Monday, July 08, 2013

Rolling Down the River With Viking River Cruises

Long before autobahns and autostrades, rivers were the super highways of Europe. Towns and cities sprung up all along the rivers of the world because being close to the water made the growth of trade and industry possible. Fast-forward to the present day and you’ll still find some of the most charming towns and exciting cities of the world…Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, St. Petersburg, Budapest, amongst others, located along these waterways!  And what better way to explore them, than by taking a river cruise?

River cruising is the fastest growing segment of the cruise industry, and Viking River Cruises is the largest river cruise company in the world. One of the advantages of having a large fleet of vessels is the ability to take guests to the four corners of the world…or at least wherever there is a river! Imagine a laid back and relaxing cruise, meandering along spectacular rivers, whose banks and hillsides are lined with vineyards and medieval castles. It’s all about unwinding, enjoying food, learning, and taking in the culture and history of the places you are visiting. It is a supremely calming experience; an antidote to the pressures of life in a fast-paced world.

Unlike ocean cruises, passengers sail directly into the heart of every destination and dock in the middle of town. There’s no need to navigate railways or to waste time traveling on crowded city streets from the port to the ship. Shore excursions and culture enrichment programs, provided by local tour directors, are included in the price of the cruise. Imagine a stop at a local school in China during a Yangtze River Cruise, or learning about the life and works of Monet during a cruise on the Seine. River cruises also feature special events such as the world-famous Christmas markets of Eastern Europe or the tulips and windmills of Holland in the spring.

Viking River Cruises are a great value too, due to the all-inclusiveness of the experience. Spacious and airy, every stateroom is beautifully appointed… complimentary bottled water, wooden clothes hangers, premium bath products and comfortable slippers to slide into after a busy day exploring! Guests receive complimentary wine, beer, and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board, and they can help themselves to tea, coffee and cappuccino at any time.

Dress onboard is relaxed and casual. Viking ships offer open seating for all meals, which means guests may sit when and with whom they’d like. Breakfast is usually a buffet, while lunch can be ordered from the menu, and passengers can choose to eat in areas such as the lounge or sun deck. When evening falls, the artistry in the kitchen transforms into a masterpiece of a five-course dinner, with a menu that incorporates traditional influences as well as contemporary cuisine.

Inspiring destinations, beautifully crafted itineraries, expert tour guides, luxurious ships, fine cuisine, excellent service, remarkable value…that’s what Viking River Cruises is all about."

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