Caravan Sonnet: Viking Eir (Viking River Cruise) Ship Review

2/5/18

Viking Eir (Viking River Cruise) Ship Review

Happy Monday friends! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend! Today I am so excited to share my Viking Eir ship review from our Rhine River Cruise last month! This cruise was amazing and I can't recommend it enough! 
The Viking Eir is one of Viking River Cruises famous long ships and includes four levels,  95 outside staterooms (You can read my review of our stateroom, stateroom 203 HERE!) and holds at capacity 190 passengers on board. The Viking Eir is known as the ship that travels the Rhine so if you are interested in doing a Rhine River Cruise you may be on this ship! 
The ship was built in 2015 and features a variety of different opportunities and experiences for its guests. 
The Viking Eir exemplifies in many ways the epitome of Viking River Cruises with its elegant and timeless design that y'all will see throughout these pictures. 
On board there is a sun deck, an observation lounge, a library, and many more elements. In addition to this the ship features several "green" elements including solar panels, an on board herb garden (that was used at every meal!), and hybrid engines. 
I have said this many times about the cruise but as you step on board the ship you feel that you have truly stepped into a 5-star resort quality vacation. At each place that you turn there is little details that go a long way in ensuring that you not only feel comfortable and at home in your time on the Viking Eir but that you also feel like you are being treated like royalty.
These touches go a long way into your entire experience with Viking and the ship seemed to be a natural extension of the experience. 
Boarding the ship after each excursion was incredibly easy. For those of you who have been on other cruises you know the hassle that can sometimes come after an excursion and then getting back onto the ship with swiping cards and going through security. This was the opposite experience. When we left each day we were given cards that not only told us our group numbers/letters but also cards that showed that we were off the ship. When we returned we simply handed them back to the reception desk. It was simple, easy, and so quick. It was a little thing, but it was incredibly well organized and laid out.
Another neat thing was that after almost every excursion the captain (even in the rain on a couple of occasions) was waiting to greet all of us. He would take a few moments to shake hands, welcome us back, and many times was helping to hand out drinks on the way in. This was a neat touch that Viking has in allowing the passengers to get to know the captain of the Viking Eir. It definitely made you feel like you knew everyone- staff included by the end of the trip. 
Everyday we were updated about the weather and were provided umbrellas if we needed them. Our cruise was at the full capacity and there were plenty of umbrellas for each person on board. 
If you haven't been on a river cruise and have only done ocean cruising than the boat will seem a LOT smaller than you may think. At the same time there was plenty of room throughout the ship and it was incredibly easy to navigate and I loved the way it was laid out. When you walk onto the ship after the gangway you come right into the reception area and are on the 2nd floor. (The floor below- the 1st floor holds some staterooms and the ship staffs quarters. We didn't spend anytime down there and unless you have a stateroom on that floor you wouldn't either. If you are interested in seeing the layout of the Viking Eir you can do so HERE.)
The second floor hosts the reception area, the restaurant, and staterooms. 
It also features the small store which is located directly across from reception which you can see in the picture above. 
The third floor features the library, more state rooms, a couple of computers (you can read more about the wi-fi on board in this post HERE!) access to the top deck, and the lounge and the aquavit terrace. We spent the most time on decks 2 and 3 but we also did spend a day (in the freezing cold! *smiles*) up on the top deck for the cruising through the Middle Rhine which was amazing! Depending on the time of year you would take this cruise I think would determine how much time you spent on that top deck. 
The lounge area was open all throughout the day and if you were looking for a more relaxed meal service than you could have a buffet and assorted lighter foods in this area during meal times. In addition each evening we gathered to hear the program director talk about the following day activities in this area. Because the ship was to the full capacity it was full every time we were all in there but there was enough room for us all (even though some did have to stand). The lounge area was also where there was a variety of different entertainment offered each night after dinner and throughout the day different lectures, demonstrations, and gatherings were offered here. 
The bar was also located in the lounge and was open pretty much throughout the day. This did create a bit of confusion for some people about the all inclusive alcohol package and so I wanted to explain a bit more here. So basically all alcohol that is "house alcohol" (a variety of different wines and beers) that are served at meals in the restaurant are free. You are also given a bottle of champagne or wine to welcome you to the cruise. I heard from some passengers that drank their bottle that they requested another one and were given it free of charge. 
In addition to this there were times throughout the day that alcohol was offered freely. Daily there was a captains toast before dinner or a gathering of some sort where you could also have access to free alcohol. 
There was also many times that we arrived back at the ship and alcohol was given as a welcome back to the ship after an excursion. So to clarify all of that was free. The specialty drinks at the bar lounge were not. If you are like me and don't drink alcohol for a variety of reasons I do want to say that we were able to easily substitute our drinks for juice, bottles of water, and sodas at no charge. A quick side note- if you are looking though to come and "party away" this wouldn't be the cruise for you despite the free alcohol that flowed freely. People were incredibly responsible in their alcohol choices and it was extremely rare to see anyone tipsy. 
One of the things that was an absolute treat was the way that the staff interacted with people. We were incredibly impressed with not only the friendly nature of the staff, but the joy that they obviously had for working for Viking. The overall service was incredible. We were personally so impressed with Luciano Alicino (the hotel manager on the Viking Eir) who was always going out of his way to help accommodate everyone on board. In addition Maria Andric who was in charge of guest services did an incredible job of exuding warmth and compassion with incredible professionalism to each passenger on board. 
On the third floor outside the lounge there were these adorable stations that could be accessed all throughout the day and night that provided coffee, tea, and an assortment of hot beverages. There were also lots of fresh baked goodies and cookies that were provided. An added little touch to this area was the "real" cups and dishes that were used. This just was a little thing that brought extra class to the experience. None of these things are necessary, but it is all of the little things that make Viking the unique experience that it is.
There was also a small library that was located on the third floor. There were a range of different books that were available to read, including a pretty collection of some classics. 
From the 3rd floor there were glass sliding doors (on both sides of the ship) that allowed you to talk out to the staircases that led to the top deck. 
The top deck (also referred to as the Upper Deck and the Sun Deck when you are on board the ship) includes a 360 degree view of the entire Rhine River that you are traveling, a shaded sitting area (also great for a rain shower!), an organic herb garden, a walking track, and a putting green. 
A humorous note about the walking path that is on board. As you can see from the above picture the walking path is ... short. Hahaha. So if you are looking to get in an extra mile or two you will need to do approximately 13 or 26 laps. Lots of us got a really good giggle about this! But in all honesty- you walk so much throughout the day on each tour that you will not be needing the walking path! 
A beautiful view down to the inside of the ship from the Upper Deck.
If you have been dreaming of a river cruise in Europe than this one - with the Viking Eir is a definite and obvious choice to consider. It has honestly been one of my favorite cruises to date and the service and the extras were a beautiful gift. There were numerous times that I would turn to my mom and say- Viking has this down to perfection in every way. 
I hope that this review of the Viking Eir has been helpful! Please let me know if you have any questions! I would be happy to answer them!

Interested in reading more posts from our Viking River Cruise on the Rhine River? Simply click on the links below! 


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