Cruise Line Marks Launch of River Cruise High-Season

Viking kick starts its 2024 river season in Europe with its fleet of sister ships, along with new options for the winter months.

With the arrival of spring comes the return of the busy river cruise high-season in Europe, and Viking’s Longship fleet is celebrating the launch of itineraries on the Rhine, Main, Danube, Seine, and other scenic rivers.

From Amsterdam and Avignon to Salzburg and Vienna, river cruisers can crisscross the continent on the Longships, each with capacity for under 200 guests.

Itineraries Span Eight European Rivers

When it comes to river cruising in Europe, the name Viking is a familiar one, not only for its reputation as a good value but for its market share —there are 55 Longships at last count, each providing spacious staterooms and suites with balconies, indoor and outdoor dining venues, eco-friendly hybrid engines, free WiFi, and more.

Itineraries of varying lengths are offered on the Rhine, Main, Danube, Seine, Rhône, Douro, Moselle, and Elbe rivers, typically from 8 to 15 days.

With its rich history, culture, and scenic regions that are best explored by river, Europe remains our most popular destination,said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking

As more curious travelers become familiar with river voyages as a seamless method for exploring, we are pleased to begin a new season on Europe’s iconic waterways,added Hagen.

Here’s a look at some of Viking’s popular voyages and the sights guests can expect to see along the way:

The 8-day Rhine Getaway sails from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland, past terraced vineyards, castles and castle ruins, cathedrals, and medieval villages. The area, known as the Middle Rhine, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Viking River Ships
Viking River Ships (Photo Credit: Tito Slack)

The 8-day Paris & the Heart of Normandy cruise, roundtrip from Paris, explores the countryside north of the City of Light and into Normandy. While docked in the center of Paris, guests can tour highlights such as the Eiffel Tower, and once in Normandy can view the Gothic architecture of Rouen, Claude Monet’s home and gardens, and learn about the region’s art and culture.

Guests looking for a wider exploration can choose the 15-day Grand European Tour, cruising from Budapest to Amsterdam on the Rhine, Main, and Danube rivers. Along the route, see Austria’s Wachau Valley and stop for a treat in Budapest’s popular Café Gerbeaud.

Read Also: Different Types of Cruises You Must Experience

Other featured destinations include Portugal’s Douro River, plus there are several Christmas cruises that include shopping at the holiday markets that dot the riversides. The Danube Christmas Delights cruise, for instance, is an 8-day sailing from Budapest to Passau, Germany. Guests can tour cultural capitals and small villages, dine on Austro-Hungarian specialties, and stroll through the area’s many Christmas markets, which offer goods made by local artisans.

Viking Adds a Second Winter Itinerary in 2024

Viking also has announced a new winter itinerary that will kick off in December 2024. The cruise line in 2023 revealed it would become the first river line to offer year-round itineraries through the winter seasons.

Viking River Cruise
Viking River Cruise (Photo Credit: Jordan Tan)

It launched the new program with one cruise, “Treasures of the Rhine,” and promoted the voyage as a way to experience the river without summer crowds and with better access to landmarks for touring.

The new, 2024 cruise is a 10-day “Treasures of the Danube,” which will operate between Budapest and Passau through early March 2025. Port calls will feature Gyor, Hungary; Bratislava, Slovakia; and Vienna, Grein, and Linz, Austria.

The “Treasures of the Rhine” will be repeated in winter 2024-25 as well. It calls at Breisach, Heidelberg, Cologne, and Mainz, Germany, plus Strasbourg, France. In the Netherlands, guests will explore Arnhem and Amsterdam.

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