Viking Vela River Cruise Review: A Small Cruise Ship with Large Aspirations

The Viking Vela cruise ship stands out as a unique and exceptional vessel that offers a truly remarkable cruising experience. The Viking Vela is designed with a strong focus on Scandinavian-inspired aesthetics, reflecting the company’s Norwegian heritage. The ship’s interiors feature a harmonious blend of contemporary and traditional elements, with clean lines, natural materials, and a soothing color palette that create a sense of refined simplicity. The Viking Vela boasts a range of spacious and well-appointed staterooms, all of which feature private balconies. The accommodations, which range from 288-square-foot Veranda Staterooms to the expansive 1,448-square-foot Owner’s Suite, offer guests a high level of comfort and luxury. Viking Cruises is known for its all-inclusive approach, and the Viking Vela is no exception. Guests can enjoy a wide range of complimentary amenities, including shore excursions, dining in all restaurants, wine, beer, and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, and access to the ship’s thermal suite. The Viking Vela offers a variety of enriching onboard activities and entertainment options that cater to the interests of its guests. From classical music recitals and live music performances to cooking classes and lectures, the ship provides a diverse range of cultural and educational experiences. The Viking Vela, like all of Viking’s ocean ships, is designed with a strong focus on sustainability. The vessel features eco-friendly engine technology, energy-saving systems, and a ballast water purification system, demonstrating the company’s commitment to minimizing its environmental impact. In conclusion, the Viking Vela cruise ship stands out as a unique and exceptional vessel that offers a truly remarkable cruising experience. With its Scandinavian-inspired design, spacious and luxurious accommodations, inclusive cruising experience, enriching onboard activities, and commitment to sustainability, the Viking Vela is poised to deliver an unforgettable journey for its guests.

In a Nutshell…

  1. Size and Capacity: The Viking Vela is considered a small ship, with a gross tonnage of 54,300 tons. It features 499 staterooms that can accommodate up to 998 cruisers at maximum capacity.
  2. Launch Date: The Viking Vela is scheduled to debut in December 2024. Its inaugural season will include cruises in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe.
  3. Scandinavian-Style Interiors: Like other Viking vessels, the Vela boasts sophisticated Scandinavian-style interiors. Passengers can enjoy the Aquavit Terrace, the Wintergarden for afternoon tea, the Explorers’ lounge, and the Living Room with an LED screen and lichen garden. Nordic-inspired artwork adorns the ship.
  4. Dining Options: The ship offers a variety of dining venues:
    • The Restaurant: Equivalent to the main dining room, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
    • World Cafe: A casual buffet-style eatery with global cuisine.
    • Chef’s Table: Themed tasting menus with optional wine pairings.
    • Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant: Known for its steaks.
    • Pool Grill: Serving burgers, salads, and fast food.
    • Mamsen’s Food Counter: Specializing in Scandinavian specialties.
    • Kitchen Table: Hosts cookery classes.
  5. Entertainment: Viking ships focus on classical music recitals, live bands, and dancing in the Torshaven nightspot.
  6. Pools and Fitness Center: The Viking Vela features two pools and a well-equipped fitness center.
  7. Balcony Staterooms: All cabins are outside with balconies and come in six categories. From Veranda Staterooms (288 sq. ft.) to the Owner’s Suite (1,448 sq. ft. with its own sauna), each cabin offers comfort and elegance.
  8. Inclusions: Viking Vela provides a high number of inclusions, including complimentary shore excursions, dining in all restaurants, wine, beer, sodas with meals, and access to the spa’s thermal suite.
  9. Largest in the Fleet: While maintaining the same amenities and deck layout as its siblings, the Viking Vela is slightly larger than previous ships, allowing for 17 additional cabins and compliance with new International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations.

Entertainment onboard the Viking Vela

Entertainment aboard the Viking Vela cruise ship is a delightful blend of cultural enrichment, relaxation, and lively performances, ensuring guests are engaged and entertained throughout their journey along the river. With a focus on providing authentic experiences and showcasing the rich heritage of the destinations visited, Viking Vela offers a variety of entertainment options tailored to suit different interests and preferences.

One of the highlights of entertainment onboard the Viking Vela is the immersive cultural experiences that allow guests to connect with the local culture and traditions of each port of call. Through a series of carefully curated excursions, guests have the opportunity to explore historical landmarks, visit local markets, and interact with residents, providing insight into the unique heritage of each destination.

In addition to cultural excursions, Viking Vela offers a range of onboard activities and enrichment programs designed to educate and entertain guests. From informative lectures and cooking demonstrations to interactive workshops and language classes, there’s always something new to learn and experience onboard. Guests can also enjoy live music performances and entertainment in the ship’s lounges and bars, where talented musicians and performers showcase their skills in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.

For those seeking a more leisurely form of entertainment, Viking Vela offers a variety of tranquil spaces where guests can unwind and relax. Whether it’s enjoying a refreshing dip in the pool, indulging in a rejuvenating spa treatment, or simply lounging on the sun deck with a good book, there are plenty of opportunities for guests to recharge and rejuvenate onboard.

In the evenings, guests can look forward to a variety of entertainment options that cater to different tastes and moods. From elegant cocktail receptions and themed parties to lively musical performances and dance nights, there’s something for everyone to enjoy after the sun sets. Guests can also take in the stunning views of the river and surrounding landscapes from the ship’s panoramic observation lounge, where they can sip cocktails and socialize with fellow travelers.

As part of Viking Vela’s commitment to providing an exceptional guest experience, the ship also offers a range of onboard amenities and services designed to enhance comfort and convenience. From attentive service and personalized attention to meticulously curated dining experiences and luxurious accommodations, every aspect of the guest experience is carefully considered to ensure maximum satisfaction.

Overall, entertainment onboard the Viking Vela cruise ship is characterized by its commitment to cultural enrichment, relaxation, and personalized experiences. Whether guests are exploring historic landmarks ashore, attending informative lectures onboard, or simply enjoying a leisurely evening of music and dancing, there’s no shortage of entertainment options to enjoy while sailing along the river aboard Viking Vela.

  1. Classical Music Recitals: Enjoy soothing classical melodies performed by talented musicians. These recitals create an elegant and refined ambiance.
  2. Live Bands: Dance the night away to live music in the Torshaven nightspot. Whether you’re a fan of jazz, pop, or rock, there’s something for everyone.
  3. Cinemas: Catch both new releases and films inspired by travel destinations in the ship’s cinemas. It’s a great way to unwind and immerse yourself in captivating stories.
  4. Movies Under the Stars: By the heated main pool, experience outdoor movie screenings under a retractable roof. Imagine watching your favorite films while surrounded by stunning vistas.
  5. Theater Performances: Attend captivating theater shows featuring talented artists. From musicals to dramatic productions, the theater offers entertainment for all tastes.
  6. Curated Library: The Living Room houses a well-stocked library. Grab a book, relax, and lose yourself in captivating narratives.
  7. Nautical Decor: The Living Room’s bar draws inspiration from ancient longships, creating a unique and cozy atmosphere. Admire nautical decor reminiscent of the Viking era.

Cabins and Room Comfort on the Viking Vela

The Viking Vela cruise ship offers guests a luxurious and comfortable cruising experience, with a range of staterooms and cabins designed to meet the needs of every traveler. This review will delve into the literal aspects of the staterooms and cabins on the Viking Vela, focusing on their design, amenities, and the overall experience they offer.

The Viking Vela features 93 all-veranda staterooms, ranging in size from 270 square feet to over 1,400 square feet. Each stateroom is tastefully decorated, with a contemporary design and a soothing color palette of neutrals and soft blues. The use of natural materials, such as wood and stone, adds to the sense of elegance and refinement.

One of the standout features of the staterooms and cabins on the Viking Vela is their spaciousness. Even the smallest stateroom offers plenty of room to relax and unwind, with a separate living area and a spacious bathroom. The larger staterooms offer even more space, with separate dining areas, walk-in closets, and private balconies.

The amenities in each stateroom are another unique aspect of the Viking Vela. Each stateroom features a king-size bed, a flat-screen TV, a minibar, and a safe. The bathrooms are equally impressive, with a separate shower and bathtub, a double vanity, and luxury bath products. The larger staterooms also feature additional amenities, such as a butler service, a Nespresso machine, and a complimentary laundry service.

One of the standout features of the staterooms and cabins on the Viking Vela is their focus on technology. Each stateroom is equipped with a state-of-the-art control system, allowing guests to adjust the lighting, temperature, and entertainment options with the touch of a button. The staterooms also feature a range of charging ports, ensuring guests can stay connected throughout their journey.

The service in the staterooms and cabins on the Viking Vela is exceptional, with a dedicated butler assigned to each stateroom. The butlers are friendly, attentive, and always willing to assist, whether it’s helping guests unpack, making reservations, or arranging shore excursions.

The Viking Vela’s itineraries are another unique aspect of the ship. The ship sails to some of the world’s most fascinating destinations, including the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and the Baltic. Each itinerary is carefully planned to offer guests a mix of scenic cruising and shore excursions, providing them with a unique and unforgettable experience.

In conclusion, the staterooms and cabins on the Viking Vela cruise ship are unique in many ways, from their spaciousness to their focus on technology. The staterooms’ design, amenities, and exceptional service make them an excellent choice for those seeking a luxurious and comfortable cruising experience. Whether you’re relaxing in your stateroom, enjoying a meal in the restaurant, or exploring a new destination, every moment aboard the Viking Vela is a delight.

  1. Interior Staterooms: These cozy cabins are perfect for travelers who prioritize value and simplicity. While they lack windows or balconies, they provide a comfortable retreat for rest and relaxation.
  2. Veranda Staterooms (V): Veranda staterooms feature a private balcony where you can enjoy fresh sea air and scenic views. They offer a balance of comfort and outdoor space.
  3. Deluxe Veranda Staterooms (DV): Similar to Veranda staterooms, these cabins provide extra space and amenities. The larger balcony allows for more leisurely moments outdoors.
  4. Penthouse Veranda Staterooms (PV): These staterooms offer an elevated experience with additional square footage. Enjoy a spacious balcony, luxurious linens, and thoughtful amenities.
  5. Penthouse Junior Suites (PS): For those seeking more room to spread out, the Penthouse Junior Suites provide a separate seating area, a larger bathroom, and an extended balcony.
  6. Explorer Suites (ES): These suites offer even more space, including a separate living room and bedroom. The balcony provides panoramic views, and the amenities are designed for comfort and luxury.
  7. Owner’s Suite (OS): The Owner’s Suite is the pinnacle of elegance. With a generous 1,448 square feet, it features a king-size bed, a private balcony, and a host of complimentary amenities. Ideal for discerning travelers.

Food and dining Experience on the Viking Vela

The dining experience aboard the Viking Vela cruise ship is an integral part of the voyage, characterized by a sophisticated Scandinavian style and a diverse range of culinary offerings. The ship’s dining venues provide a sense of continuity and familiarity to both returning passengers and those transitioning from river cruising to ocean voyages.

The Viking Vela features a range of dining options, including The Restaurant, the ship’s main dining room serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as the more casual World Cafe, offering international cuisine in a buffet-style setting. Guests can also enjoy themed tasting menus with optional wine pairings at The Chef’s Table, savor steaks at Manfredi’s Italian restaurant, and indulge in Scandinavian specialties at Mamsen’s food counter. For those interested in culinary experiences, the Kitchen Table hosts cookery classes, offering a unique opportunity for passengers to engage in hands-on gastronomic activities.

The Viking Vela boasts sophisticated Scandinavian-style interiors, including the Aquavit Terrace, the light and airy Wintergarden for traditional afternoon tea, the panoramic Explorers’ Lounge, and the Living Room adorned with Nordic-inspired artwork. These distinctive spaces provide guests with a delightful ambiance for enjoying their meals, whether it’s al fresco dining at the Aquavit Terrace or relishing the panoramic views from the Explorers’ Lounge while savoring a culinary delight.

The ship offers a high number of inclusions, such as complimentary shore excursions, dining in all restaurants, and beverages including wine, beer, and sodas with lunch and dinner. This ensures that passengers can fully immerse themselves in a culinary journey without additional concerns about expenses, thus enhancing the overall dining experience.

Viking Vela’s cabins are all outside with balconies, ranging from Veranda Staterooms to the spacious Owner’s Suite. Decorated in muted and restful tones, the cabins are equipped with 24-hour room service, heated bathroom floors, plush robes, slippers, premium toiletries, and an array of modern amenities, ensuring that passengers can enjoy a comfortable and luxurious stay throughout their voyage.

In summary, the food and dining experience on the Viking Vela cruise ship offers a delightful blend of culinary offerings, unique dining settings, and inclusive amenities, providing passengers with a memorable and indulgent gastronomic journey.

  1. The Restaurant:
    • The Restaurant is akin to the main dining room, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Guests can indulge in a variety of delectable dishes in an elegant setting.
  2. World Cafe:
    • For a more casual dining experience, head to World Cafe. Here, you’ll find a buffet-style spread featuring cuisine from around the globe. It’s perfect for those seeking diverse flavors.
  3. The Chef’s Table:
    • The Chef’s Table offers themed tasting menus, expertly paired with optional for-fee wine selections. It’s a culinary journey that tantalizes the taste buds.
  4. Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant:
    • Known for its steaks, Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant celebrates the flavors of Italy. Guests can savor classic Italian fare in a warm and inviting ambiance.
  5. Pool Grill:
    • When you’re in the mood for something quick and satisfying, visit the Pool Grill. It serves up burgers, salads, and other fast food options.
  6. Mamsen’s Food Counter:
    • For Scandinavian specialties, make your way to Mamsen’s Food Counter. It’s a delightful spot to sample Nordic-inspired treats.
  7. Kitchen Table (For-Fee Venue):
    • If you’re interested in culinary adventures, consider attending a cookery class at Kitchen Table. It’s an interactive experience where you can learn and create delicious dishes.
  8. Afternoon Tea in the Wintergarden:
    • The serene and airy Wintergarden hosts traditional afternoon tea sessions accompanied by live piano music. It’s a delightful way to unwind and enjoy a cup of tea.
  9. Aquavit Terrace:
    • This indoor/outdoor lounge offers fantastic views and is perfect for relaxing. Whether you’re indoors or out, the Aquavit Terrace provides a serene setting.
  10. Inclusions and Amenities:
    • Like its sibling vessels, the Viking Vela provides a high number of inclusions, including complimentary shore excursions, dining in all restaurants, wine, beer, sodas with lunch and dinner, and access to the spa’s thermal suite.

Destinations and Itineraries of the Viking Vela

  1. Northern Europe Exploration:
    • During its inaugural season, the Viking Vela sets sail in northern Europe, focusing on captivating regions such as the British IslesNorwegian fjordsScandinavia, and Iceland. These picturesque locales offer a blend of natural beauty, rich history, and cultural wonders.
  1. British Isles and Iceland Explorer:
    • One of its standout itineraries is the 26-night British Isles and Iceland Explorer. Starting from the vibrant city of Reykjavik, the ship meanders through the rugged landscapes of Iceland before heading southward. Along the way, it unveils the charm of the British Isles, including stops in quaint villages, historic towns, and iconic cities. The journey culminates in London Greenwich, leaving travelers with memories etched against a backdrop of dramatic cliffs, lush greenery, and ancient ruins.
  1. Mediterranean Magic:
    • Beyond the northern realms, the Viking Vela also graces the Mediterranean with its presence. Its current cruise itinerary spans 7 days, embarking from Civitavecchia-Rome in Italy and concluding in the vibrant city of Barcelona, Spain. Along the way, passengers explore captivating ports such as Livorno (gateway to Florence and Pisa), the picturesque Villefranche-sur-Mer on the French Riviera, and the historic city of Marseille. The voyage promises a delightful blend of cultural immersion, culinary delights, and breathtaking coastal views.
  1. Other Notable Routes:
    • The Viking Vela offers an array of enticing itineraries, including journeys from Barcelona to London-TilburyLondon-Tilbury to Bergen, and Bergen to London-Tilbury. Each route unveils unique facets of Europe, from charming villages to cosmopolitan cities, all while providing the comfort and elegance that Viking Cruises are renowned for.


Viking Vela is a new addition to Viking Cruises’ fleet, launched in 2024. Classified as a small ship by cruise line standards, it can accommodate 998 passengers. This translates to a less crowded feel onboard compared to mega-ships. With a length of 784 feet and a beam of 101 feet, the Viking Vela offers a comfortable cruising experience for almost 1,000 guests.

One of the defining features of the Viking Vela is its all-veranda design. Every stateroom has its own balcony, allowing passengers to enjoy the sights and fresh air from the comfort of their room. This is particularly appealing for scenic cruises where outdoor viewing is a major perk.

The Viking Vela offers a destination-oriented cruise experience. This means the itinerary emphasizes longer stays in ports and overnights in exciting locations, allowing passengers to delve deeper into the local culture and history. The ship itself spends less time at sea compared to some itineraries on other cruise lines.

Complimentary amenities are a hallmark of Viking cruises, and the Viking Vela is no exception. Passengers can expect free shore excursions in every port of call, which is a significant value considering the cost of these tours can add up quickly. In addition to shore excursions, wifi access and meals featuring wine and beer with lunch and dinner are all included in the ticket price.

The Viking Vela boasts several amenities onboard that cater to relaxation and exploration. The Nordic Spa, a staple on Viking ships, features a steam room, thalassotherapy pool, hot tub, snow room, sauna, and cold plunge pool. These facilities provide passengers with an opportunity to unwind and rejuvenate after a day of exploring in port.

In keeping with Viking Cruises’ focus on Scandinavian design, the Viking Vela features elegant interiors that create a sophisticated and inviting atmosphere. Passengers looking for a luxurious cruise experience will find the design elements onboard the Viking Vela to be right up their alley.

Overall, the Viking Vela is a well-equipped cruise ship designed for passengers who prioritize exploration and destination immersion. With its intimate size, all-veranda staterooms, complimentary shore excursions, and focus on Scandinavian design, the Viking Vela offers an attractive option for those seeking a unique and upscale cruise experience.

– Reviewed by Contributing Author Silvester Thomson

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N.B. – The information on this review has been compiled by contributing author and Cruise Expert Silvester Thomson for and is provided “as is” for the convenience of online readers. The Sources come from personal opinions, online research on official and unofficial websites, and in some cases with the help of AI generated content. It should not be taken as fact, as it can be mistaken or altered by future ship modifications from the cruise line done after review. does not and cannot verify all information and should not be taken as granted fact. All readers must take measures to find reliable facts by their travel agent or from the official page of the cruise line to verify any doubts.

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