The very popular luxury river cruise company Viking River Cruises announced the next phase of its $250 million fleet development program as it unveiled details of four new vessels for its 2012 sailing season. These will be the next generation of river cruise boats, Viking Freya, Viking Idun, Viking Njord and the Viking Odin.
In 2012, Viking will debut four spectacular sister ships in Europe, with another six to be built by 2014. Expertly designed by legendary naval architects Yran & Storbraaten, these new vessels offer innovative design, sumptuous luxury and a variety of ways to personalize the river cruise experience.
One of our associates travel agents had this to say about her trip this month on one of their ships:
“Last week I represented Travel Experts on Vikings 5 day Platinum Circle cruise on the Legend sailing from Passau, Germany to Budapest, Hungary. This was the first river cruise for me, there were 120 of the top producing agencies on board from US, Canada, Australia and UK as well as top executives and sales reps from Viking River Cruises. Weather of course at this time of year was not at its best but the rain did at least hold off until the middle of the trip! Viking condensed their usual 7/8 day trip into the 5 days so our schedule was a little more hectic than usual. The Legend came into service in 2009 and is currently the newest ship in the fleet, cabins feature “French” balconies which after now experiencing a river cruise I understand makes perfect sense as they have a full 3rd level sun deck which offers 360 degree views instead of just one side of the ship from a balcony. The cabins were very well designed and offered ample storage, flat screen TV’s with limited US programs, the bathrooms are small but again good storage. Meals on board were excellent and they try to offer local cuisine but on all evening menus they do offer the standard chicken/beef/salmon option if you are not feeling adventurous. They have two coffee machines available all day for cappuccinos, café au lait, espresso, regular coffee and hot chocolate all free of charge and in the afternoons cookies and muffins are laid out. Internet access on board continues to be an issue but they are aware of that and they are “working” on it, however you clients need to be aware of the problem as it is rather frustrating, access is generally available in the center of the ship, not in your cabin and drops regularly especially when going through the locks. Supposedly Firefox works better than Internet Explorer but really neither can be relied on.
The cruise made stops in Melk, Krems, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. At each stop we were taken on extensive, guided coach/walking tours to learn about the history of the destinations, each cabin is equipped with two headsets which you take with you so that the guides can be heard even if you wander away from your group or if you are at the back. In each city a local guide would join us to host the tour. Currency on board the ship is the Euro and they are able to exchange small amounts of money if needed for a minimal fee.”
Viking River Cruises’ river cruises are a wonderful way to experience Europe from a different perspective and in comfort. For an overview of destinations and itineraries please “Click and follow this link”.