Are you planning a river cruise? Sounds wonderful! After all, what could be better than having a memorable holiday with your loved ones, visiting many ports and various destinations as you go further inland?
River cruising has become increasingly popular as it offers unique and immersive experiences through some of the beautiful and picturesque views. It provides a relaxing and comfortable way to explore different cultures and countries and is arguably the most convenient and scenic way to enrich your travels. Whether it’s the legendary rivers of Europe, the mysterious allure of the African rivers, or the iconic rivers of Asia, a few world-class river cruise lines offer spectacular experiences – among which are the AmaWaterways and Vikings.
So, if you plan to embark on such a journey and need help deciding between AmaWaterways vs Viking, I am here to help. I will compare the two in this article to help you make an informed decision!
AmaWaterways vs Viking
Both cruise lines appear very similar as they sail across all major rivers worldwide. However, there are definitely differences between them, which you will see in this AmaWaterways vs Viking comparison. But first, let’s first start with some general information.
The river cruise company was founded in 2002 by Rudi Schreiner, Jimmy Murphy, and Kristin Karst. AmaWaterways offers luxury cruises across various European, Asian, and African rivers. It is known for its exceptional services, unique and immersive experiences, and innovative facilities.
Viking, a river and ocean cruise company, was founded by Torstein Hagen in 1997. It offers river and ocean cruises across various destinations across the world. Known for its elegant ships, cultural immersions, and enriching experiences, Viking is famous among travelers.
When it comes to Amawaterways vs Viking, there is hardly any difference between the two cruise lines in terms of pricing. The prices are mostly similar, from the most basic cabins to the luxury suites. Both include a minimum of one onshore excursion in every post, all of the onboard meals, WiFi facilities, and cultural programs.
Both cruise lines sail across all major rivers, so many of their itineraries overlap, especially in Europe. This happens when they sail across the Danube, Rhine, Elbe, Seine, Douro, Moselle, and more. They also organize cruises in Myanmar and the Mekong in Cambodia and Vietnam. The exotic itineraries are usually planned with extensive land tours to give you the best impression of the region. For example, AmaWaterways has cruises on the Chobe River in South Central Africa, a prime Safari and wildlife-spotting country. On the other hand, Viking sails across the Nile in Egypt, Lake Nasser, the Yangtze River in China, and across a maze of canals in Western Russia.
Ships and Cabins
AmaWaterways cruise line has 20 plus ships in its fleet, most sailing across European rivers. These ships have similar designs, features, and room facilities for between 28 and 196 guests. The cabins are vibrantly colorful with bright and beautiful patterns. In addition, the cabin decor differs from ship to ship and comes with beautiful woodwork. Their cabins are also great for singles and family travel convenience.
On the other hand, Viking ships have a similar design, and the company is amongst the largest cruise lines, with 76 ships in its fleet. Its vessels can accommodate up to 190 passengers in Europe, up to 200 in Russia, and 256 in China. In addition, Viking focuses less on interior decor and prioritizes culture and destinations. You won’t find any vibrant colors in the communal areas or cabins, but there is a lot of Scandinavian art across the ships. They do come with some extra features like heated bathroom floors and large storage spaces, so if that is something you prefer, you will love it on a Viking river ship!
As I mentioned above, the prices of both companies include one onshore excursion in each port. These are usually offered by a local guide who knows the area’s history and culture. An additional fee would be required if you would like to join more of an in-depth or specialized tour. The premium excursions include dance classes, cooking, winery visits, and glassblowing.
Their excursions and activities are similar across the cruise lines. Here are some key features that distinguish their approaches:
AmaWaterways offers the best and most varied port tour visits. Why? Because different traveler groups have been taken into consideration. In essence, there are three levels of guided tours: gentle walking, general, and active. Most passengers opt for a general group, which combines tour buses, some walking, and guided exploration. Gentle tours are designed for those requiring slow-paced exploration and mobility issues. On the other hand, active tours are for the ones who are ready to explore slightly at a faster pace. It includes more mileage, climbing up stairs, or steep inclines. The ships also come with bicycle facilities on board, which guests can use to explore the ports – super convenient! If you wish for a more active time during your port visits, then AmaWaterways should be your pick!
Viking river cruises also offer extraordinary and memorable shore excursions. They have partnered with a lot of members who provide unique trip experiences such as cognac tasting in France, truffle hunting, or a visit to a private island. Their forte is providing more hidden gems during the visits, so you get to experience something amazing off-the-beaten-path.
Both cruise lines offer guest buffet breakfast lunches along with a la carte options. Each evening sit-down dinner is hosted at a determined time, and the chefs use locally sourced ingredients to give guests a literal taste of the region they are sailing through. The price also includes beer, local wine, and soda served during lunch and dinner. But if you have any allergies or intolerances, AmaWaterways ship cuisines are transparent about their menu, listing all allergens and labeling food. You will even find a gluten-free corner!
Only AmaWaterways lets children sail onboard. To provide a fascinating experience for little guests, they partnered with Adventures by Disney, offering some amazing river cruise itineraries. Since some of the ships have staterooms, it is easier to accommodate 304 people with connecting staterooms. It makes exploring Europe all the more fun and eventful. On the other hand, Viking ships cater to adults, as all passengers must be 18 and above.
AmaWaterways vs Viking Conclusion
While both cruises have a lot more in common in terms of pricing, itineraries, and excellent cuisine, the difference would matter to certain travelers. For example, Ama Waterways is a great option when you want to enjoy an active river cruise with your little ones and are after a bit more amenities on board. On the other hand, Vikings is popular for its minimalist approach and is suitable for those looking for quiet, adult-only getaways focused on history and culture.
Looking for popular AmaWaterways special cruise offers? Worry not! I am here to help! Let’s connect! As a travel expert, I will help you plan a fabulous trip of a lifetime the way you have always envisioned.