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Welcome to the Viking River Cruises. There is a great deal of information here, organized into sections accessible via menus above and on the right. For your convenience, we have gathered some of the topics people ask about most frequently here on this introductory page, so you can get quick answers. If you do not see the information you need here or you need more details, try perusing the other sections. If you still have questions, give us a call or send an email and we will make every effort to answer your query within 24 hours.

My travel agent told me to complete a PIF. What is that, and how do I take care of it?

The Passenger Information Form (PIF) enables us to create your reservation, produce travel documents and make any airline reservations. You should complete a PIF for each person traveling in your party as soon as you can. You can fill out the form online using the link below.

We plan to go a few days early and then make our way to the ship. Can you please provide the docking location?

Certainly. A PDF with port location information can be accessed here.

What is the “dress code” aboard the ship?

Dress is casual and comfortable, both on board and ashore. Because the weather can be unpredictable, it is best to bring layers—have a sweater or light jacket for spring and summer, and a heavier jacket for chillier months. Rain can happen at any time, so a collapsible umbrella is a “must.” You are likely to do a good deal of walking during shore excursions, so you will definitely want sturdy, comfortable walking shoes; but, since our ships are much smaller than ocean cruising vessels, you do not have to worry about too much walking on board.

There are no “formal nights” on board, but there is usually a Captain’s Welcome Dinner and/or Farewell Dinner; on many itineraries, you will attend a concert, ballet performance or other dressier event. For these evenings, you might like to bring “dressy casual” wear.

I would like to stay in touch with family, friends and associates back home. What do you recommend?

A list of ship phone numbers can be found here; you can obtain the phone number for your ship and provide it to your contacts in case of emergency. If you would like to make or receive phone calls on a non-emergency basis, you should know that your cell phone may not work overseas—or it may work but run up large international roaming charges. You should contact your cell provider to see if you can make arrangements before you go.

Is there internet access on board? Are there computers, or should I bring my laptop?

For your convenience, all Viking ships have internet access. Our ships in Europe, Russia and Ukraine have free wi-fi, so you can bring your laptop and get online at any time. Alternatively, each ship has a few computers for guest use; there are desktop machines in Russia for use free of charge, and laptops in Europe that guests may use at no additional charge. Guests who bring laptops to Russia may wish to bring a LAN cable for use in their stateroom; this may work a bit better than the wireless LAN in rural areas along the river.

In China, there is an internet café with desktop stations for guest use free of charge. There is no onboard wireless network in China or Southeast Asia, so you will not be able to get internet service on your personal computer while on the ship, although you may be able to do so during hotel stays.

In Egypt, there are two computers on board each ship that can be used for a nominal fee based on amount of usage. The ships also offer shipwide wireless internet access for guests who bring their own computer.

Please note that shipboard service may be unreliable during certain parts of the journey. The internet connection functions via cellular service or satellite, and there may be times when reception is not possible and/or when the connection is quite slow. For this reason, we recommend only checking and sending email. We do not recommend surfing the Web or downloading large files.

What is the electrical voltage in the stateroom? What kind of converters will I need for my computer/curling iron/camera battery charger?

Electricity on the ships is 220V. Our European ships have the German Schuko safety plug, which has two pins. In China the ships have a 3-pin blade safety plug; if you have an adapter with just the two slanted blades that will work fine. In Southeast Asia the ships use a two pin Europlug. Some of these plugs are grounded and some are not. For more details and pictures of the plugs, click here. Each stateroom will have one or two 115V razor plugs available, generally in the bathroom.

What is the local currency where we are going? Will I be able to exchange money on board? What forms of payment are accepted on the ship?

Local currency depends on the region where you will be traveling—most of Europe uses the euro, in Russia it is the ruble, in Ukraine it is the hryvnia, in China it is the renminbi (whose basic unit is the yuan), in Cambodia it is the riel, in Vietnam it is the dông, in Thailand it is the baht and in Egypt it is the Egyptian pound. Your ship will be unable to exchange money, so plan on bringing some currency with you and exchanging it for local currency at a bank or currency exchange office, or getting cash as needed at ATMs. If you are planning on using an ATM, you should verify with your bank that your ATM card and PIN will work overseas.

Items you purchase on board, together with any optional excursions you purchase, will be added to your shipboard account. You may settle your account in cash (local money, dollars or euros) or with a credit card (sorry, the ship is unable to accept travelers' checks). You can include gratuities for shipboard personnel to your shipboard account (except in Egypt and Southeast Asia).

We are considering purchasing the beverage package; it would be useful to know what the by-the-glass beverage prices are.

A typical bar menu from our ships, including a range of cocktails, wines, beers and soft drinks, can be found here. (For your convenience, here is a link to details about what is covered by our beverage package and the beverage package order form, which gives package prices.) Water, tea and coffee are included with meals, and many ships have a 24-hour coffee station or in-room coffeemaker (China). Bottled water is supplied daily in your stateroom. You may purchase a beverage package before your trip or on board.

Can you accommodate my dietary needs?

In most cases we can. Every meal has vegetarian options on the menu, and our chefs are able to prepare low-salt or gluten-free cuisine. If you require a liquid diet or strictly kosher foods, you may have your products shipped to your cruise ship and we will be more than happy to serve your special meals. Please be sure to make your requirements known when you make your reservation so we will be fully prepared when you begin your journey.

Guests requiring special diets such as vegetarian, low salt, diabetic or low cholesterol meals must alert Viking River Cruises one month prior to departure and inform the Maitre d’ when on board. The chefs will make reasonable efforts to accommodate these requests.

Are the staterooms on the ship air-conditioned?

Yes.

Are the ships nonsmoking? Are there smoking areas?

All Viking ship interiors and staterooms are nonsmoking. Each ship has an outdoor smoking area.

Will there be a hair dryer in my stateroom or should I bring one? What about shampoo, etc.?

Your ship has hair dryers for guest use. Most staterooms are equipped with a hair dryer; if there isn’t one in your stateroom, you can request one at reception and it will be provided to you. Your stateroom amenities include shower gel, shampoo, body lotion, shower cap and vanity kit.

Are there refrigerators in individual staterooms?

All of our renovated Russia ships, our newest ships in Europe, Viking Prestige and Viking Legend, and our upcoming Viking Longships have individual refrigerators in most staterooms. Staterooms on the Egypt ships have a small refrigerator/mini-bar. For other ships, if you would like something (such as medications) kept refrigerated, please inform Reception Desk staff and we will take care of it for you.

Is there fitness equipment on board?

Most Viking ships do not have fitness equipment; there is a gym and sauna aboard Viking Emerald and a few of our European vessels have exercycles. Our guests enjoy getting their exercise during each day’s shore excursions. Some ships feature walk-around promenade decks, so guests can take a stroll or “power walk.”

Will the ship be able to accommodate a disabled passenger? What about the shore excursions?

Viking River Cruises welcomes disabled guests but wishes all guests to understand that challenges will exist on board and during shore excursions. Some ships have elevators and some do not; some ships have split-level decks and/or significant thresholds that could make movement difficult. Shore excursions may require movement over cobblestones or up and down stairs; accordingly, a physically challenged guest will require the services of a responsible adult since crew availability is severely limited in most circumstances. Motorized scooters are not typically suited on international cruises and cannot be accommodated.

When will we receive our final documents?

Travel documents or itinerary details will be issued approximately 3 weeks prior to departure. If you need to receive your documents sooner, we can accommodate you for a $25 early processing fee. If you will be away from home or need your documents sent to a different location for any reason, please be sure that we know where to send them.

Onboard Information

Here are some details about what life is like aboard a Viking River Cruises ship, presented in alphabetical order.

Beverages

Hot coffee and tea are free all day; your meals are always accompanied by hot tea, iced tea or coffee, house wines and beers and soft drinks. Complimentary bottles of water are supplied in your stateroom each day. You may bring local wine aboard and enjoy it with your meals—there is no corkage fee.

For those who may wish to enjoy premium wines and beers, cocktails and sparkling wine, we offer a Silver Spirits beverage package that may be of interest. Here is a link to details about what is covered and what the package costs.

Silver Spirits flyer and order form

For your convenience, a typical bar menu from our ships, including a range of cocktails, premium wines and beers are available.

Check-in time on board

While the crew is preparing staterooms for arriving guests, you can relax in the ship’s lounge or leave your luggage with the staff and explore the embarkation city on your own. You will be given access to your stateroom midafternoon, at approximately 3:00 p.m. If you arrive during lunchtime, a light lunch buffet will be available in the lounge.

Clothing suggestions

Dress aboard and ashore is casual; we suggest you dress comfortably and bring sturdy walking shoes for sightseeing excursions. Dinner attire is “evening casual,” and the Captain’s Dinner is dressy, but not formal.

Cuisine & dining room service

All meals aboard are prepared by local chefs under the guidance of our European management team. Meals are open seating during set meal times—no table reservations are accepted. Room service is not available.

Dietary needs

Guests requiring special diets such as vegetarian, low salt, diabetic or low cholesterol meals must alert Viking River Cruises one month prior to departure and inform the Maitre d’ when on board. The chefs will make reasonable efforts to accommodate these requests.

Electricity

Onboard electricity is 220V; for more detailed information on plugs and adapters click here. Staterooms will have one or two 115V outlets for North American guests to use with shavers, etc., in the bathroom and/or desk area.

Fitness equipment

Some ships have fitness equipment, but most do not. Guests enjoy getting their exercise during daily shore excursions, and promenade decks provide opportunities for “power walks” while enjoying the scenery.

Onboard language

The onboard language is English. Your Tour Escort, Program Director, key staff and tour guides all speak English.

Onboard shopping

Each Viking ship has an onboard shop area offering film, Viking River Cruises logo items, souvenirs and select toiletries. Our China ship also offers a tailor who offers custom-made silk jackets and dresses, neckties and other items.

Safes

Please keep all jewelry and valuables in your stateroom safe.

Smoking

Smoking is not permitted indoors on any ship.

Telephone service

Each stateroom has its own telephone that can be used for stateroom-to-stateroom calls. Ship-to-shore calls can be placed at the Reception Desk, and charges will be added to your shipboard account. The phones function via satellite and there may be times when reception is not possible. More detailed information is available elsewhere in this section of the website; select Telephone & Internet from the menu at the right.

Televisions

Most staterooms have a color television. Depending upon satellite transmission, most ships receive CNN, BBC and other English-language programming. There are usually itinerary-specific films as well.

Viking Daily & onboard activities

The onboard daily newsletter, Viking Daily, features information about daily activities, shore excursions and tour departure times.

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