Free drinks can be hard to come by on a cruise.
But on Viking Cruises, your bar bill will be zilch if you stick with wine or beer at lunch and dinner – nice, right?
On both of Viking’s river and ocean cruises, house wine and beer is complimentary during these meals.
But what about the cost of other drinks on the Viking Cruise bar menu?
Say you want a lemon drop martini before dinner.
That cost is $7.50 USD on Viking Cruises’ drinks menu. (That is, on the Viking Ocean bar menu; the river cruises have different bar prices, shown in Euros for European river cruises.)
But maybe you don’t want to think twice about ordering a cocktail whenever you want? Or perhaps you’d like to try different premium wines?
Then the Viking Silver Spirits package might be for you.
This all-inclusive drinks package is available on both the ocean and river cruises.
Not sure what to do? Let’s get into the nitty gritty of the different options available…
Viking Silver Spirits package and bar prices
We’ve now enjoyed two Viking cruises.
Our first Viking cruise was a two-week ocean cruise on the Viking Star in the Baltic.
Plenty of time to learn more about the drinks and wine on Viking Cruises… A subject, we’ve learned, people are curious about!
So here’s all you need to know about the Viking cruise bar menu, bringing wine and alcohol onboard, and the important question: Is the Silver Spirits package worth it on Viking?
Viking Ocean Cruises bar prices
The cost of drinks on Viking Ocean Cruises’ drinks menu are in USD, and they jumped slightly at the beginning of 2023.
Prices for hard liquor average $6.00 to $8.00 USD. A Jameson whiskey is $6.00, for example, and a Grand Marnier costs $8.00.
Most cocktails and martinis cost $7.50 USD.
Prices include the tip.
Note: Scroll down to the end of this post to see a full list of alcoholic drinks on Viking Ocean Cruises, with prices.
Sample: See this 2023 drinks menu from the Aquavit terrace bar.
Viking River Cruises bar prices
Bar prices on Viking River Cruises in Europe are quoted in Euros.
Cocktails average about 9 Euros.
If you’d like a glass of house white or red wine from the Viking River cruise bar menu, the cost is 5 Euros.
Premium wines average about 8 Euros a glass.
Note: The cost for some alcoholic beverages on the Viking River Cruises drinks menu recently increased in 2023. We’re waiting to receive the new menu from Viking.
Sample: In the meantime, see this sample bar menu for Viking River Cruises in Europe (valid to the end of 2022). Scroll down, as the first page is blank until you get to the bottom.
Viking Ocean Cruises wine
Viking Ocean Cruises is known for its “no nickel-and-diming” philosophy.
As part of that, its prices include complimentary wine at lunch and dinner in the restaurants, the Explorer’s Lounge (during lunch) and even in the cabins as part of Viking’s 24-hour room service.
The wines vary from time to time and on different cruises.
(Several choices of beer are also available for free at lunch and dinner.)
Each night, different complimentary “destination” wines are poured – perhaps from Spain one night, a local wine from Italy the next, wine from France the third night, and so on.
For example, the destination wine might be a 2015 French Granache/Syrah/Merlot blend from Vaucluse.
Also, the two specialty restaurants – Manfredi’s and the Chef’s Table – serve different complimentary wines than what’s poured in the main restaurant.
Outside of lunch and dinner, a glass of house wine costs $5 USD at a bar or lounge on the ship.
There’s an additional charge for premium wine on Viking Cruises.
Viking Ocean Cruises cruise line has a large selection of premium wines – indeed, more than 70 red, white and rosé wines. (There are an additional 15+ choices for sweet wine, port and champagne.)
See this premium wine list (prices valid to the end of 2022).
Maybe you spot one of your favorite bottles on this Viking Cruises wine list?
About half of the 70+ red, white and rosé wines are available by the glass. A glass of Viking Ocean Cruises premium wine averages $8.00 USD.
The remaining wines are only available by the bottle.
Prices include the gratuity.
We had a shipboard credit on both our cruises, so we could try some of these premium wines.
On our first Viking Star cruise, we felt no need to order anything beyond the “destination” wines.
We’re not wine snobs, but we like good wine – and we found the “destination” wines were good.
But we couldn’t resist trying the $25 USD p.p. premium wine and alcohol pairings at the Chef’s Table restaurant for the five-course Scandinavian dinner.
The Aquavit went perfectly with the lingonberry-infused salmon tartare topped with caviar!
On our second ocean cruise on the Viking Sea, we did order (and enjoy!) some premium wines by the glass at dinner.
Did we like the premium wines better than the complimentary wines?
Mmmm. Yes, some, for sure.
But some of the complimentary wines were just delightful too – like the Sacchetto Pino Grigio Blush (paired with the gazpacho on the “Sweet and Salty” five-course menu at the Chef’s Table).
Viking Ocean Cruises wine menu
Here’s a sample page of Viking’s white wine menu
(Disregard the prices, which are pre-2023. We’ve asked for the latest menus.)
Here’s a sample page of Viking Ocean Cruises red wine menu
(Disregard the prices, which are pre-2023.)
Can you bring alcohol onboard Viking Ocean Cruises?
Unlike many other cruise lines, the Viking Ocean Cruise alcohol policy is much more liberal.
Want to buy a special bottle of wine ashore and bring it onboard to drink in the restaurant at dinner? No problem.
And there’s no corkage fee.
You may bring alcohol onboard with you when you embark and buy it ashore on your cruise. And you can drink it anywhere on the ship.
For our Viking Sea cruise, when we boarded in New York, we brought a couple of nice bottles we’d purchased in NYC with us.
And the waiters served them the same professional way in the restaurant as the ship’s wines, even popping the white in an ice bucket.
If you’re booked in a Penthouse Veranda (or higher-category cabin), your free in-room mini-bar is also stocked and replenished with alcoholic beverages.
Viking River Cruises wine
At lunch and dinner, house wine is complimentary.
Can you bring your own alcohol on a Viking River cruise ship?
The Viking River cruise alcohol policy is similar to the ocean cruise policy.
River cruisers can bring wine and alcohol with them onboard to drink on their stateroom balcony or in public spaces (including the ship’s restaurants).
And, again, there’s no corkage fee for bringing your own wine to the restaurant.
This is definitely something to remember when you’re cruising, say, along the Rhine River (or any other European river cruise)!
Think of all those lovely French white wines (or reds!) you could pick up in a little wine store in Strasbourg or Avignon! Or the fresh German Riesling you could buy in Koblenz for sipping on your balcony.
Viking Silver Spirits package
On Viking, you have the option to upgrade your cruise by buying the Viking Silver Spirits premium beverage package.
The Viking Cruise drink package is available on both the ocean and river cruises.
Viking Ocean Cruises Silver Spirits package
The cost for the Viking Silver drinks package jumped at the beginning of 2023 – from $19.95 to $25 USD per night per guest.
(It’s the first drinks price increase since the ocean cruise brand debuted in 2015.)
The total cost of the Viking Ocean Cruises Silver Spirits beverage is:
- $175 USD p.p. for a 7-night cruise
- $350 USD p.p. for a 14-night cruise
Beverage gratuities are included in the package.
See the new USD rates for the Viking Ocean Silver Spirits package.
Note: Both guests in the stateroom must buy the package.
Viking River Cruise Silver Spirits package
Costs for the upgraded Viking River cruise drink package also went up at the beginning of 2023.
They’re now the same as for the Viking Ocean Cruises beverage package – $25 USD p.p. a night
Note: As with Viking’s ocean ships, both guests in the stateroom have to get the package.
What does the Viking Cruises drinks package cover?
You get unlimited access throughout the day (and anywhere on the ship, e.g., in all the ship’s bars and main dining room) to:
- Any drinks up to $18.00, including house champagne and premium wines by the glass, cocktails and aperitifs
- A selection of wines, which change twice per cruise
- A 30% discount on premium beverages above $50
- Various whiskeys
- A selection of beers
- Soft drinks and juices
The Chef’s Table premium wine pairing is also complimentary. And you get a 50% discount on premium tasting events.
For premium wines, only those wines that are available by the glass are included in the package (about half the wines).
Note: Wines that are only available by the bottle are not included in the Viking drinks package.
Cruises where the package isn’t available
Viking’s Silver Spirits package isn’t available on Egypt itineraries (Nile River cruises) for most categories of staterooms.
However, if you’re booked in an Explorer Suite, the package is included in your river cruise rate. A nice amenity!
How to buy the Viking cruise Silver Spirits package
You can buy Viking Cruises’ beverage package at any time after you’ve booked your cruise vacation, either through your “My Viking Journey” account or by calling Viking at 1-888-207-8826.
See the US Order Form.
You can also purchase the package onboard if you didn’t buy it in advance.
For additional information, see the FAQs section on the Viking Cruises’ website.
Is the Viking Silver Spirits package worth it?
So, is the Silver Spirits beverage package worth it?
We’ve mentioned that beer and house wines by the glass are complimentary at lunch and dinner. Soft drinks are free too at mealtimes.
Specialty coffees (like cappuccinos), tea and bottled water are also free 24 hours a day.
So you have to consider three things.
First, would you prefer the premium wines?
Second, do you like cocktails and drinks other than wine and beer? They’re not included in either the Viking River or Viking Ocean cruise drink package.
And, third, how much do you think you’ll drink?
Will your combined consumption of premium wines and bar drinks for the two of you be more than, say, $700 USD for a 14-night ocean cruise (or $350 for a 7-night cruise)?
If you’re not a wine or beer drinker and you prefer cocktails and other liquor, then the package would be worth it if you have four or more alcoholic drinks a day. (The break-even point is about three to four drinks a day, depending on the drinks chosen.)
The Viking Silver Spirits package may also be good value if you’d like a cocktail before dinner in one of the lounges (maybe a pool cocktail on sea days too) and you enjoy trying top quality wines.
Another point: You might like the convenience of Viking’s drinks package, so you can order a cocktail or premium glass of wine whenever you want – without having to worry about your total bill at the end of your cruise.
Viking’s prices are actually pretty fair (especially considering the cruise drink packages on other lines).
Note: You can still buy premium wines or cocktails even if the Viking Silver Spirits beverage package cost doesn’t make sense for you.
What’s your experience with the Viking drink package?
What do you think? Would you get the Viking Silver Spirits package? Is it worth the extra charge?
Let us know in the Comments section below. We like hearing from readers :-).
You can also see comments from other Viking guests.
New 2023 Viking Ocean Cruise bar menus 2023
The following is the complete list of alcoholic beverages (with prices) from a new 2023 Viking Ocean Cruises’ drinks menu (Aquavit Bar Menu).
Prices are in USD.
Not all drinks are on all bar menus around the ship.
For example, the Pool Bar Menu includes an additional $7.50 Rock Lobster cocktail (Malibu and dark rum, banana liqueur, grenadine, pineapple juice and orange juice), and it doesn’t have hot drinks (like an Irish Coffee).
And the Viking Living Room Bar Menu has an additional Christiania vodka ($8.00) that’s not on the Aquavit Bar Menu.
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Photo credits: 3 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase | 7 and 9 Viking Ocean Cruises
After our first cruise on the Viking Star, we wrote a little about the complimentary wine we had via room service (immediately after boarding) – which helped solve a few getting-to-the-ship woes! We’ve now completely updated and overhauled this post since returning from our second Viking cruise on the Viking Sea.