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Viking Kara Review

Viking Kara
Viking Kara - Outdoor Dining Viking Kara - Aquavit Terrace Viking Kara - Verandah Stateroom Viking Kara - Verandah Suite With Balcony--and-a-Half
80% of cruisers loved it
5 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 Kara 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 Kara. Viking Kara launches in June 2014.


Beyond the airy vibe of its public spaces, Viking Kara 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 Kara 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 Kara's upper deck during growing season.

Viking Kara Fellow Passengers

The general age for river cruise passengers is 60 and older, but Kara 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 Kara 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 Kara 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 Kara Cabins
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Viking Kara Member Reviews

05/15
For all you ocean cruisers on the huge ships with all the stuff they've put on them...this is NOT that cruise. On a big ship, the ship itself can be the destination...not so with the river cruise. It is your floating hotel with many amenities, but ... Read more
We departed Frankfurt on Nov. 25 and sailed on the Viking Kara, disembarking in Nuremburg. The Kara was one of the newest longships and did not disappoint. This was our 5th Viking Cruise and it seems that Viking just keeps getting better. Our ... Read more
09/14
We have traveled quite a bit but this was our first Riverboat Cruise! It was a wonderful experience and a great way to some of European cities we hear so much about plus some smaller towns that you don't hear so much about. The service, the food, to ... Read more
1 - 3 of 5 Reviews
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Viking Kara Ratings

Editor Rating 4.0 Member Rating
Category
Editor
Member
Dining
4.0
4.6
Public Rooms
5.0
4.6
Cabins
4.0
5.0
Entertainment
3.0
3.6
Spa & Fitness
1.0
3.7
Family & Children
1.0
Shore Excursions
4.0
5.0
Enrichment
4.0
4.0
Service
4.0
4.8
Value-for-Money
3.0
3.8

Sailing From

Amsterdam Basel

Cruises To

Europe - All

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Viking Kara Deck Plans Viking Kara Cabin Reviews
Ship Stats
Crew:
48
Launched:
2014
Decks:
4
Tonnage:
443 feet
Passengers:
190
Registry:
Switzerland
CDC Score:
Not Yet Inspected
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