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Viking River Cruises Announces New Itineraries, Renovations, Programming and Opportunities for 2010 'Wave Season'

Los Angeles, Calif. (Vocus/PRWEB ) January 15, 2010 -- With many travelers facing pent-up "wanderlust” after the budgetary contractions of 2009, they are looking for experiences that deliver more than relaxation and escape. For a vacation that offers the opportunity to engage with a new culture, see new sights everyday and experience all of the comfort and ease of a "floating hotel” more travelers are turning to river cruising. With the cruising industry’s busiest booking period quickly approaching at the start of the New Year, Viking River Cruises is pleased to announce its suite of upcoming discounts for cruises and cruisetours in Europe, Russia, Egypt and China and highlight the positive booking trends, new itineraries and announce once-in-a-lifetime destination happenings coinciding with Viking’s 2010 season. Effective January 2, 2010, Viking River Cruises will offer the following promotions, applicable for travel to some its most popular itineraries and the world’s "hottest” destinations: Europe – 2-FOR-1 cruising plus $300 off international air per couple and complimentary wine with dinner. Offer code is "05P” and must be booked and paid in full by March 1, 2010. Russia & Ukraine -- 2-FOR-1 cruising plus $400 off international air per couple and complimentary wine for all onboard dinners. Offer code is "08P” and must be booked and paid in full by March 1, 2010. China – 2-FOR-1 cruisetours, complimentary wine with onboard dinners, plus special international air offers: 2-FOR-1 international air for those booking stateroom categories B or higher on the Imperial Jewels of China and Roof of the World itineraries; All other stateroom categories on the Imperial Jewels of China and Roof of the World itineraries and all stateroom categories on the Yangtze Explorer and China’s Cultural Delights itineraries receive international airfare at $300 off per couple; Offer code is "06P” and must be booked and paid in full by March 1, 2010. Egypt – 2-FOR-1 cruising plus $300 off international air per couple and complimentary wine with all on-board dinners. Offer code is "05P” and must be booked and paid in full by March 1, 2010. Offer restrictions apply for all Spring Sale promotions. Call 1 877 66VIKING for details. The Year Ahead; Celebrate with other Cultures 2010 is already showing signs of promise for Viking River Cruises with booking for cruises being made earlier as compared to 2009. "There has never been a better time to book a river cruise. This type of travel delivers incredible value and access to both popular, cosmopolitan cities as well as largely under-the-radar, quaint villages and towns within one itinerary,” says Joost Ouendag, vice president of product marketing for Viking River Cruises. With Russia and China bookings for Viking already displaying double-digit growth, even more travelers will have the opportunity to visit these popular destinations in addition to the perennial favorite, Europe, with the 2010 Spring Sale. Moreover, this year will ring in several significant destination celebrations. In Europe Oberammergau’s Passionsspiele is a once-in-a-decade Passion play, known throughout Europe as a not-to-be-missed cultural spectacle. Viking offers a two-night land program with the best seats in the house as part of its Romantic Danube & the Passionsspiele 10-day program. In Russia, the Yaroslavl Millennial is putting the spotlight on this Golden Ring city as it celebrates a monumental birthday. Founded in 1010, Yaroslavl is in the process of preparing for the festivities and can be visited while aboard Viking’s Waterways of the Czars itinerary. Held every five years, the World’s Fair is coming to Shanghai in 2010 under the theme "Better City, Better Life." A two-night, post-cruise land extension program can be added to select departures of Viking’s China cruisetours allowing guests to spend extra time in Shanghai and visit this much-anticipated, world-famous event which will take place May through October 2010. Ship News Preparing for its 2010 season debut, Viking Fontane is undergoing a bow to stern renovation. Sailing on Europe’s smaller waterways such as the Main and Moselle on the Cities of Light itinerary from Paris to Prague, the refurbished Viking Fontane will boast upgraded staterooms in all categories including eight new Category A Deluxe staterooms on the upper deck, each measuring 180 square feet with hotel-style beds that are in line with the accoutrements of Viking’s other European vessels. Viking Fontane’s Category B, C and D staterooms will have two full beds instead of the single and Pullman-style beds. In addition, all of the vessel’s single staterooms will be converted into doubles. Launched late in the 2009 sailing season, Viking Legend will embark on its first full sailing season in 2010 on the Grand European Tour and Tulips & Windmills itineraries. Viking Legend is the most energy-saving vessel from Viking River Cruises to date. It boasts fuel efficient hybrid engines that allow it to expend 20 percent less energy than a traditional all-diesel ship. A bonus of these high-tech engines is that they provide passengers with a smoother, quieter ride. Additionally, it boasts the two largest suites of any river cruising ship in Europe and each stateroom is equipped with a flat screen TV. In addition to Viking Legend, Viking River Cruises launched a refurbished Viking Kirov to its fleet of vessels sailing Russia’s waterways in June. Sailing the Waterways of the Czars itinerary, Viking Kirov now boasts two 290-square-foot suites, 104 spacious staterooms, all of which meet the latest European standards of comfort and elegance, all with hotel-style beds and amenities such as 26-inch flat-panel TVs, in-room refrigerators and three open air promenade decks. Itinerary News Completely new for 2010 Danube Waltz is an 8-day, itinerary sailing through four of Europe’s most enchanting countries—Germany, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia—along the storied Danube River, which includes a tour of the 900-year-old baroque Benedictine abbey at Melk and an all-day excursion to the scenic city of Salzburg. Itineraries that were launched late in the 2009 season that will continue into 2010 include: Nile Explorer, a nine-day itinerary that showcases the highlights of Cairo and features a five-day Aswan-to-Luxor cruise rich with tours and experiences that bring Egypt’s ancient world to life for passengers Rhine Serenade, an eight-day cruise passing through Switzerland, Germany, France and The Netherlands, which includes tours of many of the landmarks along this legendary river such as medieval castles, Cologne’s inspiring Dom, and the windmills and waterworks of Holland Vineyards & Vistas, an eight-day cruise along the Moselle, Rhine and Main Rivers features hillside castles and the sites, and gustatory delights of German wine country. Lastly, Imperial Danube will take guests on and eight-day voyage along the Danube visiting Germany, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. Offering a more Eastern European flair than the Danube Waltz itinerary, this is a round-trip journey from Passau including excursions to unique Hungary’s largest Cathedral in the city of Esztergom and the tiny town of Visegrád, a former royal retreat, home to no less than three castles. On Viking’s Eastern European Odyssey itinerary two new lectures on the Balkan conflict from the standpoint of two Serbian and Croatian lecturers as a component to the line’s 2010 Culture CurriculumSM, its onboard, multi-media lectureship program offering a rich line-up of topics such as the Dutch Masters, the importance of China’s dynasties while sailing down the Yangtze, or a practical lesson on key words and phrases in the local language of the country or region travelers are in. About Viking River Cruises Viking River Cruises, the world’s largest river cruise company, offers scenic cruising along the rivers of Europe, Russia, China and Egypt. The company has been honored multiple times as the top river cruise line on Condé Nast Traveler’s "Gold List” and Travel + Leisure’s "World’s Best” Awards as well as recognized as the World’s Leading River Cruise Operator at the World Travel Awards. Travel agents have also recognized Viking River Cruises as "Best River Cruise Line” by Travel Weekly, "Best River Cruise Line” by Recommend and Travel Agent magazines, Best Cruise Line for Luxury River Cruises at the Luxury Travel Advisor Awards of Excellence and as "Best Overall Cruise Line for River Cruising” and "Best River Cruise Line for Travel Agent Support” by TravelAge West. Since its 1997 inception, the company has grown to a fleet of 18 vessels, and provides unique, deluxe vacations to experienced travelers with an interest in geography, culture and history.

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