Viking Alsvin Review

Editor Rating:  4.0
96% of cruisers loved it

Why Choose Viking Alsvin?

  • Tours and most drinks included in price
  • Real balcony cabins; a rarity in river cruising
  • Sails Europe's Rhine and Danube
Viking Alsvin

Viking Alsvin Overview

By Jamey Bergman, Cruise Critic contributor

What first strikes you as you step onboard Viking Alsvin, 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 Alsvin, which debuted in 2014, 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 Alsvin 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 Alsvin's upper deck during growing season.

Viking Alsvin Fellow Passengers

The general age for river cruise passengers is 60 and older, but Alsvin 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 Alsvin 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 Alsvin 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 Alsvin Cabins

By Jamey Bergman, Cruise Critic contributor

58 Viking Alsvin Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

Start your review of Viking Alsvin
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IrenePR
Member Since 2017
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
This was pretty much a last minute (o.k., a few weeks) decision as my husband, thinking he might feel a bit crowded on a ship for a week, needed a bit of persuading. It was our first ever cruise and I can honestly say we both thoroughly ... Read more
Patsyp
Member Since 2014
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed May 2017
We recently did the Prague to Paris City of Light cruise on Viking. It was absolutely incredible. The cruise portion was fantastic. The sites along the way, the small towns we stopped in, the tours they included all were great. Our ... Read more
EKTomanek
Member Since 2017
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Wanted to visit Prague. This was the perfect cruise for us. Very much enjoyed Prague. We took the extra excursion in Prague which is must do. There is not enough time to enjoy all of Prague without staying a few extra days. We very much ... Read more

58 Viking Alsvin Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

Start your review of Viking Alsvin
Click to rate
IrenePR
Member Since 2017
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
This was pretty much a last minute (o.k., a few weeks) decision as my husband, thinking he might feel a bit crowded on a ship for a week, needed a bit of persuading. It was our first ever cruise and I can honestly say we both thoroughly ... Read more
Patsyp
Member Since 2014
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed May 2017
We recently did the Prague to Paris City of Light cruise on Viking. It was absolutely incredible. The cruise portion was fantastic. The sites along the way, the small towns we stopped in, the tours they included all were great. Our ... Read more
EKTomanek
Member Since 2017
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Wanted to visit Prague. This was the perfect cruise for us. Very much enjoyed Prague. We took the extra excursion in Prague which is must do. There is not enough time to enjoy all of Prague without staying a few extra days. We very much ... Read more
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