Q – We seem to have a choice of different size river boats, with the largest belonging to Viking River. In terms of density, are there real advantages in terms of one size over another? The fact that everything is shown in meters adds to my confusion. Really useful site but you should have video of all the boats.
A – For video, go to youtube. For good deli go to Katz’s. For river boat information without the marketing hype, stay where you are. The fact is that there are only two or three current models of riverboats when it comes to size. They all have to pass through the same locks and under the same bridges so a revolutionary size/design is unlikely. Most of the boats are close to 443 feet or 361 feet in length. Even the Viking Longboats, the biggest on the rivers, are still 443 feet long. The Viking River Baldur holds 190 guests while the Scenic Pearl, the same length vessel, carries 171 guests.
The Viking Sky is 361 feet long and accommodates 150 guests while the same length Avalon Poetry 11 carries only 128 guests. But Viking’s Longships have some new designs that permits for more public space per guest. We think that river cruiser currently have a choice of a boat that carries about 130 guests versus one that is 80 feet longer and carries 170-190 guests.
The newer boats tend to be larger to increase yield and so often have more modern facilities. But at this stage, we would not recommend that you eliminate any of the vessels featured in our ratings on the basis of size alone. If you want to be picky, and we know you do, the 361 foot model has the better per square foot per guest ratios.