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Viking Ocean vs. River

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Let me put this another way. After doing a great deal of investigation, I came to the conclusion that river cruises can be a very uncomfortable environment for introverts. This is, as is often the case, more of an issue for me than for my wife. The only way I would do a river cruise is if we traveled with another couple - adult children or close friends - so that we were already a table for 4. Viking Ocean is perfect for us. I'll read a book a day, she'll go to a cooking class.

 

 

This is fascinating and would never have occurred to me. As an introvert, I enjoy chatting with strangers up to a point but can only take so much small talk before looking for the nearest exit. Hmmm.

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Actually it probably wouldn’t. :)

 

I knew a guy who calculated how much money he saved over time by not playing the lottery. It was pretty impressive.

 

Okay, now I just have to figure out how to make this argument work on my husband.

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This is fascinating and would never have occurred to me. As an introvert, I enjoy chatting with strangers up to a point but can only take so much small talk before looking for the nearest exit. Hmmm.

 

That is one of the reasons I don't go to the shows with my husband. By the time I get through dinner, I just need quiet time. I can do dinner with a table full of strangers, and actually prefer a table for 6 or 8--it is entertaining. I let DH do most of the talking and I do most of the listening.

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We were on the same Homelands cruise! :)

Hi, vnb2003! Didn't you love that cruise?!! I loved the Star and just didn't want to leave the ship! We leave Thursday for our second Viking Ocean trip--Empires of the Mediterranean!!

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Hi, vnb2003! Didn't you love that cruise?!! I loved the Star and just didn't want to leave the ship! We leave Thursday for our second Viking Ocean trip--Empires of the Mediterranean!!

 

Yes, we did!! :) Enjoy your cruise!

We are taking Trade Routes and again on Star!! I hope some of the crew is still there :)

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We have done one river cruise and one ocean cruise with Viking. We are taking the ocean cruise from Bergen to Montreal on the 22nd of this month. We preferred the river cruise. Same as what most have said. The intimacy. Only downside, no food at all after dinner. So if you decided to have a few drinks after dinner, there was no food to soak it up. I'm not sure if they fixed that problem. I think the river cruise was 4 years ago. When we took that cruise, there was no Viking Ocean Cruses, but we were told it was coming.

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As most have said, cats and dogs. We have probably done at least 5 river cruises and 3 ocean with 4 more ocean booked. Really like river for close connections with others, access to some wonderful sites and experiences (River of Gold our favorite). Choosing to do ocean now for our last cruises (you know, that age thing). What I like about ocean is the spacious and beautiful spaces, the relaxed atmosphere, choices (public spaces, food, coffee bars). Just wish we could be on a cruise with many of you!

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caviargirl, just curious..... but have you ever done a river cruise with Viking? Unless you have tried various cruise lines, I don’t think a fair comparison can be made just from word of mouth. Only my opinion.

 

 

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I have done both river and ocean cruises and they definitely have different flavors. One big factor that is not cruise line related is that the ocean, to my knowledge, has never "run out of water". River cruises are at the mercy of mother nature and can be brought to a halt by low river levels. Not saying that this is a reason not to go on a river cruise, but it is something to be aware of. If you look at the river cruise forum, this summer/fall has brought cruise traffic to a basic stand still on the Danube and other rivers with the boat tied up the entire time of the cruise and pax bussed to various ports of call for several months now. I experienced this on the end of a Nuremburg to Budapest cruise several years ago and we were stopped just north of Budapest. In our case, it was not a big deal, they bussed us to Budapest and put us up in a four star hotel right on the river and still had all the planned shore activities.

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caviargirl, just curious..... but have you ever done a river cruise with Viking? Unless you have tried various cruise lines, I don’t think a fair comparison can be made just from word of mouth. Only my opinion.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

If you expand Caviargal's signature, you will see her 19 river cruises, none of them on Viking. I share your opinion that it does not seem fair to express an opinion about a cruise line that you have never experienced.

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I will not voice an opinion about Viking River, simply facts. Viking's 'longships' are 135m long – the same size as everybody's else's modern river ships. Viking puts 190 passengers on their ships. AMA has 158. Uniworld has 150. Tauck has 130. Do the math, and you will see that Viking River is a middle-of-the-road cruise line.

 

Viking Ocean, on the other hand, with only 930 passengers, has fewer passengers than any mass market cruise line. And at 51.4 tons per passenger has far more space. Mass market ocean ships are in the 30s-40s; luxury ocean ships in the 60s-80s. This puts Viking Ocean in the 'entry luxury' category.

 

So Viking Ocean and Viking River are in two very different strata of their respective markets.

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This must be the "new math" they taught after I graduated.

Yes, there are indeed more passengers per square inch on Viking.....but how does that make it "middle of the road" cruise line?

I ask that after taking 5 Viking River cruises.

Sounds like an opinion to me!

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This must be the "new math" they taught after I graduated.

Yes, there are indeed more passengers per square inch on Viking.....but how does that make it "middle of the road" cruise line?

I ask that after taking 5 Viking River cruises.

Sounds like an opinion to me!

 

One of the distinguishing factors of luxury cruise lines is more space per passenger. This is an industry standard, not my opinion. But that doesn't mean you didn't have great experiences on Viking River, just as most passengers on mass market cruise lines have great cruises. Just trying to point out that Viking Ocean is even better.

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One of the distinguishing factors of luxury cruise lines is more space per passenger. This is an industry standard, not my opinion. But that doesn't mean you didn't have great experiences on Viking River, just as most passengers on mass market cruise lines have great cruises. Just trying to point out that Viking Ocean is even better.

I know this is not a river boat thread but I had to chime in on the feel of the Viking Longships vs the upscale river cruise vessels (or even the early Viking river ships ...we sailed Viking Europe before she was retired) There IS a bit of a mass market "feel" to the space on the Longships but we still love them. Now as to the Viking Ocean vessels, I will put them up against any other cruise ship as to the feel of the space on the ship. We had to keep pinching ourselves on SEA DAYS as to the number of nooks and crannies in the public spaces that were available for quiet conversation or book reading. Viking really hit the sweet spot in making their ocean going passengers feel comfortable and special!

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This must be the "new math" they taught after I graduated.

Yes, there are indeed more passengers per square inch on Viking.....but how does that make it "middle of the road" cruise line?

I ask that after taking 5 Viking River cruises.

Sounds like an opinion to me!

 

Aboard Blue Water cruise ships, you need to know the Gross or Net Tonnage to determine the passenger/space ratio. Gross tonnage is actually a measure of space, with each 100 cubic feet of interior space being equal to 1 ton. Due to many design factors, ocean going ships of the same length can have significantly different gross tonnages. Therefore, on blue water cruise ships, the ship's length means nothing when trying to determine the pax/space ratio.

 

On river cruises, the vessels are normally the same beam (width), which is determined by the locks and the same height, which is determined by low bridges. Therefore, river vessels of equal length, should have reasonably similar gross tonnages, so only knowing the length of the ship, you can get a reasonable indication of the pax/space ratio.

 

Host Jazz provided pax counts for vessels equal of length and therefore being river vessels, they will have similar gross tonnage. Based on the passenger counts provided, Viking River carries about 45% more passengers than Tauck, on ships that probably have similar passenger spaces. There the VR pax/space ratio is well below the normal for luxury river brands.

 

While Viking River may provided exemplary service consistent with Viking Ocean, the Viking River passenger space ratio is more consistent with mainstream than luxury. Whereas, the Viking Ocean ships are at the lower edges of the luxury lines pax/space ratios and are significantly higher than mainstream lines.

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Again......cats and dogs.

Shouldn't a "luxury" cruise brand be determined with something more than the number of passengers on board?

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When you review the industry, all "Luxury" brands have smaller ships and lower passenger counts. Don't know of any "Mega" ships that are considered a luxury brand, so yes, the single factor consistent with luxury lines is smaller ships, lower passenger counts and larger pax/space ratios.

 

The luxury brands have many different perks, standards, etc that differ from the mainstream lines, but the aforementioned points pertaining to ship size and number of passengers are consistent across all luxury brands.

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Again......cats and dogs.

Shouldn't a "luxury" cruise brand be determined with something more than the number of passengers on board?

 

Absolutely, and I could give you several areas in which Viking River doesn't match up with the luxury river cruise lines I mentioned. But my post was in response to two posters who attacked Caviargal for expressing an opinion about Viking River even though she has never sailed with them. Therefore the terms of this discussion have been restricted to facts – so I only mentioned the area in which I have objective facts.

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Host Jazzbeau, how can an informed comparison be made when you’ve not cruised with a certain line, be it Viking, Uniworld, Avalon, etc? No one is attacking Caviargal, just stating this fact. If I’m not mistaken the subject line says it all. I’d feel the same if someone asked Scenic ocean vs river.

 

 

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Again......cats and dogs.

Shouldn't a "luxury" cruise brand be determined with something more than the number of passengers on board?

 

Many thanks to those who point out the fallacy of using passenger count as a way of ranking, rating, and defining cruise lines. A common theme in this forum is the definition of Viking River as a middle-of the road line because of these self-serving metrics. (That, and as people have pointed out, the ongoing insistence by some that although they've never been on Viking they are comfortable criticizing the experience.)

Using the headcount model, I'd insist my Times Square Olive Garden is better than your Brooklyn based Peter Luger Steak House because Luger's has 32 extra people in it at the time.

Either that, or my sedan with 2 people is twice as good as your Rolls Royce with 4 people.

My last river cruise was on AMA and the last thing anyone thought of was how spacious and luxurious it was, particularly compared to Viking. In fact, I would suggest no one goes from Viking to AMA with the feeling "finally, a unique, upgraded experience with more room and service".

If anything, by adding ill conceived and ill designed booths at the front of the dining room the AMA room seemed noticeably cramped with narrow walkways for the staff and guests.

You're welcome to like or not like Viking (although many of us remain troubled by the "never travelled with them, but let me give you my opinion"), but please stop using the space per passenger trope as a way of expressing your opinions.

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I think the space per passenger IS a good first order metric. But you need to look deeper; the "extra" space on some upscale river lines gets used for stuff like a massage room and a gym. I don't use these facilities on a river cruise and they subtract from the square foot per passenger space leaving less space for the common areas.

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I think the space per passenger IS a good first order metric. But you need to look deeper; the "extra" space on some upscale river lines gets used for stuff like a massage room and a gym. I don't use these facilities on a river cruise and they subtract from the square foot per passenger space leaving less space for the common areas.

 

Well put and I couldn't agree more. And you've touched on another one of those comparisons that I don't think is relevant, specifically such things as massage rooms and gyms. These features often come up to defend/explain "why I love XXX over Viking". To this day, I have never seen a single person using a river cruise gym or salon.

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To this day, I have never seen a single person using a river cruise gym or salon.

 

No, they would prefer to take an early morning run on the "walking only" track.

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It is possible to decide that a particular cruise line is not for you without having to sail on it. Maybe the cost exceeds your budget or decor doesn't suit your taste or the level of service is too formal. However, I would not criticize a cruise line based on those factors, and certainly would not go to an online site to post complaints about a cruise line on which I had never traveled.

 

Even if I didn't like the payment schedule required or the gratuities policy or the "no children policy", I would just look for another company. That's why there are so many companies, because we don't all want the same thing!

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