On a cruise ship
CruiseClout score: 95.0
Viking Einar: Sublime river cruising through the heart of Europe
Since entering the river cruise market, Viking River Cruises has received numerous awards for its itineraries, innovative ship designs and onboard programming. River cruising is all about a slower pace and taking time to enjoy sailing through the scenery while enriching your time in distinct destinations around the globe. If you are looking for destination-focused river cruises, then sailing on Viking Einar is an ideal option.
Some of the innovative spaces on this Viking Longship include the indoor-outdoor Aquavit Terrace at the bow of the ship, an expansive Sun Deck and interiors that represent spacious public spaces, lots of natural light and light blonde wood accents. Viking Einar is a "green" ship because of energy-efficient hybrid engines, solar panels and an organic herb garden. Longships can transport 190 guests in comfortable, understated elegance, with hotel-style beds and amenities like 40-inch flat-panel TVs and in-room refrigerators.
Viking Einar was one of six next-generation Viking Longships that launched in 2019; its sister ships are Viking Sigrun, Sigyn, Tir, Ullur and Vali. See Don Bucolo's writeup about his first river cruise experience aboard Viking Einar: 5 reasons why millennials will love river cruising.
Where Viking Einar sails
Viking Einar offers two main itineraries:
- 7 Night Rhine Getaway starting in Amsterdam and taking in such charming riverside ports as Breisach, Black Forest, Strasbourg, Speyer, Heidelberg, Rudesheim, Koblenz, Marksburg, Cologne and Kinderdijk, the Netherlands, before ending in Basel, Switzerland (or starting there).
- 9 Night Tulips And Windmills with stops in Hoorn, Arnhem, Kinderdijk, Antwerp, Ghent, Zeebrugge, Veere, Deltawerken and Rotterdam
Here's a quick primer on the majesty of Viking Longships.
Your base fare on Viking Einar includes Internet (Wi-Fi), included excursions, ground transfers, live evening entertainment, daily lectures, food and wine tastings, 24-hour coffee/tea and replenished daily bottled water. Lunch and dinner are served with complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks. Most passengers take the daily shore excursions included in the cruise price, though you're free to book an independent tour.
River cruising: It's about destination immersion
River cruising is about the destination probably more so than the ship. The ports of call shadow the onboard amenities; however, Viking helps guests learn about the local culture, history and highlights of the places that they visit. On Viking Einar you'll find locally sourced ingredients in meals at lunch and dinner as well as local entertainers sharing their music, dancing and stories.
Viking Einar includes daily tours with the cruise fare, which makes the hassle of figuring out logistics less challenging. Most tours are done around lunch and then you are free to do what you choose until the ship leaves port. You'll be given a nightly briefing in the evening before dinner to get updates on the next day’s call to discuss the upcoming day’s activities, tours and logistics. Plan to attend the session to discover highlights of the upcoming town's history, art, food, music and architecture.
Viking Einar dining options include the main dining room and Aquavit Terrace with indoor and outdoor options at the ship's bow. Our travel writer Don Bucolo writes: "While the number of dining venues are more limited on a smaller ship, the menus feature locally sourced ingredients with chef specialties unique to the region. You'll also want to snag some of the line’s signature cookies and scones that are available at the onboard café. Dinner is a social matter. With no assigned seating, you're able to mix and mingle with other cruisers. This is a great time to meet new friends and to hear about their adventures of the day."
Entertainment & activities
River cruising is very mellow. You won't find any large production shows or comedy clubs. What you will enjoy is some light piano music played by the house musician and local entertainers who are brought onto the ship to sing, dance or tell stories from the local perspective. After dinner, cruise passengers can hang out in the lounge and have an after-dinner drink, or they can walk back into town if the ship is not leaving port until later in the evening.
You'll want to spend some time in the Observation Lounge, which features floor-to-ceiling glass doors for panoramic views. Activities and features on board include:
- Sun Deck with 360-degree views & shaded sitting area; organic herb garden & solar panels; putting green & walking track
- Viking Lounge & Bar with floor-to-ceiling glass doors
- Library & onboard shop
- Elevator from Middle to Upper Deck only; no elevator access for categories E & F
- Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)
- Laundry service
- 40-inch flat-screen TV with infotainment system featuring Movies On Demand, plus CNBC, CNN, National Geographic & more
Viking Einar sports the new Viking river cruise ship design that allows larger accommodations without the need to shrink public areas. The ship has 95 cabins in these categories:
- Two Explorer Suites at 445 square feet featuring 270-degree scenery views and private wraparound balconies.
- Seven Veranda Suites at 275 square feet with two separate rooms: a living room (with step-out balcony) and bedroom (with French balcony).
- 39 river-view Veranda Staterooms at 205 square feet with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door opening to a full-size veranda.
- 25 Standard Staterooms with non-opening windows in eight grades
- 22 river-view French Balcony Staterooms with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door to create a French balcon
Einar is named for a warrior who wrested control of the Orkney and Shetland Islands from Danish warlords in the late 9th century.
Have you cruised on Viking Einar? What was it like? We'd love to hear about your own experience.
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