More Exciting Ports and Off-Shore Excursions with River Cruises

River cruises are increasing in popularity. They offer an exciting alternative to ocean voyages by enabling guests to explore more ports and enjoy intimate and varied excursions during the day and in the evening.

One of the best purveyors of these scenic adventures is Viking River Cruises. They are a leader in small ship travel on some of the most beautiful rivers in the world. TierOne Travel specialists can help you find the best deals and the ideal river cruise package to meet your needs and interests. You can’t go wrong booking through a well-respected travel agency. Find out why here.

Founded in 1997, Viking started out with four ships in Russia. In 2000, the company purchased Europe’s 40-year-old KD River Cruises in order to grow its fleet. This purchase also gave Viking the rights to prime docking locations in key European cities.

Today, Viking River Cruises offers vacation cruise packages in Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Asia and Egypt. There are a limited number of rivers that can accommodate cruise ships – even small ones – as they need to be extremely deep, therefore, there are only a handful of countries that enable river cruises.

Deck of cruise ship at sunset.
On the deck of a Viking river cruise ship at sunset.

 

Why are river cruises so unique compared to regular cruises?

River cruises generally follow a more leisurely pace and the cruise ships are smaller, accommodating between 10 and 250 people. This allows for guests to get to know each other better, along with the crew and officers. And a slower pace means zero chance of sea sickness from larger, faster ships such as ocean liners.

The biggest draw to river cruises, however, is the ability for smaller ships to traverse rivers with incredible views and to stop at ports right along the shoreline. There are shorter distances to cities, towns and villages. And unlike, ocean cruises, the ships can stop in different ports every night, which offer guests more variety when it comes off-shore excursions.

In many of the countries and cities where river cruises travel, the cost of accommodation is extremely high. Therefore, another huge advantage of river cruises, are the cabins on board. You just have to unpack once and yet you can enjoy an average of two weeks exploring amazing cities such as Paris in France, Cairo in Egypt, and Shanghai in China.

River cruises stop at beautiful ports.
River cruises afford spectacular views.

 

What countries and rivers can I choose from for river cruises?

European River Cruises

Europe is the most popular destination for river cruises. Viking River Cruises has incredible trips mapped out on some of Europe’s most scenic rivers.

  • Danube River – Germany, Austria, Hungary and seven other countries all the way to the Black Sea.
  • Rhine River – Switzerland, Germany and The Netherlands.
  • Elbe River – Germany and the Czech Republic.
  • Main River – The longest tributary (525 km) of the Rhine, it travels between Mainz and Bamberg, Germany.
  • Seine River – Winds through Paris and into Normandy, France.
Pigeons in Paris.
Paris is one of many ports in Europe.
  • Moselle River – France, Luxembourg and Germany.
  • Saône River – Vosges Mountains, Burgundy, and then meets up with the Rhône at Lyon, France.
  • Rhône River – Lyon, Beaujolais, Avignon and Arles in France.

To find out more about European river cruises, read TierOne Travel’s blog – River Cruises: A Great Way to See Europe.

Russia River Cruises

Viking River Cruises offer a memorable 13-day tour on the Volger and Svir Rivers between Moscow and St. Petersburg. Aptly called the ‘Waterways of the Tsars’, this voyage will leave you enthralled.

You’ll start out in Moscow and spend the first three days exploring all that the city has to offer. Then it’s on to Uglich, which was founded in 1148 along the Volga River. Next, you’ll experience Yaroslavl – a city nestled amidst a region of forests, and then visit the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery in Kuzino.

Map of river cruises in Europe.
Map of Russia river cruise.

 

Day 8 will find you on Kizhi Island at the north end of Lake Onega and the next day, you’ll wake up on the shores of Madrogy and discover where the traditions of Russian villages are kept alive in a reconstructed open-air museum. The final four days of your cruise will be spent in St. Petersberg, Russia’s most Western city. It is often called the “Venice of the North”, because of its many islands, canals and bridges.

Russian dolls and purses in marketplace.
Colourful marketplace in St. Petersburg.

 

As with all of its river cruises, Viking River Cruises also has pre and post cruise extension packages for you to choose from. It’s a great way to maximize the value of your overseas flight by spending a few days exploring Russia before or after your cruise tour.

Ukraine River Cruises

Although the Ukraine is in Eastern Europe, it isn’t usually grouped in with other European countries that accommodate river cruises. It is, however, one you will thoroughly enjoy. Viking River Cruises take you along the Dnieper River from the Golden Gates of Kiev to the Odessa Steps of the Black Sea.

Map of Ukraine and Romania
Map of Ukraine river cruise.

 

The 12-day cruise starts out in Kiev, Ukraine, for three days and ends in Bucharest, Romania, for another three days. On the way, you will stop in the 200-year-old city of Zaporozhye, Kherson and Odessa – a port often called the ‘Pearl of the Black Sea’ and the site of an ancient Greek colony.

Special pre and post extensions are offered by Viking River Cruises in Instanbul, Turkey, as well as Bucharest and Transylvania in Romania.

Asia River Cruises

There are two main rivers in Asia that can accommodate river cruises – the Yangtze River, which runs through Beijing and Shanghai, and the Mekong River, that winds its way through Cambodia and Vietnam.

Map of Yangtze River in China.
Map of Yangtze River cruise in China.

 

Beijing to Shanghai along the Yangtze, and one from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) through the Mekong Delta. All of them are unique and planned for optimum enjoyment and experiences. You will be transported into a land of exotic cultures and unforgettable beauty.

Highlights of Viking River Cruises in Asia are:

  • Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden Palace in Beijing.
  • Three Gorges Dam.
  • Colonial and futuristic architecture in Shanghai.
  • The ancient, canal-laced city of Lijiang, China.
  • Chengdu’s enthralling Panda Base.
  • The serpentine Great Wall of China.
River Cruises stop at Great Wall of China.
Great Wall of China.
  • The enormous Potala Palace in Tibet.
  • Siem Reap’s sprawling temple of Angkor Wat.
  • Incredible markets and French colonial flavour of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
  • The Mekong Delta, a vast maze of rivers, swamps and islands – home to floating markets, Khmer pagodas and villages surrounded by rice paddies in Vietnam.

Egypt River Cruises

Viking River Cruises runs a mesmerizing and memorable 12-day cruise tour along the Nile, beginning and ending in Cairo. Expert ‘Egyptologists’ will guide you through the heart of Egypt and you will emerge forever changed.

Camels and pyramids.
Take a camel ride to see the pyramids.

 

Your first three days will be spent exploring Cairo and will take you on camel rides to see ancient pyramids and the Great Sphynx. You’ll stay at the first-class Ritz Carlton Nile. Day 3 will be filled with museums, bazaars and mosques. You’ll tour the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities and see the display of riches from King Tutankhamen. Your evening will conclude with a traditional Egyptian dinner at a local restaurant.

After Cairo, you and your group will fly to Luxor and get settled on your cruise ship. The next day will also be spent in Luxor, starting with an early-morning hot air balloon ride over ancient temples and monuments. In the afternoon, you will explore the Valley of the Queens and enjoy privileged access to the tomb of Queen Nefertari.

Map of Egypt
Map of Egypt river cruise.

 

Day 6 will take you on a shore excursion to see Quena, where you’ll explore the sprawling complex of Dendera with its many temples, columns and hieroglyphics. The following morning you will disembark at Esna and discover more ancient temples and tour the village. Day 8 will find you in Egypt’s bustling market city of Aswan where you will spend a couple of days. There you will have several excursions to choose from, including the Great Temple of Ramses II, Egypt’s longest-ruling pharaoh.

River cruises begin and end in Cairo

On Day 10, you’ll ride in a horse-drawn carriage to the Temple of the falcon-headed god Horus, which was built in the city of Edfu during the Ptolemaic Dynasty. You’ll then cruise back to Luxor and finally fly back in Cairo.

As with all of its cruise tours, Viking River Cruises offers pre and post extensions to your trip, so you can immerse yourself even more in the beauty and mystery of Egypt and nearby countries such as Jordan or Israel.

To find out the details, dates and costs of all the exciting cruise tours offered by Viking River Cruises contact one of our TierOne Travel specialists.

What are the river cruise ships like?

Viking River Cruises is well renowned for its fleet of small, state-of-the-art ships. The Viking Emerald, for instance, is the ship that you will travel on in China along the Yangtze River. It can accommodate 256 guest and has full verandas, spacious suites and staterooms, along with an award-winning restaurant and entertainment.

Cabin on a river cruise ship.
Viking stateroom with French balcony.

 

The Viking Emerald, as well as other Viking river cruise ships, includes the following:

  • ‘Explore Suites’ for luxury travel. The rooms are 603 square feet with separate sleeping and sitting quarters, two flat panel TVs, bathtub/shower, refrigerator, panoramic windows and wraparound verandas.
  • All staterooms and suites have hotel-style beds with optional twin-bed configuration.
  • Private bathroom with shower and premium bath products,
  • Flat-panel TV.
  • Bottled water replenished daily.
  • Sun deck with shaded sitting area.
  • Restaurant with panoramic views.
  • Modern Western kitchen offers a choice of expertly prepared cuisines with local dishes from Asia, Europe, Russia, Ukraine and Egypt.
Beef pho on cruise ship.
Chef’s prepare local cuisine like this beef pho.
  • Catering services.
  • Two elevators.
  • Lounge and bar.
  • Onboard boutique, tailor and library.
  • Free wi-fi.
  • Doctor and hairdresser on board.
  • Laundry service.

Before you embark on one of the memorable river cruises offered by Viking, be sure you have enough coverage. Travel insurance will provide you with peace of mind on your vacation. Find out more here.

To explore the possibility of booking a river cruise with Viking or other cruise lines, contact one of our TierOne travel specialists! They have extensive experience in life-changing travel and will be able to craft something that is suited to your unique needs. One call; endless experiences!

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