We have all heard of a cruise before, and many may have taken one. These are usually very large boats that travel the ocean for days at a time and making a few stops here and there to visit new places and other cultures. However, these ships can be chaotic and busy, with crowds of people and so many choices of things to do that it is hard to decide. They are also so large that they cannot visit places where the ports are small or only have access through rivers. As a solution to this problem, companies have started to offer river cruises. Viking River Cruises is one of the best.
These trips allow you to travel to places like London, Paris, Prague, Amsterdam, Cairo, and many additional ports that large ocean liners can't access. The boats are smaller to make it easier to port in such cities and historical sites. However, this brings about a whole other set of benefits. This means that there are not as many people on board which makes it less chaotic and much more of an intimate and personal experience. All the staterooms have an outward, river facing view with their own private balcony and dining options. Of course, there are large dining rooms, as well as a library where you can spend time with other travelers in quiet luxury.
Viking River Cruises
Pros & Cons
Viking River Cruises
What are Viking River Cruises?
Viking River Cruises offers cruises on the world's best and most historic rivers. These vessels are smaller by far than the large ocean liner cruise ships of most companies. Unlike those ships, these only offer space for about 900 passengers at any given time. And while they do have the latest and most up-to-date amenities, they do not offer a ton of extras that you do not need. For instance, they do have a pool and a sauna on most vessels as well as a fitness center, but they do not have casinos or bars and clubs. They also do not allow children on their cruises; therefore, they do not have large rooms or areas designated for young people.
These cruises are designed to allow passengers to see the wonders of the world with comfort and ease, giving you everything you need to experience such places and nothing that you don't. And they do not need to offer a lot of choices when it comes to entertainment and so forth because river cruises are designed to make stops more frequently at ports of call than most any other type of cruise. This means that passenger will be busy exploring large historical cities and quaint little towns more often than wondering what to do with a lot of spare time and the same old scenery of an ocean.
Product Specs of Viking River Cruises
Viking River Cruises is one of the most widely known cruise fleets for such adventures. They offer vacations to some of the most historical and world renown cities and villages all with excellent comfort and amenities. All of their staterooms have river-facing views with private balconies, complimentary Wi-Fi, laundry services, free beer and wine, minibars, security safe, refrigerator, heated bathroom floors and anti-fog mirrors, 40-inch flat-screen TVs, and much more. Most meals are included as is one free excursion per port of call.
Most ground transportation is also included, as well as airport transfers. All of their ships are decorated, provide entertainment, and the food and drinks provided are in line with the theme of their destination, making your trip that much more special.
For example, if you are traveling throughout France, the food and wine will be French in origin, and many of the ingredients are even purchased locally to provide for even more authenticity. There are also decorations and colors that are popular throughout that region. The ambient noise will be classic French music. All to completely immerse you into the culture and traditions of the part of the world you are experiencing. They also include a curated library on every ship with cultural books, maps, and all sorts of other pieces to help educate you and give you more helpful information on the destinations.
Pricing of Viking River Cruises
Viking River Cruises prices vary depending on the length of your trip with them and also the destinations you are traveling to. The longer your trip, the more expensive your price will be. It is also important to understand that some places that are offered only have availability for fairly long voyages as they are remote places and take a while to get to. The price will also depend on when you are planning to travel. For example, if you are traveling in the early spring months or late fall you will not pay as much for the same trip that is scheduled in the prime of summer, or when the weather is most ideal for that area.
There are several sizes of staterooms available on each vessel. The larger the room, the more expensive it will be. The price of your trip includes free Wi-Fi, complimentary beer, wine, and soda with all on board lunches and dinners, ground transportation at ports, enrichment lectures and destination performances, port taxes and fees, visits to UNESCO sites, twice daily housekeeping, flat-screen TV, refrigerator, mini bar in each room, and much more. Viking river cruises also offer the ability to book your airfare through them at a discounted price. When you do this, you will also get free transportation to and from the airport, whether you are going to the ship or a hotel.
Viking River Cruises: How it Compares
We picked a couple of similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
Viking River Cruises
Price - $ - Depends on length of trip and destination, starts at about $2000
Activities - 5 Stars - Wine-tasting, Art classes, Hiking, Visit historic sites, Shopping, Safaris, Museums
Ports - 5 Stars - Lyon, Cairo, Prague, Berlin, Moscow, Beijing, Shanghai, Budapest, and more
Additional Activities & Perks - 5 Stars - Private veranda, Free excursions, Destination led dining, Curated library
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
These pristine ships have been likened to a floating five-star hotel with fun activities and experiences for all. These trips may be a bit more expensive than Viking River Cruises, but they are also much more inclusive. While Viking includes one free excursion at every port and some ground transportation if you paid for airfare, Uniworld includes most of their excursions in the price as well as some airfare and all ground transportation, most meals, and all on board amenities.
The Boutique collections refer to the way in which each ship is designed. Each of their 18 ships is designed with their destinations in mind. From the colors on the wall and rugs on the floors to the food that is prepared and types of onboard entertainment, all if it goes with the cultural theme of where the ship is traveling. Few ships or fleets can compare in design and style, no matter what the theme. This cruise line was named number one by customers for 2018 based on its cabins/facilities, service, food, destinations, excursions, and price. Who wouldn't want to travel in lavish style and ease all while seeing some of the most amazing places in our world?
Price - $$ - Depending on the length of trip and destination, starts at about $3500
Activities - 5 Stars - Wine tastings, Historical visits, Hiking, Golfing, Unique cuisine
Ports - 5 Stars - Venice, Rome, Cairo, Kolkata, Moscow, Lyon, Paris, Madrid, Prague, Vienna, Amsterdam, and more
Additional Activities & Perks - 5 Stars - All inclusive, fitness center, spa, pool
- Destination art, decor and food on the ship
- All inclusive
- Family-friendly cruises available
- Smaller ships
- Smaller fleet size
Tauck is known to be highly inclusive. Included in their pricing are most meals, shore excursions, ground transportation, airport transfers, hotel and cabin accommodations, guided sightseeing, entertainment, and luggage handling. Your Tauck vacation director will handle all the logistics and planning of all of your excursions and make sure that each one is the best experience possible for you. They take care of guiding you through each day with accuracy and ease. Leaving you to sit back, relax and take it all in. Each accommodation will be sure to please with upscale luxury and the latest amenities as well as the best ambiance for each location.
Price - $$ - Depends on destination and length of a trip, starting at about $5000
Activities - 4 Stars - Wine tastings, Visits to historical sites, Shopping, Hiking, Cultural Cuisine
Ports - 5 Stars -Vienna, Paris, Budapest, Munich, London, Amsterdam, Prague, Beijing, Hong Kong, and more
Additional Activities & Perks - 4 Stars - Family friendly, most meals and excursions included, all-inclusive
- All inclusive
- Family friendly
- More than just river cruises
- Smaller Fleet
- Not as destination oriented in decor or cuisine
Aqua Expeditions were rated this year as the fourth best river cruise fleet. And seeing as this fleet only included two ships with two destinations available that is saying quite a lot. They are known to provide you comfort and luxury in some of the most remote places on Earth. They offer a trip through the Amazon going through Peru, with sights such as Machu Picchu and the Amazon Rainforest. The other cruise offered by Aqua Expeditions is through Vietnam and Cambodia. This one travels along the Mekong visiting sites like Phnom Penh and Hanoi as well as historical Saigon.
Their comparatively higher price is due to the remoteness of some of their destinations. Very few other cruise fleets can offer trips to these amazing places in the state-of-the-art and spacious manner that Aqua Expeditions can. However, as they only have two ships, they cannot offer the variety of destinations or the availability of space that the others on this list can. They are also fairly expensive in comparison.
How Long are the Trips
Some of this has to do with the remoteness of their travels and, therefore, the need to complete longer periods of time without stops in between. Although, they do offer shorter trips than most as well. Almost every other company provides trips that are generally a week or longer in duration, some being as long as three weeks. Aqua Expeditions has a few trips that are only three days and their longest trip in only one week long.
Price - $$$ Depends on length and destination, starting at about $8900
Activities - 4 Stars - Hiking, Visit historical sites, Shopping, Boating, Wildlife tours
Ports - 3 Stars - Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Saigon, Lima, Cusco
Additional Activities & Perks - 4 Stars - Spa, Fitness Center, Observation rooms, Shopping, Cultural cuisine
- Great food and service
- Comfortable accommodations
- Latest amenities and room features
- Less availability
- Only two choices for ship and destinations
After reviewing each of these river cruise offering companies, we have decided to give Viking river cruises a 5 out of 5 stars overall. This cruise provider allows every traveler to experience the best amenities and comfort all while en route to the most amazing and historical places on Earth. And while they might not include quite as much as some of these other companies, they also do not charge as much per person. This makes it more affordable to experience such travels for the average person. But that doesn't mean they skimp on the comforts or luxury in any stateroom offered. Each is outfitted with only the best.
The dining is exquisite, the service is outstanding, and the travel options are endless. Each port abounds with opportunities to see and understand the best of every culture authentically. Viking River Cruises have also partnered with several companies and other travel institutes as well as museums and historical sites to offer expeditions and outings that are unmatched in their quality as well as their ability to help you understand the world and its many differences. Viking River Cruises also offer ocean cruises to those who are looking for something more along those lines instead of quiet and cultured river ships. If you are interested in luxurious river cruises, then it is imperative to look into the unparalleled Viking River Cruises.
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