Viking Einar is a beautifully decorated and sensibly designed ship. Einar launched in 2019 and is one of Viking's Longships -- a ubiquitous class of river ships designed to give passengers true balconies and a lovely outdoor space at the front of the vessel.
Decked out in Scandinavian styling, the ship makes clever use of space, particularly at the bow of the ship, where its Aquavit Terrace sits. Here, passengers can enjoy lunch outdoors or listen to lectures during scenic cruising portions of the ship's itinerary. It's a favorite spot for passengers, in part because it offers some of the best views onboard but also because it can be cordoned off, thanks to floor-to-ceiling folding glass doors that effectively block out inclement weather, but not the vistas.
Food is another highlight aboard, with a menu that focuses on regional cuisine and signature dishes that are perfectly prepared.
Cabins, though cozy, feel spacious, especially those on Deck 3, which offer true balconies -- a rarity in river cruising, where French balconies are the norm. They also include nice amenities, including fairly large showers, exclusive-to-Viking Freya bath products and TVs with on-demand movies and lectures.
One of the things we love about Viking is the relatively inclusive nature of its ships. Einar cruise fares include wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner, as well as one excursion in each port. Most passengers seem content with the included shore excursions, which mostly comprise coach or walking tours hitting on city highlights. But, the better-quality excursions are those offered for a fee, which tend to keep groups small but offer experiences that are a bit more off-the-beaten path.
Viking Einar is perfect for the thinking travelers, those people who want to explore Europe, be immersed in the culture and sample new experiences.
Viking Einar passengers tend to be 55 and older and are often well-traveled. Many have cruised often with Viking, but the cruise line's size (and strong marketing) have made it a great choice for those new to river cruising as well. Viking has a strict no-kids policy, so all passengers are 18 or older. You'll mostly sail with cruisers from the United States, though Canadians, Brits and Aussies aren't uncommon.
Daytime: Casual, with comfort in port being the priority, especially in ports, where you'll do lots of walking, often on uneven surfaces. Passengers often wear layers that can easily be added or stripped off, depending on the weather.
Evening: Viking calls its evening dress recommendation "elegant casual." It's a dressier version of casual, with men wearing button-down or collared shirts along with khakis or dress trousers and women sporting blouses or sweaters and dress pants or skirts. Jackets aren't required, though you won't feel uncomfortable if you're wearing one to dinner.
Not permitted: Jeans or shorts in the dining room for dinner.
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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.