On Viking Astrild, every cabin comes with an outside view. There are four cabin categories. Standard staterooms, which measure 140 square feet, have a generous picture window that's not found on standard category cabins on the regular Longship fleet (those have windows set up high in the wall, by the waterline). Fourteen French balcony cabins come with floor-to-ceiling windows that open (but you cannot step out); these are 122 square feet. The ship's 19 verandah staterooms, at 180 square feet, have a full-sized balcony that's outfitted with two chairs and a small table. The ship's most expansive accommodations are its pair of verandah suites. Measuring 250 square feet, the verandah suite consists of living room and separate bedroom, with a spacious shower-only bathroom. The bedroom has a French verandah and the living room has a traditional balcony.
All staterooms come with beds that convert from twins to a queen. Decor wise, the cabins are airy and light, with pale wooden cabinetry, fluffy duvets and comfortable chairs on the verandah.
Bathrooms are shower-only but feature heated tile floors, reasonably generous-sized showers, L'Occitane products and mood lighting.
Storage space in most cabins includes a full-length, sliding-door closet with room for hanging clothes on one side and shelves and a cabinet (with a safe) on the other. Drawers beneath the large vanity are small and narrow, but there is enough room for two people packing casual attire, and there's extra room under the bed for suitcases.
Great care seems to have gone into cabin lighting, which includes dimmers, bedside controls and mirrored vanities. There are two American (110 volt) and two European (220 volt) outlets in addition to one European outlet devoted to charging the QuietVox headsets.
Every cabin is equipped with an empty minifridge (with notches in the fridge shelving that make it possible to chill a bottle of wine upright), as well as a handheld hair dryer.
Large 42-inch Sony HD flat-screen TVs serve up several channels on an interactive menu, including CNN, CNBC and National Geographic Channel. There is a good variety of complimentary movies on demand, including reasonably recent releases, classics and travel and historical documentaries by Rick Steves, A&E and the History Channel. In the rare moments we had to watch television, we loved Viking River's curated collection of films that focused on our itinerary.
There are also pre-programmed music channels but for a more personalized selection, plug your iPod into the available port that's connected to the integrated Bose surround-sound system.
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship, including in the cabins. On our Elbe cruise, it was generally reliable, and even faster than we expected (though still no match for at-home service). Fresh fruit and bottled water are also complimentary and provided in all cabins daily. There are ice buckets in each cabin, but you must fill them yourself from an ice machine located in the hallway on each deck.