One shore excursion per port is included in the cruise fare. These are generally half-day tours designed to provide an overview of the city, including its history and visits inside important buildings like cathedrals and museums. Some may be scheduled for mornings, beginning around 9 a.m., or in the afternoon if the ship is cruising during the morning hours. Tours generally include free time at the end of the tour for shopping or individual exploring. During our cruise, one wine tasting tour was offered as an included tour.
Optional tours for purchase range from wine tastings and food tours to full-day excursions away from the ship, with prices between 49 and 239 euros, depending on the length and what is included. Optional tours may be reserved online before your cruise or purchased after the cruise tour begins, if there is still availability.
Tour guides are contracted locally and walk or ride along with guests if motor coaches are used. Communication takes place using individual headsets provided by the cruise line. Earpieces are provided, but standard plugs on the devices make it easy for guests to use their own earpieces if desired.
At each cruise port, passengers are asked to stop at the reception desk for both a port pass and a letter-coded tour assignment. The letter code corresponds to a "lollipop" sign held by tour guides who will meet you on shore. Groups generally are kept to under 20 people. If you wish to be assigned to the same group as others on the cruise, that may be requested at the reception desk.
The program manager organizes the tours, makes announcements regarding tour times and ensures that the guides and guests are coordinated on shore and on the motor coaches throughout the cruise tour.
Afternoon and evening entertainment includes a keyboardist playing in the Lounge and musicians brought onboard for performances of song and dance. One evening on our cruise was designated as disco night in the Lounge and the small dance floor was used most nights regardless of the style of music. After-dinner entertainment also includes a trivia night and a music quiz. Afternoon tea was served once in the Lounge during our cruise.
Enrichment includes the Taste of Germany evening in The Restaurant, beverage and cooking demonstrations by bar and kitchen staff, and at least one guest lecturer. The Viking Daily newsletter also features interesting port-specific articles.
Viking Alvsin Bars and Lounges
The ship has one lounge, located midship on the Upper Deck (Deck 3). Floor-to-ceiling windows create an open feeling perfect for scenic cruising. A central bar and small dance floor are surrounded by comfy sofas and swivel chairs. Barstools encircle the bar itself. Cheerful bar staff circulate throughout the Lounge, offering cocktails, beer and wine. The most forward area of the Lounge includes tables and chairs set for four, ideal for games or overflow from Aquavit Terrace during meal times.
Self-serve coffee stations are outside the midship entrances to the Lounge on either side of the ship. Machines produce coffee, hot milk, hot cocoa and hot water for tea drinkers. Ample condiments and a choice of china cups or paper to-go cups with lids are well-stocked at all times. Assorted pastries are served from covered baskets from 6 to 11 a.m. and cookies the rest of the day.
The Sun Deck is an ideal space for both river watching and social interaction. Seating includes lounge chairs and tables with chairs for snacks and games. Putting greens and a shuffleboard court are popular activities between port tours and other activities.
There is a designated smoking area on the Sun Deck at the rear of the ship.
The reception desk midship on the Middle Deck is the spot to get all your questions answered, either about the cruise, the ship or the ports. Daily news digests and city maps are available throughout the cruise. On the opposite wall in the reception area is a display of Viking logo clothing and travel gear for purchase, as well as guidebooks for the region.
Wi-Fi is included in the cruise fare and is adequate for almost anything other than streaming content. Two laptop computers for guest use are on the port side of the ship on the Upper Deck. The starboard side of the Upper Deck is home to the Library for those seeking reading material, both fiction and nonfiction. This is also a quiet spot to sit and enjoy the sights of the river, visible through floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors in the center of the area.
Self-serve ice machines are located on decks one, two and three in the stateroom hallways. Cabin stewards may provide ice for your cabin during the twice-daily cabin service if you request it.
The ship has no spa. An area designated for fitness is limited to the jogging track on the Sun Deck.
The official Viking policy does not allow children under age 18 to cruise.