Viking Longship Tialfi
As a brand new addition to the Viking River Cruises fleet, the Viking Longship Tialfi is due to make its way onto the Rhine River in 2016, with itineraries that take in Holland, Germany and Switzerland in the pipeline. From the moment guests step aboard, they will be able to appreciate the understated elegance of the ship, with the bright and airy Atrium taking centre stage.
The Tialfi incorporates the same innovative design features and state-of-the-art engineering that are present in other ships that are already part of the Longship-class fleet, including environmentally-friendly diesel-electric hybrid engines and solar panels, a patented corridor design, all-weather ‘Aquavit Terrace’ casual dining venue and beautifully-appointed Explorer Suites which feature 270 degree wraparound verandas.
Most guests who choose to travel with Viking River Cruises are English-speaking, with a majority travelling from the USA and others from Canada, the UK and Australia making up the mix. Many passengers will have a keen interest in history, travel and culture, and tend to belong to a more mature age group.
There is a dedicated Programme Director onboard, who can help guests to organise their holiday days effectively. The Viking Daily newsletter that is delivered every day to the staterooms is also essential reading.
Guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner in the main dining room onboard, or the casual al-fresco Aquavit Terrace venue which can be found at the front of the Observation Lounge and has indoor and outdoor seating options, plus casual fare served from the grill.
Both the main restaurant and the Aquavit Terrace operate an open seating policy, with no formal dress code. This means that regardless of where you dine, you can enjoy a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, without missing out on sophistication and elegance. In the main restaurant, breakfast and lunch are served in a buffet format, and dinner is a five-course a la carte menu put together using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. Guests have a choice of popular dishes, and local authentic fare is often available if they wish to try something a little different.
Drinks including local wines, beers, soft drinks and water are complimentary with meals, which can be upgraded to include fine wines and premium spirits if you wish. Hot drinks are available from the self-serve beverage station throughout the day.
Entertainment onboard is low-key. Every cruise includes welcome and farewell dinners which are both hugely anticipated, and evenings can be spent relaxing in the Observation Lounge, in one of the comfortable chairs, with a drink from the well stocked bar in hand. There is a resident pianist, and local acts are occasionally invited onboard to showcase regional music, from classics to folklore revues.
The excellent Viking Culture Curriculum ensures that all guests have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of experiences onboard, from attending lectures on Germany’s current affairs and the origins of Rhine River cruising, to observing a traditional glassblower and learning how to make Alsatian Flammkuchen. There is also a library corner, a boutique and ship-wide complimentary Wi-Fi to enjoy.
Off the ship, there are a number of carefully-selected guided tours and shore excursions to participate in. All guided tours include the use of individual audio headsets, so that every guest can enjoy the local expert’s informative commentary. There are also plenty of unique experiences to sign up for, from wine and cheese tasting to learning how windmills work in the Netherlands.
There are eight categories of accommodation onboard, of varying size, between 135 sq. ft. and 445 sq. ft. All 95 staterooms and suites offer an outside view of some description, from half-height picture windows in the standard staterooms, to French balconies or verandas in the remaining staterooms, and both French balcony and full-size veranda in the suites. Explorer Suites offer wraparound verandas, which provide beautiful 270-degree views.
All amenities are of an excellent quality and standard across the various stateroom categories. These include hotel-style beds (with optional twin configuration available on request), private bathroom with shower and bath products (heated mirrors and floors are available in higher end accommodation), telephone, hairdryer, climate control, safe, flatscreen TV with infotainment system and English-speaking channels, refrigerator, complimentary bottled water and bathrobes/slippers on request.
There are comfortable sunloungers and a shaded seating area situated on the Sun Deck, where guests can unwind and relax as they admire the beautiful views. There is also a putting green and a walking track to use.
The Viking Longship Tialfi will operate the eight day ‘Rhine Getaway’ which includes visits to Amsterdam, Kinderdijk, Cologne, Koblenz, Heidelberg, Strasbourg, Breisach and Basel. Included in the fare are six guided tours, from Marksburg Castle and the ruins of Heidelberg Castle, to the famous windmills at Kinderdijk.
Guests will also be able to admire the unspoilt and delightful landscapes that the Rhine Gorge and the Black Forest region have to offer. Optional excursions to the Alsace wineries and a cheese-making farm in Holland are also available, as are optional pre- and post- cruise stays in Amsterdam and Lucerne.