Have you ever wanted to take a more in-depth trip to Europe, exploring multiple countries, but didn’t want to hassle with the planning involved? Viking River Cruises has taken the guess work out of travel. In fact, the Norwegian-based company has discovered a way to eliminate the need to pack and unpack your suitcase multiple times while traveling. In this post I’ll share how I explore Europe’s Danube River on a floating hotel.
Romantic Danube River Cruise
This was my first time taking a river cruise and I was pleasantly surprised with both the ease of the trip and the luxury of this floating boutique hotel. I called Viking Delling my home for eight days while exploring the Christmas Markets along the Danube River in early December. The beauty of river cruising is that it can be done year-round. On my longship there were ladies on a girls shopping getaway, baby boomers getting reacquainted with Europe and multi-generations taking a family vacation together. Many of us were new to river cruising and wondered how this experience would compare to a European hotel stay.
This particular Viking Longship was new to the fleet, having launched in 2014, and offered streamlined design and thoughtful engineering. At 205 square feet, my Veranda Stateroom featured scenic river views with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, comfortable hotel-style beds, private bathroom with heated floor and a fairly spacious shower. It came with all the expected hotel amenities such as flat-panel tv, daily bottled water, hair dryer and l’occitane bath products, in addition to complimentary wifi throughout the ship. For those who do not travel to Europe often, all Viking Longships offer 220V and 110V voltage in staterooms.
On board, the ship offered an Aquavit Terrace – outdoor seating on the bow of the ship – best utilized in spring, summer or fall, a nice bar, good restaurant with plenty of dining options, including regional specialties, and a light and airy atrium-style lobby. There’s no getting lost on this ship!
Similar to hotels, all Viking River Cruises’ Longships have hotel managers on board. During our cruise I asked Hotel Manager Martijn Kamphuis about the differences between a hotel stay and river boat cruising. As I mentioned initially, I love the fact that you only need unpack once and the scenery is forever changing. On our river cruise, we sailed through three countries (Germany, Austria and Hungary) with guided tours and audio headsets at every stop.
hotel stay starts at $1,856 with optional shore excursions, complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks served onboard with lunch and dinner service and all port charges included in the price. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy. As always, check the website for package deals and current pricing.
Floating hotel review and photos by San Francisco-based travel writer & river cruise enthusiast Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Viking River Cruises while researching other articles.