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Viking River Cruise Experience

Viking River Cruise Experience

River cruising—a better way to explore

River cruising is, quite simply, the best way to travel through many of the world’s most fascinating places. Comfortable and convenient, it offers a greater variety of destinations than you could encounter any other way—and lets you get in-depth exposure to the culture and history of each region. Both experienced and first-time travellers have discovered the joys of river cruising, making it the fastest-growing segment of the travel industry.

Hassle-Free Travel

After boarding the ship, unpack—just once—in your spacious river-view stateroom. Relax in comfort for the duration of the cruise. No need to worry about maps, traffic congestion or the many other hassles of travelling by bus or train. A river cruise is a stress-free way to see the best that your destination has to offer.

See the World’s Greatest Cities

Cologne, Vienna, Moscow…because so many cities and towns developed along waterways, they were literally made to be accessible by river. Some of these cities are just not available to ocean cruisers, and bus passengers spend precious hours on the highway, checking in and out of hotels. River cruising brings you more of these destinations than you could see any other way.

New Scenery—All Day, Every Day

Enjoy breathtaking scenery from just about everywhere on the ship—in the bar, restaurant or lounge (all with panoramic views), on the sun deck with fresh air or from the privacy of your stateroom. And, river cruise vessels keep moving, so you see new vistas and explore new destinations throughout the day, every day. Our ships often travel at night, so you can wake up in an exciting new place each morning, with no effort on your part.

The Heart of Your Destination

Unlike ocean cruises, rivers provide easy access to city centers. Sail directly to the heart of every destination and dock in the middle of town. Walk right off the ship and join the day’s activities. You spend less time getting there—and more time being there.

A More Intimate Experience

Because our ships are designed to accommodate between 150 and 300 guests, it is easy to make new friends. Share a drink with the couple you met on the day’s tour, or dine with interesting people in the open-seating restaurant. And you can forget about waiting in long lines to embark, debark or have a meal.

Culture & History Everywhere

Walk through an open air architecture museum in the middle of a Russian lake; watch the artists at work in a Meissen porcelainware studio; contemplate the Yangtze from an ancient stone temple beside the river. Such unforgettable experiences can be yours on a river cruise—and you are unlikely to reach these places any other way.

Travel Your Way

Enjoy the guided walks, in-depth tours and excursions planned for you in each destination—or sightsee on your own, with time allocated for independent activities.

Smooth Sailing

The flat-bottomed shape of river cruise ships ensures a safe and smooth ride without any worries about motion sickness. No need to spend days “getting your sea legs” as with ocean cruising—which means more time to really enjoy your vacation.

Viking advantages—quality, service and value

Viking River Cruises operates the world’s largest fleet of 21 deluxe vessels built specifically for river travel. With over 175 years of heritage in European river cruising, we are the most knowledgeable company in the business. Viking was the first to offer river trips in Russia, and our China management team has decades of experience helping the world discover China. As a result, more than half a million people have joined Viking on magical, enlightening journeys through these exciting places.

Elegant, Comfortable Ships

Viking ships are Scandinavian in design, with open, airy interiors by famed maritime architects Yran & Storbraaten. Guests enjoy all the amenities they might expect in a fine hotel, plus expansive, panoramic views throughout.

Spacious Accommodations

Every stateroom has an “outside” river view with a sitting area near the window or balcony for viewing, and on every ship, most windows open to the fresh air. Enjoy the comfort of hotel-style beds with European comforters and duvets, and satellite television with CNN and other programming.

Classic, Gourmet Cuisine

Enjoy sumptuous breakfasts and gourmet lunches and dinners with Viking. Created by European and celebrity chefs, our menus incorporate regional specialties with western fare to delight the most discriminating palate. While meals are casual, open-seating affairs, the atmosphere is always elegant.

Consistently Excellent Service

Wherever we sail, you enjoy the same standard of service—because we manage it all: nautical, technical, catering, sightseeing and guides. We operate all vessels ourselves, with headquarters in Switzerland and offices in both Russia and China.

Deep Cultural Enrichment

With Viking, you explore the places you visit with expert Program Directors who provide background, context and a regional perspective. Demonstrations, lectures and workshops supplement your on-shore exploration. All this adds up to a personalized, in-depth experience wherever you travel with Viking.

All-Inclusive Packages

Your fare covers meals, shore excursions, lectures and cultural performances; it also covers hotel accommodation during city portions of “cruisetour” itineraries.

Great Travel Value

Enjoy additional savings by reserving early (Early Booking Incentive), travelling with us more than once and referring your friends—you can even earn free travel by putting together a group.

The World of Viking

Because we travel along the major rivers of Europe, Russia and China, Viking offers the widest possible variety of destinations. Experience world cities like Budapest, Kiev, St. Petersburg and Shanghai, immersing yourself in local culture in the smaller towns along the way.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

It is no surprise that 99.8% of our passengers have rated their overall Viking experience as far above, above, or met expectations. We are so confident you will be delighted that we guarantee it. See “The Viking Standard” for details.

High Ratings From Those Who Know

We have consistently placed high on competitive rankings like Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List, Reader’s Choice and Best Small Ships awards; and Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best. Meanwhile, travel agents have honoured us with awards including TravelAge West’s “Editor’s Choice” and Travel Weekly’s #1 River Cruise Line. And Viking is featured in the 2008 edition of National Geographic’s The 10 Best of Everything.

Just Announced!

Viking River Cruises has once again been recognized by readers of Travel + Leisure as one of the “Top 10 Small-Ship Cruise Lines” in its 13th annual “World’s Best” awards. In this poll, readers rank their favourite travel providers based on their own recent travel experiences. We are especially proud to be ranked above any other dedicated river cruise line in this category.

The Viking fleet—elegant, comfortable ships

Viking operates the largest fleet of our own river cruise vessels, and we are proud to offer you the best ships in each region where we travel. Most of the 18 Viking ships were built since 2000, and the rest have been recently renovated. Our ships are smaller than ocean vessels, so every stateroom has an outside view of the river and passing scenery. And the flat-bottomed shape of these ships ensures a safe and smooth ride with no worries about motion sickness. Viking ships are specially designed to navigate the world’s great rivers and provide convenient access to every destination along the way.

Europe’s Cutting Edge

We are delighted with the 2009 launch of Viking Legend, truly the ultimate in river cruising vessels with all the latest amenities and efficient “green” technology. Viking Legend joined our European fleet, which also includes Viking Sun and Viking Helvetia—these three vessels are the very best ships sailing in Europe today, featuring deluxe staterooms, each boasting a French balcony or picture window. And for 2010, enjoy deluxe staterooms with hotel-style beds in France.

Best River Ships in Russia

We have dramatically upgraded our Russian fleet—Viking Surkov and Viking Kirov offer deluxe staterooms throughout, including suites and singles, and an expanded restaurant facility. These are by far the best river cruise ships in Russia.

A 5-Star Floating Hotel on the Yangtze

For 2010, Viking Century Sun proudly plies the waters of China’s Yangtze River. Guests enjoy a balcony in every stateroom—so they never miss a view. This glorious vessel has a full Western-style kitchen for a variety of delectable cuisine, and Swiss hotel management brings the Viking standards of service, cleanliness and excellence to the Far East. Famed maritime architects Yran & Storbraaten, known for their work with several leading ocean cruise lines, designed this ship, awarded a 5-star rating by the China National Tourism Office, especially for Viking.

Sail Aboard a Fine Hotel

Our ships have Scandinavian-influenced interiors designed to be sleek, comfortable and uncluttered in appearance. Furnishings are crafted of fine woods; fabrics are wools, cashmeres, cottons and linens in a neutral palette well-suited to river travel.

Perhaps the most important surfaces are made of clear glass—because you won’t want to miss any of the passing scenery. Every ship features an impressive observation lounge with panoramic windows. Restaurants surround diners with large picture windows. Or, you may dispense with glass altogether: the sun deck always provides fantastic 360° views.

Many of our ships have spacious atrium-style lobby areas where guests are greeted and assisted during their voyage. Each ship also offers a cozy library stocked with the latest itinerary-specific reading materials. Some have a spa, beauty salon, physician or even a tailor. More details specific to the ships on your selected itineraries are available when viewing those itineraries on this website.

Built for the World’s Great Rivers

Viking ships are dedicated and “purpose-built” for the rivers they travel. Their size and shape fit perfectly when going through narrow passages or river lock systems, and the wheelhouses of our European ships actually descend to allow passage under bridges. And some Viking ships that navigate the Main-Danube Canal have a promenade deck, allowing passengers the great benefit of being outdoors throughout the 106-mile passage.

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