With fall officially here, this is typically the time of the year when those looking to take a springtime cruise in 2015 can really cash in.
Viking River Cruises is kicking off fall by offering a new promotion on their most popular river cruise itineraries in Europe, Russia, China and Southeast Asia. From now until October 31, guests can take advantage of an Early Booking Discount that applies to all European departures in March and April of 2015, and all 2015 Southeast Asia departures. Savings include 2-for-1 cruise fares and up to 2-for-1 on international airfare.
Viking is also offering some additional incentives with this promotion: guests who book and sail aboard one of the line’s stunning Viking Longships – or the line’s new Longship-esque ships on the Elbe – will save an extra $300 per couple. Guests booking any of Viking’s numerous Russian departures will receive up to 2-for-1 cruise fare and up to free airfare.
“There is an intrinsic value to river cruising that is unlike other methods of travel, and more people are discovering the benefit of unpacking once and sailing on a small vessel that is designed to enhance exploration,” said Richard Marnell, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Viking Cruises. “As our fleet of river vessels around the world continues to grow, we are proud to be able to offer both our new and return guests the best value possible, including seasonal discounts and the most diverse range of itinerary and stateroom choices of any river cruise line.”
There’s good reason to be looking ahead to 2015 if you want to sail on one of Viking’s iconic Longship river cruise vessels: nearly all of the line’s remaining 2014 departures have sold out, and the first sailings of 2015 – like the company’s famous Tulips & Windmills voyages – won’t be far behind.
Here’s a look at what are sure to be some of Viking’s most popular itineraries next year:
- Grand European Tour (15 days; Amsterdam – Budapest): Viking’s most popular itinerary takes guests on a 15-day journey through Europe’s most spectacular landscapes with stops in medieval towns, imperial cities and impressive capitals. Tour the intricate networks of windmills in Kinderdijk before cruising past the Rhine’s hilltop castles, then explore Würzburg’s Bishops’ Residenz, one of Germany’s largest and most ornate baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Historical discovery awaits with visits to the ruins of Zeppelin Field and the Palace of Justice; while the arts come to life with an onboard demonstration of live glassblowing, a special concert played on the 17,000-pipe organ in St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and a trip to Vienna’s world-famous Opera House.
- Romantic Danube (8 days; Nuremberg – Budapest): Discover grand cities and quaint villages on this 8-day journey along the “Blue Danube.” Explore both sides of fascinating Budapest; experience Vienna’s imperial architecture and gracious culture; and tour riverside towns in Austria’s Wachau Valley. In Germany, explore a baroque abbey and stroll cobbled streets lined with half-timbered houses.
- Rhine Getaway (8 days; Amsterdam – Basel): Visit all the highlights of the legendary Rhine on this 8-day trip through its commanding riverbanks and lush landscapes. Travelers will enjoy a tour of Cologne and its awe-inspiring Dom; a visit to the beautiful sandstone ruins of Heidelberg Castle; the opportunity to explore the Romanesque cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and a scenic excursion through Breisach, gateway to the Black Forest, and its renowned mountain landscape.
- Portraits of Southern France (8 days; Chalon-sur-Saône – Avignon): Some of the most beautiful vistas the French countryside has to offer serve as the background for this 8-day journey that unites arts, history and the region’s famed winemaking. Guided tours of Burgandy and Tournon include tastings of the area’s most famous wines; the colors and architecture of Arles provide a glimpse into the inspiration of Vincent van Gogh and other artists; and the 2,000 year old town of Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, features the Basilica of Notre Dame, St. Jean Cathedral, the Palace of Justice and samplings of the town’s world-famous French cuisine.
- Paris & the Heart of Normandy (8 days; Paris – Rouen – Paris): This 8-day journey combines the magic and splendor of the “City of Light” with the rich history of the Normandy Beaches. Enjoy the true icons of the region, including the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées, and the Cathedral of Notre Dame; visit the charming stone farmhouse where Claude Monet lived and worked; and explore World War II landmarks as Omaha Beach and the American Military Cemetery.
One additional European itinerary will likely be quite popular next year. Viking’s 10-night Elegant Elbe cruisetour will benefit from two brand-new vessels in 2015: the Viking Longship-esque Viking Astrild and Viking Beyla. Both ships will operate in addition to Viking Fontane and Viking Schumann that operated the itinerary this year. The cruisetour, which operates from Berlin to Prague and reverse, is offered between March and November, with Viking Astrild launching in May.
Next year looks to be another record-setter for Viking. In addition to taking delivery of another 12 brand-new river cruise ships, Viking will also launch their first oceangoing cruise ship, Viking Star, next May.