Viking Delling draws its name from Norse mythology; the god Delling is the "father of the day." The minute you walk onboard, you're bathed in daylight, thanks to the two-story glassed reception area. Light is a theme throughout. The entire ship, which features earth-toned decor, has been designed to allow in as much natural light as possible.
As a result, there are ample places for outside views aboard the 95-cabin ship, which is a bonus when you're river cruising along scenic waterways. Even when you're eating in the Restaurant, the ship's main dining area on the lower level, ceiling-to-floor windows allow you to see everything outside. Move to the Lounge on the second floor, and you'll find similar windows as well as numerous cozy couches and loungers, plus a bar.
Viking has also put careful thought into designing open-air areas to allow you windowless viewing. One of the favorites is the Aquavit Terrace at Delling's bow. It offers a roomy outdoor seating area, with heaters that can be turned on if it gets chilly. (Indoor seating is also available.) Here, you can relax or dine alfresco on the casual meals served at the buffet (or plate your food from the Restaurant, especially during breakfast and lunch, and head to the terrace). Note, though, that the terrace fills up quickly during meals and specified scenic cruising times, so get there earlier than you think you should. You can also head to the Sun Deck where you'll find a shaded seating area, putting green and walking track, which may be a surprise find on a ship of this size.
Viking Delling is an environmentally conscious ship with several eco-friendly features. For starters, the ship runs on diesel-electric hybrid engines that reduce vibrations and allow for a smooth ride. Solar panels on the Sun Deck help fuel the engines, and the chef maintains an organic garden on the Upper Deck. In each cabin, the air-conditioning will kick off whenever you open the door to the outside, and you turn lights on by inserting your room key into a specified slot -- making it impossible to leave the lights burning while you're off the ship.
Most importantly, the onboard setting is intimate enough that you'll get to know the other passengers and staff well, but large enough to provide quiet spaces for those wanting to escape for a while. You'll find a library "corner" with seating and a small business center where you can hook into the ship's free wireless Internet. In this way, Viking Delling -- with its naturally lit interior and small, cozy environment -- feels like home right from the start.
The general age for river cruise passengers is 60 and older, but Delling 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 and interested in learning about the region's culture and history.
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. Tours often take place on cobblestoned streets and other uneven surfaces, making good foot support crucial. Both the staff and daily program provide ample notice when this is the case.
Generally, passengers "dress up" to varying degrees in the evenings but never to the extent 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.
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Second river cruise of Vikings France's Finest Itinerary