Viking Christmas Market Cruise December 2015 Budapest to Nuremberg
Viking River Cruises has a most effective business plan that has positioned the company in the minds of many people as the only river cruise company. The abundance of advertising in many different media are designed with general appeal and enticing visuals.
When I told people that I was going on a river cruise most responded “that’s a Viking cruise isn’t it?”
Viking has the new Longships with a passenger capacity of 190. The ships are basic with 4 cabin types. The deck one cabins are compact and located at waterline. There are French Balcony cabins which are a bit cramped and have a small bathroom which is similar to the bathrooms on large cruise ships. Suites are larger with separate sitting and sleeping areas with a larger bathroom and a balcony. There are 2 Explorer Suites aft. These are over 400 SF with double balconies.
Viking Longships have free internet located near a library area. Lunch and dinner offer complimentary house type wines and beers. Alcohol can be purchased between meals and after dinner in the lounge. A beverage package is available for 150 euros per person. Coffee, teas and hot chocolate are available 24 hours a day at two stations just outside the lounge.
The tours offered for free are adequate. They are not in depth and except for the Abbey at Melk do not include any admissions or touring inside a site. Most are walking or bus tours. There are a few special tours offered at additional cost.
The food is good and you can choose to eat in the dining room or the Aquavit Terrace at the front of the boat. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style and dinner is menu service with some self serve items. The menu is ambitious and one night it was a walk through the galley buffet. They also have some standard items which you can order any night.
The staff is well trained and they all have good customer service skills.
Entertainment was mostly Peter at the piano. One night we had some visiting opera singers and dancers. Another night we had some German entertainers. The tour director led a quiz game and we also had a sing a long led by the hotel director and Peter at the piano.
The boat has a concierge for those guests who want to plan something special at any of the ports
The ports on this voyage are Budapest, Vienna, Melk, Passau, Regensburg and Nuremberg.
If you travel during November and December you will find Christmas Markets at every stop. They are a combination of country fair and flea market. Finding locally made items other than the Gluwein or gingerbread can be difficult at the larger Christmas Markets. Some of the smaller ones near churches or in small squares have more handmade items.