I love travel, but I first started writing about cruises four years ago because I loved ships. Specifically, I love seeing the evolution of the onboard product, and the interior design changes that come with that.

On my recent voyage aboard Viking RiversViking Baldur last week, I discovered yet another round of subtle but significant changes in the Viking Longships. Although there are now 18 Longships in service, Viking seems to be building them in pairs. Viking Embla and Viking Freya, for instance, are nearly identical – and both sport the same aqua-green frosted glass walls on their stateroom showers. Likewise, the earlier Viking Njord and Viking Odin are nearly identical.

Viking Baldur entered service in August, becoming the latest Viking Longship to enter service until the next batch are christened in Avignon, France next March.

So what’s changed? I’m glad you asked!

The Lobby

The Reception Atrium aboard the beautiful Viking Odin, the first of Viking's new Longship-class of River Cruise Ships. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

The Reception Atrium aboard the beautiful Viking Odin, the first of Viking’s new Longship-class of River Cruise Ships. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

The Upper Atrium area aboard Viking Odin, facing forward. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Viking Odin’s upper atrium. Note the lack of seating near the staircase and the carpeted flooring – not to mention the illuminated stairs. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

By the time Viking Baldur was launched in 2013, a number of changes had been made. Note the lack of a chandelier, and the change in the flooring on the upper story from carpet to tile. Lighting sources have also been modified. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

By the time Viking Baldur was launched in 2013, a number of changes had been made. Note the lack of a chandelier, and the change in the flooring on the upper story from carpet to tile. Lighting sources have also been modified; note the lack of the ‘doughnut’ lamps on the ceiling. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

The stunning, newly-designed atrium space aboard Viking Bragi. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

The stunning, newly-designed atrium space aboard Viking Bragi. While wood would be incorporated heavily into the newer Viking Baldur, the wooden ‘lattice work’ on the left of the staircase would revert back to the glass-and-marble design found aboard Viking Odin. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Staterooms

The benefits of a balcony, French or otherwise: stunning vistas that can be enjoyed indoors and out. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Viking Freya Category A. Note the headboard, lighting options, and bed runner. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

The Viking Longships do a lot of things right, from their design, to interior decor, to the dedicated and friendly crew. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Viking Aegir Category A. Note the change in bed runners, lighting and headboard, and wood trim above the step-out balcony. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Viking Baldur Category A. Note the revised headboard trim size, lighting elements and position, and the bed throws. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Viking Baldur Category A. Note the revised headboard trim size, lighting elements and position, and the bed throws. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Stateroom bathrooms aboard Viking Odin are well-appointed. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Viking Odin, stateroom bathroom. Note the tiled wall shower in the reflection of the mirror. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

My stateroom bathroom aboard Viking Aegir in March. Note the new vanity and shelving arrangements. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

My stateroom bathroom aboard Viking Aegir in March. Note the new vanity and shelving arrangements. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Viking Baldur stateroom bathroom, 2013. The most significant change to the Longships bathrooms to-date. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Viking Baldur stateroom bathroom, 2013. The most significant change to the Longships bathrooms to-date. Note the new vanity, textures, colour palette, and even the now-standard marine vacuum toilet and plastic push-button in place of the former circular silver button. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

The bathroom in "transparent" mode, as seen from the bedroom of my Category "A" stateroom. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Smile! The bathroom’s aboard Viking Freya could be made “transparent” with the push of a button, as seen from the bedroom of my Category “A” stateroom. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Closet doors are now made of wood-like materials, replacing the frosted glass on earlier Longships. Also note the proper bathroom wall where the picture is (Viking Freya has an all-frosted glass bathroom wall) Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

On Viking Aegir in March, closet doors were switched to wood-like materials, replacing the frosted glass on earlier Longships. Also note the proper bathroom wall where the picture is (Viking Freya has an all-frosted glass bathroom wall) Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Viking Aegir, March 2013. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Viking Aegir, March 2013. Note the curvature of the desk, the television and the wall treatments. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Viking Baldur, December 2013. Note the new model of Sony flat-panel television, the new mirror and wall treatments. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Viking Baldur, December 2013. Note the new model of Sony flat-panel television, the new mirror and wall treatments. Not to mention, the ledge that no longer curves inward! Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

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The Viking Lounge

Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Viking Aegir, March 2013. This design was indicative of the first few Viking Longships to enter service in 2012. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Compare As We Dare: to see the dedication the team at Viking put into these Longships, compare this photo of the Lounge aboard the new Viking Bragi with the one below from Viking Aegir. Notice any differences? There's plenty! Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Viking Bragi, March 2013. Note the change in seating, carpeting, wall treatments and lighting over the previous design. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Viking Baldur, December 2013. Note the change in carpeting, wall fabrics, seating, and lighting sources over previous ships. I love this design! Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Viking Baldur, December 2013. Note the change in the tables from Viking Bragi, and the new accent lighting above the picture on the left. I love this design! Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

The Restaurant

The Restaurant aboard Viking Odin is done in the same crisp, clean, Scandinavian style that characterizes the rest of the ship. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

The Restaurant aboard Viking Odin in March 2012. Note the colour scheme, recessed accent lighting, and wall treatments. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

The Restaraunt, Viking Baldur, December 2013. Viking Baldur, December 2013. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

A portion of the Restaurant aboard Viking Baldur, December 2013. Note the change in colours, wood treatments, and lighting. A much improved, warmer design. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

On the Outside

Compare As We Dare: note the solar panels on the sun deck of the Viking Freya (left) and their disappearance aboard Viking Embla (right.) Don't worry - they've just been relocated aft next to the ship's funnel! Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Compare As We Dare: note the solar panels on the sun deck of the Viking Freya (left) and their disappearance aboard Viking Embla (right.) Don’t worry – they’ve just been relocated aft next to the ship’s funnel! Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Viking Embla (left) and Viking Freya (right), docked in Melk, Austria! Note the black hull on Viking Embla versus the white bow hull on Viking Freya. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Viking Embla (left) and Viking Freya (right), docked in Melk, Austria. Note the black hull on Viking Embla versus the white bow hull on Viking Freya. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Cruising the Danube; the views are astonishing. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

The upper deck of Viking Freya in December 2012.  Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Note the addition of a grey strip of decking to indicate the jogging track aboard Viking Baldur. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Note the addition of a grey strip of decking to indicate the jogging track aboard Viking Baldur in December 2013. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

With 14 more Viking Longships on the way next year – and another 14 the year after – you can bet there will be more little changes, tweaks and exciting differences to come!

Stay tuned for an even more comprehensive look at some of the changes incorporated into Viking’s trendsetting longships!

 

2 Responses to Comparing the Viking Longships

  1. Nice piece, Aaron! I myself could never figure out why the Viking Odin had the opaque shower walls when the later Viking Freya had the transparent ones. And then they reverted back yet again. It seems like they enjoy playing with the design as they have with the atrium stairwell treatments. Either way, it’s cool to see the evolution!

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