Viking River Cruisesis one of the largest river cruise lines with over 30 owned and leased ships sailing rivers in Europe, Russia, Ukraine, China, Southeast Asia, and Egypt.
They are adding new ships at a rate that exceeds all of their competitors. This is partly because their fleet is older than most. The older ships have many cabins that fit the old style of cabin, less than 130 sq ft compared to newer ships at 170 to 200 sq ft. Their new fleet, called Longships, still have a basic cabin at 156 sq ft but they emphasize the larger 200 sq ft balcony cabins.
Ships - the Viking fleet has many different ship designs. In Europe the newest is the Longship which features step out balcony cabins (as opposed to the more popular French balconies). The balcony cabins are listed at 205 sq ft but that measure does include the balcony space. Interior cabin is about 170 sq ft. French balcony cabins on these ships are 135 sq ft. Several of the designs are special purpose i.e. the two ships that sail the Elbe have very shallow drafts in order to navigate the very shallow Elbe river.
In Russia Viking's ships carry 210 guests in comfortably large staterooms - most over 200 sq ft. They sail the common St. Petersburg to Moscow route and less traveled Kiev to the Black Sea on the Dnieper River.
In Asia Viking has a new ship (2011) in China that accommodates 256 guests in large (250 sq ft) staterooms. In Southeast Asia Viking operates 3 ships that are a little smaller (60 guests) with comfortable cabins.
Viking operates 2 ships in Egypt. Their newest (2012) has 215 sq ft cabins and accommodates 150 guests. The other ship sails Lake Nassar and holds 160 passengers in comfortable staterooms.
Itineraries - Viking offers most of the same itineraries that others do. They are on the cutting edge with the Elbe and Dnieper. Their Southeast Asia are expanded over most others.
On Board Experience - Viking has lagged behind some of the other companies in offering amenities to passengers. As with all organizations participating in the race, they have been working to bring their standards up to a competitive level. The latest addition in 2012 is unlimited beer, wine and soda with lunch and dinner. Viking's position in the industry is as a mass market player.