Reflecting the heritage of Viking's Norwegian-born founder, Torstein Hagen, Viking Vilhjalm is one of the latest raft of Longships to reflect the line's elegant, understated Scandinavian style.
One of six ships launched in 2016 -- and sister ship to Viking Alruna, Egil, Kadlin, Rolf and Tialfi -- the 190-passenger Vilhjalm has 95 cabins located on three passenger decks. Staterooms and public areas are light and airy due to the extensive use of muted color palettes and pale wood effects in furnishings and paneling.
The 443-foot Vilhjalm is virtually identical to the other Longships first launched by the line in 2012. The innovative design, which features off-center corridors, enabled Viking to introduce a large number of balcony cabins. Verandas were previously a rarity on European river vessels as ships have to be a set length and width to navigate locks and low bridges.
The largest staterooms are the two-room Explorer Suites on the upper deck. Measuring 445 square feet and with a wraparound balcony, these rooms are located above the engines at the aft of the vessel. However, the ship has "green" hybrid diesel-electric engines, which makes it very quiet with minimal vibrations. Also situated near the two Explorer Suites on the upper deck are seven Veranda Suites, which measure 275 square feet and have a bedroom, living room, walkout balcony and French balcony. In addition, there are 20 Veranda Cabins on this deck, which measure 205 square feet including the balcony, and five French Balcony Cabins, all 135 square feet. There are 19 Veranda and 17 French Balcony Cabins on the middle deck and 25 Standard Cabins on the lower deck, which measure 150 square feet and have a fixed window situated high in the wall.
The Explorer Suites on the latest ships feature some small design changes, including a fixed rather than sliding wall between the bedroom and living area, and tweaks in the bathroom with one wash basin instead of two, which in turn has made way for a larger shower. For the uninhibited, the floor-to-ceiling shower window overlooking the river can be turned from opaque to clear glass at the flick of a switch! The L'Occitane toiletries previously used on Longships have been replaced with the line's own brand of Freyja products.
The main restaurant is located on the middle deck. Breakfast and lunch feature a buffet with cooked-to-order items from the menu, and dinner is a served three-course meal with the option to add extra appetizer courses and a cheese plate. Each day there are regional dishes reflecting the destinations on the cruise itinerary, plus familiar favorites, vegetarian dishes and an "always available" menu of simpler meals such as salmon, steak and Caesar salad. A lighter breakfast and lunch alternative is served in the Aquavit Terrace, the attractive indoor/outdoor seating area at the front of the ship on the upper deck. The complimentary tea and coffee station is available 24/7, with snacks such as cookies and muffins served during the day.
Other onboard facilities include a lounge bar with a dance floor, sun deck, laundry service, library with two computers and free Wi-Fi. An elevator connects the middle and upper deck.
Viking is an adults-only cruise line; passengers must be 18 to sail.
Viking Prestige, which debuted in 2011, was Viking River Cruises' last new-build before it introduced its revolutionary Longship series in 2012. It has a lounge, dining room, library, a sun deck and cabins on three decks.
One of the original "Longships," Viking Aegir and its sister ships represent a new take on river hospitality, one in which a sleek, Scandinavian ambience is the antithesis of river's traditionally fusty vessels.