As soon as you approach Viking Njord, crew members greet you and offer assistance. This welcoming atmosphere continues when you walk into the ship’s two-story atrium of understated elegance punctuated with a large double-circle chandelier; part of Viking River Cruises' signature Scandinavian decor.
You'll find the reception desk, small gift shop and the entrance to the main dining room on the main floor of the atrium. A wide staircase dominates one end of the room. On the second floor look for the library, computer station, intimate seating areas and the entrance to the lounge.
Throughout the ship, floor-to-ceiling windows add to the bright, cheerful atmosphere and offer spectacular views of the scenery as the ship glides by villages and castles, as well as the cities where the ship docks.
The dining room is spacious with bright white tablecloths and napkins, and tables are configured into different seating arrangements to allow friends and relatives to dine together, and allow strangers to become friends. Wait staff is efficient and personable.
The lounge is a popular social area. Passengers can gather in small groups talking while others are tucked in an easy chair reading a book. The bar is located here and at the rear of the lounge is the Aquavit Terrace, a pleasant place to watch the scenery pass and to have a light breakfast, lunch and limited-selection dinner. Every evening a briefing is held in the lounge just before dinner to inform passengers of the next day’s activities. After-dinner entertainment and lectures are also held in the lounge.
Cabins are located on three floors. Passengers can choose what best fits their needs and their budget including suites, verandas with a small balcony, French balcony cabins and standard staterooms. All include a 40-inch flat-screen television featuring “view from the bridge,” movies on demand and selected news, and other popular channels, a telephone, refrigerator, safe and hair dryer. The bottled water is replenished daily, and bathrobe and slippers are available upon request.
There is ship-wide free Wi-Fi and fast turnaround laundry service.
Passengers are like-minded and are generally eager to explore Europe, its history and culture, from the convenience of a cruise. The general age for river cruise passengers is 60 and older, but Viking also attracts younger passengers with its contemporary ships, all-inclusive pricing and the opportunity to visit several countries on one vacation.
Casual, comfortable attire is encouraged for both ship and shore on Viking Longships. Make sure to bring a well-broken-in pair of walking shoes for shore excursions. Although walks are generally easygoing, they are sometimes rather long and include cobbled streets, uneven ground and occasionally stairs.
Although it is not required, many passengers enjoy getting dressed up for evening meals, but never to the level of a big-ship formal night. You may want to dress up more when attending the Captain's Welcome and Farewell Dinner.
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.