with your travel preferences and goals.

Choosing the Right Cruise for Your Needs

When it comes to exploring Europe by boat, finding the right cruise for your needs is crucial. Viking River Cruises offers a variety of itineraries that encompass different regions of Europe, so you can choose one that aligns with your interests and budget considerations.

For example, if you want to explore the wine regions of France, there is a cruise that travels through Bordeaux and the Dordogne Valley. Or if you’re interested in visiting Christmas markets, there are several cruises that focus on those destinations.

It’s important to also consider the length of the cruise and what activities are included. Some cruises may have longer sailing times or more days in port than others. Additionally, some may offer more cultural excursions or active options like biking tours.

Take time to research each itinerary and determine which one will fit your desired travel style and budget considerations best before booking your Viking River Cruise adventure.

What to Expect on a Viking River Cruise

You might be wondering what you’ll experience on your upcoming European river adventure with Viking, but rest assured that their itineraries are designed to cater to a variety of interests and activity levels. Whether you’re looking for cultural immersion or outdoor adventures, there’s something for everyone on a Viking River Cruise.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect on your journey down the rivers of Europe:

Onboard Activities River Cruise Itinerary
Wine Tasting Amsterdam to Budapest
Cooking Classes Grand European Tour
Historical Lectures Lyon and Provence

In addition to these onboard activities, Viking also offers daily excursions at each port stop. These excursions are led by knowledgeable local guides who will provide insight into the history and culture of each destination. With so much to see and do both on and off the ship, a river cruise with Viking is truly an all-encompassing travel experience.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Viking River Cruise Experience

To truly immerse yourself in the rich culture and activities offered on a European river adventure, maximize your experience with these tips.

First, make sure you prepare for excursions by researching the destinations beforehand. This will help you appreciate the historical significance of each stop and understand the local customs and traditions.

Pack comfortable walking shoes as most shore excursions involve walking tours around historic towns and cities.

Secondly, take advantage of onboard activities to enhance your cruise experience. Attend lectures by expert historians or chefs to learn more about the region’s culture and cuisine. Participate in wine tastings or cooking demonstrations to sample local specialties.

Relax with a book from the ship’s library while enjoying scenic views from the sun deck or treat yourself to a massage at the spa.

By following these tips, you can fully enjoy all that Viking River Cruises has to offer!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the age restrictions for Viking River Cruises?

Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Well, buckle up because Viking River Cruises has age restrictions that will blow your mind!

Only adults aged 18 and above can embark on these luxurious river cruises. But don’t worry, as long as you have travel companions who meet the age requirement, you’re good to go!

So grab your friends or family members and get ready to indulge in fine wine, delicious food, and breathtaking views along Europe’s most scenic waterways. With Viking River Cruises, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable experience that will leave you wanting more!

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Are there any medical facilities on board?

When it comes to your health and safety, Viking River Cruises takes it seriously. On board, medical facilities are available in case of emergencies. The ship’s crew is trained in first aid and CPR, and there is always a medical professional on call 24/7.

Additionally, the ships follow strict health and safety measures to prevent the spread of illnesses. Hand sanitizing stations can be found throughout the ship, and all common areas are regularly cleaned and disinfected. So, you can rest assured that your health is in good hands while cruising with Viking River Cruises.

Can I bring my own food and drink on board?

You can bring your own food and drink on board a Viking River Cruise, but there are some restrictions to keep in mind.

If you have dietary restrictions or specific preferences, it may be worth bringing some snacks or small meals with you. However, the ship’s kitchen provides delicious cuisine throughout the day and evening.

When it comes to alcohol, Viking has an alcohol policy that allows passengers to bring one bottle of wine per person on board for consumption in their staterooms. If you wish to consume your own wine in the dining areas, corkage fees will apply.

What happens if there is bad weather during the cruise?

If there’s bad weather during your Viking River Cruise, the ship’s captain and crew will do their best to ensure your safety while still providing an enjoyable experience.

In some cases, alternative itineraries may be implemented to avoid areas of harsh weather conditions. If this occurs, you can expect to visit alternative ports or spend more time in previously visited locations.

However, if the entire cruise needs to be cancelled due to extreme weather conditions, Viking River Cruises has a refund policy in place that ensures passengers receive a full refund or credit towards future travel plans.

So, rest assured that even if mother nature doesn’t cooperate during your trip, Viking River Cruises has measures in place to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable journey.

Is there a dress code for dining on board?

Dining on board a Viking River Cruise is a delightful experience. As you step into the dining room, the atmosphere feels like a fancy restaurant with white tablecloths and elegant decor. The dining attire is smart casual, so you can dress comfortably without compromising style. However, it’s important to follow the etiquette guidelines that are set in place to ensure that everyone enjoys their meal.

When it comes to menu options, there’s something for every palate, and dietary restrictions are taken seriously by the staff who will make sure that your needs are met. So whether you’re a picky eater or have certain food allergies, you’ll be able to indulge in delicious meals throughout your journey on board Viking River Cruises.


Congratulations, adventurer! Now that you’ve explored the pros and cons of Viking River Cruises, it’s time to embark on your own journey.

As you set sail down the winding rivers of Europe or Asia, you’ll be transported to a world of wonder and beauty. The gentle lapping of the water against the boat, the breathtaking landscapes passing by, and the rich cultural experiences awaiting you – all combine to create an unforgettable experience.

But remember, every adventure has its challenges. As with any form of travel, there are risks and downsides to consider. However, with proper planning and research, these can be minimized or avoided altogether.

So go forth with confidence in your decision to embark on a Viking River Cruise – may your voyage be filled with joy, discovery, and memories that’ll last a lifetime!