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May 6, 2022
The Viking Vili River Longship: A Photo Album

This morning at 9:30 am, we disembarked for the last time from the Viking Vili, which has been our home for the past two weeks.

The Vili is one of Viking’s 53 longships, part of its overall fleet of 76 river vessels and 6 ocean ships (so far). The longships are purpose-built to navigate Europe’s waterways. At 443 long and 94.5 feet wide, they are the maximum size that is allowed through Europe’s various canals. Each longship can accommodate up to 190 passengers (not counting crew) in 95 outside-facing staterooms.

All Viking longships are named after a figure from Norse mythology. “Vili” was a brother of Odin, chief of the gods

Passenger staterooms are located on three of the four decks. The Middle deck also houses the reception area (including a small shop) and the restaurant. The Upper deck also houses the Lounge and outside Aquavit Terrace (the main sitting areas), a small library and a couple of Internet desks with PCs. Finally, the highest-level Sun deck (which does not have any staterooms) contains various outdoor seating areas and a walking track.

The layout of a Viking river longship

There are 25 standard staterooms. Guests nickname these “swan-level rooms,” because you can sometimes look out your water-level window and see swans swimming out there.

There are 22 French balcony staterooms. These have a sliding glass door that opens (with a railing to keep you from falling out)

There are 39 veranda staterooms and 7 veranda suites

The verandas provide a comfortable sitting area for two

An exterior view of the standard, French balcony and veranda staterooms

There are 2 explorer suites. These 445-square-foot staterooms feature a wraparound 270-degree veranda.

An interior hallway

A wonderful and unique feature of Viking ships is that the bathroom floors are heated!

Handy tip: there is a US outlet in the stateroom, but if you bring an international adapter, you can plug in more devices

Handy tip: some walls on the river ships are metal, so you can use wall magnets!

Deck 2: Reception

Deck 2: The shop

Deck 2: The main staircase, looking up

Deck 3: The main staircase, looking down

There is also an elevator between decks 2 and 3

Deck 3: The library

Deck 3: The internet station

Deck 3: There is a self-serve coffee station, so you can always get a beverage and/or a snack

Deck 3: The lounge

Deck 3: The lounge bar

Deck 3: There is an onboard musician who provides music in the lounge

Deck 3: The inside half of the Aquavit Terrace, in a protected glass patio

Deck 3: The outdoor half of the Aquavit Terrace

Deck 4: The recreation area and onboard herb garden

When we pass under low bridges, Deck 4 is closed to passengers

We are amazed and impressed by how hard these crewmembers work! Various crewmembers staff the reception desk, service the staterooms, cook and serve food and drinks, manage docking and undocking processes, and make sure everything on our cruise runs smoothly.

The two main passenger-facing crewmembers are the Hotel Manager and the Tour Director. Our Hotel Manager, Martijn Kamphuis, coincidentally joined the ship at the same time we did. He makes sure everything runs smoothly for the passengers aboard ship. (He also has a marvelous singing voice.)

Our Tour Director, Sue Obermoser, coincidentally departed the ship at the same time we did. She serves the same functions as four separate people on our ocean cruises:

In addition to the many available shore excursions (including one free included excursion in every port), Viking provides some activities aboard ship. Tour Manager Sue provided port talks and destination lectures. The Vili’s executive chef, Adrian Vadanu, gave a demonstration on how to make apple strudel. Various local experts came aboard ship, including a university lecturer and a glassblower.

You usually walk up or down a ramp to get from ship to shore

Whenever you embark or disembark you flash your stateroom key, so the system knows whether you are aboard or not

Two or three Viking longships often “raft” next to each other. You simply walk through the other ships to reach the dock.

Viking has its own fleet of tour buses

Our ship staff aboard Viking Vili

Hotel Manager Martijn, Captain Dimitar, and Tour Director Sue

A visiting guest lecturer gives a presentation in the lounge

Generally, all guests dine at the same time for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menus change every day, with daily regional specialties, although there are always “classics” available all the time.

Deck 2: The restaurant

A sample dinner menu

Executive Chef Adrian always describes the special of the day

As regular Viking ocean cruisers, we had a bit of culture shock coming aboard a river ship. There are similarities and differences, both in the ship layout and the daily routine, but everything is unmistakably “Viking.” We continue to be impressed with the open, airy Scandinavian design. We will miss the Viking Vili, but we have already begun the next phase of our adventure: a week on our own in Budapest.

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