#MikeAtSea: First Impressions Of Viking River Cruises

Currently, I am sailing aboard Viking River Cruises’ Viking Lif from Amsterdam to Budapest. This sailing is my first river cruise, but my second with Viking, having previously sailed aboard Viking Oceans’ Viking Star. As we’ve sailed on from Amsterdam, I’ve enjoyed discovering a few things that have really stood out to me as unique examples of the Viking River experience.

The Crew
A ship’s crew will almost always impress me, because I truly believe this is an area any cruise line ensures is top notch. However, the crew aboard Viking Lif have so far been absolutely phenomenal. From the moment I arrived at the pier, I have been blown away by my crew’s blend of professionalism and warm personalities. Part of this is due to the ship’s small size (sailing with only around 190 guests), allowing each crew member to spark a personal relationship with each guest – learning our names, drinks, style of greeting, and even getting to know us personally as we have done the same with them. I believe this crew’s relaxed, yet professional style of service offers an incredibly unique sailing experience not found aboard larger ships.


The Stateroom

As a home away from home, staterooms are an important aspect of any cruise vacation. While staterooms aboard river ships, including Viking Lif, may be smaller than those onboard ocean ships, Viking makes up for space with incredible attention to detail and thoughtful touches. Overall, the staterooms are beautifully designed, featuring light colors, woods, and metal accents. Heated bathroom floors make any morning shower a delight versus a chore, television speakers installed in the ceiling ensure an enjoyable viewing experience, and back lighting behind the headboard provides a relaxing atmosphere for an evening in the stateroom.


  • Plenty of storage – a full closet, numerous shelves, 6 large drawers, and underbed storage.
  • Complimentary bottled water, replenished daily.
  • 3 large mirrors throughout the stateroom.
  • Numerous lighting features, ensuring you’ll always have enough light.
  • And for most staterooms, french balconies or full balconies for fresh air.


The Culture

Viking Cruises (both Ocean and River) aims to deliver a cruise experience that enlightens, ignites, and inspires. Onboard Viking Lif, we’ve had numerous opportunities to truly dive into local culture and experience our destinations. Whether it be attending a seminar on the culture, cuisine, and drinks of the Dutch, or settling into the Viking Lounge for an evening ensemble with musicians from Cologne’s Academy of Music & Dance, Viking provides a number of truly unique and enriching experiences for guests seeking to do more than just see the sights.

Plus all the other little things…

  • 24/7 coffee machines, cookies, and breakfast breads just outside of the atrium.
  • Waterway cruising complete with thoughtful and informative narration from our Program Director, Leonard.
  • A truly helpful and exceptional Hotel Director, Jereno, who constantly ensures each guest is taken care of.
  • Complimentary walking tours and excursions in each port of call.

As the Viking Lif continues to sail through Europe, don’t forget to follow Cruise Currents for photos of our ports of call and for the latest updates from the ship. You can follow along on Instagram at both @CruiseCurrents and @MikeWFaust, as well as on Twitter with the same handles: @CruiseCurrents and@MikeWFaust. For even more photos and in depth articles, make sure to like the Cruise Currents Facebook page and bookmarking the Cruise Currents homepage.



Mike Faust

Mike Faust is an avid world traveler, often found traversing city streets in Asia and Europe rather than his home city of Boca Raton. Mike has touched down in 39 countries, set sail on 35 cruises, and flown over 400,000 lifetime miles.