The Thinking Person's Cruise

How a Viking River Cruise offers cultural immersion on-board and off

River voyages offer the chance to visit smaller and more tucked-away destinations, allowing travellers to more intimately observe different cultures and ways of life than when visiting a larger city.
Whether you’re sailing the Nile in Egypt past glorious ancient ruins or through picturesque European towns, a Viking River Voyage gives guests exactly that.

Viking River Logo

The Viking Experience

Over twenty-six years ago, Viking’s vision was to offer experiences designed for curious travellers, with its mission the same as it is today: Exploring the world in comfort. Viking’s groundbreaking approach to river cruising, with its intimate and elegant ships, set the standard and continues to lead on the waterways.

Guests enjoying a river cruise with Viking Budapest in the background

Viking Longships offers unprecedented levels of comfort. The Scandinavian interiors are elegant, functional, quiet and light-filled with a calming coastal palette and natural timber. However, how Viking sets itself apart is through appealing to The Thinking Person, who wants to leave their holiday with a fresh perspective on the world and their own place in it. 

The atrium and staircase of a Viking Longship in Europe

Onboard cultural enrichment

While shore excursions are of course a highlight and allow guests to get face-to-face with new cultures and cities, on a Viking river sailing there are just as many opportunities to learn about the region you’re visiting while onboard.

 On a Viking journey, exploring your destination’s fascinating culture doesn’t begin or end when you leave each port of call. Enjoy an exciting choice of performances, live talks and hands-on demonstrations that add even greater insight to your journey and the places that you visit, including world-class lectures on history and art, tastings of local vintage wines and cooking demonstrations.

Additionally, before the next port of call the cruise lines offers a multimedia presentation so you can enter the new town with existing knowledge and plan out your activities beforehand.

Glassblowing on a Viking River ship
A wine masterclass on Viking River cruise with a couple

Discover More Of Your Destination Onboard

Cooking on a Viking River Cruise

World Class Lecture Program

Viking’s onboard lecture program will shed light on your destination before you even arrive.
Enjoy captivating talks from experts – such as authors, archaeologists, former diplomats, and news correspondents – who will take you deep into the art, architecture, music, and geopolitics of the region.

Viking River Cruises cooking onboard with a chef and fish

Cooking and Craft

Onboard, culinary demonstrations present regional recipes and wine tastings allow guests to take the flavours of the destination home with them. Guests can also find workshops with local artisans showcasing the time-honoured crafts of the region – perhaps try your hand at glassblowing or wooden shoemaking.

Fado onboard the Viking River cruise experience

Local Musicians

The art and sounds of the destination are brought to life onboard with local performing artists. Each Viking river voyage includes at least one Destination Performance – perhaps the Portuguese Fado or a Viennese Opera. There are also local ensembles or choirs onboard playing both well-known and lesser-known melodies.

Onshore Experiences

Included Shore Excursions

Viking river voyages include a complimentary shore excursion in every port. Guests can go out and explore with expert local guides who will visit iconic landmarks, share stories passed down through generations, and introduce you to sights you won’t find in a guidebook.

Additionally, there are a range of optional excursions, each designed to get guests closer to their destinations. Local Life tours provide a fascinating insight into what day-to-day life might look like for the people of a certain region, while Working World excursions explore the working lives of people, such as winemakers, engineers, or truffle farmers.

Privileged Access offers exclusive entry to places that are otherwise difficult to access. Depending on your cruise you might end up viewing a rare art collection, visit a famous museum after hours, visit a palace closed to visitors, see a private performative of art or dance.

The beautiful scenery of the Black Forest in Germany

Into the Black Forest by E-Bike

Cycle one of the most beautiful trails of southern Germany, following your guide and discovering the history and culture of the Black Forest. Stop for lunch and enjoy time at leisure to explore and then continue your ride and enjoy a home visit in a historic Black Forest residence.

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Karine of Viking River Cruises baking bread in Portugal

Favaios Bakery & Lunch at Quinta Avessada

Explore a bakery in the Douro Valley where bread is made the traditional way: in an oven heated with wood and old grapevines. Visit the local Museum of Wine and Bread and continue on to a beautiful century-old wine-growing estate and UNESCO site, touring the cellars and sampling local varieties of port.

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The Gottweig Abbey with the trees and clouds

Göttweig Abbey

Explore Göttweig Abbey where monks have worked and worshiped for over 900 years. Learn about monastic life and what it takes to run a monastery today, admiring the church’s colourful and ornate interior, and climbing the Imperial Staircase, crowned by one of the largest and most spectacular ceiling frescoes in the world.

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The Viking Aquavit Terrace with guests at the buffet

Viking Longships 360 Tour

Since their launch, our Viking Longships have received acclaim for their innovative design, outstanding quality and state-of-the-art engineering. On board, guests find serene Scandinavian-style spaces, where every room is beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light.

The restaurant on the Viking Hlin

From the carefully curated library to the stunning light-filled lobby no detail is overlooked. Viking Longships even feature an organic herb garden, as well as energy-efficient
hybrid engines and strategically placed solar panels. Guests are always captivated by the sprawling sun deck and al fresco dining spaces on board our ships, not to mention the floor-to-ceiling windows that offer never-ending panoramic views of the spectacular surroundings.

The luxurious suit on the Viking Hlin

Explore Viking's itineraries and book today

With 42 enriching voyages ranging from 8-23 days across Europe, the Nile, the Mekong and the Mississippi, there’s a Viking river cruise for even the most experienced traveller.

View our complete range, availability, pricing and current offers on our website today, see your local travel agent or give our contact centre a call on 138 747 (Australia) or 0800 447 913 (New Zealand).