Do you dream of seeing the world from the convenience and comfort of a River Boat Cruise? If so, Viking River Cruises is an experience you won’t want to miss!
These river cruises offer travelers unique opportunities for sightseeing and relaxation in some of the most picturesque destinations. But when is the best time of year to take advantage of this incredible option?
Read on to learn more about timing your perfect Viking River Cruise vacation!
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River cruising involves traveling along rivers and waterways on a luxury boat – a far smaller vessel than an ocean cruise liner. These cruises often offer breathtaking views from the comfort of the deck as passengers traverse bodies of water such as the Nile or Mississippi. Onboard amenities may include restaurants, entertainment options for relaxation and exploration, and more.
If a person truly wants to experience nature up close, river cruising is an excellent option between traditional boating excursions and large-scale oceanic voyages. With various offerings available on several exotic waterways worldwide, this type of Cruise promises an unforgettable experience filled with cultural enrichment and stunning landscapes.
River cruising offers an unparalleled way to experience the beauty of nature up close. The smaller and more intimate ships allow passengers to cruise comfortably while navigating through great rivers like the Mississippi and the Danube.
Small ships can often venture into remote or lesser-known ports of call, allowing guests to visit places that may be inaccessible on a larger vessel. Their intimate size also ensures each guest receives more personalized attention from the dedicated crew.
Cultural shore excursions are more plentiful, and passengers spend less time on the water than typically on an ocean liner.
There are some disadvantages, too, though! River cruising is weather-dependent, and water levels (too high or too low) can impact a ship’s itinerary and your vacation. River cruises are also more expensive than traditional Ocean Liners and have fewer amenities and entertainment options than an ocean cruise.
Viking River Cruises is a premium-level river and ocean cruise company that offers customers extraordinary vacation experiences with high-quality and personalized service. Founded in 1997, the company has grown to own a large fleet of river cruise ships – all following the tradition of offering luxurious and comfortable accommodations while carefully navigating some of the world’s most iconic rivers and oceans.
As part of their commitment to providing a different experience, Viking River Cruises have become renowned for creating remarkable onshore experiences filled with vibrant culture and exquisite cuisines.
From cruises down the Nile or Yangtze Rivers, tours through South America or around the Mediterranean Sea, and much more, Viking River Cruises aim to give travelers life-changing memories they will never forget.
While Viking River and Ocean cruises offer incredible views, delicious food, and exciting ports of call, several distinct differences cause each Cruise ship to stand out.
Viking River cruises take you along memorable waterways offering a more classic cruising experience. The smaller ships have fewer passengers but provide an intimate atmosphere that allows for a more personalized experience.
On the other hand, Viking Ocean ships boast larger vessels with more modern accommodations and luxury amenities like outdoor pools and multiple dining venues that you may not find on a smaller ship.
River cruises are usually all-inclusive, with meals, shore excursions, and most drinks included in the price, whereas their ocean cruises are not. Some things are included, but there are additional costs for excursions.
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Before deciding when you want to travel, it is a good idea to consider the pros and cons of traveling during each season.
Spring is a beautiful time for a River cruise, depending on your preference. Springtime offers warmer weather, making it a comfortable time for outdoor activities and shore excursions. The spring months tend to have fewer tourists than the peak summer season, meaning fewer crowds and shorter lines for attractions.
Because it’s not peak season, cruise prices are usually lower during Spring, and you may get a good deal. Springtime often means longer days, beautiful blooms, blossoms, and greenery, which can make for stunning scenery on your Cruise.
There are also some specific springtime experiences, such as Tulip Time cruises, where you might want to take advantage of the famous tulip fields in Holland.
Although SpringSpring is generally recognized as the best time for river cruising, there can be some downsides too. While springtime weather is generally mild, it can also be unpredictable, with occasional spring rains and wind in early SpringSpring.
It may still be too cool for some people to enjoy outdoor activities or lounge on the deck. Also, some cruises may have fewer onboard activities available during the spring months, as they are catering to a smaller crowd.
Summer months offer many exciting activities and the widest range of options for anyone looking for a river cruise. European river cruises tend to attract large crowds during this period due to increased seasonality, dry summer weather, and guaranteed sunny days.
However, those who don’t enjoy the extreme heat might find it an uncomfortable and busy time of year to travel. Tourists may also experience added costs from vendors who want to cash in on the influx of travelers to popular destinations during the summer holidays. High prices are common during the summer season.
Cruising in the early fall can be an enjoyable experience with beautiful scenery, comfortable temperatures, and different activities exclusive to the season. Fall often increases the chances of intense storms and unexpected bouts of rain or wind compared to other months, so travelers must be prepared for these conditions.
As the cruise season typically runs from May to October, there are significantly fewer options during the winter months. Temperatures can be frigid during the winter months, making it difficult to enjoy outdoor activities or explore ports of call on foot.
Also, the days are shorter, which can limit the time you have to explore or enjoy the scenery along the way. Winter weather can be unpredictable and may result in itinerary changes, canceled excursions, or delays.
Viking’s most popular winter cruise is their festive Christmas marked themed Cruise, which follows a route along the Danube and stops at charming cities for visits to their Christmas markets.
Viking River Cruises offer a variety of itineraries on some of Europe’s most beautiful rivers, including the Rhine and Danube rivers, as well as other awe-inspiring waterways and stopping in cities such as Paris, Rome, Lisbon, and Amsterdam.
Viking offers American river cruises on the Mississippi River for the North American market, taking in cities such as New Orleans, St. Paul, and Memphis.
If you want to visit Asia, try their Cruise from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh, sailing along the Mekong River through Cambodia and Vietnam.
For those who want to visit Eastern Europe, Viking sails from Budapest to Bucharest with stops in Hungary, Serbia, and more.
On each voyage, expert guides bring the sights and cultures alive with storytelling and anecdotes that bring history to life. From stately castles surrounded by vineyards in Austria to romantic views of villages nestled between hillsides in Hungary – there is something for everyone on a Viking River Cruise.
Choosing the right Viking Cruises itinerary and ship can significantly impact your overall experience, as different itineraries and ships offer unique features and attractions. Here are some tips to help you choose the right itinerary and ship for your needs:
Viking Cruises offers a range of itineraries covering different regions and rivers worldwide. Consider what destinations interest you the most, then narrow your search to itineraries covering those regions.
For example, if you want to explore Europe’s rivers, famous cities, and landmarks, consider a Danube River cruise or a Rhine River cruise.
Once you’ve narrowed your search to a few itineraries, take a closer look at the ports of call for each itinerary. Consider what shore excursions are offered at each port and whether they align with your interests.
For example, if you’re interested in history, look for itineraries that offer shore excursions to historic sites and landmarks.
Different seasons can impact your experience on a Viking Cruise, as some itineraries offer unique experiences depending on the time of year.
For example, a Christmas market cruise in December can offer a festive atmosphere and unique holiday shopping opportunities. Alternatively, a Tulip Time cruise in the Spring can offer stunning views of Holland’s famous tulip fields.
Viking Cruises offers a range of ships, from small and intimate river ships to larger ocean ships. Consider what ship size and amenities are important to you.
If you prefer a more intimate experience with fewer passengers, look for a smaller river ship. If you prefer more onboard amenities like multiple restaurants and bars, consider going on one of their ocean cruises.
There are so many River Cruises throughout Europe, but if you want to avoid Peak Season try taking a European river cruise in April, May, September, or October. There are fewer tourists, and the weather is pleasant.
However, there are some specialty River Cruise sailings
The Christmas Market Cruises are increasing in popularity, and late November-December is the best time to visit the Christmas Markets along the Danube River. Try sailing the first two weeks of December to put you in a festive holiday mode for the rest of the month.
If you are interested in wine, taking a river cruise in September or October may be perfect. You can visit vineyards along the river and taste new wines from the harvest.
The best time to go on a Mekong River Cruise is from November to February when the weather is cooler and drier. During the dry season, water levels on the river can be lower, which allows the River Cruise to navigate the waters.
The weather in New Orleans during the summer months gets hot fast. The best time of year for a Viking River cruise on the lower Mississippi River in April, May, or September and October.
Hurricane Season runs from June to November, but peak Hurricane Season is from August to September. You will also want to avoid booking a river cruise around Mardi Gras day because hotels and flights will be much higher.
If you are interested in exploring one of the Upper Mississippi River Cruises, the best recommendation is to sail in May while you leisurely roll down the river.
Your first river cruise will be exciting, but are you supposed to determine which Cruise is right for you? Holiday Cruises are always what experienced travelers picture when discussing a River Cruise.
If the summer crowds seem overwhelming and you are not afraid to bring out your winter coats, taking a Christmas market cruise is downright magical and will be a wonderful time.
If you are ready to book your Cruise, you can complete this form to work with Sunset Chasers Travel Agency. We know how to navigate the different deals and fares Viking provides to help you save time and money.
Travel agents, like Mallory and Allison, can make the booking process much more straightforward, advising on everything from paperwork to packing tips and more. We can book flights and hotels and provide information about things like destination culture for customers who wish to know what customs to expect before they arrive.
Just remember that depending on the time of year, both low and high water levels can impact the overall experience of a river cruise. Travelers need to be aware of these potential issues when planning a trip, but your Sunset Chasers Travel Agency can advise on this.
If you are considering a unique way to explore the world’s cultures and landscapes, then a river cruise with Viking is a fantastic option.
The best time to go on a Viking River Cruise depends on personal preferences and priorities. Each season has advantages and disadvantages, such as the crowds during peak season, the potential for lower water levels during the shoulder season, or the colder temperatures during the winter months.
However, regardless of the time of year, a Viking River Cruise is a beautiful way to explore European rivers, enjoy stunning scenery, and experience the unique cultures of different regions.
With careful consideration and consultation with us as your travel agent, you can find the perfect Viking River Cruise itinerary and ship that suits your needs and preferences, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable journey along the world’s most famous waterways.
Schedule a FREE 30- minute consultation with us today. Our personalized approach will help us understand your desires and create a tailor-made itinerary that exceeds your expectations.