As the world's biggest river cruise line, Viking flow Cruises is pretty much a family members name, thanks to its considerable marketing and links with tv programs such as Downton Abbey. If you're thinking around taking a cruise in Europe -- the heart of river cruise territory -- you might likewise want to take a look in ~ Scenic, the Australian-owned heat that started life together a motor coach tourism operator in its landscape in 1986. Due to the fact that it gotten in river setravel in 2008. Scenic has offered similar itineraries to Viking on one all-inclusive basis.

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Want to know the difference between Viking's Longships and also Scenic's "Space-Ships?" Then read on because that our Viking matches Scenic guide.


Price, Inclusions and Booking Policies

Comparing like-for-like price is difficult as Scenic's fares are completely inclusive and also Viking's room not. Also, fares on all flow cruise currently fluctuate, depending upon the day of travel, itinerary and any special early booking deals and also other seasonal incentives such as totally free air travel. Top top paper, Scenic is much more expensive, normally by at the very least $1,000 or more depending ~ above the cruise.

With both lines, U.S. Travelers have the selection of booking cruise-only or fly-cruise itineraries. For U.K. Passengers, the fare constantly includes return flights or, in the instance of Scenic, the alternative to take trip by rail. Both lines call for a $500 non-refundable deposit with the balance come be paid 90 days prior to the day of the cruise, or fares paid in full if booked less than 90 days prior to departure; Viking sometimes requires full payment if the fare is advertised as special.

Choose Scenic if friend don't want any hidden surprises

Scenic price are completely inclusive, covering all excursions, specialty dining, a minibar in every cabin (restocked daily), countless drinks throughout the day and onboard gratuities, so as soon as the fare is paid every passengers need to carry is onshore safety money. The contained tipping, which reflects the Australian culture on gratuities, is a optimistic boon for U.K. Travelers that are regularly taken unawares as soon as they find they room expected to reminder on flow cruise present that mainly cater to U.S. Travelers.

Viking's fares incorporate most coast excursions, and wine and beer in ~ lunch and dinner. (The company's economic situation of scale way that a take trip agent may be able to throw in other include ons and enticements, however). Viking passengers execute pay gratuities separately. The recommended gratuity is €12 ($13.40) every person, per day because that the ship's staff and also crew, and €2 ($2.25) every person, per day because that the regimen director.

Choose Viking if you worry about cancellations

Viking has a more generous cancellation policy contrasted to Scenic. Passengers who cancel much more than 70 days before a cruise forfeit your deposit, 50 percent of the fare because that canceling in between 30 to 69 days prior to departure and also the total fare for cancellations much less than 30 days before sailing

On Scenic, you'll shed your deposit because that cancellations an ext than 90 days before departure, 50 percent indigenous 62 come 90 days and loss of the complete fare because that canceling 61 job or less before departure.


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Shore Excursions

Both Viking and also Scenic encompass daily coast excursions in your fares, i m sorry are generally guided wade tours approximately town and also coach trips to visit castles and wineries. Both present use regional guides and also passengers space issued an individual audio headset solution so castle don't miss out on a word. Viking offers added excursions, such as theater and also ballet performances, for secondary fee.

Choose Viking if you want to focus on the key highlights

In each destination, Viking's had daily excursions take in every the key sights, such as Cologne Cathedral or a city tourism with summary of Hofburg Palace and also the State Opera residence in Vienna, i m sorry is best for human being who have never saw Europe before. Viking is particularly good about giving the option of slow-paced go tours because that passengers v mobility worries (although in common with all lines, excursions are daunting for wheelchair users).

Choose Scenic if you reap flexibility

In addition to the shore excursion program, which often provides passengers v several choices on the exact same day, Scenic offers gps guided tourism so independent passenger can check out using pre-programed walks and also maps on an individual audios devices. Accessible in more than 140 locations, lock start and also finish at the ship's ar so you'll never acquire lost. Active passengers will also enjoy using the fleet's onboard bicycles because that guided or elevation trips.

Itineraries and also Fleet

When it pertains to size the the fleet, Viking stand head and also shoulders above Scenic (and everyone else for that matter). The line now has actually 46 Longships, moving 190 passengers, which run in Europe, through two an ext on stimulate for next year. With other vessels -- including ships leased in Egypt and also China -- its complete fleet dimension stands in ~ 60.

Scenic has 11 169-passenger Space-Ships cruising in Europe, with a twelfth being released in may 2016. Scenic also operates chartered vessels in Egypt and Russia and this year join Viking by start the eastern market through two brand-new vessels cruising on the Mekong and Irrawaddy respectively (the latter from September 2016).

In Europe, both sail top top the Rhine, Main, Danube, Moselle, Seine, Rhone, Garonne, Dordogne and Douro (Scenic launches its very first ship top top the Douro in April 2016). Viking likewise sails top top the Elbe. Both lines sell Christmas market cruises.

Many itineraries space similar, and Viking's size method passengers are likely to obtain the cruise they desire on the day of your choice. The huge number of Viking vessels typical the firm is better equipped to deal with the short water levels that have actually plagued european rivers in recent years; convert passengers to identical vessels additional upstream or downstream to prevent the affected areas and permitting them to continue their cruise with the minimum of disruption.

It must be provided that back the lines explain their vessels as Longships and also Space-Ships, castle are specifically the very same size at 443 feet in size (the maximum allowed on european rivers). Return Viking has much more cabins, that has created extra public an are at the front of that is Longships by blunting the bow to create the Aquavit Terrace; while Scenic has fewer cabins and uses the resulting space for additional public locations such together a gym.


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Cabins

The staterooms top top both lines have actually a modern vibe, v Viking donate minimalist Scandinavian style and also Scenic leaning towards boutique hotel-style chic. Both are well equipped through comfortable beds, large TVs with on-demand films and entertainment, WiFi and free water. Scenic provides robes and slippers in the cabin and also they space also available on Viking yet you need to request them indigenous the former desk. Scenic's bathrooms attribute L'Occitane toiletries, which to be previously readily available by Viking but have freshly been readjusted to its own Freyja brand.

Viking Longships have actually 95 cabins in five categories. Water level cabins, with a solved window, room 150 square feet; French Balcony cabins measure up 135 square feet; and also Veranda Cabins room 205 square feet in total. Veranda Suites space 275 square feet and the two explorer Suites room 445 square feet. There room no single or disabled cabins.

Scenic additionally has 5 categories top top its 85-cabin Space-Ships; while castle are called suites, lock all make up one room in differing sizes. Conventional Suites ~ above the reduced deck room 160 square feet, and Balcony Suites are between 205 and 250 square feet. This cabins, and also ones in greater categories have actually "sun lounge" balconies, i m sorry are totally retractable glass home windows that lower to permit in fresh air and also can it is in closed off from the rest of the cabin with folding glass doors. Small Suites room 240 come 250 square feet, royal Suites 305 to 360 square feet and also the two royal Panorama Suites measure approximately an superior 475 square feet, amongst the biggest you'll discover on rivers. Because that solo travelers, over there is one single cabin the is 129 square feet. There is additionally one wheelchair available cabin.

Choose Viking if you desire walkout balconies and also two-room suites

If you desire to step external your cabin and sit ~ above a "proper" balcony, or want a suite that stays up come the name and is made up of 2 rooms fairly than one large space, then walk for Viking.

Choose Scenic if you desire to it is in pampered

On Scenic, all passengers have butlers, with the level of company depending ~ above the cabin category. Butlers in every cabins will shine shoes, arrange shore excursions and bring drinks, and services because that passengers in greater suites encompass room company breakfast, laundry and also suitcases packed and unpacked.

Dining

When it comes to the all at once standard that food, both present are about the same, return Scenic has much more choice in dining venues and also options. Both offer well-presented, tasty dishes the showcase local specialties and familiar dishes. There is buffet breakfast and also lunch, v the choice to order menu items offered to the table, and also dinner is constantly served. Both have actually a collection lunch and also dinner time and operate ~ above a free seating communication (aside indigenous Scenic's specialty restaurants). Viking fares incorporate wine and also other beverages v lunch and dinner.

The attractive indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace at the prior of Viking Longships is easily accessible for a lighter breakfast, lunch and also dinner. There is a similar set up in the lounge ~ above the Space-Ships, plus a cafe offer sweet and also savory snacks outside dining times.

Choose Scenic if you prefer specialty restaurants and also want all drink included

Each evening, the forward ar of the Scenic lounge i do not care the Italian restaurant Portabellos, and every passenger have the right to dine right here at least once throughout their cruise. In the key restaurant is Table La Rive, a 10-person chef's table exclusively accessible to top deck passengers. Scenic supplies all passengers a limited 24-hour room service and passengers in Royal and Royal Panorama Suites advantage from full in-suite dining options. Passengers deserve to order limitless drinks transparent the day and there is a minibar in every cabin (restocked daily).

Choose Viking if you room fine v a la carte drinks and no room service

Viking does sell the silver- Spirits Beverage Package, costing roughly $30 every day (Australian passengers have actually the silver- Spirits Beverage package contained in your fare), i m sorry covers limitless premium wines, beers, cocktails and juices because that the expression of the cruise. Passenger are additionally welcome to lug wine and also other drink to consume onboard. Viking go not market room service.


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Enrichment

Both lines market an enrichment program when the ships space sailing and on some evenings in port. ~ above both lines these include cooking demonstrations, talks and also performances by regional musicians, singers and also dancers. Viking errs toward an ext in-depth sessions, such as depicted talks top top a country's history and geography, while Scenic often presents participatory activities that could include one onboard Viennese waltz lesson when the ship is docked in Vienna.

Onboard Amenities

Choose Viking if you don't need a fitness facility or spa

With Viking, the destinations room the stars of the show, for this reason although passengers take trip in lull they won't find any kind of onboard extras such as pools, gyms, bikes or a spa. The only nod come fitness is a walking track on the top deck. If required, the onboard concierge can book hair appointments and also spa therapies at miscellaneous ports of call.

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Choose Scenic if you want an ext fitness amenities and a spa

Scenic walk the extra mile top top the fitness front. In addition to a walking monitor on the sunlight deck, its pearl have tiny gyms v cardio tools and complimentary weights. Electrically aided bicycles, i m sorry passengers have the right to use ~ above a first-come-first serve basis and on guided tours, are also available. There is a splash swimming pool on the upper deck and a massage room, giving for fees treatments.

Bottom Line

Viking is a good choice because that passengers who room happy come hand end the day-to-day company to the line and also go with the circulation rather than be challenged with too numerous choices. Scenic is great for travelers who space happy come pay higher fares for an ext inclusions and not be challenged with a large bar tab, a invoice for added excursions or tips at the finish of your cruise.