Built in 2011, Viking Prestige is the younger sister of the 2009-built Viking Legend. As a Viking Europe ship, in the mighty 60-strong fleet of the Norwegian-owned Viking River Cruises, Viking Prestige can host 188 guests. This makes for a relaxed, intimate atmosphere onboard. The clean lines of her contemporary, Scandinavian-inspired décor mean Viking Prestige looks as sleek and sophisticated on the inside as she does on the exterior. And with her innovative hybrid engines, there’s no noisy rumble to spoil her poised and polished presence.
Viking River Cruises prides itself on focusing on its destinations as much as the onboard experience. This means that, although Viking Prestige attracts English-speaking passengers who choose the ship for its comfort and style, the excellence of the excursions means that they also tend to have an interest in education and finding out all they can about the history and culture of the places they are visiting.
A day on Viking Prestige starts with a fantastic buffet featuring pastries, cereals, meats, eggs, cheese and fruit. Instead of the lunchtime buffet usually to be found on a river cruise ship, you can choose from the soup and salad bar or opt for something more substantial with a main course and dessert from the lunch menu. Evenings are devoted to enjoying a delicious five-course dinner. All food reflects Viking’s destination-led ethos with local, seasonally-inspired delicacies being a regular fixture on menus.
The restaurant’s open-seating system and casual dress code mean that, while the surroundings are stylish with linen tablecloths and high quality china and glassware, there’s never a formal feel.
Regional wines, beer, soft drinks, tea, coffee and water at mealtimes are included in the price you pay for your cruise, plus there’s the option to upgrade to premium wines and spirits with the Silver Spirits Beverage Package. Complimentary tea, coffee and cappuccino are available 24 hours a day for you to help yourself to at the beverage bar.
The Aquavit Terrace at the bow of the ship is a great place to enjoy a casual al fresco meal or drink, with breathtaking views.
The Captain’s welcome cocktail party and welcome and farewell dinners are the focal point of the ship’s social calendar. Some passengers dress up for these occasions, but there is no obligation to so. Local entertainers are regularly welcomed onboard to bring the passing scenery alive. However, after a busy day sightseeing, most passengers are content relaxing over a drink in the Observation Lounge, enjoying a book from the library, shopping in the boutique or watching the world go by from the Sun Deck. There’s also free shipwide Wi-Fi, if you need it.
Viking has an extensive onboard programme where experts on the destinations give talks to guests. On the Viking Prestige you could expect to learn about Mozart and the iconic Viennese coffee houses. Equally popular are events and demonstrations like local wine and cheese tasting or apple strudel making. You’ll even get the chance to learn key words and phrases, so you can use them when you’re out and about in your destinations.
The onboard newsletter, the Viking Daily, prepares passengers for the day’s activities and shore excursions. On the excursions themselves, Viking uses high tech headsets and local tour guides handpicked for their depth of knowledge. The Programme Director can arrange optional extras such as a concert in Vienna.
The Viking Prestige has two sumptuous 337 sq. ft. Suites with French balconies, a large bathroom with bath, sofa and two Sony flat screen TVs, making for the ultimate river cruise experience.
The 170 sq. ft. French Balcony Staterooms divide into three price categories depending on their location, but all boast views from the French balcony they’re named after. All 67 are located on either the middle or upper deck.
The 22 Standard Staterooms which can be found on the main deck are also 170 sq. ft. and come in two price categories. These staterooms have a half-high picture window which can’t be opened but still shows off the passing view.
Staterooms on all decks, including the six 150 sq. ft. Single Staterooms, come with hotel-style beds, spacious wardrobe, under bed storage, climate control, phone, mini fridge, hairdryer and safe as standard. All cabins also have an en-suite bathroom with premium bath products, a Sony flat screen TV with a good choice of English-speaking channels, and daily replenishment of bottled water. To add that final touch of comfort, all passengers can request a bathrobe and slippers.
As a Viking Europe ship, Viking Prestige’s slim line design is specifically tailored to the waterways of old Europe. Her current eight day Danube Waltz itinerary takes her on a four country odyssey through Budapest in Hungary, Bratislava in Slovakia, Vienna, Melk and Linz in Austria and Passau in Germany, with options to extend your stay in Budapest at the beginning and Prague at the end. Typically for a Viking Cruise, this itinerary includes six in-depth guided onshore excursions.