Sunset behind the Buda Castle as the Viking Lif is docked for the night at the Chain Bridge.

Viking River Cruises Rings In The Start of 2024 River Season In Europe

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Viking is ushering in the start of its 2024 river season in Europe, onboard the award-winning Viking Longship fleet that begins sailing itineraries throughout the region.

Designed specifically for the storied European waterways, Viking’s river fleet of sister ships, that provide accommodation, fine dining and relaxation for 190 or fewer guests, sail along a variety of itineraries on the Rhine, Main, Danube, Seine, Rhone, Douro, Moselle and Elbe Rivers.

Viking River Cruise Long Ship Sailing Down A European River.
(Photo: Viking)

Viking 2024 Europe River Cruises Begin

Viking also announced a new and unique opportunity to sail the iconic Danube River during the winter season with the 10-day itinerary, Treasures of the Danube. The all new river voyage will cruise between Budapest and Passau, from December 2024 until early March 2025.

RELATED: Best Things to Do in Budapest, Hungary 

Viking river cruise enthusiasts will also have the opportunity to explore the Rhine River during the winter season, with the 10-day Treasures of the Rhine itinerary, that debuted in December 2023 and sails between Amsterdam and Basel.

Marksburg Castle seen from the Rhine River.
Marksburg Castle on the Rhine River. (Photo: Sherry Laskin)

“With its rich history, culture, and scenic regions that are best explored by river, Europe remains our most popular destination,” Said Torstein Hagen – Chairman of Viking. As more curious travelers become familiar with river voyages as a seamless method for exploring, we are pleased to begin a new season on Europe’s iconic and prestigious waterways.” Hagan added.

The opportune time to visit, winter offers guests smaller crowds, famous winter markets, easier access to famous landmarks and opportunities to explore local tradition at the ports of call.

Cruises from March Through December and Beyond

Sailings featured March through December, some of Viking’s other renowned river itineraries in Europe include:

Rhine Getaway (8 days; Amsterdam—Basel) – Explore one of Europe’s best-loved rivers. Discover the turreted fortresses, grand cathedrals, historic cities, medieval towns and stunning scenery of the Middle Rhine—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Taste the region’s renowned white wines, the roots of its terraced vineyards reaching back to Roman times. Savor the various culinary traditions of Alsace. With calls in Amsterdam, Cologne and Basel, this journey reveals a rich landscape of beauty and culture.

Danube Waltz (8 days; Budapest—Passau) – Soak up soothing steam at a Budapest thermal bath. Learn to waltz at a Viennese dance school. Savor Austro-Hungarian cuisine in Vienna and Budapest. Admire the Wachau Valley’s beauty. Explore lesser-known Central European cities like Bratislava and Passau. Witness daily monastic life on an exclusive visit to Göttweig Abbey. This eight-day itinerary reveals the best of these places while cruising leisurely through spectacular scenery.

Romantic Danube (8 days; Budapest—Regensburg) – Visit Budapest’s Castle District and cross the famous Chain Bridge. Explore Göttweig Abbey, one of Austria’s most revered monastic centers, and make dumplings with Wachau Valley apricots. Visit historic Salzburg. Spend two days in Vienna, and celebrate the city’s musical heritage at a concert featuring works by Mozart and Strauss. With medieval towns, grand cities and stunning scenery, this 8-day journey on the “Blue Danube” is one you are sure to love.

Paris & the Heart of Normandy (8 days; Paris roundtrip) – Dock in the heart of Paris, admiring views of the Eiffel Tower and a replica of the Statue of Liberty from your ship. Experience history firsthand at the Normandy beaches and delight in Rouen’s Gothic architecture. Explore Giverny and the charming house and gardens where Claude Monet lived and worked, the setting inspiring many of his masterpieces. This voyage celebrates history, art, food and customs in France’s most alluring urban and pastoral settings.

Lyon & Provence (8 days; Lyon—Avignon) – Tap into your inner van Gogh at an Arles painting class. Discover Roman Provence at Les Arènes d’Arles and the Pont du Gard. Explore the world’s largest Gothic palace at Avignon’s grand Palace of the Popes. Excite your palate in Lyon, capital of French gastronomy. Savor local wines, hunt for truffles and see how chèvre cheese is made. Come witness the beauty that inspired artists like Cézanne and Chagall on this eight-day voyage along the Rhône.

Christmas on the Rhine (8 days; Basel—Amsterdam) – Immerse yourself in the spirit of Christmas as you journey through storybook villages. Sample tasty yuletide treats and regional delicacies as you browse colorful stalls for handcrafted ornaments and unique gifts. Admire the twinkling lights of Cologne and revel in the merry atmosphere of the Rhine Valley, as storefront displays, wine cellars and markets embrace the holiday season. This 8-day voyage is a joyful celebration of festive cheer.

Danube Christmas Delights (8 days; Budapest—Passau) – Pass through Europe’s most enchanting countries, stopping to explore cultural capitals and fairy-tale villages. Savor Austro-Hungarian cuisine, admire the Wachau Valley’s beauty and explore Central European cities. Take part in European holiday traditions and experience the region’s renowned Christmas markets. Breathe in the scents of traditional fare and admire the handiwork of local artisans—perfect for bringing home to your family and friends.

Christmas on the Seine (8 days; Paris roundtrip) – Embrace the holiday season with a taste of Joyeux Noel. Explore Paris, France’s twinkling “City of Light.” Sail through the snow-covered landscapes of Normandy’s countryside and admire the scenes of fairy-tale villages along the way. Enjoy the scented aroma of mulled wine and roasted chestnuts amid a festive backdrop of Christmas markets. Onboard festivities include regional dining specialties, seasonal treats and more to celebrate the holidays.

Portugal’s River of Gold (10 days; Lisbon—Porto) – Experience the renaissance of Lisbon, newly invigorated with trending galleries and restaurants. Explore two of Iberia’s oldest university towns: Coimbra, Portugal and Salamanca, Spain. Roam the port warehouses of Porto. Enjoy traditional cuisine, wine and fado singing. Cruise the Douro River Valley, the world’s oldest demarcated wine region and a UNESCO Site. Our 10-day cruisetour includes a hotel stay in Lisbon and the added bonus of a visit to Spain.

Grand European Tour (15 days; Budapest – Amsterdam) – Admire Rhine Valley vistas from a 900-year-old castle. Sample the food and wine of Austria’s Wachau Valley. Learn the Viennese waltz and linger in Budapest’s Café Gerbeaud. Indulge all your senses on this 15-day journey spanning the best of Europe. Our most iconic itinerary traces the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers between the windmill-dotted waterways of Holland and the stunning landscapes of Hungary, with engaging encounters at every bend.

Personally we will be looking at doing the Christmas on the Seine, which gives you the amazing opportunity of a round trip sailing, and some time to explore beautiful Paris, France during the holiday season.

For additional information or to explore Viking River Cruise itineraries, or any of the itineraries in the article just reach out.

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