Part of a four-ship order of specially modified Viking Longships, Viking Radgrid features a modified hull design and new engines, all of which are designed specifically to allow the ship to sail France's Seine River and dock right within the heart of Paris.
The 168-passenger ship carries fewer people than Viking's 190-passenger Longships, yet still offer all the trademark features that cruisers have come to expect, including Viking's trademark Scandinavian design and the glass-enclosed Aquavit Terrace. Similarly, the ship continues to offer a selection of true suites thanks to a unique offset cabin corridor design.
Viking Radgrid doesn't offer an onboard spa, salon, fitness center or bicycles; Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen has long stated he prefers to use the extra space for accommodations and public areas, noting that bicycles can be rented cheaply in almost every European town.
What it does offer is plenty of open space, including an airy two-story atrium topped with a glass skylight and bookended by a cozy library and computer nook. The adjacent Viking Lounge offers a casual place to meet and mingle with fellow passengers and, one deck below, the Restaurant features full floor-to-ceiling windows; a rarity among river cruise ships in Europe.
In keeping with Viking's Longships, Viking Radgrid offers two different dining venues onboard: a full Restaurant and an alternative venue, the forward-facing, glass-enclosed Aquavit Terrace.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the Restaurant, with meals varying between buffet-style offerings with made-to-order items for breakfast and menu-driven, multi-course dinners. Cuisine reflects a blend of European and North American favorites, with some dishes offered in a nod to Viking Radgrid's host country of France.
Viking offers a number of niceties, like complimentary Champagne or mimosas at breakfast and free-flowing beer, wine and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner. An optional package known as Silver Spirits can be purchased for a reasonable price, making additional beverages free to order.
In front of the Viking Lounge, the forward-facing Aquavit Terrace offers up casual breakfast, lunch and dinner in a spectacular setting that features 180-degree walls of glass that can be fully opened, turning the venue into a lovely alfresco dining space. Viking's menu of casual favorites is a real winner at dinner; an option that tends to not be promoted heavily onboard. Passengers should try to dine here at least once.
Viking also encourages passengers to bring their own wine onboard if they so choose, to be enjoyed in the ship's public areas or restaurants with no corkage fees charged.
Around-the-clock coffee (including specialty coffees), teas and water are available stations situated just outside the Viking Lounge. Snacks like cookies and muffins are also staple items at these stations.
Viking Radgrid offers a wide array of accommodations, including economical river-view cabins and cabins offering French and step-out balconies, as well as some of river cruising's only true suites. All cabins aboard Viking Radgrid offer soothing Scandinavian decor and amenities like a 42-inch interactive flat-panel television, heated bathroom floors, anti-fog mirrors, spacious showers and Freyja toiletries.
On Viking Radgrid's lowest deck, a series of economically priced river-view staterooms measure 150 square feet and have fixed half-height windows situated near the top of the room. All accommodations are equipped with soft mood lighting options; complimentary glass water carafes replenished daily; QuietVox listening devices; and plenty of storage space in the room's closets and drawers. Passengers will also find plenty of North American power outlets and USB outlets available for charging devices.
At 135 square feet, the ship's French Balcony staterooms are on the tight side but offer good value for those who must have a room with a window that opens. The ship's larger Veranda Staterooms are 205 square feet and include a full step-out balcony with two chairs.
Moving up the accommodations ladder are Viking Radgrid's suites. Veranda Suites are suitably spacious with 275 square feet of living space, and dual French and full step-out balconies. These rooms are true suites in the sense that they offer separate living and sleeping areas, along with an enlarged bathroom. Two 42-inch flat-panel interactive television sets are included, with one placed in each room.
Viking Radgrid's top-of-the-line accommodations are the two 447-square-foot Explorer Suites situated all the way aft. Outfitted with a 270-degree wraparound balcony, separate living and sleeping areas, a larger bathroom, and dual 42-inch flat-panel television sets, they are among the largest suites on the Seine. Passengers booking these suites are also entitled to special perks, with Viking throwing in a complimentary Silver Spirits beverage package, free laundry service and room service breakfast -- the latter of which is a novelty among European river cruise ships.
Up top, Viking Radgrid offers plenty of outdoor deck space for cruisers to enjoy. There are covered and uncovered seating options, along with a jogging track that encircles the outer perimeter of the deck. Viking's ships also feature their own onboard herb gardens and solar panels, which passengers can admire from the upper deck. A nice touch can be found in the ship's Plexiglas railings, which allow for unobstructed views of the Seine for passengers standing or seated.
Viking offers informative daily briefings onboard and a series of destination-relevant lectures and classes on how to make local delicacies. In the evenings, local entertainers sometimes come onboard, but the staple entertainer is a lone piano player who tickles the ivories each night in the Viking Lounge. Viking Radgrid has a nicely sized dance floor, but how busy it is depends on the passenger makeup of each individual voyage.
Debuting in 2020, Viking Radgrid sails Viking's eight-day "Paris & The Heart of Normandy" voyages.
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