Viking Herja, one of Viking's Longships, launched in spring 2017 with a christening in Koblenz, Germany. The 190-passenger ship has been sailing from Passau to Budapest on the Danube River. As a Longship, Herja boasts the same amenities, features and design that Viking pioneered, including the Explorer Suites, some of the largest suites sailing Europe's waterways, complete with 270-degree views.
The ship's namesake Herja, meaning Decider of Fates, was a mighty Valkyrie from the Prose Edda, the respected 13th-century chronicle of Old Norse mythology. Coupled with Viking Hild, which is also launched in March 2017, Viking's river fleet will feature 61 river ships.
On Viking Herja, the 95 cabins fall into five cabin categories. The two 445-square-foot Explorer Suites on the Main Deck come with a private wraparound veranda off the expansive living room. The suite boasts 270-degree views and floor-to-ceiling sliding-glass doors, or French balconies in the bedroom. The seven Veranda Suites are 275 square feet with floor-to-ceiling sliding-glass doors in the bedroom. The 205-square-foot Veranda Staterooms boast the floor-to-ceiling sliding-glass doors, which open to a full-size veranda. Veranda Suites and Staterooms are both on the Upper Deck.
The cozier 135-square-foot French Balcony Staterooms on the Middle Deck come with floor-to-ceiling sliding-glass doors, which open to create the French balcony. The 150-square-foot Standard Stateroom comes with a half-height picture window on the middle deck. Beds in each of the five categories are hotel-style with optional twin bed configuration. Aside from Viking's sleek Scandinavian design, which can be seen throughout, there are heated floors in all stateroom bathrooms, ample space under all beds for suitcase storage and a Sony 40-inch flat-panel TV with a premium entertainment package.
In the Explorer Suite and Veranda Suites, passengers will receive a welcome bottle of Champagne; a daily fruit basket; mini-bar with wine, beer and soft drinks (replenished daily); premium bathrobes and slippers; binoculars; and complimentary shoe service. Explorer Suite passengers also get a coffee maker, cashmere blanket and complimentary Silver Spirits Beverage Package. Robes and slippers are available in other cabins, upon request.
The Restaurant is the main dining venue where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. At breakfast and lunch, there are expansive buffets alongside made-to-order options; passengers can also order off menus at both meals. Dinner is more formal with one seating and a three-course, sit-down dinner, including both standard selections and a rotating menu of choices reflection regionally specific options. Once during each sailing, passengers also experience Viking's signature "A Taste of..." dinner in The Restaurant. It's where the local cuisine is best celebrated.
Cruisers can find lighter fare and al fresco dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner in Aquavit Terrace. The all-weather indoor/outdoor space is located at the ship's bow. At breakfast, people can enjoy a continental breakfast. At lunch, burgers, sausages and other grilled lunch items are served during warmer weather.
The Lounge serves beer, wine, spirits, cocktails, soft drinks and coffee throughout the day. There's also a complimentary beverage station outside the Lounge where passengers can help themselves to a variety of coffees, teas and soft drinks.
The Sun Deck comes with 360-degree views and a shaded sitting area, organic herb garden and solar panels, putting green and walking track.
Passengers receive a complimentary shore excursion in every port, led by local English speaking guides who use a QuietVox headphone system. There are other excursions available for an additional price. Every cruise fare also includes all onboard meals, beer and wine with lunch and dinner service, Wi-Fi and all port charges and government taxes. Water, tea, coffee, soft drinks, house wines and beers are included with onboard lunches and dinners; water, coffee and tea are always available in the lobby and bottled water is supplied in staterooms.
Viking has an age minimum of 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.