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Viking Cruises vs Silversea Cruises

Compare ships, pricing, destinations, onboard facilities and shore excursions between Viking Cruises and Silversea Cruises.
Viking Cruises Silversea Cruises
Where do they cruise?
What type of ships do they have? Mid-Size & Expedition Ships Small & Expedition Ships
How many passengers are on board? 930 & 378 100 - 608
What type of cruise line are they? Premium Luxury
What are they known for?
  • No Casinos
  • No Children
  • The Thinking Person’s Cruise
  • Luxury Cruises and Expeditions
  • 1000+ destinations
  • Overnight & late port departures
What is the average cost per day?
  • Balcony : $757
  • Suite: $1,293
  • Oceanview: $889
  • Balcony : $1,140
  • Suite: $2,075
Are fares all inclusive? Viking position themselves as an all-inclusive line, however, house beers and wine are only included at mealtimes (premium beverages are at additional cost) and there are optional paid excursions as well as included experiences. Silversea positions themselves as an all-inclusive line. However, there are some benefits that incur charges, such as shore excursions which are not included on classic cruises, and some specialty restaurants where surcharges apply
Are gratuities included? Yes, for Australian and New Zealand Passengers Yes
Are there any additional gratuities payable on board? No. Only at guest discretion Additional gratuities are payable on spa treatments
Can I get any reciprocal loyalty club benefits? No. The Viking Explorer Society offers credit and referral rewards to past passengers of Viking Cruises only No. Venetian Club only
What is the onboard currency? USD USD
What language is spoken on board? English English
Who cruises with them?
  • Primarily couples & solos
  • Retired and semi-retired
  • World travellers
  • Cosmopolitan world travellers
  • Travellers seeking to explore remote locations
  • Largest markets are US, UK, AUS & NZ
What is the average passenger age? Primarily 50+ Primarily 50+
Are they good for families? No. No children under 18 years of age Children are accepted from 6+ months (12+ months on select cruises/ships). Children under the age of five years are unable participate in any expedition excursions or embarkations that require the use of a Zodiac. An adult family member will be required to remain on board with their child(ren) during Zodiac excursions
Are there children’s programs? No Only on Silver Muse which has an activities room for children when 12 or more children sail
Is there childcare and/or babysitting? No No
What are the accommodation options?
  • Mid-Sized Ships: Balcony Staterooms & Suites.
  • Expedition Ships: Nordic Balcony Staterooms & Suites.
Oceanview & Balcony Suites. Categories vary between Classic ships and Expedition ships.
Are there accessible staterooms? Yes
  • Classic Cruises: Accessible cabins are available.
  • Expedition Cruises: Accessible suites available on Silver Cloud only.
Are shore excursions included?
  • Classic Cruises: One included excursion is offered at every port and optional excursions are available for purchase.
  • Expedition Cruises: A minimum of one shore excursion per landing day is included; there may be two on some days. On some expeditions, there may also be optional excursions available for purchase.
  • Classic Cruises: No. Shore excursions are offered at additional cost.
  • Expedition Cruises: Yes. All zodiac, sea and shore excursions are included and there are optional shore excursions for purchase.
What types of onboard activities are available for free?
  • Classic Cruises: Enrichment programs such as guest, historian and port lectures, onboard cooking demonstrations, local performers in destination, exclusive access filmed opera performances and Ted Talks.
  • Expedition Cruises: Activities such as lectures, film screenings, presentations and daily briefings from the expedition team as well as scientific programs hosted in The Laboratory.
  • Classic Cruises: Full-scale production shows; classical soloists, to cultural entertainment and feature films.
  • Expedition Cruises: Onboard expert lectures and films.
Are there any onboard activities that I need to pay for? Yes. Experiences such as The Kitchen Table (excursion and onboard cooking class) will incur additional charges No
Is there free evening entertainment? Yes Yes
Is there any paid evening entertainment? No No
Are there complimentary dining options? Yes Yes
Are there specialty restaurants? Yes. Complimentary Yes. Meals in La Dame, Seishin Restaurant and Kaiseki Restaurant attract a charge
Are there dining packages for purchase? No No
Are non-alcoholic beverages included? Yes. Purified water is provided in all staterooms. Soft drinks are included with lunches and dinners onboard. Specialty coffees and assorted hot teas are available 24 hours a day Yes. Soft drinks, water, tea and coffee
Are alcoholic beverages included? Complimentary house wines and beers are served with lunches and dinners on board Yes. Premium wines and spirits and mini bar is stocked with guest preferences. Some premium champagne, premium wine and spirit selections are available to purchase at extra cost
Can I purchase a beverage package? Yes. For premium cocktails or wines and spirits, Viking offers the Silver Spirits beverage package No
Is there room service? Yes. Complimentary 24/7 Yes. 24 hour in suite dining is an option and there is a butler service for every suite
Is there Wi-Fi on board? Yes. Complimentary Yes. Complimentary Wi-Fi for every suite for 1 device at a time. Premium suites are offered Wi-Fi for 2 devices at a time
Can I purchase Wi-Fi packages? No Yes. Upgraded premium access packages are available for purchase
Is there a Spa? Yes. Access is complimentary Yes
Are spa and salon services available? Yes. Charges Apply Yes. Charges Apply
Is there a gym? Yes Yes. All ships offer a Fitness Centre. These differ in size and equipment between ships
Are there group fitness classes? Yes. Specialised classes such as yoga may attract a charge. Classes may include; yoga, Zumba, TRX, and Body Conditioning. There may be less services available on expedition ships Yes. Circuit training is complimentary while Pilates and Yoga classes may be offered and incur charges. Services many differ between Classic and Expedition ships
Is there personal training available? Yes, on classic ocean cruises. Charges apply Yes. Charges Apply
Is there a self-service laundry? Yes. Complimentary Yes. Complimentary
Is a laundry service available? Yes. Charges Apply Yes. Charges Apply
Is there a casino on board? No On classic ships only

Please Note: There may be additional inclusions and privileges for select stateroom and suite guests or select loyalty member tiers. Activities and entertainment vary by ship, itinerary and departure and are a guide only.

Who provides the best value – Viking or Silversea?

Viking sits in the premium cruise bracket, while Silversea is considered a luxury line. Both Viking and Silversea market themselves as all-inclusive, however, this means something different for both brands. You won’t have to pay extra for benefits like room service and Wi-Fi on either line, and you can enjoy several complimentary dining options and select alcoholic beverages on each. However, despite some generous inclusions, there are some notable differences in the offering between these two brands.

When weighing up which is the best value for you, you’ll need to consider the items included as standard in your fare, and items you may need to budget for in addition. It is also important to see the current deals which may offer discounted cruise fares or added bonuses.

Every Viking Stateroom Has a Private Balcony

Every accommodation option on each Viking ship has a private balcony, regardless of the category you are considering. While most Silversea suites also have a balcony, you can also opt for a window-only option on each Silversea ship.

When you are comparing entry level cruise fares, look at a Veranda Stateroom with Viking and a Vista Suite with Silversea. Silversea has branded each of their accommodations as ‘suites’, however, you’ll find standard fare inclusions on lower categories (up to Veranda/Deluxe Verandas). It’s not until you’re cruising in the Medallion Suite or above (Silver Suite and above for ships without the Medallion Suite) that you’ll get extra perks such as a daily canape service, complimentary laundry and pressing, and Unlimited Premium Wi-Fi (as opposed to standard Wi-Fi).

Accommodation across both lines offers a generous amount of space. Viking’s smallest stateroom (the Veranda Stateroom) measures 25 m² / 269 ft² (including balcony space) and Silversea’s Vista Suite offers 27 – 31 m² / 290 – 333 ft² of indoor-only space depending on the ship. The largest of each fleet, the Owner’s Suite, comes in at 134 m² / 1,442 ft² on Viking ships, while Silversea’s generally measure between 114 – 129 m² / 1,227 – 1,388 ft² depending on the ship.

On a similar cruise, you’ll generally pay more for an entry level Silversea window-only option than a lead in Viking veranda stateroom. You may even be able to upgrade to a higher category of Viking stateroom for similar price to a Silversea oceanview, depending on the itinerary and offers available. A higher level stateroom can come with some added perks like priority reservations, alcoholic beverages in your mini bar and a welcome bottle of Champagne. When weighing up which fare is the best value for you, consider the offers available and the benefits that you’ll get from each line, as well as the inclusions of each stateroom category you are considering.

Silversea Includes Premium Beverages

All Silversea cruise fares include complimentary alcoholic beverages extending to premium wines and spirits. These can be ordered at any time from one of the ship’s bars and lounges, or if you prefer to enjoy a toast in your suite, you’ll also find your mini bar stocked with your beverage preferences, including wines and spirits. While the complimentary offering on board is quite comprehensive, there is also an additional selection available for purchase should you choose.

Viking also includes some alcoholic beverages however this is limited to beer and wine with onboard lunch and dinner. Guests can upgrade their inclusions with a Silver Spirits Beverage Package for US$20 per person per day (includes spirits and premium wine selections) or take advantage of Viking’s relaxed alcohol policy and bring their own alcohol on board (no corkage fees apply).

Viking Includes Shore Excursions

At every port, Viking includes one complimentary shore excursion for guests. These introductory walking or coach tours provide an overview of the destination, as well as free time for guests to delve a little deeper independently. There is also a collection of for-fee experiences that showcase the ‘Local Life’ and ‘Working World’ of a destination, as well as ‘Privileged Access’ experiences that open doors to places and experiences otherwise difficult to find or access independently.

Silversea does not include any shore excursions on their classic cruises however they do have a comprehensive range of onshore experiences for purchase. Their offering showcases history, local culture, regional cuisine, and the customs and traditions of destinations visited. They feature late night stays and overnights in port to allow for more in depth explorations and also feature multi-night shore excursions that allow guests to venture further inland or linger longer in a particular destination to experience it in way that a day trip simply wouldn’t allow.

Every Silversea Suite Comes with Butler Service

No matter which suite category you choose, every guest with Silversea will enjoy the services of a personal butler. Every need catered for, every reservation arranged, and every request fulfilled. Silversea pride themselves on their exceptional service standards, and with a staff-to-guest ratio of almost 1:1 on most ships, it is easy to see why.

Viking also pride themselves on the quality of their staff training and service, but you won’t find a butler at your door. There is no butler service offered on Viking ocean cruises, and there is a 1:2 staff-to-guest ratio on each of their ships.

Viking Includes All Dining Options

Every Viking ship has seven complimentary dining options, and you won’t have to pay a surcharge to dine in any of them. Choose from a selection of regionally inspired dishes in The Restaurant, opt for Italian at Manfredi’s, try some Norwegian specialties in Mamsen’s, or enjoy a relaxed bite at the Pool Grill (just to name a few). Guests can even enjoy a multicourse tasting at The Chef’s Table complimentary (however, there is a surcharge if you choose to pair your courses with premium wines).

Comparatively, when you cruise with Silversea, you will have between four and eight options to choose from (depending which ship you cruise on) and you will get to enjoy a range of menus crafted by Michelin starred chefs. On every ship, there is one for-fee dining venue (La Dame) while a surcharge will also apply for the Seishin Restaurant and Kaiseki Restaurant on select ships.

Comparing Viking's & Silversea's ships

Viking sails a fleet of seven premium ships (with more earmarked to come). They are all practically identical with a capacity of 930 guests and a distinctly Scandinavian design hailing from their Nordic heritage. Throughout each ship you will find plenty of natural light spilling into the serene public spaces, light wood detailing, and contemporary artwork.

With a focus on enrichment, guests can enjoy films and lecture screenings in the movie theatres, and you won’t find a casino on board – a feature openly omitted from the Viking design. There is a theatre for entertainment, lounges with panoramic windows to connect with your surrounds, and a generous spa area complete with a sauna, steam room, and snow grotto.

Silversea’s classic luxury fleet is smaller than Viking’s, with four ships accommodating roughly 600 guests, two welcoming roughly 400 passengers apiece, and the unique Silver Wind which breaks the mould with fewer than 300 guests on board. They provide an intimate setting designed with elegant décor and refined touches throughout. There is a dedicated venue to take in theatre, musical revues, and feature films, a spa to enjoy some pampering, and lounges to relax or socialise. Unlike Viking, you’ll find a casino on every classic Silversea ship.

Seasoned world travellers cruise with both lines, with a primary demographic of 50+ years. If you are looking for an adult-only cruise experience, then it is worth noting that Viking does not accept passengers under 18 years (Silversea does however they are also not tailored to families).

Guests tend to be drawn to the immersive nature of the experience offered by both Viking and Silversea, so you’ll meet others who share your worldly curiosity and thirst for exploring the globe. Being a luxury branded line, you’ll perhaps find those who like a few extra comforts and the white glove service on Silversea sailings.

On Viking you won’t find butlers, white gloves, or formal nights, all of which you can expect on a Silversea cruise. On Silversea formal nights ladies will don evening gowns and cocktail dresses, with gentlemen decked out in tuxedos and dinner jackets – ties are required. Guests can opt for informal or casual options instead however even in the public spaces on formal evenings a jacket is required.

Comparing destinations

Both Viking and Silversea offer a comprehensive collection of cruises around the globe, visiting lesser-travelled destinations as well as the renowned cruise favourites. They are both particularly strong in their home regions - Scandinavia for Viking (hailing from Nordic roots) and the Mediterranean for Silversea (Italy being their home).

That being said, there is no shortage of Silversea Northern Europe itineraries, and there is also an abundance of Mediterranean sailings to choose from with Viking. Plus, Viking buck the trend by offering both peak season sailings and departures throughout the quieter Mediterranean winter. You can also cruise Alaska with either line, visit an array of ports throughout Asia, island hop the Caribbean, plus cruise to many more destinations. If you are looking for a longer journey, both lines also offer transoceanic and worldwide voyages.

Along with Silversea’s classic cruises, you’ll also find expedition cruises that take travellers further off the beaten path. These trips offer a different experience to the traditional cruises covered in this comparison, with varying levels of inclusions and ships that are smaller again - purpose-built to visit far flung destinations from the remote reaches of Antarctica to the Galapagos Islands. Viking has also announced expedition cruising as its newest venture in 2022 – you can read how Silversea and Viking expeditions compare here. Take a look at each line’s full collection to find the right itinerary, cruise style, and experience for you.