Spotlight on Viking Einar, Cruise & Ferry Review ‘River Cruise Ship of the Year’ 2020
Cruise and Ferry Review recently announced the winners of their first ever Ship of the Year Awards. Amid a worldwide health crisis, and one that has hit the cruise industry particularly hard, the awards shone some light on the hard work and groundbreaking achievements of the cruise lines. Readers from over 50 countries sent their votes in to Cruise and Ferry Review, nominating ships showcasing innovative technologies, making strides in sustainability, and displaying the best in interior and exterior design.
The winning ship in the river cruise category was Viking Einar (click here for a full list of the finalists). Today we’ll be taking a closer look at Einar, shining a spotlight on the hospitality innovations on board.
Viking Einar features 95 staterooms on board – 25 Standard Staterooms, 22 French Balcony Staterooms, 39 Veranda Staterooms, 7 Veranda Suites, and 2 Explorer Suites. Located at the rear of the ship, the two Explorer Suites are 445 sq ft rooms with a private wraparound balcony offering 270-degree views. Featuring two 40-inch flatscreen TV’s, underfloor bathroom heating, complimentary drinks package, room service, shoeshine service, and welcome champagne, the Explorer Suites are the full river cruise experience package. But Einar delivers at the lower end of the spectrum as well. It’s cheapest cabins, the Standard Staterooms, feature much of the same amenities as the high-end Explorer Suites, including a 40-inch flatscreen TV, heated bathroom floor, climate control, and robes and slippers.
Meals in the main restaurant and the Aquavit Terrace are both included in the cruise fare, as well as wine, beer, soft drinks, bottled water, and coffee and tea. The Aquavit Terrace can be found at the bow of the ship – here, cruisers can take lunch outdoors or listen to lectures, accompanied by the view offered by the open-front design. With food sourced locally, dining is an area on board that has been given a lot of attention. Cruisers are also able to bring their own drinks on board without a corkage fee – as many of the stops on Einar’s itineraries are within famous wine regions, passengers will often buy bottles of wine in town to enjoy with their meals on board.
The Aquavit Terrace is a buffet-style restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At lunchtimes, fresh steak, salmon, and shrimp are cooked up on an open grill, to accompany soups, sandwiches, and salads served up by the chef.
The Restaurant on the middle deck is also open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with larger tables of six to eight encouraging a social environment, and its floor-to-ceiling windows offering unhindered views of the outside world. Dinner at The Restaurant is the most formal meal on board, with a restriction on jeans and shorts – past this however, fairly casual clothes are still permitted. With up to four courses available, cruisers are spoilt for choice with salmon, chicken, steak, regional dishes, and vegetarian options.
During the day, most passengers will be found on shore, exploring port towns or taking part in planned excursions. Most excursions are included in the cruise fare, with a select few at an added cost. Excursions include guided tours, wine tastings, outings to landmarks, bicycle trips, and more.
Back on board, cruisers can enjoy lectures on the regions and enrichment classes, such as cookery lessons and food and drink demos. The Sun Deck also features a putting green and a shuffleboard court, alongside tables and chairs for lounging. These are located next to the herb garden – which the onboard chef uses in the cooking!
A relaxed European tour…
Einar is part of Viking’s Longship class, which provides true balconies in a river cruise experience. The ship features ecologically friendly hybrid engines – which produce less vibrations on board, ensuring a smoother ride for it’s 190 passengers and 50 crew.
For a 360 degree virtual tour of Viking Einar, click here