Viking announced today the official restart of its popular river itineraries in France, marking the latest milestone as the company resumes operations in Europe. Guests are now embarking journeys on the Seine and Rhône rivers for the Paris & the Heart of Normandy, Lyon & Provence and France’s Finest itineraries. Viking’s voyage in Bordeaux, Chateaux, Rivers and Wine, will resume in August.
Along with restarting river operations in France, Viking has launched four new Viking Longships that are purpose-built specifically to navigate the Seine River. Hosting 168 guests in 84 staterooms, Viking Kari, Viking Radgrid, Viking Skaga and Viking Fjorgyn dock at Viking’s exclusive docking location in the center of Paris, just a short walking distance from the Eiffel Tower.
“Throughout the last year, we have heard consistently from our guests that France is at the top of their travel list, so we are delighted that our river vessels are once again sailing in this beloved destination,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking. “My daughter, Karine, and I have just spent time on board our new Longships that dock in the heart of Paris—and I believe our guests will be very pleased with this elegant new way to discover the City of Light. Only Viking offers an exclusive docking location just steps away from the Eiffel Tower.”
With space selling fast, there are still dates available in summer and fall 2021 on Viking’s river voyages in France, which include:
- Paris & the Heart of Normandy (8 days; roundtrip to Paris) – Explore Giverny and visit the beautiful gardens and charming farmhouse where Claude Monet lived and worked, the setting that inspired many of his masterpieces. Trace the footsteps of Joan of Arc in Rouen. Walk hallowed ground at Normandy’s American Military Cemetery and World War II beaches. Savor Normandy cuisine. This 8-day cruise along the Seine River celebrates history, art, food and customs in the country’s most dazzling urbane and pastoral settings. Multiple sailing dates July through December 2021.
- Lyon & Provence (8 days; Avignon to Lyon) – Tap into your inner van Gogh at an Arles painting class. Discover Roman Provence at Les Arènes amphitheater and the Pont du Gard. Explore Avignon’s Palace of the Popes. Excite your palate in Lyon, capital of French gastronomy. Savor Beaujolais wines. Hunt for truffles and see how chèvre cheese is made. Come witness the beauty that inspired artists like Cézanne and Chagall on this 8-day Rhône cruise. Multiple sailing dates July through November 2021.
- Chateaux, Rivers and Wine (8 days; roundtrip to Bordeaux) – Discover the ports, vineyards, farms and forests of Aquitaine, once Europe’s richest kingdom. See Bordeaux’s fountains and cellars. Hunt for truffles in Périgord, and create your own personal blend of Cognac at the Camus distillery. Savor France’s finest oysters fresh from the bay at Arcachon. Sip Saint-Émilion, Médoc and Sauternes in their own “terroir” on an 8-day cruise through Bordeaux—a region synonymous with fine wine and finer living. Multiple sailing dates August through November 2021.
- France’s Finest (15 days; between Paris and Avignon) – Pay your respects at Normandy’s World War II beaches. Walk in Joan of Arc’s footsteps at Rouen. Luxuriate in Paris’s sophistication. Savor Lyon’s culinary heritage. Toast the Beaujolais vineyards. Explore Avignon’s Palace of the Popes. Celebrate the Provençal lifestyle. Art, cuisine, style, joie de vivre—if you love everything Français, this is for you: a 15-day journey that combines our popular Paris & the Heart of Normandy and Lyon & Provence cruises into one tour de force. Multiple sailing dates August through November 2021.
Viking restarted the company’s ocean operations in May 2021 with sailings in England for British guests. By keeping ships in warm layup, Viking was able to restart more quickly than most cruise lines. In June, the company welcomed American guests back on board for new journeys around Bermuda and Iceland. Guests on Viking’s Welcome Back voyages have enjoyed the experience so much that they have provided some of the highest-ever ratings in post-trip surveys—a strong indication that experienced travelers are ready to be exploring the world in comfort once again.
Those who sail Welcome Back voyages experience Viking’s industry-leading health and safety program. Grounded in scientific research, the Viking Health & Safety Program was developed in partnership with an international team of medical advisors, including Raquel C. Bono, M.D., Viking’s Chief Health Officer. Dr. Bono is a board-certified trauma surgeon and retired Vice Admiral of the United States Navy Medical Corps—and most recently led Washington State’s medical and healthcare systems response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing a full-scale laboratory installed on every Viking ocean ship—and a strong network of dedicated shoreside labs for Viking river ships in Europe—all guests and crew receive frequent quick and easy non-invasive saliva PCR tests. The easy access to robust PCR testing also simplifies guests’ travel experience with a final COVID-19 test taken onboard that satisfies the requirement for pre-flight testing before arrival into the U.S. A complete overview of the Viking Health & Safety Program can be found at www.viking.com/health-safety.
— from Cruiseable news services
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