Quick-growing Viking has one of the vital various arrays of itineraries of any cruise line.
Not solely does the California-based firm provide ocean cruises in virtually each nook of the world, it additionally presents river cruises on most of the world’s main rivers.
That’s notably totally different from most cruise strains. Sometimes, 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 relating to European river itineraries, with a variety of sailings on almost each European river of any word, from the Douro in Portugal to (till just lately) the Volga in Russia.
There are 80 river ships in Viking’s fleet — an astounding quantity. None of its essential rivals amongst river strains catering to North People, which embody Avalon Waterways, Uniworld and AmaWaterways, have wherever close to that variety of vessels.
Amongst ocean cruise locations, Viking has a significant presence in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, which it considers its dwelling turf. (The corporate was based by a Norwegian household.) Nevertheless, you’ll discover Viking’s seven ocean ships in all places from North America to Asia and Australia.
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Simply this yr, the road started its first cruises to Antarctica with its first expedition ship — a kind of vessel constructed particularly for journey to distant, hard-to-reach locations.
Among the many line’s voyages, there’s every part from eight-day cruises within the Mediterranean to 138-day around-the-world voyages.
Overwhelmed with selections? Listed here 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 informed me, Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea are what the corporate considers “Viking nation” — a area the place it needs to dominate.
Throughout summers, particularly, Viking devotes an unusually massive variety of its ships to itineraries round Scandinavia, the Baltic Sea and different Northern Europe locations resembling 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 permits 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 resembling St. Petersburg, Russia, and Helsinki.
Observe 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 an alternative function additional stops in Norway and Denmark.
Viking additionally presents 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 presents that embody calls in Northern Europe are one-way, 28-night voyages between Bergen and New York Metropolis. The journeys embody 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 significant participant in Mediterranean sailings, with greater than 30 distinct itineraries that embody stops within the area.
The journeys embody voyages targeted particularly on the Western Mediterranean or Japanese Mediterranean and a few that embody 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 embody the road’s nine-night “Empires of the Mediterranean” voyages between Venice and Athens, which largely focus on stops alongside the japanese aspect of the Adriatic Sea in Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro.
Within the Mediterranean, the road’s essential hubs are Barcelona; Civitavecchia (the port for Rome) and Venice, Italy; Piraeus (the port for Athens), Greece; and Istanbul.
Associated: The complete guide to Viking cabins and suites
Viking is, fairly merely, the enormous of river cruising in Europe — not 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 — excess of another river line catering to North People.
In all, the road accounts for about half of all river cruises taken by North People within the area.
Among the many rivers in Europe the place Viking has a significant 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. Observe that the road’s Ukraine voyages have been canceled for 2022 because of the battle within the nation.
On almost the entire rivers, the road presents a number of itineraries with lengths starting from seven nights to as many as 22 nights.
Amongst 10 totally 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 obtained 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, not less than — the road is the main participant in Russian river cruises geared toward North People.
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 depend upon how the scenario in Ukraine unfolds over the approaching months.
Associated: The ultimate guide to Viking’s loyalty program
Viking historically operates voyages on a single itinerary between Moscow and St. Petersburg that includes 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 the town of Yaroslavl. Extra stops embody Kuzino, the positioning of a monastery courting to 1397, and Kizhi, the house of an open-air museum of structure that could 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 just lately 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 collection, Viking Polaris, has simply joined its sister in Antarctica this yr. Collectively, the 2 ships are already making waves available in the market for Antarctica cruises, partially as a result of they’ve a number of new and weird 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 bettering the expertise for passengers heading out on Antarctica exploration.
Associated: The 3 types of Viking ships, explained
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 presents a number of Antarctic itineraries, with the everyday journey beginning with an evening at a lodge 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 further days in Antarctica.
Viking additionally presents 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 yr. In 2023, each Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will spend their summers within the Nice Lakes.
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