Built in 1991, and refurbished far more recently in 2010, the Viking Fontane is a classic, intimate ship that sails along the historic Elbe River, through Germany and into the Czech Republic. Custom-designed to navigate this beautiful, shallow waterway, the Viking Fontane provides a timeless river cruise in true comfort and elegant surroundings.
Simple, refined and relaxed, the Viking Fontane has taken design inspiration from Scandinavia and has made it its own, with light and airy staterooms and public areas, and plenty of features and amenities to keep every guest satisfied.
Guests on the Fontane tend to hail from the USA and the UK, with a healthy smattering of other nationalities added to the mix. Guests are usually English speaking, as service, announcements and activities are delivered primarily in English. All passengers tend to enjoy the enrichment that a Viking river cruise offers, embracing the itinerary and showing a great interest in every aspect, including Viking’s expert-led excursions and the Culture Curriculum that is tailored to every cruise.
The main restaurant, situated on the Main Deck, has a casual but elegant atmosphere, and benefits from huge windows that allow guests to enjoy the breathtaking scenery at the same time as sampling the mouth-watering regional and traditional dishes. The breakfast buffet typically includes cereals, pastries, egg dishes, meats and cheeses, and there’s a soup and sandwich bar available at lunchtime, as well as a choice of entrees and desserts. For dinner service, guests can enjoy a five-course gourmet menu. Waiter service is available in the main restaurant, but there is also a lighter buffet in the lounge area, if you don’t fancy a sit-down meal every time.
Wine, beer and soft drinks are complimentary with lunch and dinner onboard, but upgrading to the Silver Spirits drinks package (bookable onboard) can provide more choice. Hot beverages are available throughout the day, free of charge.
The Observation Lounge is the main area where guests can relax with a drink after dinner and enjoy the company of fellow travellers. Comfortable chairs are ideal for taking the weight off your feet, while the floor-to-ceiling glass windows ensure unhindered views of the sunset.
The lounge offers a well-stocked bar, and a piano for evening music thanks to the resident pianist. Local musicians and entertainers occasionally pop onboard to perform, linking the entertainment to the itinerary seamlessly.
The shore excursions that the Fontane offers are included in the fare, and can vary from guided sightseeing tours of port towns to group coach trips to castles and palaces. Lectures, demonstrations and activities onboard coincide with the itinerary as well, so guests can appreciate the culture both on shore and on deck. On its current Elbe itinerary, guests can experience a Czech folkloric performance and baroque chamber music, and listen to lectures on Martin Luther and the Reformation.
The library onboard has a good selection of books to choose from, as well as board games and jigsaws. Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship, free of charge. There is also an onboard shop if you fancy a browse. The Sun Deck offers gorgeous 360-degree views, plenty of comfortable shaded seating areas and sunloungers, which are extremely inviting on a sunny day.
All 56 staterooms benefit from an outside river view. The majority of staterooms have large picture windows (these open in staterooms on the Upper Deck) while eight staterooms enjoy the luxury of a French balcony, with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors. Varying in size from 135 sq. ft. to 200 sq. ft., staterooms are scattered across both Upper and Main decks and all feature similar amenities, including hotel-style twin beds (with optional double configuration), en-suite bathroom with shower and premium toiletries, flatscreen TV with entertainment package and movie channels, optional bathrobes and slippers, individual climate control, telephone, hairdryer, in-room safe and bottled water that is replenished daily. French balcony rooms have double beds with optional twin configuration.
The Viking Fontane currently operates one itinerary – Elegant Elbe – which sails between Berlin and Prague on a ten day cruise (eight days onboard and a day each in Berlin and Prague, with nights in the Hilton Hotel, or similar). This cruise includes nine guided excursions, including the use of an audio headset.
Discover some of the scenic beauty of what was once East Germany, as you weave your way through the unspoilt landscape. Explore Dresden, coined the Florence of the Elbe, and spend some time in city’s Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister, feasting your eyes upon masterpieces by Raphael, Vermeer and Rembrandt. Enjoy a tour of Worlitz Castle, tuck into a traditional German dinner, follow in the footsteps of Martin Luther in Wittenberg or take a tour of a Meissenware factory.
You can also enjoy pre- and post- cruise extensions with city breaks in both Berlin and Prague.