The company has been established in 1997, being considered the largest river cruise company on the globe, with twenty cruise ships which sail the rivers of Russia, Egypt, Vietnam, Cambodia, China or Europe. The company has pretty much cornered the English-language market in terms of cruising on most Chinese and European rivers. Viking River Cruises` vessels will have an average capacity of over one hundred fifty guests, and will often dock right in the center of the city, offering “walk off your ship” access into Europe. A really exciting bonus will be that all guided shore trips from each and every port will be included in guests` cruise prices.
Note: Viking River Cruises is one the most aggressive new-build kick in the cruise industry, beginning with the launching of two new cruise vessels, Viking Emerald for China and Viking Prestige for Europe, in 2011. This will most certainly be followed by another six new vessels added to the fleet for Europe in 2012 as well as another four for 2014, bringing their fleet to the number of thirty ships.
Guests will usually be well-traveled cruise veterans of over fifty five years old, although Southeast Asia and China will attract some of the more younger tourists as well.
Being made exclusively for river sailing, Viking River Cruises` 13 European-based vessels will feature wide panoramic windows, promenades and sun decks for watching the passing scenery. The public area will include libraries, beautiful restaurants and inviting bars. All staterooms will feature exterior views – a lot of them will include French balconies as well – and have television, hair dryer, telephone, radio, private baths or air conditioning.
Viking River Cruises` fleet is considered the largest in the industry – it includes twenty vessels and, as already noted, it will quickly expand. All of the cruise ships are generally geared to the English-speaking market. The cruise company has been introducing new vessels pretty much every year for the last ten years, and 2011 has made no exception.
Being built in 2009 on the launch of the eco-friendly Viking Legend, Viking Prestige, a 188-guest riverboat, has made its debut in the summer of 2011 having similar energy-efficient hybrid engines, providing a smoother ride and using a lot less fuel.
Viking Prestige`s cruise routes will mainly be focused along the Danube, Main and Rhine rivers.
Another new ship, Viking Emerald, will be cruising the Yangtze River starting with 2011 as well. This is a 256-guest riverboat and will provide plenty of interesting amenities to its passengers such as flat-screen televisions, individual sitting and sleeping areas, panoramic windows or private wrap-around balcony.
In 2012, Viking River Cruises will introduce six more new builds and another four in 2013.
Viking will provide over thirty itineraries which last anywhere from seven days to over twenty days. The destination-intensive routes will offer guests maximized opportunities for sightseeing, motor-coach tours, professional English-speaking guides as well as guided visits to attractive landmarks. The company provides cruises in Europe along the Rhine, Danube, Elbe, Rhone, Volga, Dnieper, Nile rivers, as well as Russia, Asia or Egypt.
In China, there are several cruise tours provided that will combine various land or river components, featuring visits to various locations like the Terra Cotta Warriors, Lesser Gorges, Beijing or Three Gorges Dam. Most cruise tours will be fully escorted from the arrival to the airport all the way to departure point guided by professional English-speaking guides.