Camping in the Snowies

Camping in the Snowies

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Danube River Cruise Ship: Viking Freya May 9-15, 2015

Viking Cruise Lines calls this ship and others in her class, Longships. They are long and low so as to navigate shallow water and pass under bridges, even at high water. The bridge, manned by the captain and his assistant, can be seen on the top deck just forward of mid-ship. All structures on the top deck including the bridge can be lowered to pass under tight spaces. 

                   Another Viking ship looking very much like the Freya. 

There are four decks with staterooms on all but the top deck. The staterooms on the first deck are below water level but had small windows. Our stateroom was on the second deck mid-ship. We had a floor to ceiling window that opened but did not have a balcony. Other staterooms had balconies and there were two suites located at the back of the ship on the third deck. All the staterooms except the suites had much the same amount of space with adequate shelf, drawer and closet space if you were judicious in packing. Dave and I brought everything in a carry-on size bag and backpack and tote. 

Below are some photos of our room. 
                                   The river was just below our window. 

The bathroom was fine with a step in shower with smoky glass separating the shower and the bedroom. You could press a button in the bath to make the shower glass become transparent. It was not a feature that we used much. I brought along a small hanging organizer for my products that kept clutter off the small vanity space. 
Large mirrors helped to make the space feel more expansive. Bottled water was refreshed frequently. A small refrigerator and a safe were also part of the amenities in the room. Vivien, our steward, was a gem at keeping our room spotless and always there when we needed something. 
Vivien and Dave in front of our room. She is Hungarian and was looking forward to seeing family when we docked in Budapest. 

We ate breakfast and dinner in the main dining room most of the time. It is located on the second deck toward the front of the ship. Floor to ceiling windows were on both sides of this great room. A buffet was provided at breakfast or you could order off the menu. Here are some photos of the dining room. 

   Our dining table mates for evening meals were from Oklahoma and South Carolina. Marko was our waiter. He was a very personable guy making each of us feel special. 

                        Breakfast table

On the third deck toward the front of the ship was the lounge which was about the same size as the dining room. Entertainment, music and informative programs were held in the lounge. Here are some photos taken there. 

 To get to the lounge you climb a pretty staircase located in the mid-ship area where the concierge and hotel manager had desks. Here is a photo of our South Carolina friends with waiter, Cruz, who dubbed them "the Spicy Girls."

Here is a photo of the concierge, Andrea, who helped us find a restaurant and a wine tour in Budapest. 
                                                           Andrea and Dave

An elevator was provided for the more physically challenged passengers. It was located in the mid-ship area. On the third level, mid-ship, was a small library, computer area, sofas and benches where the WiFi was stronger and two coffee and snack areas. Coffee, tea, pastries in morning or cookies in afternoon were available. 

Forward from the lounge was the terrace where lunches were served inside and outside. 

A lunch buffet was set up in this space. Hot and cold sandwiches, soup, salads, fruit and desserts were offered along with any beverage you desired. 
The terrace was a great spot to watch scenery.  The ship traveled mainly at night so the best scenery watching happened as we were going through the Wachau Valley as we approached Vienna. 

Here are some photos of the top deck. We had a captain's tour of the bridge one day. 

Putting greens and herb beds on the upper deck. Solar panels provided some electricity and were located on both sides of the top deck. 

The best view was of Budapest at night. We enjoyed schnapps and good company while we watched. 
                      Photo of Dave and I and the SC gals taken by Esther S. 

       Dave and I with the Budapest Chain Bridge in the background. 

In closing this post I will say that the Viking company and the Viking Freya staff were instrumental in our enjoyment of this wonderful trip to Europe. 

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