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Viking Odin Photo Tour
In 2011, Viking River Cruises announced they would be constructing four brand-new river cruise ships. Dubbed the Viking Longships, these vessels wouldn’t merely be sister ships to Viking’s existing fleet; instead, they were redesigned and re-imagined from the keel up.
They would offer more glass than any ships that had come before them, allowing for expansive views of the surrounding scenery and offer innovations like a new propulsion system, solar panels, a herb garden, and an interior design that shifted the passenger corridor from the centerline of the ship to create a unique arrangement that allowed Viking to offer standard balcony staterooms alongside true suites, an issue the river cruise industry has long struggled with. Viking was so proud of the idea, they patented it.
But what started as a four-ship order quickly grew, and by the time of Viking Odin’s christening ceremonies on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, it had grown to encompass a whopping twelve new Longships to be delivered by 2013, with the option of another six Longships to be delivered from the Neptun Werft yards in Rostock, Germany by the end of 2014.
Viking Odin was one of the first Longships to enter service on March 24, 2012, and we were onboard for two nights for her Christening in Amsterdam. Let’s take a look at what makes this ship worthy of the Viking name.
The lowest deck aboard Viking Odin, the Main Deck is home to 25 Oceanview staterooms spanning Categories E and F. These staterooms were fully booked during our stay onboard, so we weren’t able to take any photographs of this area. Categories E and F both measure 150 square feet.
Middle Deck houses both accommodations and Viking Odin’s stunning reception area, along with the superb Restaurant onboard.
The Reception Area
The first place most passengers will see when embarking Viking Odin is the ship’s fabulous, two-story Reception Area. Flanked by walls of glass and modern Scandinavian décor, this bright and airy space hosts the main Reception desks, a Concierge, and a small gift shop. But the real eye-catcher here is the massive staircase leading up to the ship’s Upper Deck.
Adorned with a glass skylight, you might be tempted to spend more time loitering around the Reception Desk than on any other river cruise ship!
All the way forward on Middle Deck lies Viking Odin’s Restaurant. Breakfast, lunch and dinners are served here in an open-seating arrangement that allows you to dine with as many – or as few – people as you wish.
Several thoughtful touches abound here, like the artisan-style wooden bread bowls and the decorative, sea-blue china. Scandinavian in style, elegant in execution, this spacious room is flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows; another rarity among most river cruise ships.
French Balcony & Veranda Staterooms
The area aft of reception is devoted to Viking Odin’s accommodations. On Main Deck, these include both traditional French Balcony staterooms alongside larger staterooms offering a full, step-out veranda much like those found on deep-ocean cruise ships.
Although a tight squeeze for two at just 135 square feet, the French Balcony staterooms are surprisingly well designed. Thoughtful touches include lights that turn on in closets when opened, a digital thermostat, and dual North American and European power outlets, eliminating the need for troublesome adapters for the majority of guests.
Bathrooms are spacious and feature a full shower with sliding glass door, along with L’Occitane toiletries and plenty of storage space. Note that because the bathroom door is made of sliding glass, there is no hook on the back for those of you (like me) who rely on hanging toiletry kits.
Perhaps the best feature of this bathroom, though, is the heated tile floor that can be adjusted to suit your temperature preference.
Beds are very comfortable, and are flanked by two end tables and a great lighting system that allows for varying levels of illumination – perfect for reading or indulging in movies on the largest flat-panel television I’ve seen in any stateroom.
If you crave more space, you might find the 205-square foot Veranda staterooms across the hall to be a better fit. It really just depends on your personal tastes.
Upper Reception Area
Viking Odin’s stunning Reception Area spans two levels, and this upper-deck area is home to several relaxing diversions.
On the aft end is a Library, located on the starboard side, and a small internet centre with two computer workstations located on the port side.
Several attractive seating options are clustered around the glass partitions that overlook the atrium space and Middle Deck below, and 24-hour coffee and tea stations are located along the port and starboard sides of the upper atrium.
Heading forward we come to the Viking Lounge, Viking Odin’s attractive space for mingling and enjoying the fantastic scenery over a drink. Like all the other rooms aboard these innovative Longships, floor-to-ceiling windows flank both sides of this room.
For a special touch, be sure to try the typically Scandinavian Aquavit. Served in one of the coolest decanters we’ve ever seen, a glass of this is a great way to take the chill out of shoulder-season sailings.
Perhaps one of the greatest innovations Viking made when designing these new Longships was the addition of the Aquavit Terrace. Located all the way forward, past the Viking Lounge, this casual lounge and dining venue offers up breakfast in the mornings and lunch during the afternoon.
When conditions are right, the glass partitions open, creating an outdoor dining venue perched on the bow of the ship. When inclement weather threatens, these partitions enclose this area, allowing you to continue to take your meals in one of the brightest, most inviting areas of this ship. After all, few things can compare to taking breakfast outdoors in the sunshine as your ship sails along the storied and picturesque waterways of Europe.
THE VIKING LONGSHIPS
Though our time aboard her was short, Viking Odin made a deep impression on us. For those who have always tentatively looked at river cruising, these Viking Longships do a lot to dispel the unfairly persistent view that river cruising is staid and boring.
Bright, vibrant and featuring a distinctively Scandinavian design, the Viking Odin and her sisters aren’t just good for Viking River Cruises; they’re good for the general public’s perception of river cruising as a whole.
More information on Viking Odin and her sisters can be found by visiting the Viking River Cruises Website or by reading our comprehensive Live Report from her Christening in Amsterdam, or by viewing our Viking River Cruise Profile on our sister-site, River Cruise Advisor.
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