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Viking Helgrim Review

Viking Helgrim (Photo: Viking River Cruises)
Viking Helgrim (Photo: Viking River Cruises)
Viking Helgrim
4.5 / 5.0 Cruise Critic Editor Rating
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Pros

Smaller size means intimate atmosphere and outstanding service, plus superb food and wine

Cons

Smaller size also means limited facilities; could be more onboard enrichment

Bottom line

This "baby" Longship distills the best aspects of Viking's larger river ships into one perfect package


About

Passengers 106
Crew 35
Passenger to Crew 3.03:1
Launched 2019
Shore Excursions 0
Adam Coulter
Cruise Critic UK Managing Editor

Viking Helgrim Overview

Viking Helgrim is the fourth of four "baby Longships" -- scaled-down versions of the line's classic river vessels that ply the Rhine, Danube and Rhone. What this means is they carry around half the number of passengers (190 versus 106), and every public area is correspondingly smaller to fit into the narrower locks along the Douro.

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It also means there is even more of an intimate atmosphere than you might find on a bigger ship, with crew knowing your name -- and dining and drinking preferences -- after just a day or two, and you'll be saying "hi" to fellow passengers like old friends in the short space of time.

There's another plus -- Viking has installed a small swimming pool on the Sun Deck, which the full-size ships do not have.

Cabins, in a classic Scandinavian-style chic design of blond woods and soft colors, are modern and comfortable. All have river views -- the majority with French balconies or regular balconies. Suites are genuine suites, with two separate rooms and a walk-in wardrobe.

Itineraries do not vary year-round: Porto to Porto round trip, calling in at tiny Portuguese villages, like Pinhao, Regua and Barca d'Alva, along the way and a day trip to the gorgeous university town of Salamanca, in Spain. Note that there is not much in the way of big sights or cities along the Douro, and almost all transfers to places of interest will be at least 45 minutes. Viking also offers various add-ons, including Lisbon, Madrid and post-cruise in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Another quirk of the Douro is there is no nighttime navigation -- all sailing is during the day -- so if you choose to do all the excursions, you will miss out on the stunning scenery that this region is famed for.

Viking Helgrim is small but has everything you need -- a perfect ship for navigating this beautiful river.


Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • Main dining room
  • One shore excursion in each port
  • Wi-Fi
  • Drinks at meal times (tea and coffee all day)
  • Gratuities (for U.K. passengers only)

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Gratuities (15 euros -- about $20 -- per person, per day)
  • Drinks outside of meal times
  • Optional excursions
  • Transfer to the ship
  • Tips for local guides

Fellow Passengers

The passenger makeup is primarily North American, with the majority hailing from the U.S. with a smattering of Brits, Australians and New Zealanders. All announcements and signage are in English. The age is 65+.


Viking Helgrim Dress Code

Daytime: Casual, with shorts and tees most common inside the ship, and bathing suits and cover-ups de rigueur on the Sun Deck.

Evening: Mostly casual, with men occasionally donning a collared shirt (never a jacket and tie) and smart slacks, and ladies wearing a dress and sometimes heels. There is no formal night.

Not permitted: No swimwear permitted in the main dining room.

Viking Helgrim Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • Main dining room
  • One shore excursion in each port
  • Wi-Fi
  • Drinks at meal times (tea and coffee all day)
  • Gratuities (for U.K., Australian and New Zealand passengers only)

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Gratuities (15 euros -- about \$20 -- per person, per day)
  • Drinks outside of meal times
  • Optional excursions
  • Transfer to the ship
  • Tips for local guides


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Deck:
Main Deck
Middle Deck
Upper Deck
Sun Deck

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Viking River Cruises Fleet