Viking Longship Egil
As a brand new addition to the Viking River Cruises fleet, the Longship Egil will make its maiden voyage in 2016, with itineraries focussing on some of the delights that the Danube has to offer. The Longship-class of vessels keeps on growing, with uniform design features that can be seen across the class, including ‘green’ credentials such as solar panels, an organic herb garden and hybrid engines, as well as contemporary décor, spacious atrium and beautifully-appointed staterooms throughout.
Combine these features with excellent hospitality, a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere and superb shore excursions and cultural activities, and you will understand why Viking wins so many travel awards and has so many loyal customers!
Continuing with the Longship-class specs, the Egil will be able to accommodate 190 passengers when sailing at full capacity. Most of these guests will be well-travelled, mature and affluent, with a real interest in broadening their horizons, learning about different cultures and immersing themselves in the heritage, customs and history of European destinations. The majority of guests who travel with Viking tend to be from English-speaking countries, particularly the USA, the UK, Canada and Australia.
The Viking Daily newsletter will ensure that all passengers can plan their time according to the various activities and excursions available each day, and the expertise of the on-hand Programme Director will ensure all guests make the most of their river adventure.
Full board river cruising means that, when onboard the Longship Egil, guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at no extra cost. The main restaurant features floor-to-ceiling windows which allow guests to enjoy the gorgeous views, and the open-seating policy and casual dress code ensure passengers can experience relaxed, friendly and flexible dining every day. There is an alternative dining venue onboard too – the Aquavit Terrace offers lighter fare and can be found at the front of the Observation Lounge providing al-fresco dining opportunities when the weather permits.
Breakfast and lunch in the main restaurant are served in a buffet format, with a range of dishes available, including cereals, fruit, pastries, made-to-order eggs and continental meats served for breakfast, and soups, salads, entrees and desserts served for lunch. Dinner is a waiter-served five-course menu, made up of authentic local dishes and traditional favourites. Complimentary drinks, including wines, beers and soft drinks, are offered with lunch and dinner, and hot drinks are free throughout the voyage and can be poured at the self-serve station onboard. A premium beverage package optional upgrade is available too, and includes fine wines and premium spirits.
It may be low-key, but the entertainment onboard is as expected, considering that the majority of passengers tend to focus their time on daytime activities and are more than happy with relaxing, simple evenings which consist of piano music in the lounge and chatter with friends. However, as part of every itinerary, there is an enjoyable entertainment programme planned for the voyage, which can include local performers being invited onboard to showcase some local music and traditions, such as Austrian classics and Hungarian folkloric performances.
Guests can enjoy a well-planned and enthralling Culture Curriculum as part of their river cruise, with both onshore and onboard activities to keep them occupied throughout the voyage. Guided tours of towns, cities and iconic sights are included with every itinerary, such as visits to the Benedictine abbey in Gottweig, the medieval treasures of Regensburg and the Palace of Justice in Nuremburg. There is also ample time for guests to explore at their leisure in many ports, if they wish.
Back onboard, guests can enjoy plenty of enriching opportunities, from expert-led lectures on Mozart and Viennese coffee culture, to learning how to make your own apple strudel and discussions about the European Union. Guests can also make use of the complimentary Wi-Fi that is freely available, and there is a library corner and boutique onboard to browse.
Of the 95 staterooms onboard, two are Explorer Suites, seven are Veranda Suites, 39 are Veranda Staterooms, 22 are French Balcony Staterooms and 25 are Standard Staterooms. Irrespective of category, all guests can enjoy outside river views, with only the standard staterooms lacking a veranda and French balcony – instead, they have a half-height picture window. Explorer suites boast a French balcony in the bedroom, and a huge veranda that leads off the sitting room, which gives guests the luxury of a 270-degree view of the river scenery.
Amenities across the accommodation categories include hotel-style beds which can be configured as double or twin beds, ensuite bathroom with shower, bath products and optional bathrobes and slippers, a flatscreen TV with infotainment system and entertainment package, climate control, safe, hairdryer, telephone, fridge and complimentary bottled water that is restocked daily.
The Sun Deck is where guests can unwind and relax during downtime, and features a walking track that is perfect for leisurely strolls, an organic herb garden, a putting green that is ideal for golfing fans, and plenty of sunloungers on which to kick back and relax. There is also a shaded seating area if you wish to enjoy the phenomenal scenery, while taking respite from the sun.
The Longship Egil is expected to sail the ten-day ‘Bavaria to Budapest’ itinerary that navigates the Danube between Nuremberg and Budapest and includes seven fantastic guided tours, such as a tour of Nuremberg including a visit to the Palace of Justice which is famed for housing the renowned Nuremberg Trials, a special organ concert in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Passau, a wander along the medieval streets of Esztergrom and the beautiful city of Vienna.
Pre- and post- cruise stays in Prague and Budapest are also a possibility if you wish to prolong your European adventure.