We travel; Luci stays home: Viking Tialfi

The Tialfi is the newest in the Viking fleet of Longships. She is slim and sleek and takes a shallow draft of 6 feet or so fully loaded. Even then, low water levels have caused an evacuation of passengers to buses in order to lessen the draft further until the ship gets to deeper water and the passengers can be brought aboard again. High water can also be a problem getting under low bridges. In that case, everything on the sun deck is lowered, including the wheelhouse where the captain is navigating. He then navigates by sonar until the low bridge is behind the ship.

The top of the ship is the sun deck with the wheelhouse in the middle. Chairs and tables, sunshades and lounging chaises are for passenger use any time. There is a walking track, a putting course with two holes, a shuffleboard court and an herb garden on this level. The next level down has the lounge/bar with chairs, sofas and tables and floor to ceiling windows. Here entertainment is presented. The Aquavit Terrace where casual meals are served is forward of the lounge. Outside seating is provided at the front of the ship here in addition to the sun deck seating. Sunshades can be extended over this area. In the middle of this deck is a stairway servicing all three decks. This middle area has a small library and a computer station. All the remaining space on the third deck is staterooms with two larger staterooms at the stern.
The next level down is the main deck and is arranged the same as the third deck but has the bursar's desk and a small boutique taking up the center space. When leaving the ship all passengers must stop at this desk and pick up their identifying card and return it when back on board so everyone can be accounted for before the ship relocates. In the front of this deck is the main restaurant with tables of various sizes and floor to ceiling windows. All meals can be taken here or on the Aquavit Terrace. The first deck is the lowest part of the ship. There are some staterooms here as well as accommodation for crew and also the laundry and kitchen and engine room. An elevator is provided for the stair climbing challenged.
The crew hail from many parts of the world and many have worked for other cruise lines. There were no Americans or British crew members that I was aware of.
We were treated to musical entertainment on two nights. The Program Director hosted quiz nights in the lounge on two nights. There was a glassblowing demonstration one evening and Robert was on hand in the lounge daily playing tunes on an electric organ/synthesizer. He was very talented. Other educational presentations happened during the afternoon on some days but we were not on board. We didn't take in all these activities but did go to the lounge before dinner in the evening when the next day's excursions were explained and the chef came in to offer his suggestions for dinner that evening. This hour was also used to introduce the passengers to the crew chiefs.
There was plenty to do every day but no one was required to join in if they just wanted a quiet day to do nothing or read a book or explore the local town on their own. We were able to use the front desk staff to set up our own excursions as well.
Here is a clip of music offered during the German Buffet midweek. This animated lady is playing a barrel organ. Her partner played an accordion.

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