Launched in 2009, Viking Legend is the sister ship to the 2011-built Viking Prestige. Owned by Viking River Cruises, Viking Legend is one of 60 ships in a fleet that sails all over Europe, Russia and South East Asia. As a Viking Europe ship, Viking Legend’s streamlined design with quiet hybrid engines, has been specially engineered to navigate the European rivers. Her airy, Scandinavian design inside gives a feeling of space, light and modern chic, from the privacy of the cabins to the impressive public atrium.
With room for just 188 passengers, the atmosphere on Viking Legend is friendly and sociable, but never hectic or cramped. Norwegian-owned Viking River Cruises takes its offshore excursions as seriously as its excellent onboard service, so passengers tend to be English-speaking and keen to gain an in-depth knowledge of the destinations they are visiting.
As on any cruise, the main meal of the day is dinner, and in the Viking Legend’s contemporary, open-seating restaurant with linen tablecloths and premium crockery and glasses, it’s a five-course affair. Seasoned river cruisers are used to buffet lunches but on Viking Legend you can choose between a main course and pudding or something lighter from the soup and sandwich bar. Breakfast is a substantial buffet where you can enjoy fruit, cheese, cold meats, pastries, cereal and eggs.
The Aquavit Terrace is a great alternative al-fresco dining spot where you can order a light meal, drink or a coffee.
Viking’s policy of enhancing its passengers’ experience of the areas they’re visiting extends to the food with the cuisine of the itinerary inspiring the menus. On the Viking Legend this means plenty of German and Austrian-influenced fare.
House wine, beer, soft drinks, tea, coffee and water are complimentary with all meals. You can also personalise your cruise with the premium wines and spirits of the Silver Spirits Beverage Package. Tea, coffee and cappuccino are always on offer at the onboard beverage bar.
Every cruise on the Viking Legend starts with a welcome cocktail reception and dinner and ends with a farewell meal. The open-seating policy and casual dress code still apply but some passengers do dress up a bit to give these events a sense of occasion. In the evenings, local entertainers are a regular fixture, but the atmosphere is generally low key with passengers happy to browse the library and boutique, unwind over a drink from the bar or enjoy the view from the Observation Lounge.
Your offshore experience starts with the daily newsletter, the Viking Daily, which gives information about the day’s sightseeing ahead. Once you’re off the boat you’ll be expertly guided by a local tour guide and a high tech audio system. Every cruise also offers the option of extra special excursions such as a Viennese concert.
Onboard activities are carefully designed to immerse passengers in the itinerary and there’s a great programme of events. On the Viking Legend this could include demonstrations on how to make the perfect apple strudel, as well as talks on the life and times of the composer Mozart and how Vienna became famous for its coffee houses.
Aside from two luxurious 337 sq. ft. Suites, boasting two flat screen TVs, a living area, two French balconies and bath, most cabins on the Viking Legend are 170 sq. ft. French Balcony Staterooms, which are divided into three price categories depending on their position on the ship.
The upper deck is home to the two Suites and 33 of the 170 sq. ft. French Balcony Staterooms, which as the names suggests, feature a French balcony with sliding glass doors.
The middle deck is another all-French balcony deck, devoted to 34 French Balcony Staterooms and three Single Staterooms which are generously proportioned at 150 sq. ft.
On the main deck you’ll find one more Single Stateroom and 22 Standard Staterooms which feature a half-high picture window that you can enjoy the views from, although it can’t be opened.
No matter what category of stateroom you choose, climate control, hotel-style beds, ample storage, phone, hairdryer, mini fridge, and safe are provided as standard. All cabins also have premium bath products, a Sony flat screen TV with a selection of English-speaking channels, daily supplies of bottled water and the option to request hotel-style bathrobe and slippers.
In 2015 and 2016, Viking Legend is sailing the 8-day Danube Waltz itinerary. Starting in the Hungarian capital Budapest and ending in the delightful German town of Passau, the cruise also travels through wonderful scenery in Slovakia and Austria. With 6 guided tours that include the chance to explore beautiful Vienna, lose yourself in the cobbled streets of Durnstein and tour a 900-year-old Benedictine Abbey in Melk, this is a cruise to remember. There is even the option to add on a stay in Budapest before your cruise starts or in Prague when it ends.