Viking Longship Gefjon
Sailing through Germany’s heartland since early 2015, the Viking Longship Gefjon helps to emphasise Viking’s position as one of the finest providers of river cruises, with the awards to prove it. Combining contemporary décor and sleek design with innovative engineering features that help the fleet to provide eco-friendly cruises to guests from all over the world, the Viking Longship Gefjon ticks all the boxes, just like its predecessors have, for outstanding river cruise holidays.
Viking’s ‘green’ initiative includes solar panels and hybrid diesel-electric engines that help the vessel to cruise effortlessly along Europe’s waterways and provide a cleaner, quieter and more energy efficient voyage. The organic herb garden on the Sun Deck is a lovely touch too, providing fresh produce that the chefs onboard use daily. From beginning to end, the personal touches, impeccable service and captivating itineraries are what draw customers to Viking ships, over and over again.
All Longship-class vessels can accommodate up to 190 guests at a time, which means there is still an air of intimacy in comparison to ocean cruises, but with ample opportunity to meet like-minded people without feeling overcrowded. All guests can enjoy the excellent hospitality onboard, including the services of a dedicated Programme Director who will ensure all your needs are met during your time on and off the ship.
The majority of travellers tend to be from the USA, but other English-speaking guests are often found onboard, including travellers from the UK, Canada and Australia.
Guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner in the light and spacious restaurant, which offers superb views of the river thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows. An open seating arrangement means that guests can savour a flexible and laidback dining experience, and the lack of formal dress code means there’s no need to feel pressured into dressing up for every meal.
Breakfast and lunch are delivered in a buffet format, with a range of dishes available including cereals, pastries and continental meats for breakfast, and soups, salads and entrees for lunch. Dinner is an a la carte five-course experience, with waiter service. Guests can enjoy itinerary-specific menu options most evenings, as well as some Western favourites which will keep every palate satisfied. Complimentary drinks are also served with lunch and dinner, with the option to upgrade the drinks package to include fine wines and premium spirits as well as the soft drinks, beers and local wines that are typically on offer. Hot drinks are free too, and available 24/7 from the self-serve station.
If guests wish to enjoy something a little lighter and more casual, the Aquavit Terrace serves up al-fresco grill offerings with beautiful views, and can be found at the front of the Observation Lounge.
Social highlights on every Viking cruise are the welcome and farewell dinners - and the Captain’s welcome cocktail party also gives guests the perfect opportunity to mingle.
The Observation Lounge is the main entertainment venue onboard, with a full-service bar and an in-house pianist offering background piano music during the evenings. Local performers are also often invited onboard, to showcase itinerary-specific revues such as classical music performances.
Viking’s Culture Curriculum ensures that when guests aren’t exploring the local ports and enjoying excursions, there is never a dull moment onboard. Passengers have the option of attending lectures delivered by experts, on subjects including the European Union and the Main River, and can also typically appreciate a demonstration by a local glassblower. There will also undoubtedly be opportunities to learn a little German during your travels through the country.
Onshore, guests can sign up for a range of guided tours and excursions, as well as taking time to explore independently. All expert-led guided tours include the use of individual headsets, so no-one needs to worry about missing information if they are at the back of the group. Some of Gefjon’s cruises take place around Christmas too, so guests can enjoy the Christmas markets and taste lebkuchen gingerbread in Nuremberg and schneeball pastry in Rothenberg – all washed down with a warming glass of gluhwein, of course!
Back onboard, guests can make use of the complimentary Wi-Fi, or can browse the boutique and library corner.
There’s a total of 95 staterooms onboard the Gefjon – all of which feature outside views, either via half height picture windows in the standard staterooms, French balconies or verandas (or both!). The staterooms are split into eight different categories, which vary in size between 135 sq. ft. and 445 sq. ft.
Staterooms feature similar facilities, regardless of category, including hotel-style beds that can be configured to your liking, private bathroom with shower and bath products, bathrobes and slippers on request, in-room safe, fridge, climate control, hairdryer, telephone, flatscreen TV with infotainment system and entertainment package and complimentary bottled water (replenished daily).
In addition, higher end accommodations feature both a full-size veranda in the living area and a French balcony coming off the bedroom. The veranda in the Explorer Suites is very impressive and wraps around the suite, providing 270 degree views of the river.
Enjoy a stroll around the Sun Deck’s walking track, or tee off on the putting green. If that sounds a little too active though, the sunloungers and canopied seating area are just as inviting, and benefit from beautiful 360 degree views.
The Viking Longship Gefjon sails along the Main River and offers the seven day ‘Heart of Germany’ tour between Nuremberg and Frankfurt. Included in the fare are six guided tours, as well as a voyage along the renowned ‘Romantic Road’. From the streets of Rothenberg to the ruins of Heidelberg Castle, guests can enjoy plenty of unique opportunities, including pre- and post- stays in Cologne and Prague.