All port stops offer an included shore excursion. The tours tend to be some combination of a walking and bus tour, heavy on time in city centers, with some free time wrapped in. Viking Einar schedules most of these so they will be completed and have passengers back onboard the ship by lunchtime (or dinner, depending on the schedule), if they choose. Guides speak excellent English and know all the intimate details about the cities you're visiting. Tours generally require passengers to wear an ear piece and Quitevox device, which picks up what the guide is saying even if you're in the back of the group. These tours are usually interesting and a decent choice, especially for passengers visiting a region for the first time.
Those who want something a little different will have to pay a bit extra, but we found many of these tours worth the additional fee. These tours tend to keep groups smaller and expose passengers to more niche offerings, like a food and beverage walking tour in Strasbourg. Viking also offers an array of exceptional Privileged Access tours, which give passengers exclusive entry to some pretty exciting cultural experiences. (Think off-hours tours of world-class museums or private ballet performances.)
People who prefer to explore on their own can grab a map from the guest services desk and head into the city center. (If the ship hasn't docked in the city center, Einar generally offers passengers a complimentary shuttle.)
Daytime and Evening Entertainment
During the day, Viking Einar doesn't offer much in the way of onboard entertainment, as most passengers are in port. Nightly entertainment mostly revolves around the onboard pianist or guitarist, who perform in the Viking Lounge. A couple of times each cruise, Viking Einar welcomes local musicians and dancers onboard. You might catch a string quartet or vocalists singing regional traditional pieces.
Viking Einar offers a decent range of enrichment activities, which will vary based on where the ship is sailing. Many, like an apple strudel making class, are handled by the ship's crew. Food or drink demos are most common. You'll also get lectures on the regions -- usually wrapped into the nightly port talks. Virtually all enrichment activities take place in the Viking Lounge.
Viking Einar has just one bar: the Viking Lounge. This spot is liveliest before dinner, after the evening's discussion of the next day's activities. After dinner, it tends to be quiet, as many passengers elect to go to bed early to be ready for their morning excursions. Regardless, it's a beautifully decorated spot with a sizable bar and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Viking Lounge (Upper Deck): Located on the Upper Deck, the Viking Lounge is where all social interaction takes place onboard. It's where you'll have your welcome celebration, nightly lectures on ports, entertainment and goodbye party. Decorated in shades of blue and gray, the lounge features comfortable seating around small, low tables, ideal for conversation. The bar also offers seating around it, though most passengers tend to pick other options.
The bar offers a nice range of cocktails, moderately priced (in euros). It also includes a decent selection of wine and beer -- heavy on local choices. Viking Einar also offers a Silver Spirits beverage package for passengers who don't want to worry about paying for each drink they order.
During the day, the space is lightly used by passengers looking to unwind, maybe do a little reading or quiet chatting with friends -- old or new. At night, a pianist and/or guitarist play music, which serves more as a backdrop to conversation than headliner entertainment. Still, some passengers will get up and dance on Einar's well-sized dance floor.
In pleasant weather, the Sun Deck is a wonderful spot to spend time as Viking Einar sails. Here, passengers can relax on lounger chairs or around tables, in shade or direct sun. The ship also has a small putting green and a shuffleboard court, nestled around an herb garden, which the chef uses for fresh, organic ingredients.
The ship's only designated smoking area is located at the very back of the Sun Deck.
The ship's main hub for passengers is its guest services desk, located on the Middle Deck, accessible where passengers board the ship. Here, passengers can book shore excursions, ask questions, pay their bills for any onboard expenses or check in for flights, among other services. The lobby here also is where passengers can pick up water to carry with them for their excursions and check out/in when they leave and return to the ship.
Nearby, a small shop offers a variety of items for sale, including jewelry, books and Viking-branded clothing and accessories.
A deck up, you'll find a small but well-stocked library, heavily loaded with books on subjects like history and the geography of the regions your sailing. A lovely seating area and natural light make this a pleasant place to spend time reading. The Upper Deck is also where a small computer nook is located, though computers are lightly used, as Wi-Fi is free to all passengers, who mostly elect to use their own devices.
Laundry service, including pressing, is available onboard, at a per-item charge. The service is included for suite passengers.
An elevator runs between the Middle Deck and Upper Deck.
Viking Einar doesn't have an onboard fitness center or spa. Passengers who want to keep active can hit up the walking track on the Sun Deck. (The track is directly above cabins, so it's polite to wait until at least 8 a.m. before going for your morning constitutional.)
Because river cruises tend to be fairly active, passengers can count on plenty of walking in port, if they want. Viking Einar also offers bicycle tours in select ports, where it relies on local providers. Einar doesn't carry bicycles onboard. Also, long stretches of the Danube and Rhine are flanked by pedestrian-friendly paths, so runners will find they usually have multiple options ashore.
The minimum age to sail on Viking Einar is 18. It's fairly common to see parents traveling with their adult children on Viking Einar.