Strong Demand Drives Viking Cruises to Open Season Early

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Viking Cruises has opened up its 2026 ocean voyages early as travelers are quickly filling up the available dates in 2024 and 2025. In addition, guests can also now peruse the itineraries for the fleet’s newest ship – Viking Vesta.

Strong Demand Pushes Viking Cruises to Open 2026 Season Early

Thanks to strong seasonal bookings and its January “Discover More Sale,” Viking Cruises announced on January 24, 2024, that it would open up all 2026 voyages across its fleet. 

In addition, Viking has revealed the itineraries for its newest ship – Viking Vesta – which is due to begin sailing in July 2025. Six new cruise extension packages have been added to the 2024 and 2025 seasons as well.

“We are pleased that our approach has resonated with so many—and with the addition of the Viking Vesta to our ocean fleet, we look forward to introducing even more curious travelers to the Viking way of exploration,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking. 

Among the more than 80 itineraries available for 2026 are some guest favorites, including Viking Homelands, a 15-day cruise between Stockholm and Bergen. Other stops on that voyage include Berlin, Copenhagen, and Oslo. Cities in Denmark, Poland, and the Åland Islands also are included. The itinerary includes a passage through the Norwegian fjords as well. 

Viking Cruise Ship
Viking Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: EQRoy / Shutterstock)

A shorter itinerary that’s popular with Viking guests is the 8-day Iconic Western Mediterranean voyage. That trip between Barcelona and Rome also includes stops in Montpellier and Marseille in France, Monte Carlo in Monaco, and Florence/Pisa in Italy.

Other top itineraries now on sale for 2026 include a 10-day Empires of the Mediterranean voyage between Venice and Athens, a 15-day British Isles Explorer itinerary between Bergen and London, and a 11-day West Indies Explorer sailing roundtrip from San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

New Pre- and Post-Cruise Extensions Coming in 2024, 2025

Also announced on January 24 are six new pre- and post-cruise “extensions” for guests who want to explore the world’s most iconic destinations in more detail.

Read Also: Who Owns Viking Cruises?

These new 3-night extensions will be available in Barcelona, Istanbul, London, Rome, Stockholm and Venice. The package includes exclusive access to museums, guided city tours, lunches and dinners featuring local cuisine as well as cooking classes and visits to local markets. 

Viking Cruises officials say more than 45% of its guests choose to add these extensions to their journeys. Extensions previously available include Lucerne, Budapest, Prague, Paris, the French Riviera, Amsterdam, London, Mumbai, Bergen, Bruges/Antwerp, and St. Louis.

Viking Vesta’s Maiden Season Announced

Viking guests who had been waiting on news for the fleet’s newest ocean vessel Viking Vesta got some good news too. Due to begin sailing in July 2025, the 998-guest ship will spend her inaugural season sailing the Mediterranean and Scandinavia.

Viking Neptune Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: Fincantieri

Itineraries will include the 8-day Iconic Western Mediterranean voyage between Barcelona and Rome, an 8-day Journey to Antiquities sailing between Rome and Athens, and the Iceland, British Isles & Iberia trip between Reykjavík and Barcelona.

Viking Vesta is finishing up its construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. When complete, she will weigh about 54,300 gross tons and have room for 998 passengers.

Strong Demand Spurs Early Bookings

Earlier in January, Viking Cruises announced a “Discover More” sale that offers new and returning guests savings of up to $800 on cruises in 2024, 2025, and 2026. The sale is good through January 31, 2024, and applies to Viking river, ocean, and expedition voyages. 

In December 2023, Viking also announced its 2026 river cruise season would open early for bookings. All of the early bookings and fare discounts came after news that the cruise line had its largest booking month to date in January 2023.

As bookings begin for the 2026 season, Viking Cruises also awaits 10 new longships currently under construction. A keel laying ceremony for all 10 vessels was held in December 2023 at the Neptun Werft shipyard in the port city of Rostock in eastern Germany. 

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