Jeannine Williamson
Cruise Critic Contributor
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Cabins

All 95 cabins come with a river view and -- a big plus point for a river ship -- feature an unusually high number of balcony cabins, the result of the Longships' game-changing off-center corridor design. By their very nature, staterooms on river ships are smaller than those on ocean ships. However, Viking cabins reflect the sleek, understated style that runs throughout the rest of the vessel, giving an impression of light and space.

Staterooms are located on the main, middle and upper decks, and in total there are 25 Standard Cabins, 22 French Balcony Cabins, 39 Veranda Cabins, seven Veranda Suites and two Explorer Suites. On a river vessel, there is no difference between port or starboard cabins as the width of rivers means there are always great views on each side of the ship

All cabin categories have very comfortable hotel-style queen beds measuring 79 inches by 63 inches, with optional twin-bed configuration. There is room for suitcases to be stowed beneath the beds and the cabins are well designed with plenty of other storage space. There are six soft-close drawers beneath the desk/vanity unit and shelf area that runs along the wall opposite the bed, and a double wardrobe with full-length hanging space, and ample wooden and soft coat hangers, on one side. The opposite side has three large shelves and a laptop-size safe. There are two bedside cabinets that include a handy pullout shelf for books and other items.

Each cabin comes with climate control, a refrigerator, telephone, a really good hand-held, plug-in hair dryer, ice bucket and bottle of non-branded still water that is replenished daily. There is a Sony 40-inch flat-screen TV (two in the suites) with an interactive entertainment menu that includes TV stations (including BBC News, CNBC, CNN, National Geographic, TNT Series and Sky Sports), on-demand movies divided into different genres such as comedy and thrillers and pre-recorded music, again broken down into different categories. Passenger can also connect their iPods to the Bose surround-sound system. The TV system also provides information on the cruise and river views from the camera situated on the bow. Passengers can also watch the daily cruise director's talk via the webcam in the lounge.

Cabin lighting is excellent with a variety of options including full or dimmed lighting, bedside lights and reading lights. Usefully, all the main cabin lights can be turned on and off from the control panel next to the bed. There are two U.S. 110-volt plug sockets and two European 220-volt sockets in the cabin (passengers from the U.K. need to bring adaptors).

The bathrooms are also well lit, and include a night-light. Although there is no shaving/makeup mirror there is a bright lighting strip set in the main mirror over the basin. A very nice touch is the heated floor (which can be regulated or turned off). In addition to the area around the basin, there is storage space beneath, plus two glass shelves set to one side of the sink. The shower runs the length of the bathroom, which means there is plenty of space wall to wall, but some passengers might find it narrow. That said, there are two doors -- rather than one door and a fixed piece of glass that featured on earlier vessels -- opening into the shower and these can be folded right back against the wall creating an open "wet room," or simply to provide more space. There are two soap dishes in the shower and a washing line. Ample towels are provided, although on my cruise they weren't very soft. Another minor glitch is the toilet, which has a neat soft-close lid but can be hard to flush at times, often needing a few presses of the button.

L'Occitane toiletries, once featured on all the Longships, have been replaced with the line's own-brand of Freyja products that were introduced when Viking launched its first ocean ship in 2015. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion come in refreshingly large and easy-to-read 80 millilitre (2.70 fluid ounce) containers that are also simple to open, and the products are very pleasant and not highly perfumed. There is also a bar of Freyja soap, shower cap, makeup remover pads and cotton buds. Toiletries are replenished as needed.

One of Viking's best-kept secrets seems to be robes and slippers, as not many passengers know about them. But ask at reception and they will be waiting in your cabin when you return.

Standard Cabins: Standard Cabins measure 150 square feet and are all situated on the main deck, the lowest on the ship; they are accessible by stairs only. These waterline cabins have a rectangular window, that doesn't open, set high in the wall. These cabins are a good value for passengers who are not bothered about having a large window or balcony, and, in fact, offer more cabin space than the French Balcony Cabins.

French Balcony Cabins: Located on the middle and upper decks, French Balcony Cabins are 135 square feet and have floor-to-ceiling windows that slide open and are fronted by a wooden railing, so passengers lean out rather than step out to take in the fresh air.

Veranda Cabins: The Veranda Cabins measure 205 square feet and have the same floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto a full-size balcony. The verandas have two mesh-backed outdoor chairs and a small, round wooden table with room for a book, drinks and other small items, but not large or high enough for any kind of meal.

Veranda Suites: There are seven Veranda Suites on the port side, which measure 275 square feet and have a bedroom and living room. There is a French balcony in the bedroom and walkout balcony off the living area.

Explorer Suites: Situated side by side at the back of the vessel are the two Explorer Suites, which measure 445 square feet and have a lovely wraparound balcony providing 270-degree views of the surroundings. It is unusual for a river cruise line to situate its grandest staterooms over the ship's engine room, however Viking takes pride in its eco-friendly hybrid-diesel electric engines and says that in addition to burning less fuel and creating fewer emissions that other engines, they are also very quiet and don't create the vibrations experienced in aft cabins on other ships. The suites don't come laden with perks such as butler service, daily cocktails or canapes (there is no room service). However, there are nice touches such as an in-room coffee maker, stocked refrigerator with soft drinks and wine, and welcome flowers and a bottle of fizz on arrival.

As one of the newest Longships, Viking Vili sports some subtle design tweaks that are not on the earlier vessels. In the Explorer Suites, these include a solid, rather than sliding wall, between the bedroom and bathroom, new-style furniture including a desk/dressing table where the top lifts to reveal an interior mirror and one washbasin instead of the previous two in the bathroom. The latter has made way for a larger shower and, for the uninhibited, the floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the river can now be turned from opaque to clear glass at the flick of a switch!

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Deck:
Main Deck
Middle Deck
Upper Deck
Sun Deck

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