Viking Longship Bestla
Launched in 2014, as the sister ship to Viking Longship Eistla, the Viking Longship Bestla is just one in a long line of successful and incredibly popular river cruise ships that have implemented streamlined, contemporary design to offer guests beautiful voyages along some of Europe’s most dramatic riverways. As soon as guests step onboard, they’re bathed with natural light thanks to the bright and breezy atrium, and with beautifully-appointed public areas and staterooms, passengers can enjoy a relaxing and memorable river experience from beginning to end.
Plus, the Viking Longship Bestla – as with its predecessors – boasts ‘green’ credentials that ensure it’s one of the most environmentally-friendly vessels on the river, with solar panels, diesel-electric hybrid engines, and an organic herb garden that the onboard chef uses to create the flavoursome onboard menu. This means that guests can enjoy a more efficient, cleaner and quieter voyage along Europe’s Rhine, Main and Danube.
As an American line, the majority of the Viking Longship Bestla’s clientele will hail from the USA, but its itineraries are also growing in popularity with mature, well-travelled holidaymakers from the UK, too. Guests will likely have a strong interest in experiencing what Europe has to offer, and will have a thirst for culture, heritage, cuisine and learning new things.
As with all Longships, the maximum capacity of the vessel is 190 passengers, and there are 50 crew members onboard who provide top notch service throughout. The Viking Daily newsletter, delivered every evening, as well as the dedicated Cruise Director, will help guests to plan their time effectively and be able to enjoy all activities and excursions that they wish to experience.
The main restaurant onboard provides stunning views, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows. Here, guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner service – all providing a wide selection of culinary options to suit every palate. Guests can choose from a buffet breakfast spread, including continental meats and cheeses, fruit, cereals and made-to-order eggs, and for lunch the buffet consists of salads, entrees, soups, pastas and desserts. Evening service is waiter-served, and offers a carefully planned multi-course menu of both regional and more traditional items.
The Aquavit Terrace is also available if guests wish to enjoy something a little more casual, and early-riser breakfasts can be taken. Complimentary drinks, including local wines, beers, soft drinks and water are available with both lunch and dinner, but a beverage upgrade can be bought either onboard or in advance, if you wish to enjoy fine wines and premium spirits on tap. There is a self-serve beverage station where guests can help themselves to tea or coffee, too.
Dress code throughout the ship is casual, but dressy casual is often favoured during the evenings, especially for the welcome and farewell dinners and smart onshore events.
The Observation Lounge offers low-key but upmarket entertainment, which reflects the itinerary and the local area perfectly and includes a variety of different. Guests can relax, enjoy a drink with friends and soak up the wonderful vibes that an evening here possesses.
The Viking Longship Bestla offers various activities for guests onboard to enjoy, all in-keeping with the ports that are part of the itinerary. Guests can choose from a variety of onshore excursions, including trips to UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Holland’s windmill territory, Kinderdijk. All guided tours include the use of audio headsets.
Guests can experience a variety of onboard activities too, including lectures on current affairs, trying sjoelen – the Dutch version of shuffleboard - and Dutch cheese and jenever liqueur tasting. There is also a library corner, and shipwide Wi-Fi that is available to guests, at no extra charge.
There’s a choice of 95 staterooms and suites onboard, which vary in size from the standard 135 sq. ft. to the more indulgent 445 sq. ft. Standard staterooms on the Main Deck offer half-height picture windows, but the remaining categories boast either French balconies or verandas. Veranda and Explorer Suites also include separate seating and bedroom areas, a spacious bathroom, two flatscreen TVs and, in the case of Explorer Suites, a wraparound veranda with 270-degree views.
Amenities across the various categories include hotel-style beds, private bathroom, premium toiletries, refrigerator, hairdryer, in-room safe, climate control, flatscreen TV with infotainment system, bottled water (replenished daily) and bathrobes and slippers (on request).
The Sun Deck offers an abundance of sunloungers and a shaded sitting area, for the mornings and afternoons when basking in the sun is a must. There is also a putting green, and an organic herb garden that is ideal for a stroll if the walking track doesn’t float your boat.
The Viking Longship Bestla currently operates the Grand European Tour itinerary, sailing between Amsterdam and Budapest for 15 days. This includes 13 guided tours and ninr UNESCO World Heritage sites, which incorporate some of the special highlights of the Rhine, Main and Danube. Soak up the beauty of Holland’s windmills before sailing through Austria’s stunning Wachau Valley. Learn how to make your own Rudesheimer coffee, wander a Viennese market, appreciate fragrance and chocolate museums in Cologne or, if you’re feeling brave, ride the Riesenrad – the world’s oldest Ferris wheel!