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Relax, Refresh and Unwind: Enrich Yourself on a River Cruise. Rekindle relationships. Return home refreshed and relaxed.
There's no better way to unwind and refresh than by getting away from the everyday on a river cruise in Europe. On these river cruise voyages, you can explore your favorite personal interests with like-minded cruisers, all while exploring someplace new in a part of the world you had not previously seen.
Relax, be Inspired by a Viking River Cruise©
With so many options to relax, rejuvenate and enrich yourself, it's easy to understand why some many people will have taken a river cruise by the end of 2018.
Viking River Cruises© can take you and your special someone in Europe. The exhilaration of shared discovery while traveling often spills over into warmer feelings in a relationship. There's never been a better time to get away with that special someone on a Viking River Cruise©. Rekindle your romance. and renew that relationship. Enjoy some quality time together while making memories to last a lifetime.
As an example, consider a Romantic Danube river cruise.
A Romantic Danube River cruise unveils Europe's rich and dramatic history. Glittering cultural capitals, lush vineyards, magnificent monasteries and endless scenic splendor line the river's banks. Embracing the romance of Europe's most alluring river. Sail to charming cities & villages. Visit Budapest's Castle District and cross the famous Chain Bridge. Explore Gottweig Abbey, one of Austria's most revered monastic centers, and make dumplings with Wachau Valley apricots. See Europe's largest pipe organ in Passau, or travel to Salzburg. Celebrate Vienna's musical heritage at a concert featuring works by Mozart and Strauss. With medieval towns, grand cities and stunning scenery, an 8-day journey on the 'Blue Danube' is one you are sure to love.
Embark on a romantic journey down the Danube River, experiencing some of Europe's most beautiful port cities from Nuremberg to Budapest.
Here are Highlights of the Danube River. It will be love at first travel!
:: Enchanting Passau, set where three rivers meet
:: Lush vineyards of the Wachau Valley
:: The baroque splendor of Melk Abbey
:: Vienna's elegant architecture
:: The splendid Benedictine Abbey of Guttweig
:: Scenic beauty of the picturesque Danube Bend
:: Budapest's stunning Chain Bridge and Parliament Building
:: Soaring cliffs of the scenic Iron Gate
:: Romania's rural culture and rich folklore
:: Belgrade's impressive Kalemegdan Fortress
Cozy up together as you set sail on a romantic river cruise vacation. Imagine sipping wine on your private balcony while taking in the charm of Europe, and the sounds and scenes of the Danube, Rhine, Elbe, or Seine river. One of the pure joys of river cruising is watching the never-ending parade of breathtaking scenery as you glide upon the river. We're talking castles on the hill, vineyards stretching across misty valleys, families strolling along on the banks of a nearby village.
Explore them all here: Browse all 2019-2020 Viking River Cruises
The Thinking Person's Cruise ©
Every aspect of your Viking cruise is designed for the curious traveler seeking rich cultural immersion: on shore, on board, as well as pre- and post-travel.
The Viking Way of exploration takes you deeper, offering behind-the-scenes insights and opportunities. While they include the expected and iconic, such as visits to renowned museums and notable landmarks, they also go beyond, offering Local Life, Working World and optional Privileged Access experiences in places otherwise difficult to visit.
Did You Know?
Viking includes free tours at every port you visit.
Typically these "free" excursions include a guided
walking tour through the city's main tourist
attractions, or a guided tour through the city's
historic district. Optional tours might include a
running tour through Amsterdam? Bicycle excursions,
or perhaps a culinary class to learn how to cook a
local dish? The choice is yours!
Every detail on board a Viking ship is meant to enrich and enhance your travel experience, helping you fully immerse yourself in the rich cultures you are visiting. From a thoughtfully curated library and the insights of guest lecturers to cooking demonstrations with the chef and wine tastings of vintages from your destinations, Viking helps you connect to your destination in every possible way.
Pre- & Post-Travel
Looking for inspiration and perspective before you depart on your Viking voyage? Consult the online comprehensive list of videos sure to complement your travel experience. Reading recommendations, cultural profiles and videos help you delve more deeply into your destinations -all produced to provide insight into different world cultures and to inspire you once traveling. Browse Videos.
Start Planning Now
Sometimes merely planning to get away can be challenging. We all typically have differing tastes and expectations, so choosing the type of experience to have, as well as when and where to go can become stressful. We can help alleviate that kind of stress, with planning advice from Certified Travel Experts, who are eager to share their "been there and done that" experiences. It's an ideal time for the two of you to articulate your dreams together and plan something concrete that you can look forward to as a couple. an excellent chance to simply have fun together again
view destinations, itinerary, rates and dates & more!
If you'd like to start planning on a river cruise, then look no further.
If you're considering a river cruise, there's never been a better time to book! Take advantage of the ever changing Viking River & Ocean Cruise promotions and depending upon the offer, you could receive a 2 for 1 rate plus up to $500 of onboard spending money and reduced or free airfare!
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Get Vacation ideas and travel expertise from Cruise Direct Online, member of the Travel Leaders Network, a savvy and smart group of travel pros who help over 50,000 travelers a year. Call us at 800.365.1445 to get started.
Europe River Cruises
Immerse yourself in the Old World as you sail Europe's most iconic rivers. Witness Budapest, one of Eastern Europe's most treasured cities, and explore charming villages on a Danube River cruise. Explore canal-laced Amsterdam and glide to German castles on a Rhine River cruise. Traverse the vineyard-lined Moselle and Main Rivers to quaint Western European towns. In France, savor specialty cuisine and fine wines along Normandy's Seine and Provence's Rhone River. Or behold the splendor of the Elbe, one of Central Europe's most unspoiled rivers. As the world's leading river cruise line, no one shows you Europe like Viking.
Highlights of European River Cruises
Viking takes you to the heart of Europe via its grand waterways, providing you with boundless insight into the continent's cultural and historic treasures. Immerse yourself in the storybook villages, vibrant cultural centers and picturesque landscapes of The Netherlands, Austria, Germany, France, Hungary and Switzerland, and unlock a whole new world of discovery. Here is a sample of just a few exciting highlights of our European river cruises.
Visits to Germany's charming wine-producing villages
:: Culinary delights in Lyon, France
:: Medieval Prague, "City of a Thousand Spires"
:: The elegant boulevards and grand monuments of Paris
:: Historic Wittenberg, home to Martin Luther
:: Fairytale windmills of The Netherlands
:: Wine tastings in the quintas of Portugal's Douro Valley
:: Budapest's regal Parliament building and Chain Bridge
:: Vienna's inspirational legacy of classical music
:: France's famed wineries in Beaujolais, Bordeaux and beyond
What Is a River Cruise?
Nothing Compares to a River Cruise.
River cruising is a relaxing, immersive and thoroughly enjoyable form of travel where you can enjoy ever-changing scenery along the banks of waterways such as the Danube, Rhine, Seine, Douro, Volga and Yangtze. Unpack just once on an award-winning, state-of-the-art 190-guest Longship and journey into the very heart of iconic cities and charming towns.
A river cruise can be defined as:
:: A form of leisure travel that takes guests along inland waterways.
:: Usually there are several port stops over the course of each passage.
:: Typical river cruises often last longer than a week.
:: Carry anywhere from 100 to 250 guests, depending on the ship size.
:: Are popular on many of the world's major rivers, including the Danube, Rhine, Volga and Yangtze.
Explore the world's great cities
The most cosmopolitan cities developed along the rivers, the world's first trade routes. From iconic "must-sees" like Paris, Amsterdam and Budapest to quaint villages and towns waiting to be discovered, a river provides you easy access to savor the delights of both. Cities like Berlin, Lisbon, Prague, Vienna, Moscow, Cairo and Beijing are just a few that are accessible on a river cruise. In addition to the rivers listed above, cruises along lesser-known rivers like the Mekong in Southeast Asia and the Main in Germany are options.
What to Expect on a River Cruise
ACCOMMODATIONS. River cruises are brimming with onboard amenities. Stateroom are most often river-facing, and come equipped with hotel-style beds, private bathrooms, individual climate control, refrigerators, safes and TVs. Higher stateroom categories may have French balconies, verandas, and separate sleeping and sitting quarters. Rooms range from 150 to 600 square feet. Guests receive excellent and personalized service from on board staff. Additionally, ships include restaurants, lounges and bars, as well as free Wi-Fi. Some ships even come equipped with libraries, boutiques, pools and/or sun decks.
CUISINE. Guests are given a choice of dining options, including where and what to eat. Breakfasts can either be enjoyed al fresco or at the morning buffet, while lunches and dinners can be eaten while viewing passing sights or with friends in a common eating area. Open seating is offered, allowing guests to meet new people or enjoy the presence of the same people each day. Cruises offer regional cuisine and use locally sourced ingredients to help with their authenticity. Also common are wine pairings, selected from local tastes to help guests get a closer understanding of a region's culture.
THINGS TO DO. River cruisers spend more time in the cities, towns and ports along the way. Included shore excursions consist of guided tours that help guests become well-acquainted with the culture, art and history of their destinations. In addition to guided tours, guests can roam freely around local stops or arrange optional shore excursions. There's always ample opportunity to find something to do in every port, whether it's visiting an ancient castle, attending a classical concert or enjoying a famous museum.
Who You'll Be Cruising With
While river cruises can be enjoyed by people of all ages, they generally appeal to people more advanced in age - baby boomers, in particular. Many river cruise lines allow children aboard their ships, although they may have age restrictions in place and usually there isn't much for kids to do. The makeup of a liner can include people of a wide range of nationalities, but more often than not, guests come from English-speaking countries.
Best Times to Go
Whether you choose to travel in the on-season or the off-season, you'll be able to gain a deep cultural experience in each of your destinations. In the spring and summer, you may witness local outdoor events and lively activities that only occur during the warmer months of the year. Cooler weather in the fall may mean you'll run into fewer people in the streets of cities and ports you visit, which will allow you to take your time and get a closer look at sites that interest you without feeling rushed or crowded. And in the winter season, you'll be delighted by festive Christmas markets and enchanted by the holiday traditions and celebrations of the locals.
What You Should Pack
Given that weather will be variable depending on where your river cruise takes you, bringing along both warm and light clothes is wise. Even during warm months, there is wind on the rivers, so it's best to plan for layers even if the weather is hot. Additionally, you'll likely be doing a lot of walking, so bring along comfortable shoes. Lastly, pack some dressier clothes in case you attend a formal event while visiting one of your cruise destinations.
How They Differ from Ocean Cruises
Although river cruises and ocean cruises share a number of similarities, there are also various-and considerable-differences between the two. For one, ocean liners are bigger and offer more stateroom accommodations on average. Appropriately, they're able to host significantly more guests. The smaller scale of river ships means fewer guests, but more opportunities to get to know fellow travelers, which often lead to lifelong friendships. In contrast to ocean cruises that may include multiple sea days, you will rarely experience a full day of sailing on a river cruise. Typically, guests will awake each morning to find themselves in a new port. With river cruising, you can also enjoy an ever-changing mural of breathtaking scenery from your ship, so the journey itself becomes part of your discovery.
For those without sea legs, river cruises have the advantage of smooth trekking, shallow waters and the gift of land that's always in sight. Lastly, most river cruises offer inclusive value, meaning your Wi-Fi, water, alcohol and included excursions are covered in the price. However, ocean cruises tend to offer more upscale amenities, like fitness centers, multiple dining options and a variety of live entertainment.
Who Would Enjoy a River Cruise?
River cruises are great for everyone, especially those desiring a more relaxed and intimate form of travel. Individuals who've never stepped foot on a ship before will enjoy the relative ease of a river-bound trip with little chance of seasickness. Furthermore, with a focus on cultural exploration of locations, river cruises are perfect for those with a curiosity about art and history, or a general interest in travel. Every river is unique and each tells a different story-not only of the countries through which it flows, but also of its locks, canals, scenery and bridges.
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