Viking River Cruises
Viking Cruises is the world’s largest river cruise line that will offer river cruises aboard 50 vessels by 2014. They currently provide passengers with river cruise opportunities in Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Egypt, Cambodia/Vietnam, Myanmar/Thailand and China. They offer guests a more intimate experience on smaller ships that allow for stops at cities that are typically only accessible by car or bus. With an average capacity of 180 passengers per ship Viking Cruises creates a unique experience that affords guests the maximum amount of privacy and luxury, which explains why they are the most award winning river cruise line in the world. On a Viking river cruise passengers will enjoy much more time to explore each destination along the way, allowing them to truly experience the culture and discover all of the hidden treasures of each location.
In 2012, Viking River Cruises introduced six new revolutionary ships to their European fleet called the Viking Longships. These new state of the art river ships feature large full-sized veranda cabins and the largest suites on any river vessel in Europe. The beautiful lounge aboard the ships includes floor to ceiling windows that provide the most amazing views possible and create a unique indoor to outdoor entertaining area. The Aquavit Terrace is a new feature introduced by these ships that provides a viewing deck on the bow of the ship that allows passengers to dine “al fresco.” This year they added 10 more Longships to the fleet and by 2014 will have a whopping total of 30 Longships plying the most popular rivers in Europe!
Additionally recently Viking added a concierge on each of its vessels to provide customized experiences on an individual basis. There is no charge for this service that can arrange anything from a special anniversary dinner out to directions to the best coffee house in Vienna. An excursion is included in every port and many destinations have multiple options such as a tour to the local market with the chef, “tour like a local” which includes local transportation, cultural heritage tours and slower paced tours for our passengers wishing a slow paced tour.
The rivers of Russia and the Ukraine are traveled by six completely rebuilt ships that now feature balcony cabins. Stops at the historical cities of St. Petersburg, Moscow, Uglich, Kiev and Odessa allow passengers to experience the culture of these great places with included excursions such as a Swan Lake ballet performance, a visit to the Hermitage and Russian folk performance. Russia is the birthplace of Viking Cruises and that heritage reflects in our ship names that are named after the original Vikings that travelled to Russia. Today Viking is still the only Western company to own and operate ships in Russia.
The mighty Yangtze River is toured by their state of the art ship, the Viking Emerald. Newly built and Introduced in 2011, she accommodates up to 256 guests making her the largest ship in the fleet. Every stateroom aboard this amazing ship has its own veranda with sliding doors for the ultimate experience to enjoy this famous river. Passengers experience either a six or eleven day cruise on the Emerald plying the waters of the Yangtze and in addition all of their cruisetours include 5 star hotel stays Beijing, Xian and Shanghai providing the greatest opportunity to discover the beauty of the Orient.
Viking’s newest itineraries for 2014 are the Bordeaux wine region of France and the Irrawaddy river in the Memories of Mandalay cruise tour to Thailand and Myanmar (Burma).