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Viking Eistla
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Jamey Bergman
Cruise Critic Contributor

Viking Eistla Overview

Editors Note: In 2018, VIking Eistla is being used in a private capacity and is not offering public cruises.

What first strikes you as you step onboard Viking Eistla, one of Viking's numerous Longship-class sisters? Sunlight. Streaming in through the glass-enclosed, two-story atrium is enough light to allow real flowers to grow. With backlit marble panels rising above a terrazzo floor and wood-and-glass staircase, and pale, earth-toned decor, the space has energy and natural appeal. If the ambience reminds some of Seabourn's Odyssey class, that's not a coincidence -- the vessels share the same lead designer, Norwegian firm Yran & Storbraaten.

Beyond the airy vibe of its public spaces, Viking Eistla and the rest of Viking's longships float a whole raft of features that are true innovations in European river cruising.

There is a sense of minimalism on Eistla and the other longships. You can perhaps best see the efficiency and maximization of available area onboard in the surprising new signature spaces that have been conjured: the Aquavit Terrace, the two largest true suites on a riverboat in Europe (each with separate living room and bedroom), not to mention seven slightly smaller true suites with separate living and sleeping rooms, and an increased number of cabins with full and French balconies.

Don't be fooled, though; creating those spaces was more hard work than magic. The designers' creation of such spaces required a lot of rethinking about the basic structure of river ships. To fit under the bridges and through the locks of Europe's inland waterways, riverboats have to meet specific size requirements. If length or depth is extended past those limits, the ship won't sail.

As a workaround, designers blunted the traditional pointy-nosed bow of Viking's ships to provide more space. The result was Aquavit Terrace. A lovely open-air cafe on the ship's bow, the venue provides something of a river rarity: an alternative casual eatery with indoor/outdoor seating.

It also positioned interior corridors off-center to accommodate cabins -- full balconies on one side and narrower cabins, some elevated to suites with separate sleeping and living areas, placed sideways on the other side.

Less visible, but no less cutting-edge, are the ship's "green" advances, including hybrid diesel-electric engines which burn less fuel and produce 20 percent fewer emissions, making longships cleaner and quieter than their competitors. There are even solar panels on the sun deck that help to fuel the engines. And the ship's chef maintains an organic garden on Eistla's upper deck during growing season.

About Viking Eistla

Fellow Passengers

The general age for river cruise passengers is 60 and older, but Eistla and other Longships, with their contemporary design, were built with an eye toward attracting a slightly younger traveler. Regardless of age, passengers tend to be well-traveled (though many are visiting Europe for the first time).


Viking Eistla Dress Code

Casual, comfortable attire is encouraged for both ship and shore on Viking Longships. The must-pack item is, without question, a comfortable pair of walking shoes for shore tours. As the ship sails in Europe, with its lovely and historic landscapes, tours frequently involve cobblestones and other uneven surfaces. Both the staff and the daily program provide ample notice when this is the case.

Generally, passengers "dress up" to varying degrees in the evenings, but never to the level of a big-ship formal night. Most don the kind of attire worn at a country club dinner, but others don't bother to change from their sensible shore excursion gear. Save your best outfits (maybe casual dresses for women and collared shirts and blazers for men) for events like the Captain's Welcome and Farewell Dinners.


Viking Eistla Gratuity

Tips are not included in the cruise fare. They are paid at the end of the cruise in cash or by credit card. (Euros are the onboard currency, but dollars are also accepted for gratuities.) The recommended amount on Viking's Europe cruises is 12 euros per passenger, per day, which is divided up among the crew.


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Deck:
Main Deck
Middle Deck
Upper Deck
Sun Deck

Viking Eistla Ship Stats

  • Crew: 48
  • Launched: 2014
  • Decks: 4
  • Passengers: 190
  • Registry: Switzerland
Viking Eistla Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 1.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

Viking Eistla Member Reviews

Viking Eistla
CityGirl02
Sail Date: Sep 2016
While we booked our cruise on the Viking Mani, we had a last minute change in the ship (to the Viking Eistla) because the Mani had to undergo some repairs. We did have the crew from the Mani, who had completely...Read More
Viking Eistla
Nana43
Sail Date: Nov 2015
We had heard about this cruise from relatives. It was a wonderful cruise for the great service and delicious meals as well as the Christmas markets in each port. In addition the shore excursions were well-planned...Read More
Viking Eistla
janet219199
Sail Date: Jun 2016
The Viking longship Mani had an accident with a barge earlier before and was still being repaired, so we were unable to embark on it for our cruise. No worries. The Mani crew took over the Estila and we...Read More
Viking Eistla
sarahans53
Sail Date: Sep 2016
We chose this cruise because it is the 'castles' tour on the Rhine River. Also we had not been to Amsterdam and wanted to spend a couple of days there. We picked Viking because we had heard such good things about...Read More

Viking River Cruises Fleet