Historically, the luxury river cruise industry has been very strict with booking windows, on board credit and you were pretty much on your own regarding airfare. This year has seen deals that you really have to check out.
With geopolitical events, the world economy on everyone’s mind, and the introduction of new long ships, 2016 is shaping up to be a great year to pull the trigger and go for it. I personally wouldn’t sit on the sidelines, as when things change, as they always do, these deals will likely go away for who knows ? and for how long.
Viking River Cruises is leading the way with some pretty unreal deals. At last look I found a 2 for 1 deal that included airfare from select cities with certain upgrades see Viking River Promotions. Viking offers luxury cruises throughout Europe, Russia, Asia and Egypt. Viking is also taking reservations for the 2017 ocean cruises. Yes they have ocean going ships that offer all of the amenities that the long ships (river cruisers) have on a slightly larger scale.
My experience with Viking was a memorable one, the cruise was The Duoro River Of Gold, and this cruise wound it’s way through the Unesco world heritage wine country of Portugal.
The shore excursions were well thought out, and had two types, one for the more active guests, and the other for those who prefer a slower more relaxed pace. We enjoyed tours of small villages, the world famous Port producer in Quinta Do Seixo Sandeman. My personal favorite excursions were Salamanca Spain, and the other to Lamego Portugal. Another really fun and interesting excursion, was to the beautiful Palacio De Mateus, yes that Mateus. These two countries may share a border, but the differences in the cultures are surprising and endearing. The tours are informative, and yes fun. In your cabin you’ll find small radio receivers and an earpiece to take on your tours. Just dial in the appropriate channel and you’ll have a sort of private broadcast with your guide, this makes it easy to hear them explain the history and points of interest while on the excursion.
The Viking crew is a great group of people, they work extremely hard to make everything just right. And how they manage to do this without even being noticed is a bit of magic. You will feel like family when cruising with Viking, and I do consider these amazing people my friends.
I don’t know how long these deals will last, but if you’ve been on the fence, now is the time to go. These cruises are perfect for a family getaway, going with best friends, or making new friends while enjoying a relaxed luxurious world class adventure.
You can find the full Viking River of Gold gallery here.