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Viking Eistla Review

Viking Eistla
Viking Eistla - Outdoor Dining Viking Eistla - Aquavit Terrace Viking Eistla - Verandah Stateroom Viking Eistla - Verandah Suite With Balcony--and-a-Half
100% of cruisers loved it
4 reviews | Write a Review
  • Tours and most drinks included in price
  • Real balcony cabins; a rarity in river cruising
  • Sails Europe's Rhine and Danube
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Viking Eistla Overview

by Jamey Bergman, Production Editor
Editor Rating
4.0
Editor's note: This review reflects the experience onboard Viking Aegir, a twin to this Viking Eistla. Viking Eistla launches in April 2014.

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.

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.
Next: Viking Eistla Cabins
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Viking Eistla Member Reviews

Danube Christmas 1larry40
12/14
My son and I cruised with Viking on the new Eistla longboat in December. We embarked at Nuremburg, Germany. From the time we boarded until we disembarked we were overwhelmed by the professional and courteous service of Viking. The cities of ... Read more
07/14
My Husband and I recently went on the Viking Grand European River Cruise for 15 days in May, 2014 and were blown away with how well everything was organized and how pleasant all the staff were. It was such a Beautiful cruise and we were fortunate to ... Read more
So quick, easy and casual getting on and off, great tours and wine and beer included, Fantastic staff, especially our program Director, Henrietta. With only about 175 Passengers and Viking being very well organized with all the details everything ... Read more
1 - 3 of 4 Reviews
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Viking Eistla Ratings

Editor Rating Member Rating
4.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
4.0
5.0
3.0
4.8
1.0
5.0
1.0
Shore Excursions
4.0
5.0
Enrichment
4.0
5.0
Service
4.0
5.0
Value-for-Money
3.0
5.0
Rates
4.0

Explore This Ship

Ship Stats
Crew:
48
Launched:
2014
Decks:
4
Tonnage:
443 feet
Passengers:
190
Registry:
Switzerland
CDC Score:
Not Yet Inspected
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