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Scenic vs Viking River Cruises

Compare the travel styles, pricing, destinations and popularity of Scenic and Viking River Cruises.

The Low Down

Scenic Scenic's 5 star luxury river cruises are well known and popular in Australia (not so much in NZ). Scenic were the first to introduce balconies on their Scenic Space-Ships, which many clients love, but this comes at a cost to interior cabin space. Like many of the other premium river cruise Operators, look out for their great Fly Free offers, and Earlybird Savings. All inclusive, with Freechoice activities that allow you to choose what you want to do in each port, Scenic also offer a range of luxury additions (like your own Butler) depending on the cabin type select.

Launching in 2018 and with another ship in 2020, the Scenic Eclipse is Scenic's first foray into luxury all inclusive ocean cruising. From the Arctic to Antarctica and everywhere in between, these Discovery Yachts, are all inclusive with shore excursions involving Zodiacs, kayaks and e-bikes as well as the option (for an additional charge) to adventure out by helicopter and submarine!
Viking River Cruises Cruising down the rivers of Europe you are sure to pass a Viking Longship on your travels. Viking boasts the most extensive fleet of river cruises vessels in Europe, and while their core market is the US, there are many clients from Australia that choose to cruise with them each year. In 2017 Viking launched their range of mid-sized ocean cruises - with just 930 guests this gives their ships greater maneuverability, allowing them to dock where the mega-liners cannot. Viking do not offer NZD pricing, so if you're a Kiwi wanting jump onboard then you'll need to pay in AUD or USD.

Stats

No. of Trips
484
No. of Departures
2,597
Avg. Trip Length
16 Days
Avg. Price Per Day
$825
Accommodation
4.5 - 5 Star
Budget
Premium / Luxury
No. of Trips
48
No. of Departures
4,046
Avg. Trip Length
11 Days
Avg. Price Per Day
$535
Fleet Size
64 Ships
Known For
Scandinavian Design
Regions Explored AsiaEuropeMississippiNile

In Their Own Words We asked the travel companies themselves why you should travel with them

Scenic
Scenic is proudly an Australian founded company setting the global standard for all inclusive luxury travel. We have delighted guests for more than 30 years with memorable journeys to fascinating locations across the world, delivering unsurpassed excellence in service, product quality and exclusive experiences. The guest is at the heart of everything we do, as we strive to provide continual innovation to enhance the guest experience in Luxury River Cruising, Land Tours and our state of the art expedition Ocean Cruising with Scenic Eclipse.

The Scenic difference is the details, the unwavering commitment to anticipate our guests every need, from butler services, quality dining, wellness, Scenic Enrich and Scenic FreeChoice experiences. That is why so many of our past guests choose to travel with Scenic many times, to destinations around the globe with family and friends, trusting Scenic to create memories that will last a lifetime. We welcome you to enjoy the portfolio of Scenic luxury products and feel the difference of Scenic’s dedicated staff, who will look after you to the nth degree.

This is why first time and past guests choose Scenic.
Viking River Cruises
A Viking river cruise is the discerning traveller’s dream. Whether you choose to visit Russia, Egypt, Asia or central Europe, our itineraries are designed to immerse you in the history and culture of each destination. With us, you could be exploring a local food market with our head chef one day and experiencing an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of a world-famous museum the next.

Our state-of-the-art ships take you right into the heart of each destination, and you won’t find any kids or ‘nickel and diming’ on board. In fact, our fares include everything you need - from meals, beverages and Wi-Fi to a culturally enriching shore excursion at every port of call. This unique combination of features has become affectionately known as ‘the Viking difference’.

Viking has 70 award-winning river ships sailing all over the world, and we can’t wait to welcome you on board to discover the Viking difference for yourself.

Recent Reviews

Egypt s a not to miss experience   1 , WA, Australia, Jan 2020
We finally undertook our dream holiday to Egypt. The sheer beauty of this timeless country exceeded all of our expectations. We were initially apprehensive about travelling to Egypt in regard to our safety but it was unfounded. Egypt is as safe as anywhere in Europe. We travelled with Scenic who provided a never to forget experience. The professionalism ...read more of the Scenic staff could not be faulted and their attention to detail was excellent. Our cruise down the Nile was exceptional. My wife and her sister are gluten intolerant and the Chef's on the boat specially prepared separate and exquisite meals, for both of them. We could not praise them enough. As for Cairo, Luxor and Aswan with their museums, temples, tombs and Pyramids you cannot appreciate their beauty and intrigue unless you are there. Their photos in glossy magazines and on the internet do not do them justice. So if you have the opportunity do not miss this once in a lifetime experience.
Terrific river cruise :)     1 , NSW, Australia, Sep 2019
We totally enjoyed our River Cruise. Booking through Global Journeys was sooo easy. Communication was great and nothing was to much trouble. We found communication with Global Journeys much easier than communicating directly with river cruise company. The cruise was great - we were a bit concerned that the age demographics would be older than us ...read more but that was not the case. There was a great mix of ages on the ship and we have formed some strong friendships. There was a late change of ship which we were disappointed in but Scenic went out of their way to ensure they made up for any disappointment. We would definitely do another river cruise and we certainly will be booking that through Global Journeys. Very happy customers.
    4 , NSW, Australia, Aug 2019
The scenery was brilliant. The service in the restaurant was just below perfect. The reason for this qualification was due to all the smorgasbords. There was an additional specials menu - twice we ordered from this but the meals didn't turn up. Free beverages were excellent. Another thing mentioned and rectified was all the 'double beds' on the ship ...read more were in reality single beds put together. Put my leg through the centre and could have broken a leg or ankle. Fell out of bed with the mattress. Hello, passenger in danger. They did bind this one up and then I was okay. The Palais Liechtenstein Mozart and Strauss concert was perfect. All transfers were very good and prompt.
Fantastic Holiday     2 , VIC, Australia, Aug 2019
Rocky Mountains are an exciting experience. The beauty of the mountains and lakes are everywhere around you. A sight to behold.
Relaxing river cruise   8 , QLD, Australia, Aug 2019
The river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest was an excellent way to travel. It was fully catered and the food selection was varied to provide dishes from the country you travel through. It gave us an opportunity to taste food that we may not have ordered from a restaurant elsewhere. We enjoyed the ability to integrate cycling with our sight seeing. ...read more The Scenic river cruise was indeed scenic and the onboard app provided great insights to the various castles, churches and towns as we passed by. The staff on this Scenic river cruise were friendly and very pleasant to deal with. Our cruise director was the best we have ever had compared to our travels. He was always around to help people with their queries and had a great dry sense of humour. We really enjoyed this cruise and would recommend it to others. Our booking through Global Journeys was simple, easy and without any problems. Anything that was promised was delivered on time and without any need for us to chase. This gave us the opportunity to start our trip in relaxed frame of mind and to enjoy the experience.
Fascinating trip from Moscow to Berlin via St Petersburg and the Baltic States     1 , NSW, Australia, Jul 2019
We booked this trip because it offered something a bit different from our usual European holidays, and we were not disappointed. The tour operator, Scenic, were excellent. Our trip started in Moscow, where we were met at the airport and driven to our cruise ship, the Scenic Tsar. This is a smaller ship than some others, only taking a maximum of 96 guests, ...read more which meant people mixed well and we met some lovely friends. Three tour directors looked after all our excursions, as well as offering some fun entertainment on board. They were a talented group, and we learnt Russian history, language, cooking and Matryoshka decoration. The ship's crew, all Russian, spoke good English, and catered for our every need. After the cruise we were accompanied on a train journey to Helsinki, where we continued our tour through the Baltic States, again learning much history and culture, as well as seeing some lovely cities and countryside. Our tour director was wonderful, and we couldn't have been better looked after. On both parts of the tour we experienced some wonderful cultural events, excellent accommodation, comfortable travel and some great meals. We would definitely take another trip with Scenic, and happily use Global Journeys to book, as they were very organised and helpful. We really appreciated being able to log on to our record and check how the planning was progressing.
River Cruise in Russia   7 , QLD, Australia, Sep 2019
We have completed many coach tours and independent travel in Europe and the United States. Viking's Waterways of the Tsars was our first River Cruise - so it was a new country as well as a new travel style! There were 192 passengers on our trip, the majority from US and many seasoned cruisers! We had selected the "cheaper" window style cabin rather ...read more that a verandah cabin - it was quite spacious, provided plenty of storage and accommodated adequate river views when underway. We spent most of our on board time in scenic common areas. There were often 3-5 boats berthed alongside each other at river ports and it was often necessary to traverse several of these to access our boat, Akun. September was "cool to cold" with beautiful Autumn coloured leaves in gardens and forests; skies were a little grey and the tourist season was drawing to a close... I would hate to be a visitor at its peak! We enjoyed having the same comfortable bed and the superb quality meals (small buffet or table service for Breakfast and Lunch; a la carte for dinner with choices from Local Specialties (this was a great way to sample traditional Russian foods) or Classic menu items. We immersed ourselves in the varied programs provided by Viking - there are no casinos or "stage shows" on board... and we did not miss them! The organisation was very efficient and professional; the staff were warm, friendly and helpful. We travelled in the Moscow to St Petersburg direction and in retrospect I think this was the preferable direction - we had booked two extra nights, through Viking, in hotels both in Moscow and St Petersburg. It was great to have those extra nights especially in St Petersburg where the accommodation was very central and allowed lots of opportunities to explore independently. We weren't as confident and adventurous at the start of the trip! I hadn't expected the Viking river berths in both cities (3 nights at each) to be situated in such outer locations. Fortunately, the company offers many Included Tours in the program. We also selected several Optional tours. On a "free day" we travelled independently from the Moscow river berth to view Victory Park (the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945 Museum). We would recommend this if you have an interest in these tragic years of Russian History - the Viking program, as the name of the tour would indicate tends to focus more on the Tsarist history. We have visited many European cities and St Petersburg would now have to be our favourite city. Be warned that the application for a Russian Visa is a time consuming exercise and can be costly. After obtaining the required "Invitation Letter" from Viking we were able to complete and submit our Visa application to the Russian Consulate online. Our passports were returned to us 20 days later. Our Viking booking included flights with Emirates as well as transfers to and from the airport, a stress free exercise.
Fantastic river cruise!   1 , NSW , Australia, Sep 2019
Viking never disappoints! This was a really interesting journey with excellent included excursions. It was a nice mix of people on the ship from different parts of the world. The food of course was of very high quality and the staff were lovely. Would highly recommend this river cruise.
Did not meet expectations.   1 , VIC, Australia, Sep 2019
I will be contacting Viking directly to voice my concerns as this trip did not meet expectations. The ship repair for change of generator at the start of our journey in Lyon was a concern which dampened our enthusiasm. The quality of wine offered in the the Silver Spirit package was considerably below expectations and some of the better champagnes were ...read more out of stock mid trip. The included excursions were padded out and not to the standard experienced on our previous cruise. Very disappointing. Please feel free to forward this to Viking - it would be appreciated.
Viking river cruise   2 , QLD, Australia, Aug 2019
Many thanks to Juliet (who has since left!) and Jodie for organising our holiday. All dealings with Global Journeys were excellent and I have recommended your services to many others. Whilst we enjoyed our river cruise with Viking, and it was reasonably priced, it wasn’t quite what we expected. Firstly, it wasn’t as relaxing as we thought it would be, ...read more as the included tours left around 8.30am most mornings, which meant getting ready and having breakfast quite early in order to board the coach on time. Secondly, the walking tours were painfully slow so quite frustrating for those of us who are quite fit, even though they broke the groups into “classic” and “leisurely”. The city stays at both ends of the cruise were okay, but it did mean long days travelling in the coach to get to the destinations i.e. from Paris to the ship via Luxembourg then from the ship to Prague. The included tours were pleasant (apart from the snail pace!) but the optionals were rather overpriced in my opinion so we didn’t do any. The ship itself was quite nice. Not luxurious, but tastefully decorated and our water level cabin was adequate for our needs. We had envisaged we wouldn’t be spending much time in there and we didn’t. We were travelling with my brother and his wife and we were the only Australians on board with predominantly Americans which we found a bit loud and demanding! One man actually apologised to us for his “fellow countrymen’s behaviour”. The tour director was lovely with a wonderful sense of humour and the service onboard was excellent. The meals and included drinks were great although the portion sizes were way too big. We did write on our review sheet that perhaps they should offer a smaller sizing for those of us who don’t usually eat that much as it seemed a waste not to eat it so we did at the start, but towards the end just couldn’t as our waistlines were expanding too much! If we were to do another river cruise we would probably look at going with a company with more Australians, New Zealanders & Brits as the clientele...
Russian Surprise   0 , SA , Australia, Aug 2019
The booking procedure was seamless from selecting our holiday to the receipt of our travel documents. The airfares were organised by Viking Cruises as part of the package we chose. The major problem being the inability to pick our own seats on the plane. The Waterways to the Tsars tour was well thought out and provided an extensive look into the ...read more past and present life of the Russian people. The local guides provided well thought out information, although we became a little tired of the Romanovs by the end of the cruise. The on board staff were exemplary going about their tasks with a smile on their faces and were always helpful. A tremendous little touch was the gift of chocolates and a personal note from our cabin steward on the last day. The meals were OK and the ability to eat local food was a good touch. The only downside as far as the cruise was concerned was, free soft drink and alcohol was limited to meal times only and the local red wine was almost undrinkable. I was too tight to buy wine from the wine list. The major downside happened on our way home. The plane from Moscow was an hour late leaving and we missed our connecting flight from Frankfurt to Singapore even though the plane was still in the terminal and the ground staff knew we were coming. This lead to extremely basic accommodation and meals and resulted in us having to halve our stay in Singapore and was a significant reason for our jetlag when we came home. All in all it was a good experience that could have been great if the air component had been better. I have grave doubts if I would ever fly with Lufthansa again.
A wonderful relaxing holiday!   0 , QLD, Australia, Aug 2019
Our first river cruise ever and it didn't disappoint! We had a French balcony room which gave us a lovely view of the river and the ship was lovely as were all the staff. The trips into the ports along the way were well organised and very enjoyable with lots to see. Food on board was very nice and the silver drinks package was well worth the cost as ...read more we got to try lots of different wines and cocktails we wouldn't normally have ordered. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable cruise. Thank you Global Journeys for making it possible!

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