Why is viking cruises so expensive? (Top 10 Reasons in 2023)

When it comes to luxury cruises, Viking Cruises is frequently regarded as one of the best options. Viking Cruises’ luxury experience costs. Viking Cruises’ increasing prices make travelers ask why. 

Due to their exceptional service, lavish accommodations, and included pricing, Viking Cruises are expensive. The price includes gourmet meals, shore excursions, and cultural enrichment programs. The extra price reflects the small-ship experience.

This article will discuss Viking Cruises’ high prices, including their all-inclusive nature, quality of service and amenities, the exclusivity of ships, and destinations.

10 Key Factors That Make viking cruises So Expensive

Viking Cruises, whether you’re considering their river or ocean cruises, are indeed positioned in the luxury segment of the market, and this is reflected in their pricing. Here are the factors that contribute to the higher cost of Viking Cruises:

#1- All-Inclusive Pricing

Viking Cruises offers an all-inclusive pricing model, a cornerstone of luxury travel. 

This pricing includes not only the voyage but a multitude of other offerings. All meals, shore excursions in each port, onboard activities, and amenities, even WiFi and beer and wine with meals, are covered under the cruise fare. 

Many itineraries also offer flight-inclusive packages, which can include transfers, reducing the additional logistics the passenger has to manage.

This comprehensive package means that you’re not constantly reaching for your wallet during your vacation, enabling a truly relaxing and luxurious experience. 

While this upfront cost seems high, when considering everything that’s included, many travelers find it to be a more transparent and potentially cost-saving way to cruise.

#2- Luxury Accommodations

Accommodations on Viking ships are far from ordinary. They’re designed to be your home away from home, with comfortable, Scandinavian inspired decor and high-end amenities. 

The spacious, elegantly designed staterooms and suites, most with private verandas, include features like king-size beds, large flat-screen LCD TVs, luxury toiletries, and plenty of storage space. 

Suites even come with additional perks such as welcome champagne, daily fruit baskets, and laundry service.

This level of comfort and luxury requires significant investment in terms of interior design, furnishings, and maintenance, therefore increasing the overall cost of a Viking cruise.

#3- High Staff-to-Guest Ratio

One of the defining characteristics of luxury cruises is a high staff-to-guest ratio, and Viking Cruises is no exception. 

The company prides itself on its ‘no guest, unattended’ policy, which necessitates a large, well-trained staff. 

Whether it’s room service, meal service, or excursion guides, having ample staff ensures every guest’s needs are met promptly and efficiently. 

Staff members are not just numerous but also highly trained, from the housekeeping personnel to the guest services team.

#4- Gourmet Dining

Viking’s dining experience isn’t your typical buffet fare. 

They take pride in offering culinary journeys, with gourmet menus that reflect the culture and tastes of the cruise’s destinations. 

From the main dining room to specialty restaurants and 24-hour room service, the emphasis is always on high-quality ingredients, expert preparation, and a range of choices. 

They also cater to a variety of dietary preferences, which necessitates a skilled culinary team.

#5- Smaller Ships, Fewer Passengers

Viking’s ocean ships are intentionally smaller to provide more comfort and accessibility. 

This philosophy results in fewer guests, spacious public areas, and an intimate, refined ambiance on board. 

Fewer passengers can also mean more time and space to explore in each port. 

However, the operating costs of the cruise, including crew wages, fuel, supplies, and port fees, are divided among fewer guests, which can contribute to a higher fare per person.

#6- In-Depth Excursions

A significant part of Viking’s all-inclusive promise is the inclusion of shore excursions in every port of call. 

Rather than the typical bus tour, Viking curates in-depth cultural experiences, often led by local guides with expert knowledge. 

This might involve walking tours, museum visits, culinary experiences, or even private performances, all designed to immerse guests in the local culture. 

While providing such quality excursions is an expensive operation, it is part of Viking’s commitment to deliver meaningful experiences to their passengers.

#7- Specialized Itineraries

Viking offers unique, destination-focused itineraries. 

Rather than the usual tourist hotspots, Viking cruises often visit lesser-known ports and regions, providing a more unique and in-depth exploration of the area. 

Developing these unusual itineraries requires additional planning and resources, adding to the overall cost of the cruise.

#8- High-Quality Entertainment and Lectures

As part of their enrichment program, Viking offers a range of entertainment and educational options. 

This includes guest lecturers who are experts in their field, covering topics related to the cruise’s destinations, live musical and theatrical performances, cooking and craft demonstrations, and more. 

Organizing and delivering such high-quality, diverse enrichment programs involves considerable expense.

#9- Modern, Efficient Ships

Viking’s ocean and river fleets are among the most modern in the industry, featuring state-of-the-art navigational and safety technology, hybrid engines for greater fuel efficiency, and solar panels to reduce emissions. 

While these features are environmentally friendly and contribute to a smoother sailing experience, they also require significant capital investment and maintenance, which can increase the overall cost of the cruise.

#10- Brand Reputation and Positioning

Viking Cruises has cultivated a reputation as a luxury cruise line offering top-quality experiences, and it has positioned itself in the high-end segment of the cruise market. 

With this brand positioning comes an expectation of superior quality and service, which can command premium pricing. 

The investment required to maintain this reputation, from maintaining high standards in every aspect of operation to continually improving and expanding offerings, contributes to the higher price tag.

Is Buying Expensive viking cruises Worth It?

Deciding whether purchasing a Viking Cruise is worth it depends largely on your individual preferences, your budget, and what you’re looking to get out of your vacation. 

If you value a luxury, all-inclusive travel experience with high-end accommodations, exceptional service, gourmet dining, and enriching excursions, then a Viking Cruise could be worth the cost.

All-Inclusive Pricing

Viking Cruises is known for its all-inclusive pricing model, which covers not just your room but also meals, shore excursions, on-board activities, and amenities like WiFi. 

When you compare this to other cruise lines where you may pay less upfront but then have additional costs for dining, excursions, and even internet access, you may find that you get more value for your money with Viking. 

If you appreciate the convenience and predictability of knowing most of your expenses are covered upfront, this all-inclusive model might be deemed worth it.

Luxury Accommodations

The accommodations on Viking ships are meticulously designed with comfort, luxury, and aesthetics in mind. 

The spacious staterooms are well-appointed with fine furnishings, luxury bath products, and modern amenities. 

If high-end accommodations are important to you and contribute significantly to your enjoyment of your holiday, then this factor increases the perceived value of a Viking Cruise.

Exemplary Service

Viking Cruises prides itself on excellent customer service, facilitated by a high staff-to-guest ratio. 

This means more personalized attention, from dining to housekeeping, which can greatly enhance your cruise experience. 

If you value attentive, personalized service, this would add to the worthiness of the cost.

Unique Itineraries and Excursions

Viking is renowned for their destination-focused itineraries. 

They often include ports that are off the beaten track or offer unique cultural experiences that you wouldn’t get on a more mainstream cruise. 

They also include at least one shore excursion in every port in the cruise fare. 

If you enjoy discovering lesser-known locations and having unique cultural experiences, the inclusive, well-curated excursions and itineraries add considerable value.

Gourmet Dining

The culinary experience on a Viking Cruise goes beyond your typical cruise fare. 

With a focus on regional cuisine and fresh ingredients, dining on a Viking Cruise is often compared to dining in a fine restaurant. 

If high-quality food and a variety of dining options are significant factors for your enjoyment on holiday, then this could justify the cost.

Top 3 Budget Friendly Alternative For viking cruises

While Viking Cruises offers a luxury experience, there are other cruise lines that offer enjoyable experiences at a more budget-friendly price point.

The three cruise lines mentioned below offer itineraries similar to Viking’s, but typically at a lower cost:

#1- Holland America Line

Holland America Line has been offering a classic style of cruising for more than 140 years. 

Known for their mid-sized ships and relaxed ambiance, Holland America offers a wide range of itineraries around the globe. 

The line places a strong emphasis on learning and enrichment, with lectures, cooking demonstrations, and music-related offerings, which is somewhat similar to Viking’s enrichment programs. 

While not all-inclusive, Holland America’s fares do include meals in several dining venues, most entertainment, and use of the fitness center.

#2- Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises offers a premium cruise experience, with stylish ships, excellent dining options, and an emphasis on enrichment and wellness. 

While Celebrity is generally more expensive than the most budget-oriented cruise lines, it is typically cheaper than Viking while still offering high-quality services and amenities. 

The line offers a range of itineraries worldwide.

Celebrity’s fares include meals in the main dining room and buffet, as well as several casual dining venues, and most onboard activities and entertainment.

#3- MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises, a Swiss-based, global cruise company, is one of the more budget-friendly options. 

Known for its modern, well-designed ships, MSC offers a wide range of itineraries in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Caribbean, and more. MSC provides a variety of dining and entertainment options. 

While their offering might not be as luxurious as Viking, they offer a solid cruise experience at a significantly lower price.


Do Viking cruises provide better value for the higher price?

Viking cruises aim to provide exceptional value for the higher price. The company focuses on delivering a premium experience with attention to detail, personalized service, cultural immersion, and well-curated itineraries. The all-inclusive nature of Viking cruises, with various amenities included in the package, adds to the overall value for travelers seeking a luxurious cruise experience.

Can I find discounts or promotions for Viking cruises?

While Viking Cruises generally maintains a premium pricing structure, there may be occasional discounts or promotions available. These can include early booking discounts, last-minute deals, loyalty program benefits, or special offers during certain times of the year. It’s advisable to keep an eye on the official Viking Cruises website or consult with travel agents to explore any available discounts.

Are there different price ranges for Viking cruises?

Yes, Viking Cruises offers different price ranges to cater to various budgets and preferences. The cost of a Viking cruise can vary based on factors such as the destination, cruise duration, cabin category, and any additional amenities or excursions included in the package. There are options available for both higher-end and more affordable cruise experiences.

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