Viking Longship Eistla
The Viking Longship Eistla was one of the Viking River Cruise vessels released onto Europe’s rivers in 2014 – fitting, seeing as in Norse folklore, Eistla was one of the nine wave maidens that protected from water and brought harmony to the Earth. With a river cruise aboard the Eistla, guests will be able to enjoy all of the features that are synonymous with the Longship-class of ships, including innovative technologies and green credentials (such as solar panels and hybrid engines), spacious public areas and beautifully-appointed staterooms.
Cruising along the Main, Rhine and Danube rivers, the Viking Longship Eistla offers friendly, relaxing and comfortable river cruises with a high level of hospitality that are all reasons why Viking River Cruises continue to win awards for their contribution to travel, year after year.
With a maximum capacity of 190 passengers, the Eistla is small enough to navigate Europe’s waterways, and intimate enough to ensure guests can get to know other passengers and meet like-minded travellers. All guests onboard can enjoy the excellent hospitality provided by the staff and crew, including handpicked local guides and a Programme Director who is on-hand throughout the voyage to ensure free time is planned effectively.
The majority of guests who book with Viking River Cruises are well-travelled, mature, English-speaking, and predominantly hail from the USA, UK, Canada and Australia.
As a full board vessel, guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard at no extra cost. All are served in the main restaurant, which boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that offer fantastic views as you dine. The dining room offers an open-seating arrangement, giving guests the freedom to choose where to sit, when, and with whom. The casual dress code also means the cruise is a little less formal and more relaxed than your usual ocean cruise, while retaining elegance and sophistication thanks to the crisp white linens, polished cutlery and gleaming glassware.
Breakfast and lunch are served in a buffet format, with plenty of choice to suit all preferences. Choose from cereals, pastries, fruit, cheese, cold meats and hot dishes such as made-to-order eggs for breakfast, and salads, soups, entrees and desserts for lunch. Dinner consists of a sit-down, waiter-served gourmet five-course menu that incorporates both regional and traditional dishes - perfect for adventurous palates as well as for guests who wish to stay safe with their menu choices. Drinks including wines, beers and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner, and there is an option to upgrade your drinks package to include premium spirits and fine wines, if you desire.
Alternatively, guests can sample the lighter fare served at the Aquavit Terrace, located at the bow of the ship at the front of the main lounge. Here, guests can dine al-fresco when the weather allows, and try various dishes from the grill.
There is also a 24hour hot beverage station onboard, where guests can help themselves to complimentary tea and coffee.
Every itinerary enjoys a complementary entertainment package that includes special performances by regional musicians and local acts who are invited onboard during the voyage, including Austrian and Hungarian classic entertainment that guests can enjoy in the Observation Lounge after dinner. Entertainment onboard is relatively low-key though, with many guests happy to head back to their staterooms for an early night – particularly when the following day includes plenty of sightseeing!
Highlights of every cruise also include the Captain’s welcome and farewell dinners, which give guests the perfect opportunity to dress in their best outfits and socialise with new-found friends.
The Eistla is equipped with plenty of amenities that will ensure guests can enjoy their time onboard when not absorbed in the activities provided as part of the Culture Curriculum, including a well-stocked library corner, a boutique and shipwide complimentary Wi-Fi which means guests can browse the web and keep in touch with loved ones.
The Viking Culture Curriculum includes a number of itinerary-specific activities, such as onboard lectures on topics including Mozart, Viennese coffeehouses and current affairs, plus language classes to help you brush up on your basic German.
Onshore, guided tours include the use of individual audio headsets, and range from guided walking tours of local towns and cities, to visits to iconic landmarks including cathedrals, Benedictine abbeys and castles. Guests can also learn how to make regional specialities such as apple strudel in Austria and Rudesheimer coffee, explore the local markets in Vienna and Budapest, and possibly appreciate an exclusive pipe organ concert in Passau!
Of the 95 staterooms onboard, two are 445 sq. ft. Explorer Suites which boast private wraparound verandas offering 270degree views, seven 275 sq. ft. Veranda Suites, 39 Veranda Staterooms (205 sq. ft.), 17 French Balcony Staterooms (135 sq. ft.) and 25 Standard Staterooms (150 sq. ft.). Of these staterooms classes, all benefit from river views, with all boasting either/or a French balcony or veranda, apart from the standard staterooms, which have half-height picture windows.
Regardless of which stateroom class is chosen, most amenities remain the same, and include hotel-style beds (twin configuration available), private bathroom with shower, upscale toiletries, individual climate control, safe, hairdryer, telephone, flatscreen TV with English-speaking channels, fridge, complimentary bottled water, plenty of storage and bathrobes and slippers on request.
There is a putting green situated on the Sun Deck which is perfect for avid golfers and a walking track for those who fancy a leisurely stroll when not enjoying the shore excursions and city visits. Plenty of sunloungers and seats are also available on the Sun Deck if you just wish to unwind and relax as you watch the stunning scenery drift by.
The Longship Eistla currently offers two itineraries – the eight-day Danube Waltz and the 15-day Grand European Tour.
As part of the Danube Waltz itinerary, guests can sail along the majestic Danube, through beautiful European regions that encompass Germany, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. Among other experiences, guests can sail through the UNESCO-recognised Wachau Valley, visit the 900-year-old Benedictine abbey in Melk, enjoy a lavish pampering session at the Art Nouveau Gellert Spa in Budapest or explore the Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov.
The 15-day Grand European Tour incorporates parts of the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers, starting in Amsterdam and ending in Budapest. Highlights include the opportunity to discover the engineering marvel that is Kinderdijk, appreciate the stunning scenery of the Middle Rhine or take the ‘Romantic Road’ to Rothenberg, sample smoke-flavoured beer in Bamberg and sachertorte in Vienna, and view the fabulous Steiner Tor city gate in Krems.