Home > Compare Tour Operators > Scenic vs Viking River Cruises

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
684
No. of Departures
2,815
Avg. Trip Length
17 Days
Avg. Price Per Day
$907
Accommodation
4 - 5 Star
Budget
Premium & Luxury
No. of Trips
54
No. of Departures
3,488
Avg. Trip Length
11 Days
Avg. Price Per Day
$431
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
Scenic is proudly an Australian founded company setting the global standard for all inclusive luxury travel. We have delighted guests for more than 36 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.
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.
Ultimate New Zealand   1 , SA, Australia, Sep 2022
Booking with Global Journeys was a very good experience, Georgie was always happy to help with queries and assist with changes to flights or itinerary due to events outside of her control. Scenic is a company we have done a lot trips with and the quality of hotel accommodation is always excellent. The coach driver we had in New Zealand was amazing, ...read more as well as being an excellent driver he knew the country backwards and gave us plenty of information. Due to COVID and staff shortages there were several changes to the itinerary. Our Tour Director was Australian, new to the job and not familiar with New Zealand, not the standard we have been used to from Scenic! We would travel with Scenic again.
Nice cruise but Scenic is not the same post COVID   1 , 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.
Gems of South Australia   4 , WA, Australia, Aug 2022
Wonderful Tour leader and coach drivers. A mix of ages from 38 plus. All Australian this time around. I am not really a wine drinker and maybe had one too many wineries for my liking. Kangaroo Island was amazing and favourite among most of us. Adelaide, wineries and Victoria Habour all beautiful Scenes and as we drove around. Accommodation was of a ...read more mixed rating, Remembering Kangaroo Island is still recovering from fires was of a lower standard but still quite good and the staff their were more than helpful, Walking distance to small amount of places to get a coffee or a place to eat. Advice if you go in August - layers, coats, beanies, raincoat. Really cold most days but still a wonderful holiday.
Amazing Canada and Alaska Trip   1 , NSW, Australia, Aug 2022
Definitely would travel with Scenic again had fun and stress free trip to Canada with an Alaska cruise . Highlight was a helicopter ride in Whistler and landing on a glacier (which was extra $ but well worth it) spectacular! Accommodation was good although it would have been nice to stay in rooms with a view as you are paying top dollar, only one hotel ...read more we had a view was Lake Louise which was amazing!

We had a wonderful tour guide Benjamin who really looked after us and made the trip enjoyable ! Alaska cruise with Holland America was excellent ,and we were lucky to have perfect weather August perfect time of the year to see both Rockies and Alaska. Thank you Georgie at Global Journeys for organizing a wonderful and stress free holiday.
Scenic's Icons of Western Canada and Alaskan Cruise     2 , SA, Australia, Aug 2022
I would highly recommend this Scenic Package. We travelled in August 2022 and had perfect weather the entire trip. Our tour director on the land package was Ben Frances and our driver was Nick - they were both the best tour Director and driver we have ever had any any of our previous 7 bus holidays. The 2-day stays in Victoria, Whistler, Jasper, ...read more Lake Louise and Banff and Vancouver were wonderful and the Fairmont hotels and location were perfect. The Gold Leaf Rocky Mountaineer between Banff and Vancouver was a once in a life time experience and the scenery, particularly the first day was magical. Our entire group remained COVID free so we could all enjoy the Holland America seven night Inside passage cruise. The cruise cabin selection on the Koningsdam that Scenic provided us was perfect - we couldn't fault anything during either the entire land and cruise packages.

We particularly, like the selection of included activities in Victoria, Whistler, Jasper and Banff. We chose the whale watching in Victoria; Zip Lining in Whistler; Rafting in Jasper and the helicopter ride in Banff. We also did the Peak-2-Peak Gondola ride in Whistler. We paid for this ourselves and had plenty of time to fully explore the peaks in the afternoon as we did the Zip lining in the morning. The zip lining is suitable for all ages it is very comfortable and easy to do.

The Holland America Cruise was fantastic - great entertainment at night time - particularly the One Step Dance company, the BB King All Stars Blues band, the two comedians and the BBC Planet Earth shows.

This was our second holiday we have booked through Global Journeys and once again it was hassle free and everything was so easy - despite COVID. I would highly recommend them. Our previous tour was an Albatross tour throughout Ireland which like the Scenic tour had a number of 2 and some 3 nights stays and lots of inclusions. We chose Scenic for this holiday only because Albatross don't offer any packages for Canada and Alaska. It was our first time with Scenic and we were very impressed with them. Overall Global Journeys, Scenic and Holland America all provided quality products and service that made it a superb holiday.
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   0 , 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.
Traversing France by River with Viking     2 , VIC, Australia, Aug 2022
Firstly, we have travelled with Viking by their river ships and we have driven to the same areas that were on our itinerary. Travelling by river eliminates the parking hazards and the grind in getting to and finding your bearings.
The France’s Finest river cruise actually combines two different river experiences and we did meet two couples who were ...read more only doing one week. Vikings product is excellent in both the ship accommodation and service levels. This package includes your transfer from Paris to Lyon (or vice versa ) if you combine the two trips and was seamless. The travellers comprised of about 80 per cent from the US.

The included walking tours had excellent guides in general though one issue which could be common to many such cruise trips is there are a number of individuals whose mobility is restricted and it can be tedious walking in such groups. There was an attempt at one port walk to have a fast group but unfortunately the tour guide was the hold up. We didn’t bother to do the guided walk but chose to explore ourselves in a few destinations. We would advise arriving at least 2 days earlier if flying from Australia whether you start this tour in Paris or Lyon. We found a wonderful boutique Paris hotel which was close to the Eiffel Tower and a short walk to the Viking dock.

We found it easy also to use the airport train and metro to arrive at our hotel. COVID restrictions in general had been removed at the time of sailing. Viking staff all were required to wear masks. The only real COVID issue we faced was 3 weeks prior when our airline changed our flight schedule. We are thankful that we had booked our flights via Viking and together with Hannah from Global Journeys as we were able to resolve this significant problem. We were lucky that we had considerable flexibility to depart early as we are a retired couple. We have used the services of Global Journeys on previous bookings and would recommend the company. They were always ready to respond quickly to your queries.

Popular Trips

Scenic

15 Days Amsterdam to Budapest

Operator: Scenic

From 5,944
Save 1,590

22 Days Victoria to Vancouver

Operator: Scenic

From 13,855
Save 1,672

11 Days Bordeaux to Bordeaux

Operator: Scenic

From 6,260
Save 1,570

15 Days Amsterdam to Zurich

Operator: Scenic

From 7,231
Save 1,589
Viking River Cruises

15 Days Amsterdam to Budapest

Operator: Viking

From 3,955
Save 3,340

15 Days Budapest to Amsterdam

Operator: Viking

From 3,955
Save 3,340

8 Days Amsterdam to Basel

Operator: Viking

From 2,965
Save 1,342

8 Days Regensburg to Budapest

Operator: Viking

From 2,569
Save 2,827