27 Reasons Why Viking Cruises are THE River Cruise Line
March 14, 2016
Unlike ocean cruises, river cruises are a relatively new phenomenon that, over the past couple of decades have started to appeal to those who would prefer to avoid the mainstream cruises that can be huge and overwhelming.
With intimacy and comfort at the helm, river cruises are the new way of exploring cities far and wide and if you’re after the best, we at www.CRUISE.co.uk think that Viking Cruises are the leaders of the pack for these 27 (yep, count em!) reasons:
1. Superb Value
With Viking you can guarantee that you’re going to be receiving excellent value for money, which only means one thing… more pampering sessions and sundowners, of course!
Let’s not forget the spare money that you’ll have for souvenirs and extra excursions in the ports!
As part of a Viking river cruise, you’ll receive (included in the price!) return flights from the UK, en-suite accommodation with views of the river, all on-board meals, wine, beer and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner, tea and coffee whenever you feel like you need a caffeine injection, daily excursions to iconic places and a cultural enrichment programme which will help you to understand more about the places you’ll be visiting.
After all, every day is a school day, especially with language lessons, unique activities and demonstrations and lectures to sign up for when you’re not on land!
2. Extensive Destinations
There’ll be no cruising along the murky Thames with Viking river cruises you know!
The destination list is seriously impressive, with cruises along the rivers of Russia, Europe and Asia being three of the most sought-after.
Fancy cruising along the Volga to see the majestic cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg and everything inbetween?
Perhaps, you’d prefer to take in the breathtaking scenery of China as you cruise along the Yangtze? The world is your oyster (as long as the destination has a river running through it!)
3. It’s Not Just River Cruises…
And these days its not just river cruise that you can enjoy! The Viking Star launched in 2015 and you can read more about the stylish ship here!
Featuring Scandinavian, Baltic and Mediterranean itineraries, the Viking Star was the first of Viking’s small-ship ocean cruises, meaning that if you are a lover of voyages across open waters as much as you are a river cruising fan, Viking can cater for your wants and whims regardless.
4. The World’s Largest
River cruising doesn’t have centuries of history like ocean cruising does but that doesn’t mean that the people behind them don’t know what they’re doing.
Viking Cruises may have only been established in 1997 but in the years since being established they have taken the industry by storm and Viking is now the world’s largest river cruise supplier. That’s pretty good going!
5. The Fresh Herb Garden
Fresh produce is key for a good meal and at sea, you won’t be able to have easy access to the finishing herby touches… Unless you’re on a Viking Longship river cruise, which has an organic herb garden located on its sun deck, that is.
That sprig of dill on your salmon? Fresh from the deck, don’t you know!
6. The Extra Mile
Do you want to book an extra excursion or fancy organising a slap-up meal in a top restaurant in one of your upcoming ports? The Viking Concierge will be happy to help.
The English-speaking staff will wait on you and be at your beck and call too – something that we all deserve on holiday, right?
With more than 2,000 staff members worldwide, each giving their best when it comes to customer service, it’s no wonder Viking Cruises have won awards for their service.
7. Access to Smaller Ports
If you’re after a river cruise that can introduce you to smaller ports that are off the beaten track and aren’t as flooded by tourists, Viking Cruises are for you.
The itineraries don’t just include cosmopolitan hotspots but smaller ports too, so if you want a more subdued day exploring somewhere a little more rustic and ‘local’, you can.
8. Super Competitive Itineraries
Talking about itineraries, you can count on Viking to provide ones that are a little different from their competitors.
Have you had enough of only having a couple of hours in the port to explore what the place has in store?
Don’t worry – Viking Cruises are designed to offer longer hours moored, so that you can appreciate the destination more, whilst late evening stays and overnight stops are also possible so that you can see what the after-dark hours have to offer – nightclubs and fine dining on dry land, anyone?
9. Less People
Even the most sociable of people can get overwhelmed when faced with crowds of people constantly around them.
If you fancy a cruise but you don’t want to embark on one along with a thousand other passengers a Viking Cruise would be perfect.
With accommodation for around 200 people, a Viking Cruise is far more intimate than some of the other cruises, meaning that you won’t have to rugby tackle anyone to the floor if someone goes to grab the last profiterole; nor will you have to worry about standing on anyone’s toes in the lounge – unless you’re a little tiddly from the free wine, of course.
10. The Rooms
On the more recent builds, you don’t just benefit from an outside stateroom but one kitted out with the best stuff too; including hotel-style beds so that you can enjoy the best night’s sleep, even when you’re floating in the middle of a river.
You’ll also receive beautiful linens, bath products, bottled water and an infotainment system (yep, that’s an actual word!) so that you can catch up with what’s going on back home (and watch the latest episode of your latest TV fix!)
Most rooms also have their own climate control and all rooms have private bathrooms – no communal sharing or stumbling along the corridor in the middle of the night!
11. The Massive Fleet
It’ll leave you spoilt for choice because as of 2016 there were 64 different Viking vessels sailing!
Ten ships were launched in March 2013 (and in doing so, received an entry in the Guinness Book of Records for the number of ships launched at one time).
12. A Green Fleet
For any environmentally-aware people out there, you’ll be happy to know that some of the Viking fleet (including Legend and Prestige, and the entire Longship class) have been kitted out with a membrane water treatment plant, to reduce the environmental impact of the ships, as well as hybrid diesel-electric engines, which use 20% less fuel than the conventional alternatives.
Not only does this mean that the environment can give the ships a big thumbs up but the noise-insulated engine rooms mean that passengers can enjoy the quieter, smoother ride, too.
Viking Star, the new ocean cruising small ship, is fitted with plenty of green equipment too including solar panels, a hydro-dynamically streamlined hull for maximum fuel efficiency, exhaust pollution-reducing equipment and dual-fuel engines.
13. The Longships
These Viking Longships are simply stunning, without a horned helmet or sheepskin cloak in sight! The Viking Longship design, sleek lines and state-of-the-art engineering are three of the reasons why the entire Longship fleet has been awarded the British Travel Awards’ ‘Best River Cruise Ship’.
14. The Awards
Speaking of awards, Viking has plenty of accolades tucked under its Norse belt, including the British Travel Awards ‘Best River Cruise Line’, for five years running.
That volume of awards can’t be wrong now, can they!
New to cruising and don’t like the idea of being on a ship for the duration of your holiday?
Perhaps you’ve cruised before but you’d like to have a stay on dry land at some point.
Viking Cruises offer cruisetours in some destinations, which combine hotel stays and river cruising in South East Asia, China and Egypt.
Don’t worry too much though – the hotel-style beds that are fitted in the more recent ships mean that you won’t miss a hotel stay if you don’t get to try a cruisetour just yet.
16. Less Chance of Getting Lost
The issue some people have with many of the ocean liners nowadays is the sheer size of them and if you’re a little uneasy about getting lost onboard, it’s easy to see why a vast ocean liner can seem a little daunting.
Not only are the ships in the Viking fleet light, airy and spacious but you also won’t have to worry about fitting yourself with a GPS or jotting down the co-ordinates of your stateroom because there’s very little chance of getting lost!
Unless, you know, that wine again…
17. Locked In Price Guarantee
Have taxes, currency, fees and fuel increased since you booked your Viking break?
Don’t worry about those price hikes – the price you paid for your entire trip is the locked-in price so that even when things cost more a few weeks or months down the line, your holiday won’t.
18. Outside Staterooms, with river views
Imagine waking up to sparkling waters and stunning scenes as you look out of your window. Every stateroom on a Viking Cruise is an outside one and all have river views.
Fancy a lazy day in bed, snuggled in your PJs with a glass of wine or cup of tea to hand? You can, and you’ll have an unbeatable view to eye up at the same time.
Plus, for a little extra, you can book a stateroom with a veranda – be careful of the flies if you’re cruising on the Danube, though. They’re house guests that you could do without!
19. No Long Days at Sea
Every day can be spent explore a new destination or port because long days at sea are simply non-existent.
Plus, the shore excursions are included in the price, so you don’t have to look longingly at the excursion list and not be able to enjoy any of it because of the cost.
20. Relaxed Dress Code
Fancy dressing up a little for dinner, in a sassy dress and heels, or a dapper suit? You can!
Prefer to stay in some comfortable slacks and a polo shirt? You can do that instead!
The relaxed dress code that Viking offers mean that you can be elegant or informal during your dinners on-board – which is great because it means that your wardrobe can be exactly what you want it to be.
No more feeling uncomfortable in a penguin suit or under dressed in a polo.
21. Open Seating
There’s no worry of being lumbered with tablemates that you don’t get on with, where you’ll suffer stagnant conversation (or no conversation at all).
Open seating onboard means that you can pick where you want to sit – whether it’s with your new-found cruisemates or just on your own, is up to you.
22. No Sea Sickness
Most liners nowadays are fitted with stabilisers so that passengers don’t risk seeing their dinner come back up again. However, it’s not impossible to be a little green around the gills, particularly during turbulent and stormy seas.
With a Viking river cruise, you don’t have the risk of sea sickness at all because there is no wave motion.
Leave the sea sickness pills at home my friend!
23. Shore Excursions Included
Every itinerary includes at least one guided shore excursion or tour every day.
Whilst you can easily head off independently to explore, this is a great way of seeing the area in the capable hands of someone who knows the best bits, while missing out all the boring stuff.
All of Vikings guides will be local experts hired ahead of time to give you the in-depth knowledge you need.
24. Alfresco Dining
Arguably the best alfresco dining available on the rivers, Viking Cruises give a whole new meaning to dining outdoors.
The Aquavit Terrace onboard the Longships fleet gives you the best vistas at the same time as tucking into the local produce – something that is relatively unheard of on river cruises.
A portion of the floor-to-ceiling windows roll aside to open up the terrace so that it’s both indoor and outdoor; a perfect way of breathing in the fresh air whilst mulling over the menu.
25. The Rapid Growth
Viking Cruises certainly found themselves a niche when they launched and have grown at an average rate of 31% per year – compare that to other river cruise competitors which have grown at an average of 11% and ocean liners which have grown at 5%,and you’ll understand just how quickly Viking Cruises have taken off – with 27 good reasons!
26. High Tech Guides
Ever joined a walking tour and not been able to hear the guide because you’ve been dilly-dallying and are stuck at the back of the group?
The local guides that work alongside Viking Cruises use audio headset systems so that you don’t have to worry about missing out on the local knowledge that you won’t find in the guidebooks.
27. Stay in Touch
Want to keep family and friends back home updated on your adventure?
Are you an Instagram foodie or do you want to upload some of your holiday snaps to make your Facebook friends green with envy?
The complimentary internet service in your room means that you can keep in touch with home, even when it feels like you’re a million miles away.
If you’re after a way of seeing a country’s interior, without having to drive for miles, a river cruise would be the perfect answer.
At www.CRUISE.co.uk, we think that Viking Cruises are at the top of their game and have the river cruising niche market firmly in their pockets – and they haven’t had to plunder or pillage to get it either!
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