Meet Viking’s Hild and Herja

One of the most popular river cruise companies in Europe, Viking River Cruises offers exceptionally well-designed river cruises. They organize cruises all over the world, but their flagship ones take place in Europe, a varied continent that’s crisscrossed by a number of iconic waterways.

Cruising with Viking River Cruises is nothing like a journey with those gigantic ocean-going cruise ships that travel tropical waters. Instead, they offer intimate, personalized journeys. On a Viking River Cruise, you meander your way on some of the world’s greatest rivers while watching the landscapes glide by. You visit iconic port cities, but have to unpack your bags only once—in your cabin.

You sail right into the very heart of your destination region, whether it’s Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe or Central Europe. This allows you to get to know each place in-depth and up-close.

Hungarian Parliament building in Budapest on the Danube River.
Hungarian Parliament building in Budapest on the Danube River. Credit: Noppasinw –

Viking River Cruises’ fleet includes no fewer than 60 river ships. This state-of-the-art fleet offers the amenities of a luxury hotel, all while keeping things personal and relaxed. When the company was founded, two decades ago, modern-day river cruising was a virtually unknown concept. Because of its pioneering work, carving out its very own niche in the travel industry, Viking River Cruises has now become a household name.

The company is known for its so-called longships. These Viking Longships have been praised by travelers and other industry members alike, gaining recognition for the company as “Best River Itineraries”, “Best River Cruise Line” and “Best New River Ships”. These specialized river ships have a patented corridor design, the latest technologies and all modern accommodation amenities. Features range from floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows, and an all-weather indoor/outdoor terrace to Europe’s largest river cruise suites, heated bathroom floors, onboard solar panels and even an organic herb garden.

In March 2017, Viking River Cruises introduced two brand new ships to the world and into its already large fleet. The Viking Hild and Viking Herja were officially christened in Koblenz, Germany by ceremonial godmothers.

This ancient maritime tradition goes back not hundreds but thousands of years. Two prominent women were invited to be the honorary godmothers to the ships during the christening ceremony. They represented the key characteristics of the Viking River Cruises experience, which are cultural enrichment and culinary experiences focused on individual destinations.

Let’s take a look at the two new Viking River Cruises longships, their features and itineraries.

Viking Longship Hild

This longship is named after the Norse goddess Hild, also known as Hildr, who was one of the legendary valkyries.


This spring, the ship sails Viking’s brand new “Paris to the Swiss Alps” itinerary, from Paris to Zürich. This twelve-day cruisetour—the actual cruise on the Moselle and Rhine rivers lasts eight days—begins in Paris and takes in historic Trier, Cochem, Strasbourg and Basel before ending in Zürich.

This itinerary takes you to four countries, eight ports and three extra cities on land excursions. You’ll also visit no fewer than six UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The Viking Longship Hild will also sail the company’s popular “Rhine Getaway” itinerary, an eight-day cruise from Amsterdam to Basel. On the way, passengers can visit the magnificent Kinderdijk windmills, Cologne, Koblenz, Heidelberg and Strasbourg. This cruise includes four countries, ten port cities and five UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


The features onboard this state-of-the-art river cruise ship are nothing short of phenomenal. You can stay at one of the 95 outside staterooms, including nine suites that consist of two rooms, a veranda and a balcony. Public areas range from a sun deck offering 360-degree views, a putting green and a walking track to a lounge and bar, a library corner, an onboard boutique and the fantastic Aquavit Terrace with its revolutionary indoor/outdoor area.

Free Wi-Fi is available everywhere on the ship and passengers can wash their clothes in the laundry room. Hybrid engines power the vessel, keeping everything eco-friendly while also limiting noise pollution. If you’d like to watch TV shows, movies or the news, you can do so on the 40-inch flat-screen TV that has movies on demand and popular American TV stations.

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Viking Longship Herja

The second new Viking Longship is Herja. This one is named for Herja, another legendary valkyrie in the Prose Edda, which is a 13th-century tale in Old Norse mythology.


The Viking Longship Herja sails the “Danube Waltz” itinerary, one of the greatest and most popular ways to see this part of Central Europe. This eight-day river cruise from Passau to Budapest is the perfect introduction to Austro-Hungarian history and culture. During this amazing journey, you’ll have the chance to admire the Wachau Valley, visit Vienna and Bratislava, learn how to waltz and how Austrian apple strudel is made, and relax in a thermal spa in Budapest. The cruise takes in five countries, seven river ports and four UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Just like the Viking Longship Hild, the Herja will also sail Viking River Cruises’ “Rhine Getaway” itinerary, transporting passengers on one of Germany’s most iconic rivers—the Rhine. From Amsterdam to Basel, this itinerary takes you through four Western European countries and to no fewer than ten river ports. Six complimentary shore excursions bring you closer to the local culture and architecture. On the activities menu, you’ll find a classical music performance, visiting a traditional glassblower and lectures about modern-day Germany and the history of river cruising.

Buildings at hauptmarkt main market in Trier, Germany.
Hauptmarkt main market in Trier, Germany. Credit: Petair –


As you sail the Danube or Rhine, you won’t have to give up any comforts. This ship, like all other ships in the Viking fleet, offers plenty of luxury and convenience. The 95 staterooms can accommodate up to 190 passengers, a good number to keep things intimate.

During the cruise, you can hang out in the library corner, shop in the boutique or watch popular TV stations on the large flat-screen TV. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the restaurant offer scenic views while the organic herb garden, solar panels and hybrid engine keep things healthy and environment-friendly. You may also spend some time at the Observation Lounge or the revolutionary Aquavit Terrace. Wi-Fi is available everywhere.

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By Bram R

Born and raised in Belgium, Bram is currently based in the Pacific Northwest where he spends his days blogging, hiking, indulging in freshly roasted coffee and sipping craft beers. An experienced traveler, his… More about Bram R

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