Posts Tagged With: Viking Cruises

There are 10 articles tagged with “Viking Cruises” published on this site.


The Viking Octantis just completed its first Great Lakes voyage. The Octantis is the largest ship to cruise the Great Lakes. The 665-foot liner began its itinerary in Toronto arriving in port on May 6th in Milwaukee. The ship carries up to 378 passengers and 256 crew members. The itinerary included Toronto, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Detroit, Alpena, Mackinac Island, and Milwaukee. Read the rest of this entry »

Highclere Castle. Jacobethan style country house, seat of the Earl of Carnarvon. Setting of Downton Abbey.

In celebration of the movie’s premiere, the cruise line unveiled new cruise extension programs that allow its guests to experience English country life, including the Hampshire’s Highclere Castle, the setting for the fictional “Downton Abbey.”

Viking Cruises announced its enhanced partnership following the London premiere of the series’ full-length film “Downton Abbey: New Era” last week. The film is the continuation of the story of the fictional aristocratic Crawley family, their servants, and their lives in the English estate.

This is not Viking’s first such foray. Viking sponsored MASTERPIECE—a series of period dramas produced by PBS’ flagship station when Downton Abbey first aired on PBS. The strong association between the television series and the cruise line led to a partnership. Viking has offered exclusive tours of Highclere Castle since 2013.

“Many of our guests were introduced to both Viking and Highclere Castle while watching the Downton Abbey series. For this reason, we are linked in the minds of many Downton Abbey fans,” Karine Hagen, the executive vice president of Viking, explained.

Viking’s New Cruise Extensions

Viking’s Privileged Access tour of Highclere Castle allows guests to explore the estate’s grounds. To celebrate the movie’s premiere, Viking has introduced “Great Homes, Gardens and Gins” as its new cruise extension program. Guests are offered an exclusive tour at several country estates that served as shooting locations in some of the period dramas produced by PBS and MASTERPIECE. 

Through June 30, 2022 Viking is offering two sweepstakes for U.S. and Canadian residents for a chance to win grand prize trips for two on Viking’s 8-day river voyage, Paris & the Heart of Normandy and 3-night Privileged Access land extension program, Oxford & Highclere Castle.

The best evidence that the cruise market is in flux and subject to wild changes is that Douglas Ward’s Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships hasn’t been updated since 2020. The Berlitz Guide used to sit on most travel agents’ desks. For 35 years, it could be counted on to give clients a two-page summary of every vessel promoted to clients by American travel advisors. It was more than a mere directory. The 754-pages of the 2020 edition rated the accommodations, cuisine, and service on each ship. It was the final word on ship statistics, so that passenger space ratios, passenger crew ratios, and tonnage could be reliably compared.

In my 2019 Amazon book, How to Plan Your Next & BEST Cruise: Secrets of Selecting Cruises, Ships & Destinations, I used Douglas Ward’s data in every chapter to show readers how to move beyond the ads and hype, and to make viable comparisons among cruise ships they were considering.  Read the rest of this entry »

Mask mandates are falling, but many travelers remain wary of international travel—making the timing perfect for a new kind of summer vacation. One that is unique, Instagrammable, domestic, safe—yet thrilling and lots of fun. Enter Viking Cruises’ newest product, an expedition ship chock full of motorized gadgets sailing the Great Lakes.

The brand-spanking-new expedition class Viking Octantis, custom-built to cut through the ice in Antarctica or slip through the locks of the St. Lawrence, launches in May. With prices starting at $5,995 per person plus air, the Polar Class 6 Viking Octantis holds just 378 guests in 189 staterooms and 256 crew. The focus, of course, is Read the rest of this entry »

Viking River Cruises: Consistency Is Key

My sailing onboard Viking Radgrid was beyond my wildest dreams. From wonderful meals and service to comfortable and stylish accommodations, Viking continued to surpass my expectations throughout the week I spent with them on the Seine.

Viking is the most well-known river cruise company in the world – so much so that its name has become almost synonymous with river cruising. Sometimes, because of this, the company isn’t taken as seriously as some of its competitors. Read the rest of this entry »

Last week I said a brief hello from the Seine. It’s hard to believe that last weekend I was bicycling in Giverny looking at paintings by Claude Monet. My entire Saturday was spent wandering through the streets of Paris with friends, both old and new.

Was that the most obnoxious paragraph I’ve ever written? …probably. But thanks to Viking River Cruises I was able to live my best life in France last week. I want to talk about Viking and its wonderful new ships and the beautiful event that I attended, but I want to do that later when I can speak properly to the entire Viking experience on the Seine. For now, I want to address your questions about what it is like to travel right now Read the rest of this entry »

Onboard Viking Radgrid on the Seine — Monet’s Garden is not yet open and the cherry blossoms are just beginning to bloom. Even so, all of us in attendance were thrilled to kick off this year’s river cruise season in Europe, at the official Naming Ceremony of eight new Viking longships.

The actual ceremony was a joyful reunion of travel writers, travel advisors, Viking executives and Edelman PR folks, many of whom have not seen each other since 2020, when Viking decided not to launch these ships at all. Two years and five days later, we arrived on the very day France lifted most of its Covid restrictions, including pre-arrival testing for vaccinated travelers and masking at indoor venues.

Back then, Hagen noted, Viking had 10,000 employees, $3 billion in revenue and an annual Read the rest of this entry »

In last week’s newsletter, we asked you when is the earliest you’d be ready to river cruise again in Europe. Nearly 85 percent of you are ready to river cruise in 2022, with spring 2022 getting the largest slice of the pie.

We asked, What gives you confidence about your answer as to when you would cruise? Or what’s holding you back? One reader commented: Time to move on; two years is enough and life is short. Indeed.

Another wrote: Because we went on a river cruise in 2021 and a small boat cruise two weeks ago. Steve and Lorraine are actually friends of ours here in Asheville. We had dinner with them last Sunday and learned that despite traveling in Europe from last August until late November, including a river cruise on AmaWaterways in September, they remained Covid free. In fact, they said they generally felt safer abroad Read the rest of this entry »

Not long after pressing the “publish” button for Is This The End Of River Cruising As We Know It? – River Cruise Advisor, I received several comments from our readers. Some offered words of encouragement; others offered words of caution.

Let’s start with the words of caution from T.J. and Sherry. Their comments have been edited for brevity. Read the rest of this entry »

Now that Viking Cruises has all of 8 ships plying the oceans of the world and an ever-expanding fleet of Expedition vessels, it’s worth remembering that the highly-rated cruise line started out on the Rivers of Europe all the way back in 1997. After what Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen describes in television commercials as a period like “a long, long Norwegian Winter” the line is back doing what it does so superbly: introducing its life-long learners to its “thinking man’s cruises” on Europe’s most fascinating rivers.

Who can forget Viking’s presence during American Public Television’s Masterpiece Theater? In the midst of watching the incredibly popular “Downton Abbey”, a longship would appear along with incomparable scenery and sights along the way.  This writer confesses that this advertising that introduced Americans to river cruising in record numbers didn’t do justice to the experience to be had on Read the rest of this entry »