Quick-growing Viking has one of the vital various arrays of itineraries of any cruise line.
Not solely does the California-based firm supply ocean cruises in virtually each nook of the world, it additionally provides river cruises on most of the world’s main rivers.
That’s notably completely different from most cruise strains. Usually, cruise strains function both ocean cruises or river cruises however not each. That provides them a smaller vary of itineraries.
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Viking has a very massive footprint in terms of European river itineraries, with a variety of sailings on almost each European river of any observe, from the Douro in Portugal to (till not too long ago) the Volga in Russia.
The corporate additionally operates river journeys on the Nile in Egypt and the Mekong in Southeast Asia, and it simply started river journeys on the Mississippi River.
There are 80 river ships in Viking’s fleet — an astounding quantity. None of its fundamental opponents amongst river strains catering to North Individuals, which embrace Avalon Waterways, Uniworld and AmaWaterways, have wherever close to that variety of vessels.
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Amongst ocean cruise locations, Viking has a serious presence in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, which it considers its residence turf. (The corporate was based by a Norwegian household.) Nevertheless, you’ll discover Viking’s seven ocean ships all over the place from North America to Asia and Australia.
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Simply this 12 months, the road started its first cruises to Antarctica with its first expedition ship — a sort of vessel constructed particularly for journey to distant, hard-to-reach locations.
Among the many line’s voyages, there’s every little thing from eight-day cruises within the Mediterranean to 138-day around-the-world voyages.
Overwhelmed with decisions? Listed below are the 5 finest Viking cruise locations the place the road can actually give you a memorable trip.
Scandinavia and Northern Europe
A few of Viking’s most fascinating itineraries are round Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea, with many starting or ending in Norway — the homeland of the corporate’s founder and chairman, Torstein Hagen.
As Hagen as soon as advised me, Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea are what the corporate considers “Viking nation” — a area the place it needs to dominate.
Throughout summers, specifically, Viking devotes an unusually massive variety of its ships to itineraries round Scandinavia, the Baltic Sea and different Northern Europe locations comparable to Iceland. Many, notably, use the comparatively small however famously scenic Norwegian metropolis of Bergen (inhabitants 286,000) as a gateway, one thing no different line is doing. That enables for uncommon variations on the everyday Baltic Sea or Norwegian fjords cruise.
The road’s hottest route within the area, “Viking Homelands,” is a two-week-long, one-way journey between Bergen and Stockholm that mixes a number of days of exploring the fjord area of Norway’s west coast with more-typical Baltic cruise locations comparable to St. Petersburg, Russia, and Helsinki.
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Be aware that, within the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Viking has pulled the St. Petersburg cease, in addition to stops in Finland and Estonia from the Viking Homelands itinerary for 2022; the journeys as a substitute characteristic further stops in Norway and Denmark.
Viking additionally provides a 14-night itinerary that features a number of stops within the northernmost a part of the nation above the Arctic Circle. Dubbed “Into the Midnight Solar,” the one-way route between Bergen and London is exclusive as a result of it combines calls in far-north Honningsvag and Tromso, Norway, with visits to Scotland’s distant Shetland Islands and the Orkney Islands. Although a part of the UK, these archipelagos have ties to Norwegian and Viking historical past.
Itineraries that may take you from Bergen to Iceland and even as far-off as France, Portugal and Spain additionally can be found.
Viking’s Scandinavia and Northern Europe journeys vary extensively in size from simply seven nights to a whopping 28 nights.
Among the many longest sailings that Viking provides that embrace calls in Northern Europe are one-way, 28-night voyages between Bergen and New York Metropolis. The journeys embrace stops in Norway, Iceland, Greenland and Canada.
In Northern Europe, Norwegian ships largely sail out of Bergen, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Copenhagen and London in addition to Reykjavik.
Viking has grown into a serious participant in Mediterranean sailings, with greater than 30 distinct itineraries that embrace stops within the area.
The journeys embrace voyages targeted particularly on the Western Mediterranean or Japanese Mediterranean and a few that embrace stops throughout each areas.
Typical of the latter is the road’s 14-night “Mediterranean Antiquities” routing, a one-way journey between Athens and Barcelona that stops in Greece, Turkey, Italy, Monaco, France and Spain.
Extra-focused Mediterranean itineraries embrace the road’s nine-night “Empires of the Mediterranean” voyages between Venice and Athens, which largely consider stops alongside the japanese facet of the Adriatic Sea in Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro.
Within the Mediterranean, the road’s fundamental hubs are Barcelona; Civitavecchia (the port for Rome) and Venice, Italy; Piraeus (the port for Athens), Greece; and Istanbul.
Viking is, fairly merely, the enormous of river cruising in Europe — no less than amongst strains that cater to English audio system. The corporate operates round 70 river ships on a broad swath of the continent’s rivers — way over another river line catering to North Individuals.
In all, the road accounts for about half of all river cruises taken by North Individuals within the area.
Among the many rivers in Europe the place Viking has a serious presence are the Rhine, Important and Danube in Central Europe; the Seine, Rhone, Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde in France; the Douro in Portugal; the Moselle and Elbe in Germany; and the Dnieper in Ukraine. Be aware that the road’s Ukraine voyages have been canceled for 2022 as a result of battle within the nation.
On almost the entire rivers, the road provides a number of itineraries with lengths starting from seven nights to as many as 22 nights.
Amongst 10 completely different itineraries on the Rhine River alone, choices vary from a seven-night “Rhine Getaway” from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland, to a 22-night “European Sojourn” from Amsterdam to Bucharest, Romania. The latter provides journey on the Important and Danube rivers to days on the Rhine.
Viking bought its begin in 1997 when founder Torstein Hagen purchased 4 pre-owned Russian river ships and began up sailings within the nation, and — in regular years, no less than — the road is the main participant in Russian river cruises geared toward North Individuals.
Within the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Viking has canceled all Russia river sailings in 2022 and 2023. Whether or not Russia river cruises restart in 2024 will rely upon how the state of affairs in Ukraine unfolds over the approaching months.
Viking historically operates voyages on a single itinerary between Moscow and St. Petersburg that entails journey on the Volga, Neva and Svir rivers.
The 13-day journeys focus closely on the 2 gateway cities, with 4 days allotted for touring Moscow and 4 days reserved for visiting St. Petersburg. In between, Viking river ships go to the provincial capital of Uglich and town of Yaroslavl. Extra stops embrace Kuzino, the location of a monastery relationship to 1397, and Kizhi, the house of an open-air museum of structure that may be a UNESCO World Heritage Web site.
Viking is a newcomer to cruises to Antarctica, however the vacation spot is a giant development space for the road. Viking not too long ago added two new, 378-passenger expedition cruise vessels particularly constructed to journey to the White Continent.
Dubbed Viking Octantis, the primary of those vessels started sailings to Antarctica in February 2022. The second ship within the sequence, Viking Polaris, has simply joined its sister in Antarctica this 12 months. Collectively, the 2 ships are already making waves available in the market for Antarctica cruises, partly as a result of they’ve a number of new and strange options.
Most notable is The Hangar, an enclosed marina that permits passengers to switch to 2 of every ship’s exploratory vessels whereas nonetheless within the protected inside of the ship. A primary for an expedition ship, it’s one thing that’s considerably enhancing the expertise for passengers heading out on Antarctica exploration.
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In one other first for polar expedition cruise vessels, each cabin on each Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris has floor-to-ceiling glass partitions that slide partially open from the highest to create a balcony-like really feel.
Viking provides a number of Antarctic itineraries, with the everyday journey beginning with an evening at a resort in Buenos Aires, Argentina, earlier than a flight to Ushuaia, Argentina, to board one of many two expedition ships for an 11-night cruise to Antarctica and again. An extended model of the journey options 13 nights on board one of many ships and additional days in Antarctica.
Viking additionally provides Antarctica sailings that mix a go to to the White Continent with stops within the Falkland Islands, Uruguay and Brazil.
Viking Octantis, notably, additionally operated Viking’s first sailings across the Nice Lakes this 12 months. In 2023, each Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will spend their summers within the Nice Lakes.
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