The second-longest river in central and Western Europe (after the Danube), the Rhine River is the artery that nurtured the development of many major cities. Today, a cruise along this waterway takes travelers past the storybook castles and vineyard-draped hills of Germany; through the charming French city of Strasbourg; and into Basel, Switzerland’s third-largest metropolis. With so many standout experiences just steps from the waterway, a river cruise is a great way to immerse yourself in the beauty and romance of Old Europe.

A Viking river cruise is a very different experience from an ocean cruise. Rather than traveling open waters headed to only one or two ports of call, Viking Longships spend as much time in as many ports as possible. When you take a Viking river cruise, each morning starts somewhere new and exciting. While most travel happens at night, some scenic legs of the voyage, such as through the Middle Rhine Valley, happen during daytime. Leaving Amsterdam, for example, the ship travels to Kinderdijk, famous for its windmills. Guests can go ashore and explore the monumental structures—and even go inside to see how they operate.

When you plan your Viking river cruise along the Rhine, you will experience the award-winning Viking Longships, which all offer the same great experience. And because each Viking Longship welcomes only 190 passengers, a cruise is also a much more intimate experience—almost like staying at a fine hotel that travels with you.

With three interior decks topped by a beautiful roof deck, each ship offers a great place to relax as the world floats by. And note that, wherever you are, there’s always a view: All cabins have river views (there are no interior rooms). Plus, with five different stateroom categories to choose from, the Viking patented design allows for more variety than other ships, so you will truly explore the world in comfort.

Once in your stateroom, you’ll find the attention to detail is unparalleled. Each room has a queen bed (which can be separated into two twin beds), drawers for belongings, a refrigerator, a safe, a full-sized closet for hanging clothing, and space under the bed to hold luggage. All staterooms have heated bathroom floors (a nice touch!) and heated mirrors that won’t fog during hot showers. Older guests will appreciate that all the consumable amenities—body wash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc.—are designed to be as easy to use as possible, with color-coded bottles featuring easy-flip caps and labels with large type.

The ship offers an array of common spaces full of enrichment; for instance, the ship’s library is curated to align with the cruise’s itinerary, informing guests about the history, culture, arts and music of the places they’re visiting. Guests may freely borrow from the library.

Choose from departures throughout the year, from March through December. Although there’s no bad time to go, the season in which you cruise the Rhine River will command your experience. If you’d like to see Dutch tulips in full bloom, you’ll want to take a spring cruise and visit the Keukenhof gardens in Lisse, Netherlands. If you’d like to see the changing of the leaves, an autumn cruise in late September or early October delivers. And, come November, the famous Christmas markets turn ancient town squares into real-life snow globe scenes.

Be as active or as leisurely as you want. There’s always an included excursion at every port of call you’ll visit, featuring a local guide whose expert insights will give you a fuller picture 0f the location. On a typical day of your Rhine River cruise, you’ll wake up, have breakfast on board and then head out on an included excursion. The smaller ports of call typically have walking tours. (Make sure you have some comfortable shoes if you plan to go on a walking tour—some paths are paved with cobblestones or include other obstacles.) In larger ports of call, motorcoach excursions can take guests around and show them all the highlights.

All shore excursions are labeled easy, moderate or demanding, so you’ll know the level of activity required prior to signing up. For example, although an excursion to Marksburg Castle, high up on a peak overlooking the Middle Rhine Valley, qualifies as demanding because there are quite a few stairs to climb, it’s highly recommended if you have the ability. No matter your activity level, there will always be an excursion you can choose that goes at a slower pace.

Upon your return to the ship after a memorable morning excursion, you’ll find a locally sourced gourmet lunch waiting for you. That’s right—the Viking chefs go out into the local food markets and bring the ingredients back so guests are getting an authentic taste of the places they’re visiting. Once fortified with food, you’ll have the afternoon and evening to explore on your own, or you can add an optional excursion if you wish. If you have a particular interest (say, World War II history), there may be an optional excursion that appeals to you. Just remember—the eight-day cruise length means there will be plenty of chances to explore throughout the week, so plan accordingly and don’t overschedule.

Guests celebrating a milestone or special event should let their agent know at booking, allowing crew and staff to throw a proper birthday, anniversary or any other kind of celebration.

Guests with dietary restrictions should provide details to their agent. Viking can accommodate most situations and will make appropriate preparations.

Viking puts a priority on your personal well-being. Viking Chief Health Officer Dr. Raquel Bono has put in place all the protocols and procedures for a safe return to sailing. She was instrumental in creating a network of shoreside laboratories, and Viking is the first and only cruise line to test daily: Onboard PCR testing ensures that all guests and crew members have the health information necessary to protect themselves on their travels. It’s a saliva-based, self-administered test travelers can do each morning and then go about their day.

INSIDER TIP: Add even more quality time to your trip. Your Rhine Getaway cruise will go either up or down the river, making Amsterdam the first or last port of your cruise. It’s a stunning stop with so much to see and do that you’ll want to consider extending your time there. By arriving a couple days prior to the start of your cruise (or staying later if it’s the last stop of your trip), you’ll have more time to explore the city.

Viking’s two-day Amsterdam extension is a very popular option that lets you stay in a first-class hotel in the heart of the city before (or after) the cruise. Transfers are included, so when you arrive, someone at the airport will greet you and place you on a motorcoach to the hotel. Once you’re there, a Viking concierge will be on call to assist you as you plan your time in the city. There isn’t a better way to explore Amsterdam than by water, and canal tours are a favorite excursion; they feature English-language guides and are given every hour, letting you take in the city’s charms from a boat. Amsterdam is home to a vibrant art scene, and two standouts—the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum—are not to be missed. Then, at the end of your extension, you’ll be transported from the hotel to the ship to begin your river cruise.

INSIDER TIP: Viking will indulge your taste buds. You’ll have many opportunities to discover new favorite foods and beverages. Unique for cruising, Viking does not charge a corkage fee. Because food and drink can be such an important part of the cruise experience, if you pick up beer, wine or spirits while ashore, you can bring your purchases back to the ship to enjoy. And, in addition to the free-flowing onboard options of beer, wine and soft drinks that are available with meals, there is a Silver Spirits beverage package available, typically about $20 per day per person, that will open the bar (and the entire wine list) to guests.


EXCLUSIVE: AAA Member Benefit

A special partnership between AAA and Viking Cruises allows AAA Members to receive:

  • A $100-per-person shipboard credit for all cruises 8 to 11 days.
  • A $200-per-person shipboard credit for cruises 12 days or longer.*


Shipboard credits can only be applied when booked directly by AAA Travel Agent. This offer is combinable with group rates, early booking discounts, past passenger discounts, refer a friend credits and future cruise vouchers. Offer is not combinable with interline and wholesale bookings or valid on other Viking products. Onboard credit has no cash value. Viking reserves the right to correct errors and to change any and all fares, fees and surcharges at any time. CST# 2052644-40