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VIKING RIVER CRUISES
Leading the Way in Innovation with Six New "Long Ships" for 2012!


Detail: Viking Spirit Sun Deck

Without a doubt, river cruising has become the vacation of choice for discerning cruise enthusiasts looking for experiential vacations on the world’s great rivers. The almost all-inclusive nature of a river cruise provides great values for a couple, a group of friends and, of course, an easy and affordable way for solo travelers to enjoy a river cruise. (CLICK HERE to view all Viking River Cruises sailings and offers.)

At Premier, one of our most important responsibilities to the customer is to make sure our expert Personal Travel Planners spend quality time with prospective river cruisers to ensure we match their needs, wants and budget to the right cruise line and itinerary resulting in a vacation of a lifetime.

With that thought in mind when assisting a client, two key factors are immediately taken into consideration: the experience and the lineage of the cruise line. Factors almost never associated with any type of cruise vacation, but should be!

We think you should, too. In today’s very complicated world, who you are, what you stand for, your experience, and pride of workmanship SHOULD be very important. For almost 15 years, Viking River Cruises has evolved a strong lineage and demonstrated a wealth of experience in delivering quality river cruise vacations. That experience has paid off, winning prestigious awards from the likes of Condé Nast’s Traveler and Travel & Leisure Magazine; in 2010, Viking received the award for World’s Leading River Cruise line.

It all began in 1997, when few in the States had even heard of river cruising, let alone Viking River Cruises. Tor Hagen, president of Viking, purchased four ships in Russia and began business. This event was soon followed by the acquisition of venerable KD River Cruises, an established European brand almost unknown in the States. Jumping ahead a few years into the early 2000s, Viking began building new, custom-designed ships for its European fleet; ships that spoke of the growing respect of Viking’s heritage has received for its wonderful on board service and amenities.

Viking’s heritage goes well beyond their first ships beginning with the experience Mr. Hagen gained when he was president of Royal Viking Line. For those who might not remember Royal Viking Line, for more than 20 years it personified luxury cruise travel with a tradition of exemplary service, fine ships and innovative itineraries.

Experience and exceptional lineage is apparent throughout every aspect of Viking River Cruises: innovative design, finely appointed ships, a dedicated staff, and exciting river cruise itineraries within Europe, Russia, China, Egypt and now, Vietnam in Southeast Asia.

 
Long Ships' Veranda Stateroom living area with floor-to-ceiling view and balcony. Long Ships' Veranda Stateroom bedroom suite with balcony.
Aquavit Terrace. Dramatic 180° panoramic view from the innovative Long Ships' forward Dining Room and open-air deck combination.

Mr. Hagen and his entire company continue to truly embody all of those important ideals and more. When he talks about Viking, and in particular the six incredible new “Long Ships” to be introduced in Europe in 2012, you’ll see him brimming over with enthusiasm as he states, “I fell in love with the river cruise concept at my first introduction; the idea that you could travel through the heart of your destination in such comfort and ease amazed me.” With continued pride, Mr. Hagen looks to Viking’s future and yet another milestone event with the introduction of the “Long Ships” — Viking Aegir, Embla, Freya, Idu, Njord and Odin.

These eagerly awaited, truly innovative Long Ships designed by legendary naval architects Yran & Storbraaten [the team behind The Yachts of Seabourn Cruises], will offer lucky guests industry-changing design concepts including two Explorer Suites featuring a 270° view with private wraparound verandas, luxurious appointments, and measuring a huge 445 square feet. The Long Ships will also offer guests seven ultra-luxurious 2-room Veranda Suites, the first of their kind on any river ship featuring both a traditional French balcony and, a full veranda off the living room. Each of the Ships will also have 51 additional veranda or balcony staterooms and 25 picture window staterooms. (VIEW DECK PLAN) (CLICK HERE to view all Viking River Cruises sailings and offers.)

Individually decorated, the accommodations’ ambiance will be one of understated elegance with warm, natural colors. All have hotel-style beds and amenities such as 26-inch flat-panel TVs, refrigerators, entertainment systems, plush linens, towels and European toiletries [and bathrobes upon request].

We are enthralled with the overall design and incredibly innovative features of these six new beauties. A few of their compelling enhancements include dramatic public spaces, an observation lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows, free ship-wide wifi internet, a magnificent restaurant, and elevator access to all passenger decks. They will also have hybrid, low vibration ultra-quiet engines as well as solar panels, which make them the “greenest” ships on any river. They even have an onboard herb garden. Yes, you read that correctly, an herb garden. Talk about fresh ingredients!

We are also extremely excited about and cannot wait to see yet another first-of-its-kind feature aboard the Viking Long Ships... the Aquavit Terrace located on the upper deck at the front of the ship. This innovative area combines the best of both worlds — an elegant indoor lounge and a beautiful outdoor dining area — all at the same time! The room is actually equipped with floor-to-ceiling windows in the front that are on rollers so that if the weather should be a bit cool, the entire area can be transformed in seconds to a fully enclosed multi-purpose room. With a 180° river view, the terrace will also provide a sumptuous, alternative casual dining spot serving lunch or dinner. The beauty of it transcends the wonderful appointments and speaks volumes about the overall ship design. With the launch of the Long Ships, Viking is sure to set a new standard in European river cruising for 2012 and well beyond.

The Long Ships' elegant forward Lounge and Bar with entertainment center and dance floor.
All images are Artist's Renderings.

Innovative pricing and shipboard enhancements continue this year, as Viking again provides very attractive prices featuring many 2-for-1 offers and money-saving air promotions for those who book early. The Long Ships will cruise primarily on the Danube and Rhine rivers with cruise itineraries between 7 and 14 days. Low season cruise only prices for the Long Ships begin as low as $1756 per person, a deal surely not to be missed. To view ALL Viking River Cruises itineraries, prices and sail, dates CLICK HERE to view our Viking cruisGENIE™ CRUISE CHART! Viking continues to make the onboard experience even better offering complimentary, premium regional wines and beers on all European cruises during lunch and at the evening meal. As on all Viking ships, the Long Ships will offer guests a selection of complimentary shore excursions in every port escorted by a bevy of very knowledgeable English-speaking local guides. (Want to find out more about Viking? READ MORE in our review!)

Due to Viking’s aggressive 2-for-1 prices, many popular itineraries [especially those of the Long Ships] will sell out quickly. If you like what you’ve read here, pick up the phone or email one of our expert Personal Travel Planners to select your departure date before the great values are gone. If you're a Solo Traveler, we have a few departures where we can waive the single supplement for you, but call us now as these departures go extremely quickly! To view all Viking River cruises itineraries, sail dates and offers, CLICK HERE!

 

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