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  • Viking-Longship-Restaurant-2 - Dine with friends and drink in the breathtaking views of Europe's waterways as you cruise aboard a Viking Longship.
  • Viking-Longship-Restaurant - Look for attentive service from the wait staff during your journey through Europe aboard a Viking Cruises river ship.
  • Viking-Longship-Aquavit-Terrace-interior-2 - Indulge in good company and scenic views during meals in the Aquavit Terrace restaurant aboard your Viking River cruise.
  • Viking-Longship-Aquavit-dining-in-Budapest - Have lunch on the deck of your Viking Longship while taking in the impressive architecture of the Parliament building in Budapest and other storied cities along the Danube.
  • Viking-River-Cruises-Longships-Aquavit-Terrace-inside - Enjoy casual dining in Aquavit Terrace while taking in the majestic scenery of Europe as you sail aboard your Viking Longship.
  • Viking-River-Cruises-Longships-Aquavit-Terrace-setting - Dine inside or on deck in the tastefully appointed Aquavit Terrace while taking in passing landscapes during your cruise of Europe's waterways aboard your Viking Longship.
  • Viking-River-Cruises-Longships-Aquavit-Terrace-aerial - Enjoy al fresco dining while taking in the passing show in the Aquavit Terrace aboard your Viking River cruise.
  • Viking-River-Cruises-Longships-Explorer-Suite-1 - Relax in the comfort of an Explorer Suite aboard your Viking Longship river cruise and wake up each day with a new European port of call to explore.
  • Viking-River-Cruises-Longships-Explorer-Suite - Relax in the comfort of an Explorer Suite aboard your Viking Longship river cruise and wake up each day with a new European venue awaiting.
  • Viking-River-Cruises-Longship-Explorer-Suite2 - Inside the Explorer Suite of your Viking Longship as you sail in comfort down Europe's storied waterways.
  • Viking-River-Cruises-Europe-Deluxe-Cabin-1 - Relax in a Deluxe Cabin aboard your Viking Longship river cruise and wake up each day with a new European destination awaiting.
  • Viking-River-Cruises-Longship-Veranda-Stateroom - Open up your stateroom to a private balcony with uninterrupted views of your travels aboard your Viking River cruise of Europe.
  • Viking-Longship-Veranda-Suite-lounge - Kick back with a glass of wine and Hollywood movie in the comfort of your own suite aboard your Viking Longship during your voyage along Europe's waterways.
  • Viking-Longship-Veranda-Suite-2 - Capture and share precious moments during your European travels aboard a Viking Longship.
  • Viking-Longship-Stateroom-ES0 - Spend  quality time with your partner in the private lounge  of your stateroom during your Viking River cruise through Europe's waterways.
  • Viking-Longship-main-lounge - Mingle with like-minded guests in the casual atmosphere of the main lounge of your Viking Longship as you explore Europe's rivers.
  • Viking-Longship-lounge - Meet new people and relax with a cocktail in the lounge of your Viking Longship during your European vacation.
  • Viking-Longship-Atrium - Guests will gather in the spacious atrium before heading off on a daylong shore excursion during a typical Viking Cruises itinerary.
  • Viking-Longship-Skybar - Unwind after a day of sightseeing and meet interesting new people in the Sky Bar of your Viking River Cruises ship.
  • Viking-River-Cruises-Longships-foyer - The contemporary foyer of Viking's fleet of European Longships.
  • Viking-River-Cruises-Longships-Herb-Garden - You can practice your putting skills amid the lush herbs on the top deck of your Viking Longship.
  • Viking-River-Cruises-Longship-Durnstein - Wine enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the wine region of Dürnstein, Austria, on a Viking River cruise.
  • Viking-Longship-Veranda-Suite-lounge - Kick back with a glass of wine and Hollywood movie in the comfort of your own suite aboard your Viking Longship during your voyage along Europe's waterways.
  • Viking-Longship-main-lounge - Mingle with like-minded guests in the casual atmosphere of the main lounge of your Viking Longship as you explore Europe's rivers.
  • Viking-River-Cruises-Longship-Rhine - Sail along the Rhine River and explore scenic, historic sites during a Viking River cruise in Europe.
  • Viking-Longship-lounge - Meet new people and relax with a cocktail in the lounge of your Viking Longship during your European vacation.
  • Viking-River-Cruises-Europe-Deluxe-Cabin-1 - Relax in a Deluxe Cabin aboard your Viking Longship river cruise and wake up each day with a new European destination awaiting.
  • Viking-River-Cruises-Aquavit-Dining-Terrace-on-deck - Any seat in the Aquavit Terrace offers a front-row seat to spectacular views along Europe's waterways on your Viking River Cruise.
  • Viking-River-Cruises-Europe-Reception - Each new port call means another tour included in the price of a Viking River Cruise.  Passengers gather in the longship’s reception area for the tour, or they may hang out 
in the Internet/Library area upstairs to take advantage of the good port-side Internet  connection (WiFi is free).
  • Viking-River-Cruises-Longship-Rhine-2 - You'll have an unforgettable vacation discovering Europe's scenic waterways and historic villages during your cruise on a Viking Longship.
  • Viking-Skadi-Budapest - Viking Skadi in Budapest, Hungary.
  • Viking-Skadi-Cologne - Viking Skadi in Cologne, Germany.
  • Viking-Skadi-Haibach-Austria - Viking Skadi in Haibach, Austria.
  • Viking-Skadi-Passau-Germany - Viking Skadi in Passau, Germany.
  • Viking-Skadi-Rostock-Germany - Viking Skadi in Rostock, Germany.
  • Germany-Bamberg-Little-Venice - Klein-Venedig (Little Venice) is a colony of fishermen's houses on the River Regnitz in Bamberg, Germany.
  • Germany-Bamberg-abbey - Michaelsberg Abbey in Bamberg, Germany.
  • Germany-Bamberg-cathedral - A close-up of the entrance to Bamberg Cathedral in Germany.
  • Germany-Cologne-spires - Cologne's two large churches are visible from the Rhine River.
  • Germany-Cologne-city - The city of Cologne, Germany. See it during a river cruise on the Rhine.
  • Germany-Frankfurt-Main - Frankfurt, Germany, is located on the Main River and served by several cruise lines.
  • Germany-Frankfurt-Opera-House - Alte Oper (Old Opera), a concert hall and former opera house in Frankfurt, Germany, was destroyed by bombs in 1944. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1981.
  • Germany-Frankfurt-Zeil - Frankfurt's main shopping street Zeil features unusual architecture.
  • Germany-Frankfurt-St-Catherine - Hauptwache & St. Catherine's church in Frankfurt, Germany.
  • Germany-Hamburg-sunset - Sunset over Hamburg, Germany.
  • Germany-Hamburg-Rathaus - The Rathaus, or city hall, of Hamburg, Germany.
  • Germany-Kiel-City-Hall - City Hall in Kiel, Germany.
  • Germany-Passau-Christkindlmarkt - The Passau Christmas Market, or Passau Christkindlmarkt, is set in the old historic town center of Passau.
  • Germany-Passau5 - The scenic town of Passau, Germany. It's called the City of Three Rivers: the Danube, the Inn and the Ilz all pass through it.
  • Viking-Freya-Cologne - Viking Freya cruises the Rhine past Cologne and under the Hohenzollern Bridge.
  • Viking-Freya-Cologne2 - Viking Freya cruises down the Rhine past Cologne Cathedral.
  • Viking-Freya-Frankfurt-bridge - Stroll across the The Iron Bridge (Eiserner Steg) in Frankfurt, which is over 100 years old.
  • Viking-Freya-Bamberg-cobblestones - The historic city center of Bamberg, Germany, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Viking-Freya-Bamberg-bridge - Old City Hall in Bamberg, Germany, is located on the river Regnitz near its confluence with the River Main.
  • Viking-Frankfurt-night - At night, the skyline of Frankfurt, Germany, is a beautiful blend of old and new.
  • Viking-Passau-Cathedral - Beautiful Passau, Germany, features St. Stephen's Cathedral with its distinctive caps on the bell towers.
  • Viking-River-Cruise-Passau - Scenic Passau, Germany, is one of many picturesque towns you can visit on a Viking river cruise.
  • Viking-Freya-Nuremberg-Christmas1 - Take time to browse at the Nuremberg Christmas Market; this stall sells prune men, a traditional Nuremberg gift.
  • Viking-Freya-Nuremberg-Christmas2 - Nuremberg is well known for its Christmas Market, with Christmas decorations and local delicacies.
  • Viking-Freya-Nuremberg - Take a tour of one of the many sights of Hamburg, the Heilig-Geist-Spital on the Pegnitz River.
  • Viking-Freya-Nuremberg2 - The Sinwell Tower in Nuremberg, Germany, was built in the late 13th century to help protect its castle complex.
  • Viking-River-Cruises-Longship-Durnstein - Wine enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the wine region of Dürnstein, Austria, on a Viking River cruise.

Viking Skadi: Longship overview & photo tour

Our review

Snapshot

Viking Skadi, named for the Norse goddess of winter, was built in 2013 during the Viking Longships invasion that took river cruising by storm. Having a chance to sail on one of the new Viking Longships for the first time was an exciting way to discover the Christmas Markets along the Danube River.

One of my favorite features on Viking Skadi was the Aquavit Terrace, a new concept and design that encompasses an outdoor seating area at the bow of the ship. I also loved the natural light that streamed through the ship's two-story atrium lobby. The Scandinavian ambiance on board complemented the nature of the destinations we visited, either at a dock near the center of town or along the river banks while cruising.

Who will like sailing on Viking Skadi

Viking River Cruises attracts an older demographic that is continuously getting younger. People who like a very slow pace and want to have guided tours (part of your cruise fare) of some of Europe's most fabled cities will love Viking Skadi.

Other options: Viking river ships ply the rivers of Europe, Russia, Egypt and Asia, and Viking is introducing an ocean-going fleet starting later in 2015. See other Viking sailings.

For guests who want a river cruise experience that's more upscale — less crowded, more amenities, often bigger cabins — you may want to check out itineraries from AmaWaterways, Uniworld or Scenic Cruises. But remember, Viking is one of the most popular river cruise lines in the world and remains a good choice if you're just beginning to try river cruising. 

Where Viking Skadi sails

Viking Skadi offers itineraries on the storied Danube River, with sailings to ports in Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Hungary. She sails the following itineraries:

  • Grand European Tour is a 15-day cruise along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. Cruise passengers will visit everything from the windmill-studded tulip fields in Holland to Germany's fairytale castles, as well as the Main-Danube Canal and Austria's Wachau Valley vineyards.
  • Danube Waltz takes cruise passengers on an eight-day voyage, where they will visit countries — Austria, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia — along the storied Danube River. See the range of architectural wonders in Budapest and Bratislava, sail through the Wachau Valley and take a tour of the 900-year-old baroque Benedictine abbey at Melk.
  • Tulips & Windmills' 10-day itinerary introduces cruise passengers to some of Belgium’s most beautifully preserved medieval cities as they journey through the Low Countries. Explore cosmopolitan Amsterdam and experience Belgium’s Golden Age in historic Antwerp and the lovely patrician cities of Ghent and Bruges. 

Ratings & awards

Cruiseable           
Berlitz           
Cruise Critic           

About Ratings & awards

Cruises on this ship

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 Skadi helps guests learn about the local culture, history and highlights of the places that they visit. Don't be surprised to see local dishes on the menu or local entertainers sharing their music, dancing and stories.

Viking 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. We were given a daily briefing the night before we arrived to our new location. The cruise director would inform us of the highlights of the town's history, art, food, music and architecture of the cities and towns we visited. 

Also on board, we were invited to sip local beer, sample local fare — it sometimes seems that every day is Oktoberfest in Germany — and watch performances from local musicians and dancers.

Viking Skadi in Passau, Germany.
ChrisCruises / Creative Commons BYViking Skadi in Passau, Germany.

Dining

Viking Skadi has one restaurant fittingly called The Restaurant. During breakfast, I ordered an omelet or I enjoyed fresh yogurt and fruit. Depending on what time our tour was over, I either ate in town or headed back to the ship to eat in the dining room. Dinner was always served in the main restaurant. Seating is open, so be prepared to sit with new people.

There was also an alternative choice upstairs in the Aquavit Terrace, which is an outdoor space for you to watch the river while enjoying a coffee, cocktail, pint or al fresco dining. The Aquavit Terrace is also equipped with grills for outdoor cooking.

When Skadi was not scheduled to leave port until later in the evening, people were permitted to come and go from the ship as they pleased. Our group went to a Hungarian restaurant in Budapest, for example.

Staterooms

I stayed in a balcony room that was average size for a river boat. There was plenty of closet space, and extra storage was available under the bed. The bathroom has a pocket door, which was nice because the lack of a swinging door saved space. The issue I had with the pocket door is that it did not close all the way.

I loved scenic cruising on the Danube and leaving the windows open to enjoy the scenery. The extra space from the balcony area was welcome, and we took advantage of the chairs and small table in our balcony. The 40-inch flat-panel TV and in-room refrigerator were nice additions to our stateroom.

Activities

I was cruising during winter, so taking advantage of the sun deck was not optimal (brrr). But I could see that the space was perfect for scenic cruising. There is an oversized chess game and lounge chairs to kick back. Other activities included learning about making gingerbread, making Gluwein and listening to a lecture about the history of the Christmas markets.

Melk Abbey, a Benedictine abbey overlooking the Danube above the town of Melk, Austria, one of the stops on a Viking Skadi itinerary.
Volker Preusser / Courtesy of Austrian National Tourist Office Melk Abbey, a Benedictine abbey overlooking the Danube above the town of Melk, Austria, one of the stops on a Viking Skadi itinerary.

Entertainment

River cruising is a pretty mellow activity. There are not 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. While I was on Skadi, there was a performance by a local singing group and a lecture about the history of Christmas markets in Europe.

After dinner, people 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.

Fun facts

  • Viking Longships are 443 feet long and 38 feet wide because those are the maximum dimensions possible for river ships navigating the locks on some of Europe's waterways. If they were even two inches longer or wider, they wouldn't fit in some locks. 
  • Viking names its ships after Norse mythology. As Wikipedia tells us: "In Norse mythology, Skadi is a jötunn and goddess associated with bowhunting, skiing, winter and mountains." Who knew?

Disclosure

Carrie Finley-Bajak sailed on Viking Skadi on a social media outreach cruise as a guest of Viking Cruises. See Cruiseable's Ethics & Disclosure policy

Your take

How about you? Have you sailed on Viking Skadi? I'd love to hear about your experience — please share!

Help improve this article. See anything wrong? What did we overlook? Be a co-creator!

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Carrie Finley-Bajak
I'm a cruise journalist, blogger, CLIA Accredited Cruise Counselor and a columnist for Travel Weekly. Follow me on Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest and Instagram.

Top highlights on this ship

  • What: Foyer
  • Where: Viking Skadi

  • What: Signature Viking hull
  • Where: Viking Skadi

  • What: River cruising
  • Where: Viking Skadi
  • Free shipwide wireless Internet service
  • "Balcony" cabins have floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors
  • Aquavit Terrace at the bow of the ship is great place to watch the river roll by
  • Ecologically friendly hybrid engines producing less vibrations for a smoother ride
  • Restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows for panoramic views
  • Observation lounge and bar with floor-to-ceiling glass doors

Top dining options on board

The Restaurant

  • Style: Varied
  • No additional cost
  • Open: Breakfst, lunch & dinner

Aquavit Terrace

  • Style: Varied
  • No additional cost
  • Open: Al fresco dining

Fast facts

190 Passengers [?]
45 Crew
4 Decks
2013 Maiden voyage
5,000 Tonnage [?]
443 Length in feet
37 Width in feet (max beam)
17 speed (mph) [?]

Overheard

 “This stylish vessel, characterized by light colors, is airy and very comfortable with spacious double-sized suites. The unfussy cuisine is tasty, and there are a good variety of dishes.”

Berlitz: River Cruising in Europe

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