Viking Longship Var
As one of the several vessels to be inaugurated into Viking River Cruises’ Longship-class fleet in 2013, the Viking Longship Var has already cruised some beautiful regions of Europe, and looks forward to an exciting future. Named after the Norse Goddess of oaths, the Longship Var promises to continue to provide its guests with an unforgettable cruise along some of Europe’s rivers and through iconic regions of Germany, Austria and Hungary, thanks to its captivating itineraries.
From the moment you step onboard, the atrium hits you with a swathe of natural light, and the beautifully-appointed staterooms and innovative public areas (including the Longship-class standard Aquavit Terrace) ensure that this airy elegance continues throughout the ship. The immersive Culture Curriculum onboard is carefully chosen to reflect the regions an itinerary visits, meaning that every guest can enjoy their time onboard and off, throughout the voyage.
The Var can hold up to 190 people in staterooms situated on three of its four decks. Most of these passengers tend to be English-speaking with a love for travel - a vast majority hailing from the USA, and others venturing from the UK, Australia and Canada.
The impeccable service, including the assistance of a dedicated Programme Director, will ensure that all guests can plan their time wisely, in order to make the most of their cruising experience.
The main dining room on the Var operates an open seating policy. This, combined with the lack of formal dress code, ensures guests can enjoy a flexible and relaxed dining experience during breakfast, lunch and dinner services. The floor-to-ceiling windows allows for stunning views as you dine, and the elegance of the room provides sophistication despite the casual policies.
Breakfast and lunch are served in a buffet format, with a range of dishes available from the central buffet station. Hot options including made-to-order eggs at breakfast and entrees at lunch are also available. Dinner is a little different, served by waiters as a five-course dinner. The professional chefs onboard aim to use locally sourced and seasonal ingredients to prepare the extensive menu, which is made up of crowd-pleasing favourites and locally-inspired, authentic dishes. On some itineraries, themed dinners are occasionally available, such as the Hungarian feast that can be enjoyed when moored in Budapest. Alternatively, guests can enjoy the casual al-fresco feel of the Aquavit Terrace that can be found at the front of the Observation Lounge. Weather is not an issue, thanks to the indoor and outdoor viewing areas that can be used come rain or shine.
Complimentary drinks including local wines, beers and soft drinks are served with meals onboard, and this package can be upgraded to include fine wines and spirits if that is preferred. Hot beverages are available 24/7, for free, from the self-serve beverage station.
The Observation Lounge is the main social hub onboard, and features a full-service bar as well as ample comfortable seating and a small dancefloor. The in-house pianist provides daily music, and local acts are occasionally invited onboard to perform regional revues, such as Austrian and Hungarian classics.
For most guests, the low-key entertainment is a perfect balance to complement the busy days. Social highlights include the welcome and farewell dinners, and the Captain’s welcome reception.
The activities onshore coincide with the itinerary that you book, and range from all-inclusive guided tours (with the use of individual audio headsets) and optional shore excursions, to unique opportunities including culinary tastings, such as lebkuchen gingerbread and spiced gluhwein.
Onboard, guests can enjoy a range of activities that complement the itinerary, from learning to make your own apple strudel to attending lectures on the European Union, Viennese coffee houses and Mozart. There is also complimentary Wi-Fi available, an onboard boutique and a library corner.
There are 95 staterooms onboard which are split into eight categories, including seven Veranda Suites and two Explorer Suites. All categories have an outside view of varying degree, from standard staterooms’ half-height picture windows, to suites which boast both a French balcony and a full-size private veranda. In the case of Explorer Suites, these verandas wrap around the room, providing superb 270-degree views.
Other than window and veranda features, the major difference in categories is the size, ranging from 135 sq. ft. to 445 sq. ft. The majority of other amenities are almost identical, including hotel-style beds, private bathroom with shower and premium bath products, telephone, safe, climate control, refrigerator, hairdryer, complimentary bottled water (replenished daily), flatscreen TV with entertainment package and bathrobes and slippers (on request).
In addition, suites have larger bathrooms with a heated floor and mirror, and a separate, spacious living area.
The Sun Deck features a putting green and a large walking track. There are also plenty of comfortable sunloungers and a shaded sitting area, where guests can relax, unwind and watch the beautiful scenery pass by.
The Viking Longship Var offers two itineraries for 15/16, the seven day ‘Heart of Germany’ tour from Nuremberg to Frankfurt, and the eight day ‘Romantic Danube’ voyage between Budapest and Nuremberg.
As part of the ‘Heart of Germany’ itinerary, guests can enjoy six guided tours, including visits to Rothenberg, Wurzburg and Frankfurt, and can also wander the cobbled streets of Heidelberg’s Old Town and follow the ‘Route of Nativity Scenes’ in Bamberg. An optional ‘Romantic Road’ coach tour is also available between Wurzburg and Rothenberg, and pre- and post- cruise extensions can be enjoyed in Cologne and Prague.
Meanwhile, the ‘Romantic Danube’ voyage, which includes six guided tours, takes guests on a journey through three different countries along the iconic Blue Danube. Explore Budapest, gaze at Viennese architecture including Schonbrunn Palace that is home to the world’s oldest zoo, enjoy an organ concert in Passau or discover the beauty of Gottweig’s Benedictine Abbey. Guests can also appreciate the breathtaking scenery that the UNESCO-recognised Wachau Valley has to offer.