top of page
  • Writer's pictureVicky Lopez

Viking River Cruise Ship Gullveig Review

The Viking Gullveig was built in 2014 and is among Vikings Longship lineup.  Here is my review of this particular ship:





STATS:

Guests: 190

Average age: 65

Minimum age: 18

Crew: 53

Cabins: 95 (25 Panoramic; 22 French Balcony; 39 Veranda; 7 veranda Suites; 2 Explorer Suites)






CABIN FEATURES:

Cabins have both US and European outlets;  There is one of each on both sides of the bed, and on the counter above the storage drawers  There are also USB outlets.  There are two small closets, one to hang, and the other with four shelves.  A safe, hair dryer, and shoe horn are supplied.  You have three drawers for clothing and belongs, two small and one large.  There is a small bench tucked under the counter that you can sit on, but there really isn’t anywhere to put it to sit.  The only real option for sitting in the cabin is on the bed.  Once you’ve unpacked, your luggage fits perfectly under the bed.



THE NITTY GRITTY:

Bathrooms include the necessary amenities such as body wash, shampoo, conditioner, shower cap, and body lotion.  These are replenished as needed.  The bathrooms in the standard and French balcony cabins are small, not much larger than an airplane lavatory (except the shower).  The shower is small,  maybe 27” at the widest point, with double shower doors that open either in or out.  You need to make sure they are closed snuggly and evenly, otherwise there will be water covering the entire bathroom floor.  Speaking of bathroom floors, they are heated!  Towels are replaced as often as you shower.



The lobby and reception desk are nicely decorated and convenience.  Since it is a river cruise, there usually is no problem getting them to answer the phone, or you in-person inquiries.  There are several seating areas near the doors and the reception area.  There is one wall with items for sale, mostly Viking logo articles, shirts, backpacks, etc.  The main doors are located on either side of the reception desk, with the staircase in the middle.


There are four deck levels. Since there are entry doors on levels 2, 3, and 4, it’s hard to say which floor is the main level.  So we’ll start from the bottom up.  The lower level are the panoramic window cabins.  The next level is the library area and the main dining room on one side, and cabins on the other side.  The next level is the reception area, lounge, coffee stations, and the Aquavit Terrace restaurant.  Then finally, there is the top deck, which is the outside deck.  On this deck you’ll find the Bridge (the bridge will lower for low bridges, I encourage you to check it out), the outdoor walking track, shuffleboard court, putt-putt golf, numerous tables and chairs, both covered and uncovered, along with an herb garden.  It’s really nice to see the parsley on your plate that you know they grew on the ship.  This ship does not have a pool or hot tub.



Activities on a river cruise are vastly different from an ocean cruise.  You don’t have sea days, so they don’t have to entertain you.  The activities you will see are like a lounge show.  We had a piano player, and they offered a game night for a couple of nights.  Each evening there is a talk in the lounge discussing the next port activities.  After dinner was the lounge entertainment, usually starting around 9pm.  The vibe on a river cruise is more subdued, so you’re not going to see wild and crazy shows.


SHORE EXCURSIONS:

I will admit that I was skeptical when I saw that most of the included shore excursions were walking tours.  I’m here to tell you that I was pleasantly surprised.  The guides were informative and friendly, and they all did a wonderful job.




The only extra excursion I did was the Schönbrunn Palace excursion.  The cost was $109.  Could I have gotten it less expensive?  Yes, but without being familiar with the City of Vienna, I didn’t want to take a chance.  I know now that I could have taken the metro to the Palace and entered with an audio tour for less than half the price.  But I enjoyed the tour guide giving that little bit of extra information and being able to answer questions.  The group size for the tours was usually around 40 people.  They also offered an L group for each tour.  The L group was the leisure group for those needing a little extra walking time.


My favorite excursion was in Passau, visiting the St. Stephens Cathedral!  Keep in mind that there may be seasonal changes to the excursions during the holiday season to accommodate the Christmas Markets.



Cabin entertainment consisted of a couple of television channels of live TV, with news only.  There were also a few travel-related movies.


CREW:

The ship carries 53 crew members, and they share responsibilities.  You’ll see you dining room staff caring luggage in and out on embarkation and disembarkation day.  You’ll see them escorting people to their cabins on embarkation, and helping load supplies while in port.  The gratuities you give are split among all of the staff, because as you can imagine, there a lot of people behind the scenes that make the operation successful.  As always, you can provide further gratuities to anyone you felt made your personal experience even better.


DINING: 

First things first - the dining dress code.  The dress code on a river cruise is casual.  They usually suggest no shorts and men wear a collared shirt, such as a polo shirt.  However, there are no dress code police, and nobody really cared.  Seriously, by the end of the week men were wearing t-shirts and hats.  It is really casual for sure, so no need to bring any formal - unless you like to dress up!



Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are offered in the main dining room with made-to-order menus and a variety of buffet items for breakfast.  You can also eat at the Aquavit Terrace where there is limited variety for breakfast, and made-to-order lunch and dinner.  The Aquavit Terrace generally opened 15 minutes after the main dining room.


Dinner on our ship was at 7:00pm most nights.  The time was adjusted based on excursion times.  For example, the night of the Mozart concert in Vienna dinner was at 5:45pm so those attending the concert could leave on time.  


The tables in the main dining room are set up for 6-8 people, with larger tables arranged for groups traveling together.  Since a lot of passengers are traveling in groups of 1-2 you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people, since you will have to share a dining table with them.  At first I thought it might be awkward, but as it turns out, it was one of my favorite features of the cruise.  I loved meeting new people at each meal.  It really makes it like you’re eating at home with friends.  They were very good with accommodating food allergies and special dietary needs.


The food was really good.  My favorite was the schnitzel and the salmon.  I indulged in salmon two days in a row because it was so good.  The side dishes were perfectly paired, and the wine options that were include were also very good.  I like how you can have free beer and wine with lunch and dinner.  For those that would like mixed drinks, or specialty wine, you can purchase a drink package at a very reasonable price.  For me, I will have max two glasses of wine, so it wasn’t worth it to go with the package.



You are supplied with two bottles of drinking water in your cabin.  I personally drink a lot of water, so whenever ours was empty the cabin steward would replace it.  That alone was a cost saver.


I love my morning coffee!!!  I’m happy to say that there is a coffee station that is open 24/7 with coffee, americano, latte, cappuccino, and espresso, along with small pastries.  They also have salted caramel and hazelnut flavoring for the coffee.  They did not lack in the caffeine department.


Room service is offered in the suites, so if you like to stay in and eat, book a suite. 


So here is my overall impression of the Viking Gullveig and the Viking experience.  I have cruised on other cruise lines and feel that Viking was about a 7, where the other cruise line was a 9.  There isn’t one particular thing that made the difference.  It was a compilation of cabin size, food offerings, and excursions offered.  Don’t get me wrong, the food was great, and the excursions that were included were good, but the cabin size was quite a bit smaller than I’ve had before.  The staff I dealt with were all extremely nice, efficient, friendly and attended to my needs and desires.  We sat in the same section every night for dinner so we had the same staff serving us.  They worked well together, but when the main waiter had the day off things were a little chaotic, and very slow.  The Maitre ‘d was out on the floor, but wasn’t very efficient trying to help the other staff.


Would I cruise Viking again?  Absolutely!  In my opinion, people believe that Viking has the best value for the price, but I also believe they have not compared accurately, comparing apples to apples.  It’s difficult to do, I’ll admit that.


If you're ready to book your river cruise, feel free to reach out to me - Of course, you can book your own, but why not let someone else keep things organized for you? All discounts the cruise line offers can still be yours!


(478)200-7136






20 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page