Viking River Cruises in Europe Set to Restart in July

Viking announced that it will restart its European river cruises this July. As soon as the European Union agreed to allow vaccinated Americans and other tourists to visit, Viking immediately revealed their plans to resume Europe river cruises. 

For the restart, Viking is offering five Viking European river cruise itineraries with July 2021 departures. Itineraries include rivers in either Portugal, France or multi-countries on a Rhine river cruise.

The river cruises range from eight to fifteen days and follow on the heels of select Viking ocean cruises that are set to begin in June. As with their river cruises, all guests on Viking ocean cruises must be vaccinated, too. 

Viking river cruise on the Seine to Normandy Beach and here, Utah Beach
On my Viking Seine river cruise, I was able to see the beach where my dad landed.

Viking River Cruises in Europe Restart Summer 2021

Called the “Welcome Back” collection, these first five European river cruises offered are some of Viking’s most popular itineraries. 

A great first-timer’s Europe river cruise is the eight-days from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Basel, Switzerland or reverse. This river cruise includes the Romantic Rhine section with more than 35 castles dotted along the shore. 

Rheinfels Castle
Rheinfels Castle along the stretch of Rhine river between Koblenz and Bingen, Germany

In France there are two, actually three, “Welcome Back” choices. The first is their “Paris & the Heart of Normandy” week-long cruise that includes time to visit the City of Light. A day-long excursion from Rouen to the Normandy Beaches is an overwhelming and emotional highlight.

The second France itinerary runs between Lyon in the mid-south and Avignon in the Provence region of France. Viking’s “Lyon & Provence” river cruise meanders on the Rhône river to Avignon, once home to the Avignon Papacy and its Palace of the Popes.

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For those who want more time to spend France, Viking offers their 15-day “France’s Finest” river cruise that combines both of the above itineraries. A transfer is provided between Paris and Lyon to continue the river cruise from the Seine to the Rhône.

Beautiful autumn weather prevailed, making my walk along the Seine simply superb!
Beautiful autumn weather prevailed, making my walk along the Seine simply superb!

In Portugal, cruise for 10 days on the Douro river between Lisbon and Porto through the beautiful Douro River Valley.

“The response to our initial Welcome Back ocean voyages has been overwhelmingly positive. It is clear that many people are eager to get back out into the world, and I would like to thank all of our destination partners for their support as we plan our return to service,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “We have been delighted to greet our first guests back on board in England this week—and we are looking forward to welcoming travelers back on board some of our European river vessels in July.” 

Viking Ocean Cruises Resume, Too

Earlier this week Viking launched its newest ocean ship, Viking Venus, in England and is now sailing its first passenger voyage along the coast of England. Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen is on board.

There are expected to be additional “Welcome Back” itineraries to a mix of destinations as more cruises resume in 2021.

The Viking Health & Safety Program was developed in partnership with an international team of medical advisors. Every Viking ocean ship is now equipped with a full-scale PCR testing laboratory. 

Viking river ships in Europe are working with shoreside PCR testing labs for frequent and non-invasive saliva tests. All ships feature a new air purification technology for independent air handling units to all guest staterooms. 

It’s been a long wait. With Europe allowing vaccinated Americans to visit this summer, it feels like we are finally seeing some light at the end of this long pandemic tunnel.

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