Viking Unveils Two New River Cruise Itineraries and Ship for 2011

Viking River Cruises has made available its 2011 River Cruise Atlas that features one new ship, refurbishments, two new itineraries and an early-booking discount.

The line, now in its 10th year, will offer 20 itineraries in 2011 ranging from eight to 17 days five regions: Europe, Russia, Ukraine, China and Egypt. For the 2011 season, Viking is introducing two new itineraries. The 11-day Passage to Eastern Europe itinerary features an eight-day Danube River cruise through five countries including Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, bookended by hotel nights in Budapest and Bucharest. The 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids cruisetour explores Egypt with hotel nights in Cairo, plus a four-night Nile River cruise and a three-night Lake Nasser cruise.

In addition to the river cruise programs, Viking has renewed its "Explore More" pre- and post-cruise land extension packages. New for 2011 are extension programs in Brussels, Belgium and Lucerne, Switzerland.

The company has also announced what it calls its best-ever early-booking discount. It includes 2-for-1 cruises plus up to 2-for-1 roundtrip international air plus complimentary wine, if booked by May 28, 2010.

Viking also has a new ship launcching in 2011, the Viking Emerald, which will operate on China's Yangtze River. The ship will have large suites, plus every stateroom features a full balcony. In addition to the two 840-square-foot Presidential Suites, Viking Emerald will also have 14 Suites and 4 Junior Suites among its 132 total staterooms spread over five passenger decks.

Continuing its fleet refurbishment program, Viking Pakhomov, will undergo a complete bow-to-stern renovation, offering two suites and 102 deluxe staterooms and all-new public rooms. The ship will be identical to its sister ships, Viking Surkov and Viking Kirov, sailing Russia’s rivers. In Europe, Viking is refurbishing Viking Schumann, which sails along the Elbe River. The ship will receive eight spacious deluxe staterooms in addition to other upgrades to its standard staterooms and public areas. Viking Schumann’s renovations will match that of its sister ship, Viking Fontane, which was completely redone for the 2010 cruising season.

For 2011, Viking River Cruises is maintaining its current travel agent commission structure and payment policy of 29 days prior to departure. Commissions start at 12 percent on cruise and land, 5 percent on full-price air, 10 percent on the Travel Protection Plan and 12 percent on land extensions.

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