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Viking River Cruises Unveils Details Of Four New Ships

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Artist's Depiction of Viking Freya

As I first mentioned in a previous post, Viking River Cruises is in the midst of a $250 million fleet development program, solidifying even more strongly its place as the leading river cruise company in the world.

In a recent announcement, Viking has released details of four new vessels, designated longships, which will be introduced into European waters at the beginning of the 2012 river cruising season.  No other river cruise company has matched this milestone.  For Viking, however, this is the second time since 2001 that they have accomplished this feat.  I would imagine they are quite proud of this, and justifiably so.

Named after four gods in the Norse pantheon, the ships – Viking Freya, Viking Idun, Viking Njord and Viking Odin – will blend cutting edge technology with unrivaled amenities, including the largest real suites available on European rivers.

Each ship will have two Explorer Suites, measuring 445 square feet with wrap around veranda, and seven Veranda Suites of 270 square feet with a full veranda.  All of these suites will feature separate bedrooms and living rooms.  The ships will measure 443 feet in length and offer 95 staterooms.  In addition to the suites, 39 Veranda Staterooms will feature full verandas as well.

The four longships will sail some of Viking River Cruises’ most popular European river routes, including the 10-day Tulips & Windmills, 8-day Romantic Danube, 15-day Grand European Tour and 8-day Danube Waltz.

With the two new ships entering service this year, Viking Emerald and Viking Prestige, and the four ships just announced for next year, Viking is more than half way to their stated goal of ten new ships by 2013.  Add in several refurbishments of ships already in service, and the outlook for river cruising with Viking just keeps getting brighter.

Technorati Tags: 2012, Danube River, European river boat cruises, longships, newbuilds, river boat cruises, river boat cruises in Europe, river cruise, river cruises, riverboat cruises, Viking River Cruises

River Boat Cruises in Europe

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The Viking Pride

Europe has the most developed and extensive river boat sector in the world. River boat cruises are offered along the Danube, Main, Rhine, Moselle, Rhone, Saone, Seine and Douro rivers. Competition is brisk and the selection wide. Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, AMA Waterways, Viking River Cruises and Avalon Waterways, in addition to many smaller companies, all have numerous vessels plying European rivers.

Europe’s rivers were the highways and trade routes of early Europe. As a result, the river banks became the birthplace of many towns and cities. River boat cruises afford the traveler the opportunity to visit great cities, such as Paris, Vienna, Budapest – and smaller towns, like Koblenz, Trier, Wurtzburg.

BY exploring Europe via its beautiful rivers, one experiences European travel in a more traditional manner, approaching destinations the way they were originally meant to be reached. And since river boats are relatively small, carrying perhaps a couple hundred passengers, they are able to dock in the heart of town. Gone are the hassles of train and bus travel. Passengers spend less time getting there, and more time being there.

A river boat cruise along one of Europe’s great rivers allows the traveler to immerse himself in the cultures of several regions in one trip. Consider the Danube, the second longest river in Europe. The Danube rises in the Black Forest and empties into the Black Sea. Along the way, it passes through 10 countries. More than a dozen languages are spoken along its banks.

The Danube is witness to 2000 years of European history, with all the variety of culture, food, and architecture that that history implies. Four capitals grew up along its banks – Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava and Belgrade – more than any other river in the world.

The Rhine rises in the Swiss Alps, passing through Switzerland, Austria, Lichtenstein, Germany, France and the Netherlands, before emptying into the North Sea. Only about half the length of the Danube, the Rhine still engages the traveler, boasting more than 40 castles and fortresses along a single stretch in Germany.

The rivers, the sites, the options and the opportunities go on and on. A river boat cruise offers just about the best way for a traveler to visit the heart of Europe. Perhaps even more accurately stated, it is the best way for the traveler to be touched by Europe’s heart.

Technorati Tags: Danube River, Europe, Rhine River, river boat cruises, river cruises