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What Is The Best Viking River Cruise

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Viking River Cruises allow you to fully experience the wonders of every destination you visit, from China to Southeast Asia, from Russia to Europe.

Explore new places as you soak in the European countryside along Douro, Elbe, Seine, Rhine, and Danube. Here are some of the best Viking River Cruises for gays and lesbians:

Consider Scheduling Your River Cruise In Shoulder Or Off

Without question, summer is peak travel season in Europe. We should know! Our most recent cruise was during the last week of June and first week of July. Amsterdam, Vienna, and London seemed to be especially overcrowded this year. Europe also set record-breaking temperatures in this summers heatwave, approaching 100° F the day we visited Vienna. School was still in session while we were in Europe and many of the tour destinations were packed with students on field trips. You might want to verify European school holidays before booking your trip. This summer has also seen low water levels on the Elbe and Danube rivers, leading to the cancellation or adjusted itineraries of a few cruises. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict rainfall with any accuracy. Viking has created an Update on Current Sailings page to keep passengers informed of any required changes. As always, it is wise to research your travel before booking. Although shoulder season cruises may be slightly higher pricewise, off-peak season cruises definitely offer economical savings!

Viking River Cruise Provides Awesome Service

One night, I had so much work to do on my laptop, that I decided to skip dinner. Did they notice? Well, yes, of course, they did! Soon I had a phone call from them wanting to know if I would like dinner in my room!?! Now I know this doesnt happen every night, but they sure do try to take care of you! And I can tell you from talking to other cruisers who have been on other Viking River Cruises, all of the staff eventually figure out who you are and take good care of each of their guests. They do notice if you are not at dinner!

They even encourage you to bring local wines onboard and they will uncork and serve with no corkage fees. I also heard an incident of someone that was sick and they also got room service. Im just saying that they try to keep tabs on you and try to make sure you are happy on board their ship. However, I did want to mention that there is NO official room service.

One last mention about the room, the maids were also very attentive and left more than enough towels, bath products, and extra water bottles in my room whenever I needed it, so you feel like the supply is never-ending instead of skimping . I love this as a smart luxury traveler. They frequently left fruit and other goodies in my room for snacking.

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Business Insider: 10 Of The Best Cruises To Take If Youre Retired

May 23, 2019 Viking River cruises are an excellent option for retirees who want an intimate journey to smaller ports throughout the world. Guests can choose from itineraries that include exclusive destinations larger cruise ships typically cannot access, such as UNESCO world heritage sites and smaller, riverside towns throughout France, Russia, Austria, Portugal, Germany, Spain, Asia, and Egypt.

What Is The Average Age On A Viking River Cruise

2018 UK Editors

Viking River Cruise passenger average age is 61 years old. The youngest passengers are two, and the oldest is 84.

Most people take their first trip at ages 30-39, but theres no minimum or maximum age to travel.

It is also good to ask for clarification before booking since different cruises have age activities that vary from ship to ship.

For example, some ships offer dinner while others do not.

Also, some ships may include excursions in which children can take part while others dont.

Its best to check what kind of activity options are included when booking so you know if they fit into your familys schedule.

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Viking Grand European Tour 15

I was more than ready for this Viking Grand European Tour 15-day river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. Lee Oliver, our Viking Lif river ship Program Director, greeted us at the gangway with a warm Welcome Aboard! Those two words were like music to my ears. Maybe not Bartok or Liszt but music nonetheless.

Budapest, Hungary, on the beautiful and sometimes-blue Danube, has so much to experience. A mid-afternoon boarding gave guests plenty of time before dinner to explore this spirited yet somewhat austere city, either on their own or with a Viking tour excursion.

Viking Lif

Viking Redefines The Meaning Of Service

When you have the best people, you have the best service – and Viking has both. From stateroom stewards to waiters to program directors, our English-speaking staff is trained to the highest standards. Superb Service At Viking, they have almost 3,000 of their own staff worldwide, all devoted to making your stay aboard the most memorable possible.

The Viking River Cruise ships are small and intimate, and every member of their crew is dedicated to personally hosting you. Viking is so confident they will exceed your expectations that they are the only river cruise company to guarantee their award-winning service. Personalized Attention From the moment you first plan your journey to the time you return home, Viking’s staff takes care of you. They are the reason why Viking has won more consumer and industry awards than any other river cruise line. And why their guests have awarded them a 99.6% customer satisfaction rating, saying that they have met or exceeded their expectations. Friendly Smiles, Familiar Faces Loyal members of the Viking family, their staff returns year after year.

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What Time Of Year Do You Want To Take Your River Cruise

Christmas Market in Basel, Switzerland

There are pros and cons to cruising in each season. Below are some of the highlights for traveling throughout the year.

Winter The best time to plan a river cruise in Winter is when the Christmas markets are in full swing. Cruises stop at wonderful destinations along the Rhine River with Christmas markets offering traditional gifts, glasses of glühwein and of course, that unbeatable festive feeling.

Temperatures can be anywhere from nippy to cold and you have the chance of rain or even snow. During my cruise in late November, we had a few cold days in Germany, a very small amount of rain, and even one warm day in the Netherlands.

Spring Ill be able to tell you more about this in just a few weeks! April can be wet and chilly in some European cities and the Mediterranean is a safer bet for April. May or June will tend to have warmer, more predictable weather. Another consideration is the river water levels.

The Rhône River in France is highly prone to high waters as the French Alps are nearby and snow is melting and running off into the river.

Summer European summers are a very busy time for travel and river cruises. Its also the hottest time of year, but it also the time of year for many fun festivals. Most of the river cruise lines completely sell out in the summer months, requiring that you book at least a year in advance.

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Viking European River Cruises – 6 Key Must-Knows Before You Go

I know that this wasnt a very definitive answer to my initial question. But the truth is, I dont have one of those goofy hats , and therefore, Im not a river cruise climatologist and dont have a definitive answer.

Your best course of action? Be certain to include water level probabilities in your discussions and be aware of the possible risks. No one can ever promise you absolute perfection with every travel experience. Airline strikes, volcanoes, floods, and stifling hot weather are just a few of the things that can pop up to make a mess of your vacation. Do your best to contemplate the things that can go wrong, and then be flexible. You cant predict all things, but you can decide to make lemonade out of lemons. Right?

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Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

Defining Feature: All-inclusive, boutique river cruises accented with classic old world European design.

Destinations:Europe , Russia, Portugal, Egypt, China, India, Cambodia & Vietnam

The striking atrium lobby aboard Uniworlds new S.S. Maria Theresa welcomes guests into a world of European opulence. Photo courtesy of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection.

Uniworlds full name might be a mouthful, but the company has been providing river cruises in its own inimitable style longer than any company on this list, save for CroisiEurope. And during the past three decades, Uniworld has learned a thing or two about how to run a successful river cruise line.

One of Uniworlds defining features is its intrinsic style. The interiors of each of Uniworlds European-based ships are entirely unique, reflecting a style that could best be described as Versailles-meets-Ritz Carlton. Its this style, coupled with the lines varied itineraries that include less-visited waterways like Italys Po River, that keep guests coming back time and time again.

Uniworld is all-inclusive and is one of only a handful of lines to offer a truly inclusive experience along the waterways of Europe.

Read more about Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.

Choose Viking If You Want A True Balcony Or A Two

If you want to step outside your cabin and sit on a “proper” balcony, or want a suite that lives up to its name and is made up of two rooms rather than one large space, then go for Viking. While Avalon also has the 300-square-foot Royal Suite on its ships, the space is technically not a true suite. Even at 275 square feet, Viking’s Veranda Suites are two rooms — and the two 445-square-foot Explorers Suites Suites at the stern are among the largest on the rivers.

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On A River Cruise Get Off The Boat

Courtesy of Viking Cruises

Given the luxurious nature of the Viking vessels, its easy to understand why a traveler would want to stay on the boat. Thats fine if youre on an ocean cruise, but for river cruises, make sure youre taking advantage of the local culture.

Sailing down rivers puts you in the heart of many of the cities you visit, our source tells us. During each port of call, guests can explore the destinations with a short walk from their ships dock. Plus, the ships sail smoothly down Europes waterways, meaning, no waves for those who get seasick.

This is where a carefully planned travel itinerary can really elevate your trip. Of course, if you miss a stop, you can still enjoy the cities: Vikings Culture Curriculum program provides onboard performances and lectures from artists, musicians, and historians, along with authentic culinary demonstrations.

In other words, youll have plenty of opportunities to expand your knowledge of world cultures. Just make sure to make an effort!

Consider Stateroom Options Carefully

Viking River Cruises, new enhancements, luxury amenities

Courtesy of Viking Cruises

If youve got money to burn, you wont be disappointed by the premium suites on a Viking cruise. That doesnt necessarily make them a great value.

For example, each river cruise has two 445-sq.-foot Explorer suites with private wraparound verandas, floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors, individual climate controls, and a roomy wardrobe. Veranda suites are smaller , but feature large private bathrooms, climate controls, 40-inch flat-panel TVs, and various other amenities. Ocean cruises have similar options, though exact room sizes and features will vary.

However, if youre looking to save money, think about whether youll actually spend much time in your suite. If youre an active person , a less expensive stateroom could save you a tremendous amount of money.

Standard staterooms are much less expensive, and while theyre not exactly roomy, that doesnt matter if youre just using them as a sort of home base. You wont have much of a view, but youll still get the 24/7 room service, and if youre feeling claustrophobic, you can always head to a different part of the ship.

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Get Some Culinary Snacks And Food Gifts To Take Home

When you go ashore, look for interesting snacks to try while you wander around. Stop in a souvenir shop or market and search the shelves for something youve heard about or seen others eat in the destination. When we were in Vienna, for example, we kept encountering these small round chocolates wrapped in foil. When we looked closer, we saw they had the image of Mozart right on the wrapping. We visited a local candy shop to buy some and learned that these Mozartkugel have a long history filled with Austrian pride. Bakeries, markets, convenience stores, and souvenir shops all usually have favorite treats on display. You can also purchase nibbles to take with you and enjoy during your journey or take home as gifts for your family and friends. The coffee stations on each ship often have pastries and cookies to go with your beverages, and sometimes those are local to the region. We enjoyed fresh lebkuchen German iced, soft gingerbread cookies with our tea.

Secure Ship Contact Information In Advance

We had difficulty locating our ship on our most recent cruise because it had been assigned by the Amsterdam Port Authority to dock in an alternate location, an issue totally out of Vikings hands. Passengers with scheduled Viking transfers had no problem getting to the ship, but those of us who had made our own arrangements were in a bit of a panic when we could not find our ship. Typically, the ship phone number and email address are printed on page 4 of your Itinerary & Departure Information booklet, but for some reason it had been omitted during this printing. Although we were ultimately able to find our ship by trial and error, we could have saved ourselves a lot of time and energy if we had secured the ship contact information in advance by calling 1-877-668-4546. It is also great to have the ship phone number handy during the cruise should you have an emergency while exploring port cities on your own.

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Day Four: Vienna Austria

This wasnt my first visit to this medieval city. From the beautifully baroque Schönbrunn Palace to a peek at the Spanish Lipizzaner Horses, Vienna has something surprising or magnificent around every corner.

I decided to pass on the complimentary morning motor coach tour of the city and get some writing done. One thing to note about Vienna, river cruise ship dockage is usually too far to walk to the city center. It is walkable but most people opt for a bus into the city and some will then walk back to the river ship.

Too good to pass up, I signed up for the Chefs Tour to the Farmers Market . A bit of walking, two subway trains and we were smack in the middle of a working-class neighborhood and a several-blocks-long farmers Market.

After a couple of hours, we were back on the subway, walked two blocks through Mexikoplatz and past St. Francis of Assisi Church and we were back on Viking Lifin time for cocktails, of course. But not much time to spare.

I had signed up for the optional Viking excursion tour to a concert hall for a Mozart and Strauss concert. Every river cruise line offers this but I had ever done it. There would be an early dinner on board and then leave on the motor coaches before 7pm for the concert hall.

Afterwards, everyone was really quiet on the motor coach back to the ship. It had been a busy, long day from one end of the city to another.

Get Your Timing Right

HOW GOOD IS VIKING RIVER CRUISE FOOD? – Viking Eir Lunch Buffet and Menu

Courtesy of Viking Cruises

When booking your cruise, youll have an easier time finding staterooms during certain months of the year. For the best possible time, youll want to be flexible.

Guests sailing the rivers in December can experience the traditional European Christmas markets and see the cities in a new way while enjoying local holiday treats and hot mulled wine, our source notes.

If youre taking a river cruise, do a bit of research on the cities youll be visiting. Find out whats happening, then plan your itinerary appropriately. An easy approach is to sign up for the Viking Weekly, an online newsletter with recommendations, itinerary spotlights, videos, and more. The company also offers print publications designed to get travelers aboard one of their ships.

With ocean cruise, timing is less of an issue, but youll still want to plan as far in advance as is possible. Viking cruises can be booked several years in advance, and for some travelers, that extra planning time can ensure a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

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Tell The Staff About Your Special Occasions

Michael and I were celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary aboard the ship. I casually let the ship staff know about it. To our delight, on the night of our anniversary, the waitstaff surprised us with a delicious cake, candles, then serenaded us to It’s Now or Never. It was such a memorable moment!

Viking goes out of its way to make you feel special, especially if you’re celebrating an important event. So feel free to let them know.

How Does A River Cruise Work

A river cruise is an all-inclusive journey where you unpack once but visit many destinations. They are smaller than traditional cruise ships and boast more tailored offerings, such as carefully curated cuisine that is reflective of the areas being visited. On all these journeys from the Ganges to the Rhône dining is a big part of the adventure.

River cruise ships dock near city centers, enabling visitors to explore on their own or take advantage of the array of excursions organized by the cruise line, from going on a strenuous hike to touring a castle, or sipping wine at a vineyard. There are a fair amount of UNESCO World Heritage Sites on the itineraries, which are almost always awe-inspiring.

These excursions are all included in the price of the cruise and are considered part of the river experience, although they aren’t included for the sole domestic option on our list, the American Queen Steamboat Company.

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