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, wine and beer is complimentary during these meals.
But what about the cost for 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.)
But maybe you don’t want to think twice about ordering a cocktail? 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 cruise bar menu
We’ve now returned from our second Viking cruise.
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!
Viking Cruise alcohol policy
Here’s all you need to know about the Viking cruise bar menu, bringing wine onboard and more.
Viking Ocean Cruises bar prices
Bar prices on Viking Ocean Cruises are in USD.
Viking Ocean Cruises bar prices average about $5.50 to $8.00 for hard liquor (e.g., a whiskey or Grand Marnier). Cocktails and martinis cost $7.50 USD.
Prices include the tip.
Viking River Cruises bar prices
Bar prices on Viking River Cruises are quoted in Euros.
Cocktails range from about 7.50 to 9 Euros. For example, a dry martini is 8 Euros and a mojito is 8.50 Euros.
A glass of house white or red wine from the bar is 5 Euros. Premium wines are 7 to 8.50 Euros a glass.
Viking Ocean Cruises wine
Viking Ocean Cruises is known for its “no nickel-and-diming” philosophy.
As part of that, its prices include complimentary “destination” wines at lunch and dinner in the restaurants, the Explorer’s Lounge (during lunch) and even in the cabins as part of room service.
(Several choices of beer are also available for free at lunch and dinner.)
Wines vary from time to time and on different cruises.
Each night, different complimentary “destination” wines are poured – from Spain one night, perhaps Italy the next, France the third night, and so on. Sample: 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 the main restaurant.
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 2021 premium wine list. 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. The remaining wines are only available by the bottle. A glass of Viking Ocean Cruises premium wine averages $6 USD.
Prices include a 15% 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:
And here’s a sample page of Viking Ocean Cruises red wine menu:
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.
No corkage fees:
Want to buy a special bottle of wine ashore and bring it onboard to drink in the restaurant at dinner? No problem.
Unlike many other cruise lines, the Viking Ocean Cruise alcohol policy is much more liberal.
And there’s no corkage fee.
For our Viking Sea cruise, we brought onboard a couple of nice bottles we’d bought in New York.
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.
Viking River Cruises wine
At lunch and dinner, house wine is complimentary.
And if you wish to bring wine onboard, again, there’s no corkage fee.
Something to remember when you’re cruising, say, the Rhine…
Think of all those lovely French wines you could pick up in a little wine store in Strasbourg! Or the fresh German Reisling you could buy in Koblenz for sipping on your balcony.
Viking Silver Spirits package
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 is $19.95 USD per night per guest.
The total cost varies according to the length of the ocean cruise.
- For a 7-night cruise, the cost is $139.65 USD p.p.
- For a 14-night cruise, the cost is $279.30 USD p.p.
Beverage gratuities are included in the package.
See the 2020 rates for the Viking Ocean Silver Spirits package (still in effect as of June, 2021).
Note: Both guests in the stateroom must buy the package.
Viking River Cruise Silver Spirits package:
Costs for the upgraded drinks package on the river cruises also vary, depending on the length of the river cruise.
- $150 USD p.p. for a 7-night river cruise
- $299 p.p. for a 14-night cruise.
See all Silver Spirits river cruise drinks rates here (for guests booking via a US order form).
Note: Like with the ocean cruises, both guests in the stateroom have to get the package. And you must order and pay for this Viking Silver Spirits beverage package at least 30 days before your cruise.
Buying the Viking cruise Silver Spirits package
You can buy the Viking Cruises beverage package at any time after you’ve booked your cruise, either through your “My Viking Journey” account or by calling Viking at 1-888-207-8826.
You can also purchase the package onboard if you didn’t buy it in advance.
Is the Viking Silver Spirits package worth it?
So, is the Silver Spirits beverage package worth it?
Along with certain wines and beer, soft drinks are free too at lunch and dinner. Specialty coffees like cappuccino, tea and bottled water are free 24 hours.
So you have to consider two things.
First, would you prefer the premium wines?
And, second, 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, $560 USD for a 14-night ocean cruise (or $278 for a 7-night cruise)?
Viking’s prices are actually pretty fair prices (especially considering the cruise drink packages on other lines).
Note: You can still buy premium wines or cocktails even if you don’t get the Viking Silver Spirits beverage package.
What’s your experience with the Viking drink package?
What do you think? Would you get the Viking Silver Spirits package?
Let us know in the Comments section below.
We like hearing from readers :-).
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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.