Cruise

River Cruising for 2011

written by | Posted on November 1st, 2010

In addition to new ships, Viking River Cruises is completing two complete refurbishments to its existing fleet. Ready for 2011, the Viking Pakhomov will have completed a full bow-to-stern renovation like those of its Russian sister ships, Viking Surkov and Viking Kirov, relaunched in 2008 and 2009, respectively. The Pakhomov will feature all deluxe staterooms with hotel-style beds, flat-panel TVs and the latest amenities, and public areas, too, have been completely remodeled. Another vessel, the Viking Schumann, purpose-built for Elbe River cruising, will also receive a total refurbishment for the 2011 season.

Coming from Viking in 2011 are a handful of new cruise-tour itineraries—from an 11-day Passage to Eastern Europe from Bucharest to Budapest, from $5,399 aboard Viking Primadonna, to a 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids starting at $7,795 aboard the Royal Lily on the Nile and Prince Abbas on Lake Nasser. However, the big news is the introduction of a brand-new Southeast Asia itinerary next year, a 15-day program featuring cruising aboard the 66-passenger rv Tonle on the scenic Mekong River and land tours in Vietnam and Cambodia. Travelers spend two nights in Hanoi; three nights in Siem Reap, gateway to the Angkor Wat temples, and two nights in Ho Chi Minh City; the 8-day Mekong River Cruise stops in Phnom Penh and a variety of small riverside villages. All-inclusive costs start at $3,399 pp.

Recently, Viking introduced what Hagen calls, “an unprecedented and very simple commission policy. When agents sell a Viking itinerary, they earn a commission on all of it.” Spelled out, this covers commission on cruise and air, as well as port charges, taxes, fees and travel protection plans.