Home > Compare River Cruise Companies > Scenic River Cruises vs Viking River Cruises

Scenic River Cruises vs Viking River Cruises

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

The Low Down

Scenic River Cruises 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.
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.


No. of Trips
No. of Departures
Avg. Trip Length
14 Days
Avg. Price Per Day
Fleet Size
14 Ships
Known For
Luxury Cruising
Ship Styles River Cruises
No. of Trips
No. of Departures
Avg. Trip Length
11 Days
Avg. Price Per Day
Fleet Size
75 Ships
Known For
Scandinavian Design
Ship Styles River Cruises
Regions Explored AsiaEuropeMississippiNile

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

Scenic River Cruises
With Scenic, it’s more than a 5-star river cruise...it’s a seamless journey from start to finish that places you, our guest, at the heart of everything we do. It’s taking you to extraordinary regions and immersing you in meaningful and enriching experiences. It’s exquisite cuisine, indulgent wellness, and a world-class team who will anticipate your every need. You'll find the difference is in the details with Scenic: the innovative ship design, expertly trained crew, immersive journey, and an unrivalled focus on health and safety protocols.
Viking River Cruises
A Viking river cruise is the discerning traveller’s dream. Whether you choose to visit Egypt, Asia, Europe or the Mississippi, 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

Wonderful Christmas Markets     1 , NSW, Australia, Nov 2022
We recently returned from the Scenic Christmas Markets River cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. The cruise was excellent with visits to many Christmas markets along the route. The markets usually opened around 11.00am until later that evening. Due to the short daylight hours the markets were twinkling with Christmas lights and many stalls to buy your ...read more Christmas decorations. The excursions were also educational and entertaining. Scenic also provided entertainment locally sourced, these were themed on what we had seen or visited that day.

If you are willing to endure the cold temperatures, the highest temperature was a maximum of 7 degrees while the coldest day was maximum 1 degree, this is a cruise that is well worth while especially if you would like to experience how Christmas is celebrated in Europe.

We would like also to send many thanks to Hannah at Global Journeys for her detail to attention, help and support as this trip was booked pre-COVID and Hannah was able to keep us up to date and repeatedly rebooked for us when the cruise between 2019 to 2021 were cancelled. Thanks Hannah and your fellow colleagues. We will definitely book with Global again as we used them for our overseas trips before onset of COVID too.
Nice cruise but Scenic is not the same post COVID   8 , SA, Australia, Sep 2022
We have cruised with Scenic twice before (pre COVID) and they were very good. The same cannot be said for Scenic post COVID. On the positive side, the cruise is very good, particularly the Moselle. The room was good and well serviced. The ship (Scenic Jewel) is in good condition but the lounge furniture is showing signs of wear and could do with an ...read more upgrade. The tour director was excellent and the staff were all very friendly and worked hard. Overall the cruise went off very well.

On the negative side, it is apparent that Scenic has cut the budget for food. Breakfast and lunch were OK but dinners are no longer gourmet and 5 star. Dinner is reduced to 3 courses and portion sizes are small. Bread rolls (strictly 1 per person) were the size and shape of my index finger and could barely be cut and buttered. The service was slow and confused on most nights and they appeared to be under staffed. The Chef must have got some feedback from the end of cruise reviews as he went table to table on the last night apologising for the food. A bit of a cringe moment.

As for Scenic's COVID protocols, other than having to prove that we were vaccinated when we boarded, the word COVID was never mentioned for the entire cruise. The staff do not wear masks and there is no requirement for passengers to wear masks but some did. The piano player has been sacked and replaced by an Enrichment Manager who is basically an assistant Tour Director and ran some quiz nights which were actually pretty good. Onboard evening entertainment was mostly not to our taste and we only stayed up for one. We enjoyed the cruise and the destinations we visited but many past Scenic customers were very disgruntled. Scenic has definitely lost its gloss.
Terrific river cruise :)     4 , 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.
Jewels of Europe on Scenic Jasper     6 , 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.
Relaxing river cruise   11 , 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.
22 days from Paris to Porto with Scenic   2 , ACT, Australia, Jun 2019
Firstly, I have nothing but praise for Jemma Rosen and Global Journeys in how our trip was organised. Jemma was always helpful, efficient and considerate in replying to any queries we had. This trip included two river cruises, the first in Bordeaux and the second on the Douro River in Portugal. Compared to other river cruises we have done, the Bordeaux ...read more trip was a little disappointing - the scenery is not as picturesque and the rivers are very muddy.

The cabin on Scenic Diamond was very cramped and smaller than those we have experienced on APT river cruises. Staff on board and meals were excellent. Most excursions were very good but some hot weather at the time spoilt several excursions. We enjoyed the cruise on the Douro River very much and would recommend it. Scenery was beautiful and excursions were excellent. The cabin on Scenic Azure was a better size. At least there was room for a chair but there was still a problem with very limited room between the sides of the bed and the walls.
Wonderful cruise   0 , VIC, Australia, Dec 2022
This was a really wonderful cruise with Viking from Budapest to Amsterdam. We went in December to see the Christmas Markets, which we saw in every town or city we visited. They were absolutely magical! It also snowed a few times, which made it even more special.

The shore tours that we did were great and the local guides very knowledgeable. We couldn’t f ...read moreault anything on the cruise. The food at breakfast, lunch and dinner was always delicious, with plenty of choice. All of the staff on board were very friendly and always ready to help. Our room was very comfortable, with plenty of wardrobe and drawer space, which is very important.

Thank you Tracey, from Global Journeys, for your help with our booking. Global Journeys have always been great to deal with and will definitely book with them again in the future. We loved absolutely everything about our cruise and can highly recommend Viking (which we have already done) to anyone wanting to do a river cruise.
Fabulous river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest   0 , QLD, Australia, Nov 2022
Absolutely fantastic from start to finish. The couple of years delay we had due to Covid was well worth the wait. We have nothing but praise for Viking and their staff and also Georgie from Global Journeys who we booked through. Everyone was so friendly, courteous and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble. We booked our flights with Viking Air which ...read more included pickup at the airport and transport to the ship.

Our cabin with a French Balcony was a good choice as it was quieter and the weather in November was mostly overcast with single digit temperatures which was not conducive to utilising an outside balcony. While the weather was cool we were comfortable wearing appropriate clothing on the tours. Dining was top class with plenty of choices. We were very impressed with everything and are already planning our next Viking River Cruise which we will book with Georgie through Global Journeys.
Magical   1 , VIC, Australia, Nov 2022
Viking provided a very professional magical experience and we enjoyed every moment. David Wander, our program leaders expertise in organising and generally caring for each and every guest aboard was beyond outstanding. The majority of travellers were from America which we at times felt excluded by non Viking excursion leaders who directed all there ...read more commentary to and about Americans. We had to change ships half way as the river level was low, this was handled in the least disruptive way by all the wonderful Viking crew aboard the Bragi and Skadi.

Georgie handled our reservations at Global Journeys and was easy to communicate with. Our Viking travel tags did not arrive in time which caused a delay in our boarding the ship and an error on our flight arrival time receipt back into Melbourne meant we had the extra cost of a nights accommodation, this we did not realise until checking in to fly home. Our arrangements had been made and could not be changed but if we had known the correct flight time we could have travelled the next part of our journey home with ease.
Fabulous Cruise   1 , VIC, Australia, Oct 2022
Our Viking river cruise met all our expectations and above. Unfortunately we missed the first five days because of COVID but Viking rang us every day to check we were ok and we were able to join the cruise on day 5. On arrival they upgraded us to a French verandah which was unexpected but greatly appreciated. The staff were so friendly and helpful ...read more and we could not fault the food, good variety and quality. The shore tours were excellent and the tour guides very knowledgeable. When we returned and contacted Viking about our missed days on the cruise, they were also very prompt in issuing credit vouchers to put towards another Viking cruise. We would highly recommend Viking.
Viking Cruise Amsterdam to Budapest     1 , SA, Australia, Sep 2022
Fantastic trip - Viking have obviously spent years perfecting their on-board service and features, as well as daily excursions and experiences. Staff were all very polite, expert at their role, and always willing to help. Food and drink was high quality, and in abundance. Recommend taking the drinks package - left us with zero to pay at end of cruise. ...read more No need to travel with friends - the boat provides ample opportunity to meet new people.
A wonderful journey on the very picturesque Danube, Main and Rhine rivers with no packing up each day   1 , VIC, Australia, Sep 2022
Viking gave great service, especially the food - it was amazing. We went in early September and it was a little cool-would have liked it to be warmer but you can't control the weather. Another great life time experience. Thank you to Global Journeys and Georgie - once again.

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