Viking Announces Opening of 2026 European River Season

Due to Strong Demand, Bookings are Now Open for the Company’s Popular River Voyages

Los Angeles (December 11, 2023)– Viking® ( today announced that the 2026 season of its European river voyages is now open for reservations. With many 2024 dates already sold out and the 2025 season selling well, strong demand among North American travelers has led to an early opening of all 2026 departures for Viking’s iconic itineraries on the rivers of Europe.

“Our guests are curious travelers who are interested in history, art and culture, which is why Europe remains our most popular destination,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “The idea of a modern river voyage is still new to many, even to some of the most well-traveled individuals. But make no mistake; there is no better way of exploring the heart of Europe than sailing its historic waterways on an elegant Viking Longship. We look forward to welcoming more guests, both returning and new, on board our state-of-the-art vessels in the coming years.”

With a current fleet of 80 river ships and more than 50 percent of the market share for North American travelers, Viking is by far the industry’s leading river line. Some of company’s most popular itineraries in Europe include:

  • Danube Waltz (8 days; Budapest—Passau) – Soak up soothing steam at a Budapest thermal bath. Learn to waltz at a Viennese dance school. Savor Austro-Hungarian cuisine in Vienna and Budapest. Admire the Wachau Valley’s beauty. Explore lesser-known Central European cities like Bratislava and Passau. Witness daily monastic life on an exclusive visit to Göttweig Abbey. This eight-day itinerary reveals the best of these places while cruising leisurely through spectacular scenery.
  • Rhine Getaway (8 days; Amsterdam—Basel) – Explore one of Europe’s best-loved rivers. Discover the turreted fortresses, grand cathedrals, historic cities, medieval towns and stunning scenery of the Middle Rhine—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Taste the region’s renowned white wines, the roots of its terraced vineyards reaching back to Roman times. Savor the various culinary traditions of Alsace. With calls in Amsterdam, Cologne and Basel, this journey reveals a rich landscape of beauty and culture.
  • Paris & the Heart of Normandy (8 days; Paris roundtrip) – Dock in the heart of Paris, admiring views of the Eiffel Tower and a replica of the Statue of Liberty from your ship. Experience history firsthand at the Normandy beaches and delight in Rouen’s Gothic architecture. Explore Giverny and the charming house and gardens where Claude Monet lived and worked, the setting inspiring many of his masterpieces. This voyage celebrates history, art, food and customs in France’s most alluring urban and pastoral settings.
  • Lyon & Provence (8 days; Lyon—Avignon) – Tap into your inner van Gogh at an Arles painting class. Discover Roman Provence at Les Arènes d’Arles and the Pont du Gard. Explore the world’s largest Gothic palace at Avignon’s grand Palace of the Popes. Excite your palate in Lyon, capital of French gastronomy. Savor local wines, hunt for truffles and see how chèvre cheese is made. Come witness the beauty that inspired artists like Cézanne and Chagall on this eight-day voyage along the Rhône.
  • Portugal’s River of Gold (10 days; Lisbon—Porto) – Experience the renaissance of Lisbon, newly invigorated with trending galleries and restaurants. Explore two of Iberia’s oldest university towns: Coimbra, Portugal and Salamanca, Spain. Roam the port warehouses of Porto. Enjoy traditional cuisine, wine and fado singing. Cruise the Douro River Valley, the world’s oldest demarcated wine region and a UNESCO Site. Our 10-day cruisetour includes a hotel stay in Lisbon and the added bonus of a visit to Spain.

Viking recently announced it will welcome an additional 10 Viking Longships® to its river fleet by the end of 2026. Currently under construction, eight of the new vessels will sail Viking’s itineraries on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers, while two additional Viking Longships will join the fleet on the Seine River. To meet the strong demand, five of the new vessels will be delivered in 2025, with the remaining five to be delivered in 2026.

Today’s announcement follows a year of accolades for Viking. Most recently, Viking was honored with seven awards—more than any other line—in the 2023 Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards, including Best River Line, Best for First-Timers and Best Service in the river category. In October, Viking made history when it was voted #1 for rivers, oceans and expeditions by Condé Nast Traveler in the publication’s 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards. The company was also voted to the top of its categories for rivers, oceans and expeditions by Travel + Leisure in the 2023 World’s Best Awards. No other travel company has simultaneously received the same honors by both publications.

Booking Details

From now through December 31, 2023, Viking is offering North American travelers the Holiday Sale, with up to FREE international airfare, special fares and a $25 deposit on all 2026 European river voyages—as well as other river, ocean and expedition voyages. Call Viking toll free at 1-855-8-VIKING (1-855-884-5464) or contact a travel advisor for details.

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About Viking

Viking was founded in 1997 and provides destination-focused journeys on rivers, oceans and lakes around the world. Designed for curious travelers with interests in science, history, culture and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers experiences for The Thinking Person™. Viking has more than 450 awards to its name, including being rated #1 for Rivers, #1 for Oceans and #1 for Expeditions by Condé Nast Traveler in the 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards. Viking is also rated at the top of its categories for rivers, oceans and expeditions by Travel + Leisure. No other travel company has simultaneously received the same honors by both publications. For additional information, contact Viking at 1-800-2-VIKING (1-800-284-5464) or visit For Viking’s award-winning enrichment channel, visit