Welcome to the Viking River Cruises About Your Trip section. There is a great deal of information here, organised into sections accessible via menus above and on the right. For your convenience, we have gathered some of the topics people ask about most frequently here on this introductory page, so you can get quick answers. If you do not see the information you need here or you need more details, try perusing the other sections. If you still have questions, give us a call on 0800 319 66 60 or send us an email and we will make every effort to answer your query within 24 hours.
We plan to go a few days early and then make our way to the ship. Can you please provide the docking location?
Certainly. A PDF with port location information can be accessed here.
How can my friends and family contact me while I am cruising?
A list of ship phone numbers can be found here; you can obtain the phone number for your ship and provide it to your contacts in case of emergency. If you would like to make or receive phone calls on a non-emergency basis, you should know that your mobile phone may not work overseas. Please check with your mobile phone provider for more information.
Is there internet access on board? Are there computers, or should I bring my laptop?
For your convenience, all Viking ships have internet access. Our ships in Europe, Russia and Ukraine have free wi-fi, so you can bring your laptop and get online at any time. Alternatively, each ship has a few computers for guest use; there are desktop machines in Russia for use free of charge, and laptops in Europe that guests may use at no additional charge. Guests who bring laptops to Russia may wish to bring a LAN cable for use in their stateroom; this may work a bit better than the wireless LAN in rural areas along the river.
In China, there is an internet café with desktop stations for guest use free of charge. There is no on board wireless network in China, Vietnam or Cambodia, so you will not be able to get internet service on your personal computer while on the ship, although you may be able to do so during hotel stays.
Please note that shipboard service may be unreliable during certain parts of the journey. The internet connection functions via cellular service or satellite, and there may be times when reception is not possible and/or when the connection is quite slow. For this reason, we recommend only checking and sending email. We do not recommend surfing the Web or downloading large files.
What is the electrical voltage in the cabin? What kind of converters will I need for my computer/curling iron/camera battery charger?
Electricity on the ships is 220V. Our European and Russian ships have the German Schuko safety plug, which has two pins. In China the ships have a 3-pin blade safety plug; if you have an adapter with just the two slanted blades that will work fine. In Vietnam and Cambodia the ships use a two pin Europlug. Some of these plugs are grounded and some are not. For more details and pictures of the plugs, click here. Each stateroom will have one or two 115V razor plugs available, generally in the bathroom.
What is the local currency where we are going? Will I be able to exchange money on board? What forms of payment are accepted on the ship?
Local currency depends on the region where you will be travelling—most of Europe uses the euro, in Russia it is the ruble, in Ukraine it is the hryvnia, in China it is the renminbi (whose basic unit is the yuan), in Cambodia it is the riel, in Vietnam it is the dông and in Thailand it is the baht. Your ship will be unable to exchange money, so plan on bringing some currency with you and exchanging it for local currency at a bank or currency exchange office, or getting cash as needed at ATMs. If you are planning on using an ATM, you should verify with your bank that your ATM card and PIN will work abroad.
Items you purchase on board, together with any optional excursions you purchase, will be added to your shipboard account. You may settle your account in cash (local money, pounds sterling, US dollars or euros) or with a credit card (sorry, the ship is unable to accept traveller’s cheques). You can include gratuities for shipboard personnel to your shipboard account.
More detailed information is available in the On the Ship section.
We are considering purchasing the Silver Spirits beverage package. What does this include, and what are the by-the-glass beverage prices if we did not purchase the package?
Included with all your meals are house wine, beers, and soft drinks. Many of our ships also have a 24-hour tea and coffee station or in-room coffeemaker (China). Bottled water is supplied daily in your stateroom. Our beverages menu and price list, including a range of cocktails, wines, beers and soft drinks, can be found here.
The Silver Spirits beverage package covers premium wines and beers, espresso drinks, juices, soft drinks and mineral water for the entire duration of your cruise, plus two daily cocktails and a bottle of sparkling wine. To find out more about the Silver Spirits package please call us directly on 0800 319 66 60.
Will we be able to have laundry done on board? What are the prices?
Laundry service is available on board; unfortunately clothes cannot be dry cleaned. Typical lists of laundry charges are available here—please note that prices are subject to change.
Europe laundry list
China laundry list
Russia laundry list
Ukraine laundry list
What type of food is served on board?
In Europe and Russia, all our meals are prepared on board by our European chefs, and consist of European-style food with regional specialities. In China, your meals are prepared by both European and Chinese chefs, and our Swiss hotel management oversees your dining experience.
Breakfast is typically a buffet featuring fresh fruit, juices, pastries, eggs, cheeses and cold cuts or cereal; you can also order from our menu of featured “hot selections” of the day.
Lunch usually includes soup, a salad/sandwich bar, choice of entrée and dessert. Dinner is your choice of three or four courses, including a choice of entrées (typically including one regional speciality relevant to your destination). In China, we have Western-style lunches and dinners as well as family-style Chinese menus designed by celebrity chef Martin Yan.
Can I sit where I want in the on board restaurant?
Our ships normally offer open seating, which means you may sit where you like. We do not accept table reservations so that you are free to meet other passengers and make new friends.
Can I drink the tap water on board?
Use bottled/purified water only when drinking, brushing your teeth or shaving. Do not use tap water unless it is clearly marked potable/drinkable. A complimentary bottle of water per guest is placed in your cabin each day. Additional bottles are available for purchase.
Can you accommodate my dietary needs?
In most cases we can. Every meal has vegetarian options on the menu, and our chefs are able to prepare low-salt or gluten-free cuisine. If you require a liquid diet or strictly kosher foods, you may have your products shipped to your cruise ship and we will be more than happy to serve your special meals. Please be sure to make your requirements known when you make your reservation so we will be fully prepared when you begin your journey.
Guests requiring special diets such as vegetarian, low salt, diabetic or low cholesterol meals must alert Viking River Cruises one month prior to departure and inform the Maitre d’ when on board. The chefs will make reasonable efforts to accommodate these requests.
Are the staterooms on the ship air-conditioned?
Are the ships nonsmoking? Are there smoking areas?
All Viking ship interiors and staterooms are nonsmoking. Each ship has an outdoor smoking area.
Should I take out personal travel insurance?
Travel insurance can protect you from the unexpected if your holiday doesn’t quite go to plan.
As members of ABTA, Viking is a fully bonded and licensed tour operator, with air holidays protected by ATOL and administered by the CAA – all of which gives you peace of mind when you book your cruise with Viking.
However, personal emergencies sometimes arise and we strongly recommend you take out travel insurance to protect your holiday and yourself while you’re away. Viking River Cruises has partnered with Holiday Extras* who will ensure that you are fully covered, just in case the unexpected happens. To learn more about Holiday Extrasclick here >
*Viking River Cruises UK Limited is not responsible for the content of external websites. Any contract for the purchase of goods and/or services offered by such external providers are with the relevant provider and the inclusion of a link should not be taken as an endorsement of that website or the products/services offered.
Will there be a hair dryer in my stateroom or should I bring one? What about shampoo, etc.?
Your ship has hair dryers for guest use. Most staterooms are equipped with a hair dryer; if there isn’t one in your stateroom, you can request one at reception and it will be provided to you. Your stateroom amenities include shower gel, shampoo, body lotion, shower cap and vanity kit.
Are there refrigerators in individual staterooms?
All of our renovated Russia ships, our newest ships in Europe, Viking Prestige and Viking Legend, and our upcoming Viking Longships have individual refrigerators in most staterooms. For other ships, if you would like something (such as medications) kept refrigerated, please inform Reception Desk staff and we will take care of it for you.
Is there fitness equipment on board?
Most Viking ships do not have fitness equipment; there is a gym and sauna aboard Viking Emerald and a few of our European vessels have exercycles. Our guests enjoy getting their exercise during each day’s shore excursions. Some ships feature walk-around promenade decks, so guests can take a stroll or “power walk.”
Will the ship be able to accommodate a disabled passenger? What about the shore excursions?
Viking River Cruises welcomes disabled guests but wishes all guests to understand that challenges will exist on board and during shore excursions. Some ships have elevators and some do not; some ships have split-level decks and/or significant thresholds that could make movement difficult. Unfortunately this means that wheelchairs and motorised scooters cannot generally be used on board.
Shore excursions may require movement over cobblestones or up and down stairs; accordingly, a physically challenged guest will require the services of a responsible adult since crew availability is severely limited in most circumstances.
Guests who have any medical, physical or other special needs should check the fleet information on our website to gain an understanding of the layout of any particular ship, and should contact us directly with additional questions.
I would like to read up a little on the area in which we will be traveling. Do you have recommended reading lists?
We do offer recommended reading lists for our guests. Click here to learn more.
We provide each guest with a complimentary Travel Companion book. Each one contains information about the region and destinations, local stories and legends and a kilometre-by-kilometre guide listing locations and attractions along the river, with space for your own notes.
What entertainment is available on board?
We offer on board programmes to enhance your understanding of your destinations, including lectures, demonstrations and theme dinners with regional specialities. Depending on your itinerary, a folkloric group or local musicians may come aboard, or other activities may be hosted by your Programme Director. On itineraries where your ship stays in port during the evenings or overnight, you may choose to enjoy a show, a cup of coffee, or dinner ashore on your own.
What clothes should I bring?
We recommend you bring comfortable walking shoes and modest, casual clothing for exploring ashore. Dinner attire is casual, open-necked shirts, dresses; no suits or ties are required. Captain’s Welcome Dinners and Farewell Nights are dressier but not formal. Click here for some packing tips.
Do you have any other packing suggestions?
Should you forget something, you can purchase items where you travel, but selections may vary and you will not have extended time to shop. Here are some suggestions of items to bring.
How do I tip the crew and what’s appropriate?
Tips are not included in your cruise price, but are a voluntary way of showing satisfaction for good service. You may tip on board staff in cash if you like, or you may charge your tips to your on board account at the end of your holiday (except in Southeast Asia). These gratuities are distributed among the ship’s staff, including your Program Director. The local guides or tour escorts that travel with you in Southeast Asia, China, Russia and Ukraine and the on board Program Director in Russia and Ukraine do not share in the on board staff gratuities – it is customary to tip them separately and in cash.
How are on board purchases handled?
For your convenience, all purchases or paid services on board are added to your personal shipboard account. At the end of your cruise, your total can be paid with cash or a debit or credit card.
How can I get medical help if I need it?
Although there is no doctor on board European ships, close proximity to land means medical services can be rapidly obtained. There are doctors on our ships in Russia and China cruises.
Do shore excursions cost extra?
All tours and shore excursions are included in your cruise price unless noted as “optional.” You will typically have an included tour each day. Information and pricing for “optional” tours will be available in detail on board.
What are the shore excursions like?
Some of your excursions are designed as panoramic tours or are shorter walking tours intended to give you an overview. Other excursions may focus on a particular attraction. Meals are generally served aboard ship or in a local restaurant.
Depending on the day’s schedule, you may be able to stay longer in the city or attraction to explore on your own. Your Tour Escort will let you know when you have this option. On some tours, coaches will drop off passengers for the walking portion of the tour, returning later for the return trip. Passengers typically cannot remain on the coach.
You are always free to skip a tour and explore on your own. Simply ask your Viking River Cruises Escort for suggestions. There are no refunds for unused tours, meals or other portions of the holiday.
How physically demanding are shore excursions?
Our shore excursions include walking tours, panoramic coach tours and sometimes a combination of both. They often require a fair amount of walking, since many areas of interest are best accessed on foot. Some tours may require that you be on your feet for an extended period of time. Because of greater distances and more ancient sites, excursions in China can be more demanding than the European ones. To enjoy all of your excursions, you should be in good physical condition and able to walk easily over uneven pavement, cobblestone streets, or up and down stairs and inclines. You are free to skip a tour at any time. If you have concerns or questions, please discuss the nature of your itinerary with your Viking River Cruises Reservation Agents.
What will the weather be like?
You can check forecasts and live reports at:
BBC Weather http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/
Met Office http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/world/
The Weather Channel http://uk.weather.com/
If we have special flight requirements such as specific seats, special diets etc., can you help us with these?
We are happy to make requests with the airlines on your behalf; however, please be aware that these cannot always be guaranteed.
What time is disembarkation?
All passengers are requested to disembark by 10:00 a.m. If we are providing your airport transfer on disembarkation day, we will make sure your transfer is at the appropriate time for your flight.