3 Beautiful Viking River Cruises

Viking River Cruises is swiftly making a name for itself as one of the world’s leading river cruise companies. Offering cruises in regions from Western Europe to Southeast Asia, their range of trips provides a chance to visit some of the most iconic places on the globe and see them from a unique perspective.

For this post, we selected three amazing Viking River Cruises. They include two of Europe’s greatest rivers and a fascinating excursion through northwestern Russia.

Castles and Legends – Danube River Cruise

Melk Abbey Monastery on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube River on a sunny day.
Melk Abbey Monastery as seen from the Danube River. Located in Melk, Austria, it looks over the Wachau Valley. Also known as the Stift Melk, a Benedictine Abbey. Credit: saiko3p – stock.adobe.com

Viking River Cruises offers no fewer than nine different cruises taking in or focusing on the Danube. One of the best is the “Castles & Legends” cruise, a twelve-day journey from Munich, Germany to Budapest, Hungary. This cruise includes ten guided tours and runs through five European countries.

The trip kicks off at spectacular Marienplatz in Munich. You’ll visit the extravagant Neuschwanstein castle on your way to Salzburg, where you can immerse yourself in the world of Mozart and the von Trapps. You’ll spend two nights in Munich and Salzburg each. The actual Danube river cruise starts in Passau, near the German-Austrian border. You’ll then visit iconic central European cities such as Vienna and Bratislava. Budapest, the imposing Hungarian capital, is the ending point of this epic cruise.

During the cruise, the ship stops at various ports along the Danube, where you can join ten different shore excursions. These range from a world-class Mozart and Strauss concert in Vienna to wine-tasting in the Wachau Valley, a visit to a local family’s home in Bratislava and relaxing at the centuries-old thermal baths of Budapest. On this trip, you’ll have the chance to visit no fewer than five UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The price of this particular Danube River Cruise—at the time of writing starting from $3,099 Viking Cruise Deals – includes all shore excursions, meals on board and ashore, accommodation in Munich and Salzburg, Wi-Fi, beer and wine, and 24/7 coffee, tea and water. You are also welcome to attend a cocktail reception before the cruise and enjoy a farewell dinner at the end.

Note that this is a twelve-day journey, but the cruise itself lasts eight days. You’ll spend the first few days exploring the historic cities in the Alps by coach.

Waterways of the Tsars – Russia River Cruise

Extremely detailed close up shot of a church in St. Petersburg, Russia called the Church of Resurrection of Christ.
Church of Resurrection of Christ in St. Petersburg, Russia. Credit: romanevgenev – stock.adobe.com

The thirteen-day Waterways of the Tsars cruise is the absolute perfect introduction to Russia. It takes you through the enormous network of canals, rivers and lakes in northwestern Russia, from Moscow to St. Petersburg, Russia’s two most important cities.

This epic cruise starts at Moscow’s Red Square, one of the world’s most iconic urban spaces. You’ll see the imposing domes and tall towers that adorn this symbol of Russia and experience how vibrant Moscow is at night. Next up, you’ll have the exceptional opportunity to share a meal with a local Uglich family and visit a traditional banya in Mandrogy village. The Waterways of the Tsars cruise ends in St. Petersburg, one of the greatest cities in this part of the world. You’ll visit the massive Petershof Palace and a kommunalka, where you’ll see how several families used to live together in the Soviet era.

Priced at $5,099 Viking Cruise Deals – and upward, this phenomenal cruise offers a view of Russia that’s impossible to have any other way. The price includes ten shore excursions, from canal cruises in St. Petersburg to an insider’s view of the vast art collection at the Hermitage and a visit to a kommunalka—or communal home—to experience the Soviet way of life.

During this thirteen-day cruise, the ship calls at seven different ports and you’ll visit four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. On board, the price covers all meals, beer, wine and soft drinks, a room steward and daily housekeeping, 24/7 coffee, tea and water, and complimentary Internet. It also includes onshore cultural events such as lectures, concerts, cooking workshops, Russian language courses and dance performances.

Rhineland Discovery – Rhine River Cruise

Bridge crossing river with church and city skyline in background during springtime.
Cologne, Germany during the Spring. Credit: sborisov – stock.adobe.com

A twelve-day journey taking in five western European countries, the Rhineland Discovery cruise follows almost the entire length of the Rhine river, from its mouth in the Netherlands to its source in the Swiss Alps.

The journey, however, begins in Bruges, one of Belgium’s most popular tourist destinations. The entire medieval city center of this fairy tale-like city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is sure to overwhelm you with its sheer beauty. A side trip takes you to medieval Ghent and its once-mighty Gravensteen castle before you make you way to Amsterdam. This section of the trip is done by coach.

In Amsterdam, you’ll have the chance to see The Night’s Watch by Rembrandt at the world-famous Rijksmuseum and visit the Anne Frank House. From then onward, you’ll leisurely make your way up the Rhine, stopping on the way at fascinating places such as Kinderdijk, Cologne, Colmar and Basel.

The cruise, its price starting at $2,699 Viking Cruise Deals – includes nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, two nights each in Bruges and Amsterdam, onboard Wi-Fi, complimentary beer and wine, meals onboard and onshore, 24/7 coffee, tea and water, and nine shore excursions. You can also enjoy the fantastic complimentary Cultural Curriculum offered by Viking River Cruises, which features a classical music concert, a visit to a traditional glassblower, lectures about modern affairs in Germany as well as the history of cruises on the Rhine river, and learning how to make an authentic Alsatian flammkuchen.

As beautiful as the Rhine river is, it’s the nine shore excursions that set this Rhineland Discovery cruise apart from the other Viking River cruises. They include fun things such as a tour of the top of Cologne Cathedral, a visit to a traditional Dutch cheesemaker, a tour of the WWII sites in Colmar, experiencing the beer culture in Cologne and a wine excursion in Alsace.


These three Viking River Cruises are just many of those offered by Viking River Cruises. Because they take place in Europe, arguably the most convenient and historic continent to visit, they’re excellent ones to start with. If you’d rather explore the waterways of Asia or even Egypt, however, you can do so as well. The options truly are plentiful.

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By Bram R

Born and raised in Belgium, Bram is currently based in the Pacific Northwest where he spends his days blogging, hiking, indulging in freshly roasted coffee and sipping craft beers. An experienced traveler, his… More about Bram R

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