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  • Day 1 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, United States
  • Day 2 Sail the Gulf of Mexico
  • Day 3 Cozumel, Mexico
  • Day 4-5 Sail the Caribbean Sea
  • Day 6 Cartagena, Colombia
  • Day 7 Colón, Panama
  • Day 8 Scenic Sailing: Panama Canal
  • Day 9 Sail the Pacific Ocean
  • Day 10 Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera), Costa Rica
  • Day 11-14 Sail the Pacific Ocean
  • Day 15 Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • Day 16-17 Sail the Pacific Ocean
  • Day 18 Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Day 19-23 Sail the Pacific Ocean
  • Day 24 Oahu (Honolulu), Hawaii, United States
  • Day 25 Kauai (Nawiliwili), Hawaii, United States
  • Day 26-30 Sail the Pacific Ocean
  • Day 31 Bora Bora (Vaitape), French Polynesia
  • Day 32 Moorea (Opunohu Bay), French Polynesia
  • Day 33 Tahiti (Papeete), French Polynesia
  • Day 34 Sail the South Pacific Ocean
  • Day 35 Rarotonga (Avatiu), Cook Islands
  • Day 36 Sail the South Pacific Ocean
  • Day 37 Cross the International Dateline (West)
  • Day 38-39 Sail the South Pacific Ocean
  • Day 40 Bay of Islands (Waitangi), New Zealand
  • Day 41 Auckland, New Zealand
  • Day 42 Rotorua (Tauranga), New Zealand
  • Day 43 Napier, New Zealand
  • Day 44 Wellington, New Zealand
  • Day 45-47 Sail the Tasman Sea
  • Day 48 Sydney, Australia
  • Day 49 Sydney, Australia
  • Day 50 Sail the Australian Coast
  • Day 51 Brisbane, Australia
  • Day 52 Sail the Australian Coast
  • Day 53 Whitsunday Islands, Australia
  • Day 54 Cairns, Australia
  • Day 55 Cairns, Australia
  • Day 56 Sail the Coral Sea
  • Day 57 Thursday Island, Australia
  • Day 58-59 Sail the Arafura Sea
  • Day 60 Darwin, Australia
  • Day 61-62 Sail the Timor Sea
  • Day 63 Komodo National Park (Rinca), Indonesia
  • Day 64 Bali (Benoa), Indonesia
  • Day 65 Bali (Benoa), Indonesia
  • Day 66 Sail the Java Sea
  • Day 67 Java (Semarang), Indonesia
  • Day 68 Java (Jakarta), Indonesia
  • Day 69 Java (Jakarta), Indonesia
  • Day 70 Sail the Java Sea
  • Day 71 Singapore, Singapore
  • Day 72 Singapore, Singapore
  • Day 73 Scenic Sailing: Strait of Malacca
  • Day 74 Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Malaysia
  • Day 75 Langkawi, Malaysia
  • Day 76 George Town, Malaysia
  • Day 77 Phuket (Patong Beach), Thailand
  • Day 78-79 Sail the Bay of Bengal
  • Day 80 Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Day 81 Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Day 82 Sail the Laccadive Sea
  • Day 83 Malé, Maldives
  • Day 84-86 Sail the Indian Ocean
  • Day 87 Mahé (Victoria), Seychelles
  • Day 88-89 Sail the Indian Ocean
  • Day 90 Mombasa, Kenya
  • Day 91 Mombasa, Kenya
  • Day 92 Zanzibar, Tanzania
  • Day 93 Zanzibar, Tanzania
  • Day 94 Sail the Indian Ocean
  • Day 95 Nosy Be (Andoany), Madagascar
  • Day 96-98 Sail the Indian Ocean
  • Day 99 Maputo, Mozambique
  • Day 100 Richards Bay, South Africa
  • Day 101 Durban, South Africa
  • Day 102 East London, South Africa
  • Day 103 Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), South Africa
  • Day 104 Sail the Indian Ocean
  • Day 105 Cape Town, South Africa
  • Day 106 Cape Town, South Africa
  • Day 107 Sail the South Atlantic Ocean
  • Day 108 Lüderitz, Namibia
  • Day 109 Walvis Bay, Namibia
  • Day 110 Walvis Bay, Namibia
  • Day 111-112 Sail the South Atlantic Ocean
  • Day 113 Luanda, Angola
  • Day 114-116 Sail the South Atlantic Ocean
  • Day 117-119 Sail the North Atlantic Ocean
  • Day 120 Praia, Cape Verde
  • Day 121 São Vicente Island (Mindelo), Cape Verde
  • Day 122-123 Sail the North Atlantic Ocean
  • Day 124 Canary Islands (Santa Cruz de Tenerife), Spain
  • Day 125 Agadir, Morocco
  • Day 126 Agadir, Morocco
  • Day 127 Casablanca, Morocco
  • Day 128 Casablanca, Morocco
  • Day 129 Seville (Cádiz), Spain
  • Day 130 Lisbon, Portugal
  • Day 131 Lisbon, Portugal
  • Day 132 Porto (Leixões), Portugal
  • Day 133 A Coruña, Spain
  • Day 134 Sail the Atlantic Ocean
  • Day 135 Paris (Honfleur), France
  • Day 136 Dover, England
  • Day 137 London (Greenwich), England
  • Day 138 London (Greenwich), England

London (Greenwich), England

Greenwich, a borough of London, is home to the Royal Observatory. From here, the world’s longitude is measured from the prime meridian, and Greenwich Mean Time sets the global time standard. At the port, the clipper ship Cutty Sark , one of Greenwich’s renowned historic landmarks, is preserved as a fascinating museum. Upriver, London is home to Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. In addition, this major economic and cultural hub boasts a long tradition of arts and architectural innovation—from Shakespeare’s Globe Theater to West End musicals.

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Shore Excursions

Shore excursions vary by each itinerary and are subject to change.

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Royal Greenwich by Foot

Discover Greenwich’s maritime and royal history by foot.

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Classic Monuments of London

Take a classic tour by some of London’s most famous landmarks, accompanied by a renowned Blue Badge licensed guide.

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The Tower of London

Explore the intriguing past of one of Britain’s most iconic landmarks.

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Ceremony of the Keys at the London Tower

Enjoy a very special after-hours visit of the Tower of London and experience a unique, centuries-old tradition.

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The Kitchen Table

Immerse yourself in local culture and cuisine as our Executive Chef leads you on an interactive culinary adventure.

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Imperial War Museum & Churchill’s War Rooms

Discover the undercover work of Britain’s Special Forces and the Allies, from World War I to conflicts of today.

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The Royal Households of London

Explore the households of England’s royal family during a scenic drive and tour of Buckingham Palace.

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The World of Shakespeare

Immerse yourself in the world of William Shakespeare during a private tour of the reconstructed Globe Theater.

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Southwark & the Mayflower Trail

Discover the London Borough of Southwark’s maritime tradition and ties to the Pilgrims and the Mayflower .

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Thames River Cruise

Witness one of the world’s most iconic skylines during an evening cruise along the River Thames.

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Should Be Cruising

Viking Announces 2024-2025 World Cruise Itineraries on Viking Sky

By: Author Carrie Ann Karstunen

Posted on Published: January 12, 2023  - Last updated: September 27, 2023

Viking Announces 2024-2025 World Cruise Itineraries on Viking Sky

Viking has announced its 2024-2025 World Cruise itineraries, including the Viking World Voyage I which sails around the world in 180 days.

Cruise line Viking has released the itineraries for its 2024-2025 World Cruise offerings, including the new 180-day Viking World Voyage I . The epic voyage will visit 37 countries and 85 ports, and will include overnight stays in 13 cities.

Viking’s 2024-2025 World Cruise options

Guests who choose the World Voyage I will set sail from Fort Lauderdale on December 19, 2024 aboard Viking Sky to visit ports of call across five continents. The ship will have completely circumnavigated the globe when it returns to the United States for its final port, New York City, on June 17, 2025.

World Voyage I passengers on the 930-guest Viking Sky will explore ports of call in Central America, transit the Panama Canal , and journey up the west coast of North America before crossing the Pacific Ocean. The ship will then visit the Hawaiian islands and French Polynesia, traverse New Zealand and Australia, and then sail through Asia, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and northern Europe before making the transatlantic crossing to reach New York.

Cruisers can also choose to join shorter segments of the around-the-world cruise. A 163-day portion of the sailing, Viking World Voyage II , meets the ship in Los Angeles on January 5, 2025 and visits 29 countries and 78 ports before ending in New York.

Viking also offers the option of the 138-day Viking World Cruise from Fort Lauderdale to London, or the 121-day Viking World Journeys departing from Los Angeles. This part of the itinerary visits 23 countries before finishing in London.

Highlights of the complete Viking World Voyage itinerary

Viking’s upcoming world cruise will visit dozens of the world’s most iconic cities—as well as lesser-known destinations—in one continuous itinerary.

Guests will enjoy overnight stays in 13 ports, such as Sydney, Haifa, Singapore, and Istanbul. Double overnights in Auckland, Bali, Ho Chi Minh, Yangon, Mumbai, and Bergen will allow passengers to dive deeper into the culture of each unique port.

world cruises viking

Highlights of the new 2024-2025 Viking World Cruise itineraries include:

  • Auckland, New Zealand: Cultural Capital of New Zealand  – Set between the harbors of Waitematā and Manukau, guests will experience three days in New Zealand’s cosmopolitan city of Auckland, known for its award-winning wines, tree-lined parks, and love of boating.    
  • Singapore, Singapore: A Melting Pot of Cultures  – Witness the remarkable cultural diversity of Singapore during an overnight stay. Take a tour of the city’s eclectic neighborhoods, from Little India to Arab Street, visit the futuristic horticultural park showcasing more than one million plants, or enjoy a Night Safari at the world’s first nocturnal wildlife park. 
  • Mumbai, India: A City of Old and New  – While in port in the bustling metropolis of Mumbai for three days, guests have more time ashore to learn about the life and legacy of activist Mahatma Gandhi, enjoy the Hanging Gardens, one of the prized few parks found in the city, and explore the diversity of its neighborhoods, from the picturesque narrow streets of Old Mumbai to the colorful markets in the city’s center.
  • Istanbul, Turkey: Where East Meets West  – Guests will enjoy ample time to experience this historic city during an overnight stay. Straddled across two continents and the Bosporus Strait, Istanbul offers a wealth of religious sites to explore such as the spectacular Blue Mosque or the legendary Hagia Sophia, and boasts delicious fusion cuisine, combining fresh Mediterranean fare with spices from the Far East and Asia.
  • London (Greenwich), England: The Royal Borough  – Guests will enjoy exploring the historic Royal Borough of Greenwich, London on the Thames River, allowing easy access to the regal capital’s iconic sights including the Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
  • New York City, New York: The City That Never Sleeps  – The epic  Viking World Voyage I  and  Viking World Voyage II  journeys conclude in New York City, where guests can take in the exhilarating streets of Lower Manhattan’s financial district to the intimate warrens of Greenwich Village. The city features something for all guests with culture, cuisine, and architectural beauty.

world cruises viking

Aboard Viking Sky for a World Cruise

Viking Sky , like all of Viking’s identical ocean-going sister ships, has a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, with 465 staterooms that can host 930 guests. (One of Sky ‘s sister ships, the new Viking Neptune , is currently sailing the cruise line’s 2022-2023 World Cruise, and both Sky and Neptune will sail the 2023-2024 world cruise itineraries).

Highlights of Sky ‘s onboard amenities include:

  • All Veranda Staterooms:  Guests can choose from five stateroom categories, starting from 270-square-foot Veranda Staterooms. All staterooms feature private verandas, sweeping views of the destination, and premium amenities including king-size beds with luxury linens, generously proportioned closets, large interactive flat-screen LCD TVs with movies-on-demand, free Wi-Fi, and award-winning bathrooms with large showers, premium Freyja® bath products, and heated floors.
  • Explorer Suites:  The ship features 14 Explorer Suites, two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,163 square feet. With expansive views from wraparound private verandas, as well as the most amenities and privileges of any category on board, Explorer Suites offer the ultimate sanctuary for World Cruise guests.
  • Two Pool Choices:  In addition to the Main Pool with a retractable roof permitting any-season swimming, the ship features a glass-backed Infinity Pool cantilevered off the stern, allowing guests to swim surrounded by their destination.
  • The Spa:  The Spa on board is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind—from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a Snow Grotto where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air. 
  • Explorers’ Lounge and Mamsen’s:  Share a cocktail with friends. Linger over a Norwegian breakfast and a nautical history book. The Explorers’ Lounge and Mamsen’s gourmet deli are thoughtful spaces located at the bow of the ship and designed to represent the Scandinavian spirit for complete relaxation and for marveling at sweeping views through double-height windows.
  • The Wintergarden:  Guests looking for serenity will find it in the Wintergarden. In this elegant space under a canopy of Scandinavian trellised wood, guests can indulge in afternoon tea service.
  • Dining Choices:  Viking Sky offers eight dining options, all with no additional charge or fee—from fine dining in The Restaurant, which serves three full meals and a variety of culinary options, and the World Café, which features international fare and regional specialties including a sushi and seafood cold bar—to intimate alternative dining experiences at The Chef’s Table, which offers a multi-course tasting menu with wine pairings, and Manfredi’s, which features freshly prepared pasta and Italian favorites. The Pool Grill specializes in gourmet burgers, while afternoon tea and scones are available in the Wintergarden. Mamsen’s serves Norwegian deli-style fare, and complimentary 24-hour room service allows all guests to enjoy many signature dishes in the comfort of their stateroom. Additionally, The Kitchen Table specializes in regional dishes from market to table.

world cruises viking

World Cruise guests will also have the opportunity to partake in Viking’s cultural enrichment programs to enhance their experience visiting each port. Cruise fares include region-specific onboard lectures and entertainment, including the Viking Resident Historian program, which provides guests with high-level historical and cultural education specific to their journey.

Resident Classical Musicians , including pianists, guitarists, violinists and flautists, will perform classical compositions throughout the ship. Culinary Classes in The Kitchen Table , Viking’s onboard cooking school, will focus on regional cuisine.

Booking a 2024-2025 Viking World Cruise

Today’s announcement of Viking’s new World Cruises comes at a time of record sales for the cruise line. The launch of Viking’s new 25th Anniversary Sale on New Year’s Day resulted in the highest number of bookings in one week in the company’s history.

“For 25 years, we have been committed to providing our guests with immersive and culturally enriching experiences while traveling the world in comfort,” said  Torstein Hagen , Chairman of Viking.

“Our previous World Cruises sold out in a matter of weeks , and we continue to see strong demand from our guests for extended voyages. Our seamless World Cruises are the greatest of all adventures and allow guests to explore more of the world with us,” Hagen continued.

Have you ever sailed on a world cruise, or is a round-the-world voyage in your future? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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Get a panoramic look at our award-winning, all-veranda ocean ships. Our new fleet of sister ships are purpose-built at a scale that allows direct access into small and large ports alike.

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Start learning more about the places you will be visiting with our thoughtfully curated reading list.

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2024–2026 OCEAN CRUISE AND AIR FARES:  Offer applies to bookings made from July 1-31, 2024. Terms & conditions for select promotions may vary. $25 deposit is applicable to all itineraries except World Cruise products. Special fares plus up to FREE roundtrip airfare valid on select departures of Canada & New England Scenic Shores; Eastern Seaboard Discovery; Grand Hawaii & Polynesia; Hawaiian Islands Sojourn; Panama Canal & Central America; Panama Canal & the Pacific Coast . Airfares may vary on other gateways & departures. Airfare does not have to be purchased to get cruise\cruisetour offer. All prices are in CA dollars and for CA residents only. Additional restrictions may apply. 2024 : Pay in full by July 31, 2024 or at time of booking if within 120 days of departure. 2025 : Pay in full by September 30, 2024. 2026 : Pay in full by March 31, 2025. Offer may be withdrawn at any time without prior notice. Offers Expires July 31, 2024.

*$25 DEPOSIT:  For itineraries 35 days or less, a $25 deposit applies to December 2024 & onward departures; for itineraries greater than 35 days, a $25 deposit applies to February 2025 & onward departures; World Cruise products excluded; call for details.

GENERAL RESTRICTIONS Cruise fares listed are cruise only in CAD dollars, per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement savings are off applicable rates. Cruise fares listed are valid for CA residents only. Cruise ship fuel surcharge may apply. All fares and offers are for new bookings only and are subject to availability, may not combinable with other offers except Viking Explorer Society Travel Credits and Viking Referral Rewards, are capacity-controlled and may be withdrawn at any time without prior notice. Special fares are based upon published full brochure fares; cruise fares do not include pre-paid charges, optional facilities and service fees, and personal charges, as defined in the terms and conditions of the  Passenger Ticket Contract  which may be viewed elsewhere on this website. Full brochure fares may not have resulted in actual sales in all stateroom categories and may not have been in effect during the last 90 days. Promotional fares may remain in effect after the expiration date. Air promotion applies to roundtrip flights only from select Viking Cruises CA gateways and includes airport-to-ship or hotel transfers, air taxes and air fuel surcharges. Roundtrip airport transfers are included when air is purchased with a cruise or cruisetour package; if air is not purchased from Viking, transfers may be purchased separately. All transfers must be in conjunction with a Viking-purchased cruise, cruisetour, land extension or extra hotel nights. Viking reserves the right to correct errors or omissions and to change any and all fares, fees and surcharges at any time. For up-to-date prices, please call Viking or your Travel Agent. The cruise ship fuel surcharge is additional revenue to Viking Cruises, as are any additional charges relating to currency fluctuation other than for fully paid cruise fares and full fares, which fluctuations are beyond our control. Additional terms and conditions may apply. Complete terms and conditions may be found in the  Passenger Ticket Contract  .

AIR UPGRADE:  Upgrade to Premium Economy air from $1,299 CAD per person or Business Class air from $3,899 CAD per person based on select gateways and dates. Premium upgrades may not be available on all departures. Additional airline-imposed baggage charges may apply; for more information visit  Airline Luggage Restrictions  . Air prices are per person based on cruise/cruisetour check-in date and include transfers plus all government taxes/fees of approximately $160 CAD and air fuel surcharges. Air seats are limited; airfares are subject to change and are not guaranteed until full payment of air is received. For more information about customized air services and CA gateways, visit the  Viking Air Plus  page.

NOTE:   International flights depart Canada one day prior to check-in date. Paid Business or Premium Economy Class may require travel in economy on flights within North America or Europe. Premium economy is limited to specific airlines and we may not be able to accommodate based on aircraft type and availability. Roundtrip airport transfers are included when air is purchased with a cruise or cruisetour package; if air is not purchased from Viking, transfers may be purchased separately. All transfers must be in conjunction with a Viking-purchased cruise, cruisetour, land extension or extra hotel nights.

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Discover our Viking World Cruise with the crew of the Viking Neptune

Join Bruce Allen Scudder, Cruise Director, and Ronald Schweighardt, Hotel General Manager, for a glimpse of life on board one of our newest ocean ships, the Viking Neptune. Mr. Scudder and Mr. Schweighardt recount memories from their time on board our Viking World Cruise , which included traversing ancient ruins in Rome and witnessing the magnificent northern lights in Norway . Throughout the episode, learn more about our elegant ocean ships , engaging enrichment programs and destin ation-focused dining. Should you have any questions or wish to leave a comment, w e invite you to reach out anytime at [email protected] .

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The five essential things you should know before you board a Viking cruise ship

W ith more than 90 ships sailing on rivers, lakes and oceans around the world, Viking is one of cruising’s major players. Its European river fleet is the largest in Europe and Viking has river ships on the Mekong, the Nile and the Mississippi. The fleet continues to expand. Ten more Viking Longships will join the river fleet by the end of 2026 and a new Mekong ship, Viking Tonle, launches in October 2025.

The ocean fleet includes two luxury expedition ships and 10 new-build ocean ships (all identical). Viking Vela is due to launch in December this year and Viking Vesta in 2025.

Serene, Scandinavian-inspired decor, a transparent fare structure and a focus on cultural destinations and learning has earnt Viking a loyal following. Viking has also broken barriers in the cruise industry as one of the first operators to offer its passengers shore exclusives, partnerships with the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

All its ships are adults only. Fares are inclusive of flights, WiFi, a tour in each port, spa access and drinks with lunch and dinner. There are no additional charges at any restaurants on board.

1. Where does Viking cruise?

Viking’s river ships cruise in Europe, North America, south-east Asia and Egypt, on itineraries ranging from eight to 23 days.

In Europe, where Viking cruises on the Danube, Rhine, Elbe, Main, Douro, Moselle, Rhône and Seine days revolve around visits to châteaux, castles, riverside towns and villages, wineries and cities including Amsterdam, Budapest and Paris. Between November and January there are Christmas-market cruises and other festive sailings. 

On the Mississippi itineraries sail both the lower and upper sections of the river and in Egypt, Viking’s ships sail round-trip from Cairo on a 12-day itinerary that begins with three nights in Cairo.

On the Mekong, itineraries visit Hanoi, Ha Long Bay and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, and Phnom Penh and Siem Reap (for Angkor Wat) in Cambodia. 

Ocean itineraries focus on Scandinavia and Northern Europe, the British Isles and Ireland, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand, Asia, Alaska and North and South America and Africa.

Viking’s Grand Voyages combine multiple ocean-cruise itineraries that facilitate shorter sailing segments. You could, for example, visit all of Scandinavia’s major ports, spend a month in Asia (Tokyo to Bangkok) or visit Australia and New Zealand (Auckland to Bali).

Viking returns to China this year, visiting cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. New, five-night pre- or post-cruise extensions to Mongolia, visit Ulaanbaatar and the Gobi Desert. 

Viking’s two expedition ships, Polaris and Octantis, sail to Antarctica, South America and the Great Lakes in the US and Canada. 

The ships also sail on Longitudinal World Cruises ranging from 63 to 87 days and on four Grand Journeys in South America. These include a new 48-day Antarctica , Chile and the Americas cruise.

2. Who does it appeal to?

There are no casinos, theatre shows or formal nights on board, which will suit passengers who prefer to focus on the scenery and on-board talks. Itineraries include frequent overnight stays in port and a complimentary excursion in each port.

The line’s target audience is reflected in the line’s cultural partnerships with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the RHS, the Munch Museum in Oslo and the Royal Academy of Art, among others. As part of its range of pre- and post-cruise extensions Viking guests can benefit from ‘Privileged Access’ experiences. This could be a visit to Highclere Castle to view the Earl of Carnarvon’s private collection of Egyptian artifacts, a behind the scenes tour at Oxford University’s Griffith Institute and a private tour of the Egyptian Collection at the British Museum.

On-board expert-hosted enrichment programmes delve into local art, architecture, music, geopolitics and wildlife and expedition ships sail with a raft of field experts.

3. The Viking fleet

River ships.

There are 55 Longships (190 passengers) sailing on European rivers. Features include floor-to ceiling windows, indoor and alfresco dining and sun decks with herb gardens. Most of these ships have two “Explorer Suites” with a wraparound veranda. 

On the Douro in Portugal Viking has the slightly smaller Viking Helgrim, Hemming, Osfrid and Torgil (all 106 passengers). 

By the end of this year Viking will have six luxury ships sailing the Nile. The 82-passenger Viking Sobek launched in May and Viking Hathor will launch this summer. The smallest in the Nile fleet, Viking Ra, carries 52 passengers.

The Viking Mississippi (386 passengers) has an infinity plunge pool and private verandas. Suites have a full-size veranda off the sitting room. Unique to this ship are the River Café and a terrace for barbecue-style dining. 

Ocean ships

Each of the line’s 10 identical ocean ships carries 930 guests in 465 sea-view rooms. Interiors feature forest-scape murals, pelt-draped sofas, flame-effect firepits, Swedish granite, birch and juniper furniture and hand-woven textiles. There are several restaurants and bars, including Mamsen’s café, serving soups, open-faced sandwiches and Swedish pancakes. The stylish Nordic Spa features a snow grotto and an infinity pool and you could lose days in the impressive library.

Expedition ships

Similar in design to the ocean fleet, Viking Polaris and Octantis each carry a fleet of zodiacs, kayaks, a submarine and two 12-seater Special Operations Boats. There are several restaurants, a library, an indoor pool, a science lab and an auditorium for daily lectures, briefings and documentaries. 

Each expedition cruise sails with 36 experts, including research scientists, mountain and kayak guides and submarine pilots. Passengers can assist in onshore fieldwork via several Citizen Science programmes. All cabins have luxury bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows that open halfway and a heated hanging space for expedition gear.

4. Access for guests with disabilities

Viking says: “As conditions vary considerably from port to port we ask that guests contact us to discuss specific needs before booking.” (020 8780 7900). 

5. Loyalty scheme

Automatic membership to the Viking Explorer Society after first sailing. Benefits include special offers and early access to new itineraries, £100pp savings on future bookings and exclusive invitations to UK events.

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Viking's ships boast impressive dining destinations and Scandi-inspired decor

Vagrants Of The World Travel

Russian River Cruise from St Petersburg To Moscow.

By: Author Kate O'Malley

Posted on Last updated: December 6, 2021

Home >> Russia >> Russian River Cruise from St Petersburg To Moscow.

Have you ever dreamed of strolling through Moscow’s Red Square or seeing the ballet in St Petersburg – A city where opulent palaces offer a glimpse into one of the world’s most  intriguing royal dynasties .

Russia’s two great cities still invoke the old school romance of travel – a journey into the enigmatic and exotic. However, in a country as immense as it is fascinating, there is so much to see beyond the metropolis of Russia’s great cities.

A Russian River Cruise , St Petersburg to Moscow on Viking Cruises Waterways of the Tsars cruise will take you to Russia’s great cities and beyond.

Take a Russian river cruise from Moscow to St Petersberg to see sights like Moscow's famous Red Square. We enjoyed our Viking River Cruise.

Sailing the rivers and lakes of Russia from St Petersburg to Moscow takes you into Russia’s heartland. It is deep in the country where you find the Golden Ring cities, charming towns and iconic, sometimes forgotten monuments that helped define Russia’s history.

A Russian river cruise opens up possibilities to visit parts of Russia that may otherwise be logistically difficult. It also offers a very efficient and cost-effective way to see the best of this vast country.

Viking river boat with temple on an island in the background.  River cruises in Russia are popular and a viking river cruise from St Petersburg to Moscow is the best way to see Russia

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Visiting Russia

Unfortunately, Russia is a country too often sidestepped by many travellers. It has been more than two decades since Russia emerged from behind the Iron Curtain and began welcoming tourists with semi-open arms and a cold stony smile.

However, Russia still carries the stigma of being a difficult country to travel to and in. Thanks mostly to a reputation of complicated, bureaucratic visa processes and rumoured corruption.

multi coloured parapets of russian church.  If you want to see some unique things in Russia then a viking river cruise through russia will leave you plenty of time for self exploration.

Russian Visa Requirements

If you are travelling through Russia on a river cruise, unless you are eligible for the new 16 day e-Visa, most foreign nationals must have a tourist visa.  The Russian visa process can take up to a month or two. It is important to check your visa requirement and make sure you get it submitted well in advance of your intended travel date.

The gradual introduction of the new e-visa is making the process simpler but is restricted for visits of only eight days and specific entry points. Based on this, the e-visa is not suitable for a river cruise in Russia. 

Applying online for your Tourist Invitation Letter is quick and simple, allowing you to proceed with your application. You can read more about planning your trip to Russia here . 

people walking under yellow archway in Moscow.  Getting around Russia is easy on a river cruise in Russia but you will need a russian visa.  We can also show you how to get a tourist visa for russia

Travel in Russia

As independent travellers, our biggest dilemma with Russia is logistics. Russia covers two continents and nine time zones, and the highlights and must-sees are spread far and wide, with nothing in between.

When you don’t have unlimited time or an unlimited budget, the distances can pose some issues. Transport through Russia can be expensive and less than comfortable, and car hire could be a costly alternative.

Golden room with light spilling through the archways and people looking at the painted ceilings and golden walls.  you will see these things in Russia if you go on a viking river cruise and cruise St Petersburg to Moscow

Is a River Cruise The Best Way To See Russia?

We would say yes, a river cruise is a fantastic way to see Russia. For most, Russia is a once in a lifetime adventure, so, it boils down to how much of Russia do you want to see.

A river cruise makes sense for most travellers to Russia and most travel budgets. A cruise enables visitors to experience more of Russia than perhaps they would on their own.

yellow building with black parapet above the archway.  a unique thing to see in russia on your river cruise.

You Might Also Like: What to Take on A Russian River Cruise

Viking River Cruise in Russia

Much like some of the unreliable, uncomfortable transport methods available in Russia, some of the Russian cruise lines are shall we say, still a little Soviet.

Viking Cruises, on the other hand, offers a product in Russia to the same high, 5- star standard as their river cruises throughout Europe. A full-service luxury river cruise from the moment you make your booking to the time you disembark.

And much like Viking’s European itineraries, the Viking Russian Cruise itineraries are destination focused with high quality shore excursions and enrichment experiences. 

3 viking river cruise boats docked.  a viking river cruise is the best way to see europe and russia

Plan Your Trip to Russia: Know The Best Time to Visit Europe

Viking’s All-Inclusive Cruise Packages

The big appeal of cruising for some is the all-inclusive aspect, so they know what to expect. With Viking Cruises, you can expect so much more than just an all-inclusive cruise package of meals and drinks.

In addition to optional excursions, there are also lots of free shore excursions throughout the cruise. 

Fly Cruise Packages

You can book your Russian river cruise inclusive of flights from your home port, wherever in the world that may be. An attractive option for those wishing to take the guesswork out of arranging flights, knowing you have access to Vikings Cruises discounted fares and upgrades.

Fly cruise packages include all taxes and airport transfers in Russia. Helpful for those who don’t like to navigate the taxi hustle on arrival in a new country. (Speaking from first-hand experience, Russia certainly has some good taxi scams running from the airport).

Information to assist you with the visa process is also included, the most daunting prospect of visiting Russia for many.

More Incredible Viking Cruises You Can Take in Europe:

  • Viking Cruises Paris to Swiss Alps Christmas Market River Cruise
  • Viking River Cruises Danube Waltz – Passau to Budapest River Cruise
  • Viking Homelands Cruise Review. The Best of Northern Europe
  • Passage to Eastern Europe Cruise on the Danube Budapest to Bucharest

red and blue church set on emerald green grass on the banks of a river during a cruise from st petersburg to moscow.

Shore Excursions and Tours in Russia

During the river cruise, a high quality tour itinerary of shore excursions and tours are included to ensure you experience the best things to do in Russia.

There are also some delightful surprises, such as an evening at the ballet in St Petersburg. The tour schedule is designed with the arts and culture in mind, not just the big tourist hot spots.

Additional or Optional Tours can also be purchased at each destination such as our traditional Russian Banya experience in Mandrogy or the vodka tasting on board.

dinner setting russian style with vodka glasses and plates of russian food. fine dining is one of the many great things about a viking river cruise.

You also have access to some very appealing Exclusive Access tours such as a behind the scenes look at the Hermitage in St Petersburg.  All tours include transfers where required, entry fees and extremely knowledgeable, tourism professionals as your guides.

a russian river cruise shore excursion with people walking up the T shaped staircase on the red carpet.  river cruising is the best way to see russia.

On Board Lectures, Demonstrations and Activities.

In addition to activities during cruising times, such as cooking demonstrations and traditional Russian tea’s, the guides also offer daily lectures on Russian history and politics.

The lectures are one of the highlights of the trip. Engaging and well-researched lectures, delivered from a Russian perspective, provide an entirely different and refreshing perspective on Russian culture and politics.

chef showing viking river cruisers how to make a typical russian dish on their cruise st petersburg to moscow

Russian Cuisine on Board

Viking River Cruises always excel when it comes to onboard dining. Interchangeable a la carte menus are available at all meal times showcasing Russian cuisine and produce.

The less adventurous are well catered for with an excellent “always available” a la carte menu. Portions are sensible to allow for all courses to be tried and savoured. Unlike the glutenous portions or “ all you can eat” buffet’s some cruise ships favour. 

Viking River Cruises Fine Dining

Drinks are complimentary with all meals, including a tipple of champagne at breakfast if you are so inclined.

A Silver Drinks Package can be purchased, which gives you unlimited drinks from the bar for the entire cruise as well as a vast selection of wines.

The Convenience and Comfort of River Cruises

There is a lot to be said for having your floating hotel accompany you on your journey through Russia. Unlike some ocean cruises where the focus can be on shipboard life at the expense of the destinations, on this Russian river cruise, the destinations are the focus.  

You get the complete package of the best things to see in Russia without having to navigate multiple modes of transport or having to unpack, pack and move accommodation all the time.

viking river cruise boat deck with tables and chairs.  luxury cruising through russia on a viking river cruise st petersburg to moscow

Once you are on board, whether it be in the big cities or the remote countryside, you only need to check in and out once. You do feel like you have your hotel on the road with you – A fantastic boutique hotel.

And it is not only the tour guides who are tourism professionals. You also have at your disposal a 5-star hotel team — professional food and beverage staff, well versed in the art of fine dining and world-class chefs.

set dining tables on a viking river cruise where you will get the finest russian food on your river cruise in russia

The staterooms are spacious and extremely comfortable. Private balconies, quality furnishings, and enough high tech amenities such as Satellite TV and WIFI to keep you entertained are standard throughout the ship.

There are also plenty of comfortable public spaces, both indoors and out with panoramic views to relax and take in the vista while you are cruising.

stateroom with double bed and balcony on a viking river cruise

Cruise St Petersburg to Moscow

For us, opting to travel through Russia on a river cruise was primarily motivated by the itinerary. Most people would be happy to visit Moscow or St Petersburg. But why make an effort to visit this intriguing country and miss all the beautiful and exciting things to see outside of the main cities despite the vast geographic distances.

abonded church with green roof sinking into the ground. unique things to see on your russia holiday

The Cruise Itinerary

The river cruise itinerary is what sold us on this mode of travel. The itinerary enabled us to spend ample time in St Petersburg and Moscow; then with our floating hotel in tow, we took to the river.

It is here where we saw the other Russia. Stunning countryside, small villages, abandoned churches and majestic cathedrals dotted along the river banks. A view of Russia that speaks volumes about the country’s history and culture.

world cruises viking

As we slipped down the river, we had the  White Nights  in our favour so could take advantage of the long days and very short nights of summer. Enjoying the sights of the Russian countryside en route to our next destination. Each day a different destination with a cruising schedule set to maximise time spent ashore.

world cruises viking

Waterways of the Tsars Schedule

Seven different destinations are visited in the 13 days onboard. This includes three full days in both Moscow and St Petersburg. We would not have achieved this on our own in the two weeks we had.

Viking Cruises Waterways Of The Tsars itinerary

Viking Cruises Waterway of the Tsars St Petersburg to Moscow Itinerary

Commencing either in St Petersburg or Moscow, the itinerary allows for three days in each city. You can read about the cruise itinerary and shore excursions in St Petersburg and Moscow here.

St Petersburg & Moscow

Between Moscow and St Petersburg, you can experience the beautiful Golden Ring cities and villages of Russia. These are the towns and cities that lie beyond Russia’s great cities on the Waterways of the Tsars. 

Fortress of Schlusselburg Russia which sits in the middle of a lake.  best things to do in russia is to cruise past these unique russian places to visit

Mandrogy Russia

Mandrogy, built in 1996 as an open-air museum, is a replica of   Verkhine Mandrogi , a Russian village destroyed during WWII. The enterprise was intended to give travellers cruising between St Petersburg and Kizhi a feel for traditional Russian life. 

Unfortunately, we found Mandrogy to be very much that – a fabricated tourist attraction including costumed craftsmen and women with innumerable craft stalls and workshops selling the same trinkets. 

Mandrogy Russia

Paint your Own Russian Matryoshka Doll

The central premise for this village appears to be shopping and, of course, the famed Russian Matryoshka Dolls. You can partake in a workshop to learn how to paint your own nesting dolls or, watch any number of the local artists paint dolls in their style. These, of course, are available for purchase. 

While Mandrogy was not our cup of tea, there was a silver lining to this little settlement – the traditional Russian Banya.

Mandrogy Russia

Experience a Russian Banya

The banya is one of those quintessentially Russian experiences.  One of the oldest Russian traditions dating back centuries. A tradition that has not lost its appeal and is still popular today.

Essentially the banya is a steam room or sauna where water is poured over hot rocks to create steam with temperatures often exceeding 93ºC. However, the banya comes with a little more ceremony than your average steam room or sauna.

Specific brooms are used in the banya called veniks . These are usually bunches of birch or oak branches which are dipped into cold water in the sweltering steam room. They are then smacked briskly over the body.

Typically,  there will be a person responsible for this task – a banschik.  As the banya is considered a very social activity, a  banschik  is often not required as friends will usually smack each other with the veniks.

branches tied together and hanging on a rail waiting to be used to whip the hell out of you in a russian banya. viking river cruises will stop here and allow you to be beaten to a sweating pulp by local russian folk

Thankfully our experience included a banschik as we would not have known the sequence of events nor the protocols for polite smacking! So, how does one banya?

  • Enter the banya and wait for temperatures to become almost unbearably hot.
  • Relax while the banschick  completes a ceremonial beating of everyone’s bodies with the veniks.  It includes intense rustling of the branches either side of your head, which is repeated several times.
  • Leave the banya and allow the  banschick  to pour freezing cold water over you.
  • Adjourn to the adjacent room for tea and jam.
  • Repeat steps 1 & 2.
  • Leave the banya house and run to the river to plunge into the icy waters.
  • Repeat step 6.

Traditional Russian Banya Mandrogy with man serving tea to two viking guests after being in the banya.  this really is a unique thing to do in russia

You get the gist! Used as a method of bathing in Russia for centuries, the banya is said to have a myriad of health benefits. There are many communal or public banyas in the cities and towns, and some people still have private banyas in their homes.

The banya is one Russian experience we highly recommend, providing you have the constitution to withstand the intensity of it.

Traditional Russian Banya Mandrogy with men and women running down a pier to jump into the icy waters.

Near the centre of the Lake Onega, the second largest lake in Europe, you will find the wild and isolated island of Kizhi. Kizhi is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed open-air museum.

At only 6 km long and 1 km wide, this tiny island is one of Russia’s most visited. The settlements buildings date back to the 15th century, some of which were moved from various Karelian villages during Soviet times to help preserve them.  

wooden buildings on Kizhi Island Russia.  the best way to see russia is with a viking river cruise st petersburg to moscow.

However, the islands most notable and recognisable attractions are the famous wooden onion-domed buildings- the twenty-two domed Transfiguration Church and the nine domed Intercession Church.

Locals will tell you; both churches were constructed without the use of a single nail. The unknown builder is also said to have destroyed his axe on completion of the Transfiguration Church. He is quoted as saying: “ There was not and will not be another to match it”.

the two domed church on Kizhi Island Russia - viking's Waterways of the Tsars Cruise is the best way to see russia in a short period of time

Within the smaller Church of the intercession, you may hear the local clergy, a beautiful and moving baritone choir intone the ancient liturgy. The islands ancient settlement gives insight into the harsh realities of life in the Russian heartland. Places where entire settlements were isolated for much of the year throughout long winters. You can read more about  visiting Kizhi Island here .

3 men singing in a church on Kizhi Island Russia. viking river cruises provide unique opportunities to live like a local for a short while whilst on their river cruise in russia

Along the Volga – Baltic waterway you will find the urban settlement of Kuzino approx. 600km north of Moscow.

In addition to some fascinating churches, some abandoned or in various states of repair that are worth exploring, the highlight of this region is the Kirillo – Belozersky Monastery. More like a fortress than a monastery, the magnificent complex sits on Severskoye Lake.

the Kirillo - Belozersky Monastery set against the river with 5 steeples around the outer perimeter.

Severskoye Lake is deemed so pure no motorboats are allowed on it. According to urban myth, the waters were blessed, giving them qualities similar to those of the mythical fountain of youth.

From humble beginnings in 1397 when two monks founded the monastery in nothing more than a cave dug by two men. By 1494, now a stone structure, it was the largest church in medieval Russia.

Defended by thick walls and towers it was a refuge for not just monks and peasants, but also a place of pilgrimage for Tsars and so benefited from generous donations and tax breaks. Ivan the Terrible was said to be a regular visitor and big tipper. The financially favourable guest list enabled the monastery to grow in size and importance.

Kuzino Russia

By 1764, Catherine the Great had stripped the monastery of its land and converted the complex into a prison. In 1924 the Bolshevik government shut the complex down and executed or arrested the monks. Interestingly, unlike most monasteries, it was not converted into a concentration camp but rather a museum.

Kirillo - Belozersky monastery Russia

Yaroslavl, the largest city on the Volga, lies just 250 km’s north of Moscow which makes this Golden Ring city a popular weekend getaway.

Perhaps this quaint city of six hundred thousand should be called the city of churches because here you will find an impressive kaleidoscope of onion domes. At the convergence of the mighty Volga and Kotorosl rivers is the historic part of the city, a listed UNESCO World Heritage site.

white church with gold topped green parapets in Yaroslavl Russia. these are the amazing things you will see on a viking river cruise st petersburg to moscow

The city dates back to Prince Yaroslav or Yaroslav the Wise  when he came ashore in around 998, slew the sacred bear worshipped by the local pagan tribes and converted them to Christianity. Hence, the bear on the city’s coat of arms.

Yaroslavl Russia

While these events may have attributed to the city’s religious fervour – the churches that now adorn the skyline were the work of 17th and 19th century merchants on a quest to outdo each other in a bid to beautify the city.  To this day it remains a magnificent city, one that appears to have remained unscathed by the soviet facelift given to much of Russia. 

4 golden domes atop a church in Yaroslavl Russia

Uglich, another of the Golden Ring Cities. A picturesque riverside city filled with inviting parks and brightly coloured church domes. The history of Uglich is steeped in a murder mystery that changed the history of Russia.

Ivan the Terrible was never quite right following the death of his wife Anastasia and so instituted a reign of terror that earned him his name. Although respected for his military victories and management of Russian interests, he was also feared for some terrible deeds.

Uglich Russia

One such deed was accidentally killing his son and heir with a blow to the head. Due to this faux par on Ivan’s behalf, his crippled son Feodor, who by all reports was not well in mind or body, ascended to power. However, the country was being run by Feodor’s brother in law, Boris Godunov.

Uglich Russia

Quietly in the wings was Dimitry, Ivan’s younger son who could have succeeded the throne in light of Feodor’s lack of interest in political issues. In 1591, at the age of ten, Dimitry was found dead thanks to a stab wound. It was decided Dimitry slit his own throat with a sword during an epileptic fit.

At the risk of stating the obvious – it was widely assumed the boy was murdered. However, those who dared to accuse Boris Gudunov only did so once. The mystery remains, and so does this beautiful city close to Moscow.

white church with 3 blue domes in Uglich Russia.  Best things to do in russia are from st petersburg to moscow

Should You Choose A River Cruise to Travel Russia?

When it comes to visiting a country like Russia, we feel a river cruise is possibly the best way to maximise your experience of this incredible country.  Had we decided to travel independently, there is no way we would have had the vast and varied experiences we were able to on this cruise.

abandoned church in the middle of the river.  one of the unique things you will see on a Waterways Of The Tsars. St Petersburg to Moscow river cruise with viking river cruise.

The 5-star hotel service, excellent dining and professional tour organisation far exceeded any of our expectations. We now understand why people often choose river cruises as the best way to experience a country. We have since travelled on a number of river cruises through Eastern Europe and the Danube and still believe it to be a value for money way to travel, especially in Europe.

Moscow Russia

If you are looking to see Russia beyond the big cities, cruising the waterways from St Petersburg to Moscow will reveal the beauty of the towns and the landscapes of Russia’s heartland. A river cruise is a fabulous way to travel Russia and a great way to glean a deeper understanding of this mysterious country.

Waterways Of The Tsars. St Petersburg to Moscow

Viking River Cruise In Russia Facts

  • Viking River Cruises has three vessels operating in Russia offering a  13-day “Waterways Of The Tsars” cruise  running between Moscow and St Petersburg.
  • Prices start at ~USD $4,500. Viking Cruises also offer some great “Early Bird” specials available for advance bookings.
  • The cruise includes accommodation, all meals, drinks with meals, tours and onboard lectures. Additional or  Optional Tours  can be purchased on board.
  • Flights, including taxes and transfers, can be arranged inclusive of your cruise price.
  • A tourist visa will be required for most foreign nationals to enter Russia, it is important to check if you will require this well in advance of your cruise date.

We would like to thank Viking Cruises for hosting us on the Waterways Of The Tsars cruise to facilitate this article. As always, all opinions expressed are our own and have not been influenced in any way.

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2024-2027 RIVER CRUISE AND AIR FARES:  Offer applies to bookings made from July 1-31, 2024. Terms & conditions for select promotions may vary. $25 deposit is applicable to all River itineraries. Special fares plus up to FREE International airfare valid on select departures of Grand European Tour, Lyon Provence & the Rhineland, European Sojourn and Capitals of Eastern Europe, Paris to the Swiss Alps, Cities of Light, London DDAY & Paris, Rhine & Main Explorer. Airfares may vary on other gateways & departures. Airfare does not have to be purchased to get cruise\cruisetour offer. All prices are in US dollars and for US residents only. Additional restrictions may apply. 2024 : Pay in full by July 31, 2024 or at time of booking if within 120 days of departure. 2025 : Pay in full by September 30, 2024. 2026 : Pay in full by March 31, 2025. 2027 : Pay in full by November 30, 2025. Offers expires July 31, 2024.

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Travel + Leisure Readers' 5 Favorite Small-ship Ocean Cruise Lines of 2023

Readers shared why great things come in small (ship) packages in our annual "World’s Best Awards" survey for 2023.

Paul Brady is the news director at Travel + Leisure and the brand's expert on cruise travel. He has been covering the travel industry for more than 15 years for outlets including Condé Nast Traveler , Skift , and The Huffington Post .

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How Voting Works

  • What Readers Loved
  • The Full List

This year, small ships seem to be hitting the mark. These vessels, which Travel + Leisure defines as those with 150 to 299 cabins, offer what many readers consider the perfect blend of choice and comfort, with plenty of onboard dining and activities without the at-times overwhelming selection found on much larger ships. In fact, small ships may be driving a surge of interest in cruising generally, as new and newly refreshed options in this range are drawing both longtime cruisers and those eager to try a new way of traveling.

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Nearly 165,000 T+L readers completed the 2023 survey, an increase of nearly 25 percent over pre-pandemic voting levels. A total of more than 685,000 votes were cast across over 8,500 unique properties (hotels, cities, cruise lines, etc.).

For the cruise category, respondents were asked to rate individual ships; the results were combined to generate scores for cruise lines in different categories based on number of cabins. The small-ship ocean cruise line category is only for ships with 150 to 299 cabins. Some cruise lines may appear in multiple categories depending on the makeup of their fleet.

Ships were specifically rated on the criteria below:

  • Cabins/facilities
  • Itineraries/destinations
  • Excursions/activities

For each characteristic, respondents could choose a rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor. The final scores are averages of these responses. 

Tim McKenna/Courtesy of Paul Gauguin Cruises

What Readers Loved 

In the 2023 voting, readers gave high marks to established brands that have reinvigorated their offerings. Consider No. 2 Windstar Cruises, which recently rebuilt three of its small ships at an investment of $250 million, adding more suites, improved culinary options, and enhanced spa facilities to each. “I'm never going to be able to get on another cruise line,” said one convert, who traveled on Star Legend .

Meanwhile Paul Gauguin Cruises (No. 3) may have slipped a bit from its 2022 ranking but still posted a score of more than 92 points. That’s thanks to its luxurious service — most rooms come with butler service — and, no doubt, its dreamy itineraries that visit remote atolls in South Pacific and the cruise line’s private beach on Bora Bora. “It's the only way to see this part of the world,” one voter shared.

This year’s small-ship leader, though, made its mark with two new vessels that are unlike anything else sailing today. Read on to see how Viking captured this category — and for more details on all the top lines.

Courtesy of Viking

Typically thought of as a midsize-ship line, Viking took top honors in this category, too, thanks to its twin ships Viking Polaris and Viking Octantis . The expedition vessels, both of which have 189 cabins, are built for out-there adventures, whether on the waters of the Great Lakes or in the Southern Ocean on the way to Antarctica. “I can't say enough about how wonderful our experience was on the Viking Octantis to Antarctica. The ship is stunning in every way,” one voter said. “The excursions were all well-planned and executed — and the science and educational sessions were excellent,” another added. While shorter trips aboard these ships are possible, Viking can also arrange for a “ longitudinal world cruise .” These multi-month journeys will take intrepid guests from Minnesota to Ushuaia, Argentina — or the other way around — in small-ship comfort, with port excursions and insightful lectures along the way. 

The Full List 

Reader Score: 95.35

2. Windstar Cruises

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Reader Score: 92.72

3. Paul Gauguin Cruises

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Reader Score: 92.56

4. Seabourn

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Reader Score: 92.51

5. Silversea

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Reader Score: 90.56

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10 top christmas cruises for 2024 & 2025.

Set sail for the holidays on your next cruise vacation.

Top Christmas Cruises

Laughing Azamara crew members in Christmas attire walking arm-in-arm on deck.

Courtesy of Azamara

If you're ready for a break from holiday traditions and family gatherings at home, consider booking a Christmas cruise. What makes a better present than the chance to leave all the planning, cooking, cleaning and decorating behind – and celebrate the holidays in beautiful destinations in the U.S., the Caribbean or other countries around the world?

If you're dreaming of a white Christmas, you can book a festivity-filled river cruise along Europe's iconic waterways and bundle up in your winter gear to explore the Christmas markets in the snow. If you prefer sunshine and warm temperatures, celebrate the holidays in an exotic locale in the South Pacific Ocean, sailing crystal-clear turquoise waters and relaxing on white sand beaches surrounded by palm trees.

Whether you prefer to stay close to home or jet off for a bucket list adventure, one of these cruises may just be the perfect gift to celebrate your holidays in style.

Find your perfect cruise

Hallmark Channel Christmas Cruise

Christmas on beach -chair lounges with Santa hats at sea beach

Getty Images

Put your name on the waiting list for November 2024 if you want to set sail on what Hallmark touts as the "jolliest vacation ever." The Hallmark Channel – known for its year-round holiday-themed programming with Christmas in July, Countdown to Christmas and Christmas Fridays – will host the first-ever Hallmark Channel Christmas Cruise sailings in November 2024 from Miami to the Bahamas . Lucky fans of the television channel will travel with their favorite Hallmark stars on one of two four-night cruises on Norwegian Cruise Line 's Norwegian Gem during the 2024 holiday season.

Highlights of the Hallmark Channel Christmas Cruise include photo opportunities and panels to meet the stars. Attend Christmas craft workshops or tastings with Hallmark's winemaker – the wines have names like Jingle (cabernet sauvignon) and Joy (sauvignon blanc). Guests can also look forward to "carol-oke" singalongs, cookie decorating, an ugly sweater contest and a world premiere viewing of the new Hallmark Channel Christmas movie "Countdown to Christmas."

AmaWaterways

A Christmas market stand at an AmaWaterways cruise destination.

Courtesy of AmaWaterways

AmaWaterways offers more than a dozen itineraries to visit the Christmas markets in 2024 and 2025 along the Rhine, Moselle, Main, Danube and Rhone rivers – and to see the holiday splendor of Europe's grand cities, such as Vienna , Budapest, Amsterdam and Prague. Travelers can stroll through snow-dusted medieval squares and fairytale markets. Enjoy the chalet-inspired stalls, thousands of colorful lights, festive decorations, ice skating rinks, whimsical handmade gifts, Christmas carolers, carousels and more.

The river cruise line's seven-night Iconic Christmas Markets itinerary sails from Nuremberg, Germany, to Budapest, Hungary , along the Danube. It features a visit to Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt – one of the world's oldest and most famous Christmas markets. Sip hot mulled wine or feuerzangenbowle (a red wine and rum punch) and sample savory specialties like Nuremberg bratwurst, flammkuchen (pizza) and kartoffelpuffer (fried potato pancakes). Be sure to save room for sweet delights like schaumkuss (also known as schokokuss), a chocolate-covered marshmallow, or lebkuchen, a traditional spiced cookie.

While on board the ship, guests can participate in festivities like tree-trimming, cookie decorating, caroling and "Shoes for St. Nick." This European tradition encourages passengers to leave their slippers outside their stateroom door before bed. In the morning, they wake up to slippers filled with tasty treats like children in Europe find on Saint Nicholas Day.

Celebrity Cruises

The Celebrity Infinity ship on the Celebrity Cruises' Canaries, Morocco, Spain Holiday itinerary.

Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises

Celebrate Christmas Day at sea in the South Pacific Ocean during Celebrity's 2024 New Zealand Holiday cruise on board Celebrity Edge. This round-trip 13-night itinerary embarks on Dec. 20, 2024, from Sydney . It includes seven ports of call and five sea days. After ringing in the new year sailing between the Bay of Islands, New Zealand and Sydney, guests will disembark the ship on Jan. 2, 2025.

If you'd prefer to travel to the Canary Islands to celebrate Christmas and usher in the new year on the Mediterranean Sea in 2025, then reserve a stateroom or suite for Celebrity Cruises ' Canaries, Morocco & Spain itinerary. The 12-night voyage sails round-trip from Barcelona , embarking a few days before Christmas 2025 on Celebrity Infinity. The festive voyage features eight ports of call, including island of Gibraltar; the Moroccan cities of Casablanca and Tangier; three destinations in the Canary Islands; and Malaga, Spain.

On the ships, guests can revel in the joyous spirit of the season with festive Christmas trees, traditional holiday meals created by a Michelin-starred chef, themed shows and pop-ups, carolers, gingerbread winter villages, and even a visit from Santa. The onboard bars serve up holiday-inspired cocktails along with other seasonal favorites, including spiked apple cider and classic mulled wine. On New Year's Eve, plan to join in the merriment with fellow cruisers during the big countdown bash.

Christmas carolers on the Azamara Onward cruise ship.

If you want to cross South Africa off your list of must-visit destinations , consider spending Christmas and New Year's Eve sailing round-trip from Cape Town on Azamara 's 15-night South Africa Intensive Voyage. The 2024 voyage departs Dec. 20 on Azamara Quest and includes stops in Port Elizabeth, home to one of the densest elephant populations in the world, and Richards Bay, which is teeming with exotic wildlife and stunning landscapes. For a once-in-lifetime experience, reserve a spot on the Safari 4X4 Hippo Cruise in the Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park. This protected park is a white rhino sanctuary, home to South Africa's "big five": lions, elephants, buffalos, rhinos and leopards.

If the Land Down Under is at the top of your list of places to visit, plan ahead for next year to spend the holidays aboard Azamara Pursuit in 2025. The line's 21-night Australia Intensive Voyage will set sail on Dec. 14, 2025, from Singapore . This extended sailing features 10 ports of call in three countries, with two overnight stays, before travelers disembark in Melbourne, Australia , on Jan. 4, 2026.

Guests on board the holiday cruises will be treated to Christmas performances, including singalongs and carols performed by the crew. There will be special menus in the restaurants, holiday-themed buffets, religious services and a tree-trimming party. Festive treats like hot chocolate, cookies and snacks are provided throughout the cruise. The New Year's Eve White Night party, where all the guests don their best white attire, will take place throughout the ships and on the pool deck with entertainment, music and light bites.

People stand on the front deck of a Viking Christmas cruise on the Rhine.

Courtesy of Viking

Viking's 12-day Christmas on the Main & Moselle cruise sails between Paris and Prague in 2024 and 2025. The adults-only sailing affords passengers 18 and older the opportunity to visit four European countries: France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic. In addition to browsing the chic boutiques in Paris and a variety of Christmas markets in Germany, you'll want to explore iconic landmarks like Reims Cathedral in France and the Luxembourg American Cemetery. Don't miss the famed wines produced in the regions, including Champagne, Moselle, riesling, Müller-Thurgau and gewürztraminer. In Cochem, Germany, you'll want to sample white mulled wine and regional delicacies produced from the red vineyard peach.

The holiday spirit continues on board the ships with Christmas-themed cooking demonstrations in addition to festive decorations with garland, lights and gingerbread houses. Guests will also taste regional cuisine, enjoy cultural performances on board the ship and ashore and learn about the history of the Christmas markets and local holiday traditions.

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Disney Cruise Line

Goofy, Mickey and Minny characters on a Disney Cruise Line Very Merrytime cruise.

Kent Phillips | Courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

Disney Cruise Line offers dozens of Christmas-themed cruises from November through December in 2024. Cruisers looking to celebrate the holidays with Disney's cast of characters can book a Very Merrytime cruise as short as a three-night sailing from Port Canaveral, Florida, to the Bahamas . For a weeklong getaway, consider the line's seven-night Eastern Caribbean voyage on board Disney Fantasy that sails round-trip from Port Canaveral. Ports of call on the itinerary include Tortola in the British Virgin Islands; St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands; and the cruise line's private island , Disney Castaway Cay.

On the first evening of every sailing, guests can gather around the 24-foot-tall Christmas tree for the tree lighting ceremony, a holiday singalong and the introduction of Santa Claus. Other festivities on Disney Cruise Line include the fun-filled Mickey and Minnie's Holiday Party, themed Very Merrytime activities for children of all ages, carol singers, and Christmas-inspired food and beverages. Disney characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse will be sporting jolly new holiday attire during the special voyages.

Windstar Cruises

Christmas tree next to a winding staircase on a Windstar Cruises ship.

Courtesy of Windstar Cruises

Celebrate the holidays with a bucket list getaway to the sun-drenched islands of Tahiti . On this voyage, you'll set sail a few days before Christmas 2024 aboard the 312-passenger, all-suite yacht Star Breeze for Windstar's seven-day Dreams of Tahiti cruise. The round-trip sailing from Papeete, Tahiti, includes stops in the islands of Moorea, Raiatea, Motu Mahea (Tahaa), Bora Bora and Huahine. In Bora Bora, guests will be treated to a special evening Windstar Destination Discovery Event with dinner under the stars and traditional Polynesian fire dancing.

For an extended European holiday in 2025, the line's Star Collector: Winter in Spain and the Rivieras cruise sails from Malaga, Spain, to Rome on Dec. 13 aboard the intimate Star Legend. The 14-day itinerary includes ports of call in Spain, France, Italy and Gibraltar. During the cruise, you can visit must-see attractions like Michelangelo's sculpture of David in Florence and explore the historic Roman theater ruins in Cartagena, Spain. Cruisegoers will also have a chance to sample wines from the famed appellations of Tuscany in Italy and Andalusia in Spain, and taste culinary specialties like bouillabaisse in France.

On board the ships, guests can join in the holiday spirit with festive Christmas trees and decorations as well as holiday-inspired cocktails and treats. Special programming for the voyages includes a Christmas movie, a gala tea, an interdenominational Christmas service and a Christmas Eve dinner. Christmas morning brings more celebrations throughout the day, with holiday meals, a Yuletide afternoon tea and a Christmas dinner followed by a variety show in the evening.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Gem on open water.

Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Grab the swimsuit, flip-flops and sunglasses – and check the Panama Canal off your must-visit list – for a tropical holiday aboard Norwegian Cruise Line 's Norwegian Gem. The line's 11-day cruisetour begins Dec. 9, 2024, and includes three days to see the canal that some consider the "eighth wonder of the world" and visit vibrant Panama City. After embarking on Dec. 11, you'll transit the canal and then sail to ports in Costa Rica; Jamaica; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; and Norwegian's private island, Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas, before disembarking in Miami on Dec. 20.

Plan ahead to Christmas 2025 by reserving accommodations on Norwegian's newest vessel – and the first in the Prima Plus class – Norwegian Aqua. The seven-day Caribbean round-trip voyage from Miami on the new ship (scheduled to launch in April 2025) will set sail on Dec. 21, 2025. The cruise includes tropical ports of call in the Dominican Republic, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and Great Stirrup Cay. For a special celebration, splurge on luxurious suite accommodations in The Haven. The ship-within-a-ship retreat features a private restaurant, a lounge, a sundeck, a concierge desk and 24-hour butler service.

Holiday-themed activities on Norwegian's vessels vary by itinerary and ship. Still, guests will find plenty of festive fun on board, including traditional holiday fare and holiday-inspired musical sets, trivia, and family and youth programming. Guests are invited to offer interdenominational services for fellow passengers during the sailing. You'll also find Hanukkah services listed in the Freestyle Daily Program.

Holland America Line

Christmas trees and other decor on a Holland America Line cruise ship.

Courtesy of Holland America Line

Celebrate the Christmas holidays in Hawaii during Holland America Line 's round-trip Circle Hawaii Holiday voyage from San Diego on the ship Zaandam, embarking on Dec. 18, 2024. Guests aboard this voyage will sail to Honolulu, Hilo and Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii as well as Kahului, Maui . You'll also get to enjoy scenic cruising at the Kilauea Volcano; visit Ensenada, Mexico; and join in the holiday festivities on the ship during relaxing days at sea.

If you've been dreaming of visiting far-flung destinations in Asia, such as Halong Bay, Vietnam, or Bangkok, Thailand – or seeing Komodo dragons in the wild in Indonesia – the 28-day Far East & Indonesian Holiday Collector itinerary will be an adventure of a lifetime. The voyage on board Westerdam embarks in Hong Kong on Dec. 7, 2025, with exotic ports of call in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. On Christmas Day, guests will visit the picturesque port town of Probolinggo on the coast of East Java in Indonesia. On New Year's Eve, the ship docks in Semarang, Indonesia; here, you can visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Borobudur, home to an impressive Buddhist temple site dating back to the eighth and ninth centuries.

Back on board the ships, holiday celebrations include a Christmas tree lighting, Santa's arrival, a midnight mass, a Christmas concert, special menus for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and a New Year's Eve Party and countdown. There are Hanukkah festivities with candle lightings and latkes served in the Lido. Guests will also enjoy viewing the holiday villages around the ship created by Holland America's culinary team.

Silversea Cruises

Penguins on an iceberg seen from a small excursion boat from the Silversea Cruises Silver Cloud cruise ship.

Courtesy of Silversea Cruises

For a life-changing experience and the merriest Christmas of all, spend the holiday with several species of waddling penguins, giant seals and majestic whales while visiting the ice-covered shores of the White Continent. The 10-day round-trip expedition from Puerto Williams, Chile, on Silversea 's Silver Cloud sets sail a week before Christmas in 2024 for the Antarctica Peninsula. Five days of excursions allow travelers on this Antarctica cruise to explore this surreal and magical part of the world. Weather permitting, guests will even take a Zodiac cruise with the expedition team in the South Shetland Islands the day after Christmas.

If you're planning ahead to 2025, consider a longer adventure where you'd fly the infamous Drake Passage one way from Puerto Williams (saving two days at sea) and land on King George Island in Antarctica. This 15-day expedition aboard Silver Cloud begins on Dec. 21, 2025, and features four days of excursions in Antarctica and three days in the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. You'll also spend three days in the Falkland Islands, where you'll have more chances for unforgettable wildlife encounters with black-browed albatrosses, fur seals, Commerson's dolphins, imperial cormorants, and adorable rockhopper and Magellanic penguins.

Festive touches on the ship include Christmas trees and lights, gingerbread houses, holiday arts and crafts, caroling, religious services, and musical performances by the crew and professional entertainers. Guests will also enjoy a traditional holiday dinner on Christmas Day.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Gwen Pratesi has been an avid cruiser since her early 20s. She has sailed to destinations around the globe on nearly every type of cruise ship built, including the newest megaships, luxury yachts, expedition vessels, and river ships in Europe and on the Mekong River. She used her extensive knowledge and experience with the cruise industry to write this article. Pratesi covers the travel and culinary industries for major publications, including U.S. News & World Report.

You might also be interested in:

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  • The Top Cruises on Small Ships
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Tags: Travel , Cruises , Winter Vacations , Christmas

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Thinking About a Mississippi River Cruise? There’s One Big ‘If.’

Though operators are building ships, and towns are investing in landings and other infrastructure, fluctuations in the river’s flow, exacerbated by climate change, are hampering sailings.

The stern of a riverboat with American bunting decorated on its side floats on a river behind green shrubbery on the coastline.

By Rowan Moore Gerety

Rowan Moore Gerety spoke to civic leaders, cruise passengers and several cruise-industry businesses focused on the Mississippi River.

Tom Trovato and his wife, Trish, paid more than $20,000 and waited two years to experience Viking’s inaugural cruise up the Mississippi River. Leaving in September 2022, it was supposed be a two-week excursion from New Orleans to St. Paul, Minn., a trip of some 1,800 miles.

They never got past Memphis.

Low water levels, caused by drought, narrowed the river’s main shipping channel to allow only one-way traffic, first stalling their boat, the Viking Mississippi, and then ultimately aborting the trip.

Though they got a full refund, the Trovatos, who live in Surprise, Ariz., have no plans to try again.

“If I live to be 125, it might be on my bucket list,” said Mr. Trovato, 79.

The Mississippi River is central to American identity, with all the contradictions that entails. It’s an artery that sustained Indigenous cultures for thousands of years — “Mississippi” derives from the Ojibwe for “great river” — and it marked the frontier from which Lewis and Clark set out to find a route to the Pacific. The river’s alluvial deposits and deep waters formed the basis of prosperity for generations of farmers, and brought perdition to vast numbers of enslaved people who toiled along its banks and feared little more than being “sold down the river.”

For many people, particularly baby boomers reaching their retirement years, a cruise along the Mississippi River is a dream trip. But it’s becoming harder to make it come true. Though operators are building new ships, and towns and cities are investing in infrastructure to welcome boat traffic, cruises on the Mississippi face mounting challenges from an increasing number of droughts and floods.

Decades of forest and wetland destruction, dam construction and dredging have added to natural fluctuations in the Mississippi’s flow. Now climate change has only heightened the river’s tendency for dramatic seasonal shifts in water levels, frequently rerouting ships and causing delays.

Just late last month, in St. Paul — the final port for the Trovatos’ original itinerary — rising Mississippi River levels forced the closure of shoreline roads , bridges and parks . The river rose 20.17 feet above its banks before cresting, the seventh major flood in St. Paul since 2010, according to the National Water Prediction Service, and the eighth highest crest recorded.

Farther south, Memphis had made its $40 million Beale Street Landing the centerpiece of a larger redevelopment of parks and trails snaking along six miles of Mississippi shoreline. Last year, more than half of the 128 scheduled cruise ship landings there were canceled, mostly because of low water levels that made it impossible for the boats to reach the dock.

In July 2021, an overnight passenger riverboat visited Kimmswick, Mo., for the first time in 125 years, when the 341-foot American Duchess docked at its new landing. The town was expecting the cruise industry to boost tourism in the area. But the American Duchess was also the last cruise to dock there. There hasn’t been enough water for boats to come back until recently: The Viking Mississippi was finally scheduled to land in Kimmswick on Monday, but this time, the water was too high.

“We’re just seeing climate impacts stack up,” said Colin Wellenkamp, the executive director of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative , a coalition of local governments along the river. “We used to see them every 10 to 15 years, now we’re seeing them where they just don’t quit.”

‘Demand’s not going anywhere but up’

Despite the pandemic, when most travel worldwide was at a costly standstill, bookings on river cruises in the United States rose 25 percent from 2019 to 2022, according to data from AAA, the automobile owners’ group that also tracks air and cruise travel. An analysis by the market research firm Grandview Research in 2022 projected continued growth of more than 20 percent a year for U.S. river cruising through 2030, largely on the strength of the Mississippi River cruises.

River cruising “took off first in the European rivers, but it’s always been really built on American travelers,” said Charlie Robertson, an owner and chief executive of American Cruise Lines , the dominant operator on the Mississippi. Both American and Viking , a major player in Europe and Asia, are already booking Mississippi cruises into 2025, and building new ships to serve this market. Though the parent company of the third Mississippi cruise operator, American Queen Voyages, declared bankruptcy earlier this year, citing difficulties recovering from the effects of the pandemic, American Cruise Lines purchased all four paddle wheelers in its fleet.

“Demand’s not going anywhere but up,” Mr. Wellenkamp said. “Everybody wants to see the historic Main Street, and everybody wants to see this ecological icon Mark Twain wrote about.”

In Kimmswick, the new landing had local leaders dreaming of a return to the town’s roots as a key stop for Mississippi steamboats. After years spent building sandbag levees to protect Kimmswick — three major floods threatened the downtown since 2015 — and building a landing to accommodate 40-foot swings in the river’s flow, drought severe enough to threaten the town’s economic prospects seemed unthinkable.

“​​How can you be a river-facing city if you don’t have any riverboats?” said Phil Stang, Kimmswick’s mayor.

Powerfully unpredictable

The Mississippi basin extends to 32 states and two Canadian provinces, moving a staggering 600,000 cubic feet of water a second into the Gulf of Mexico. Even in its historic state, it could be powerfully unpredictable, with flows that oscillated by as much as 60 feet in the space of a season. T.S. Eliot called the river “a strong brown god — sullen, untamed and intractable.”

Today, much of the river has been remade as a maritime highway, with locks, levees and revetments designed to control its flow and stop floodwaters.

“When the river wasn’t leveed, it would flood 100 miles back into farmland,” said Lee Hendrix, who got his start as a deckhand on a towboat in 1972 and has spent the last 50 years working on the river . “Now, the levees don’t allow that.” As a result, the river’s swings are growing more intense. “It’s undeniable that it’s more volatile in terms of how rapidly it can rise and fall,” Mr. Hendrix said.

He spent last summer sharing Mississippi lore and trivia with passengers as the American Queen’s onboard “Riverlorian.” As the boat sailed past sandbars that went on for miles, he found himself grateful to be in a position with no responsibility for logistics. “There were a lot of docks we couldn’t get to,” he said.

Planning can blunt the impact of these disruptions — American Cruise Lines doesn’t schedule its tallest boats to sail the upper Mississippi, where sailing under some bridges during high water is impossible. The boats themselves are changing, too, to designs that can slip beneath low bridges, motor upstream against strong currents and get to shore in shallower waters. “Our basic design parameter is that if the tow boats can go, we can go,” said Mr. Robertson, the chief executive. “Because the Army Corps will move heaven and earth to allow the towing industry to keep moving.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers runs patrol teams and a dredging operation to maintain a navigable channel at least 300 feet wide and 9 feet deep. In recent years, the Corps has added more structures along the riverbanks called “chevrons” that allow high water to better flush out sediment that blocks the channel. Nevertheless, drought conditions have extended seasons when dredging is required.

“While we’re dredging less, our crews are out there on the river for a longer time,” said Shawn Sullivan, the strategic planning coordinator for the Corps’ St. Louis district. “I don’t know what normal is anymore.”

Carefully timed trips

Carol Coletta leads Memphis River Parks Partnership , the nonprofit that manages Beale Street Landing. The group anticipates a $700,000 revenue shortfall from landings this fiscal year, and is looking for ways to modify a second landing that can welcome boats even when the river is at its lowest. “We have to anticipate that this could persist,” Ms. Coletta said, “and if it does persist, then we cannot count on boat dockings for revenue.”

For cities smaller than Memphis, the hit can be much deeper. “If you’re a town of 800 people and a boat of 250 shows up, you’re going to feel that in your economy,” said Mr. Wellenkamp, of the Cities and Towns Initiative. “We have cities that 20 percent of their economy is captured from the riverboats stopping in, and we have cities where 60 percent of the economy is captured from riverboats stopping in.”

Cindy Anderson, who owns the travel agency USA River Cruises, says she’s gotten more careful in advising customers when to visit the region. “We have people ask us, and I say, ‘Springtime is fabulous,’” she said. Vendors have shifted their offering, too. The whole Mississippi, from St. Paul to New Orleans, was a popular itinerary Ms. Anderson used to sell year round; now it’s only available for a few months in the summer.

“That’s a very long and expensive cruise to book if you have to cancel it,” she said.

Even as cruise traffic on the Mississippi has grown, Ms. Anderson says much of her business has shifted to the Columbia River, in the Pacific Northwest, where large dams and meltwater from high peaks modulate seasonal changes in flow.

“We don’t have any water issues on the Columbia River — it never closes down, it never floods,” she said.

Ms. Anderson compared the unpredictability of Mississippi River itineraries to European rivers, many of them crisscrossed by historic bridges that offer little clearance for cruises to pass when waters are high. There, operators often ferry passengers between segments of a trip on chartered buses. But, Ms. Anderson said, most guests will expect refunds for an itinerary full of transfers by what cruise operators often call “motor coach.”

“Because they didn’t really get a cruise, they got a bus trip,” she said.

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram and sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to get expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2024 .

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Moscow Vows Response Over US Cruise Missiles

By Newsmax Staff    |   Saturday, 13 July 2024 06:13 PM EDT

For the first time since the Cold War, long-range U.S. missiles will be periodically deployed in Germany — a move stoking the ire of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who vowed to "target" European capitals in response, reported the BBC.

"We [Russia] have enough capacity to contain these missiles, but the potential victims are the capitals of these countries," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.  

The Putin loyalist said "Europe is a target for our missiles, our country is a target for U.S. missiles in Europe."

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow would react with a "military response to the new threat," saying the move is one step further toward escalation. He accused NATO and the United States of trying to intimidate Russia.

The Tomahawk cruise and SM-6 missiles have been banned in a 1988 treaty between Russia and the U.S. that Putin violated in 2014, the BBC reported.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said the deployment would give Europe the time to develop their own missiles, reported The Sun .

He said Europe has an "increasingly serious gap in capability" against what Russia and the U.S. have.

Missiles have taken on an outsized role in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with the Kremlin indiscriminately targeting civilians.

Britain has also supplied missiles to Ukraine, leaving it up to the country's discretion how to employ them.

  • Germany Says it Won't be Intimidated by Russian Threats after Report on Alleged Assassination Plot
  • Rep. D'Esposito to Newsmax: Adversaries 'Look at Us as Weak'

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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2024-2026 OCEAN CRUISE AND AIR FARES:  Offer applies to bookings made from July 1-31, 2024. Terms & conditions for select promotions may vary. $25 deposit is applicable to all itineraries except World Cruise products. Special fares plus up to FREE roundtrip airfare valid on select departures of Canada & New England Scenic Shores; Eastern Seaboard Discovery; Grand Hawaii & Polynesia; Hawaiian Islands Sojourn; Panama Canal & Central America; Panama Canal & the Pacific Coast . Airfares may vary on other gateways & departures. Airfare does not have to be purchased to get cruise\cruisetour offer. All prices are in US dollars and for US residents only. Additional restrictions may apply. 2024 : Pay in full by July 31, 2024 or at time of booking if within 120 days of departure. 2025 : Pay in full by September 30, 2024. 2026 : Pay in full by March 31, 2025. Offer may be withdrawn at any time without prior notice. Offers Expires July 31, 2024.

*$25 DEPOSIT:  For itineraries 35 days or less, a $25 deposit applies to December 2024 & onward departures; for itineraries greater than 35 days, a $25 deposit applies to February 2025 & onward departures; World Cruise products excluded; call for details.

GENERAL RESTRICTIONS:  Cruise fares listed are cruise only in U.S. dollars, per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement savings are off applicable rates. Cruise fares listed are valid for U.S. residents only. All fares and offers are for new bookings only and are subject to availability, may not combinable with other offers except Viking Explorer Society Travel Credits and Viking Referral Rewards, are capacity-controlled and may be withdrawn at any time without prior notice. Special fares are based upon published full brochure fares; cruise fares do not include pre-paid charges, optional facilities, and personal charges, as defined in the terms and conditions of the  Passenger Ticket Contract  which may be viewed elsewhere on this website. Full brochure fares may not have resulted in actual sales in all stateroom categories and may not have been in effect during the last 90 days. Promotional fares may remain in effect after the expiration date. Air promotion applies to roundtrip flights only from select Viking Cruises U.S. gateways and includes airport-to-ship or hotel transfers, air taxes and air fuel surcharges. Roundtrip airport transfers are included when air is purchased with a cruise or cruisetour package; if air is not purchased from Viking, transfers may be purchased separately. All transfers must be in conjunction with a Viking-purchased cruise, cruisetour, land extension or extra hotel nights. Viking reserves the right to correct errors or omissions and to change any and all fares at any time. For up-to-date prices, please call Viking or your Travel Agent. Additional terms and conditions may apply. Complete terms and conditions may be found in the  Passenger Ticket Contract .

AIR UPGRADE:  Upgrade to Premium Economy air from $999 per person or Business Class air from $3,499 per person based on select gateways and dates. Premium upgrades may not be available on all departures. Additional airline-imposed baggage charges may apply; for more information visit  Airline Luggage Restrictions  . Air prices are per person based on cruise/cruisetour check-in date and include transfers plus all government taxes/fees of approximately $160 and air fuel surcharges. Air seats are limited; airfares are subject to change and are not guaranteed until full payment of air is received. For more information about customized air services and US gateways, visit the  Viking Air Plus

NOTE:  International flights depart the U.S. one day prior to check-in date. Paid Business or Premium Economy Class may require travel in economy on flights within North America or Europe. Premium economy is limited to specific airlines and we may not be able to accommodate based on aircraft type and availability. Roundtrip airport transfers are included when air is purchased with a cruise or cruisetour package; if air is not purchased from Viking, transfers may be purchased separately. All transfers must be in conjunction with a Viking-purchased cruise, cruisetour, land extension or extra hotel nights.

India's Modi tells Putin that 'heart bleeds' over deaths of children in war

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  • Indian leader makes clear, pointed reference to Ukraine war
  • Despite rebuke, both sides seek boost to bilateral trade
  • Russia, cut off from West, sees India as key partner

Russia's President Vladimir Putin meets with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Moscow

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Demonstration in support of former U.S. President Donald Trump, in Huntington Beach

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Closing session of the National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing

Explainer: What is China's 'third plenum'?

China's ruling Communist Party commenced its so-called third plenum on Monday, a major meeting held roughly once every five years to map out the general direction of the country's long-term social and economic policies.

Nepal searches for people missing after landslides sweep two buses into river

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  1. Viking unveils two Parallel World Cruises 2023-2024

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  2. Viking's Ultimate World Cruise is the Longest Continuous Cruise Ever

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  3. Viking Cruises releases 2024-2025 world voyage itineraries

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  4. Viking Releases Details On 2024-2025 World Cruises| Porthole Cruise

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  5. Viking unveils 138-day World Cruises on two ships in 2023-2024

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  6. Viking 245-day Ultimate World Cruise

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  2. OUR WORLD CRUISE PLANS! 🛳️ #worldcruise

  3. packing for a world cruise ✈️🛳️🌍 #worldcruise #packwithme #cruisepacking

  4. The 10 MOST Luxurious Cruise Ships of 2024 in the World

  5. Viking Neptune: Viking Cruises Newest Cruise Ship

  6. VIKING NEPTUNE

COMMENTS

  1. World Cruises

    Viking World Cruises are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to see the world through a wider lens. Uncover fascinating art and architecture around the globe, savor regional delicacies and marvel at the most breathtaking corners of the world. These extensive itineraries can also provide the gift of additional time to absorb even more of each ...

  2. Viking World Cruise

    Set sail on an epic journey of discovery as you traverse the globe. Explore the world's majestic cities and immerse yourself in local cultures during overnight stays in 15 ports. Discover the faraway lands of the South Pacific and the colonial treasures of Asia. Traverse the Indian Ocean and sail to Africa in search of the "Big 5." Visit intriguing Morocco and call at charming cities on ...

  3. River, Ocean, & Expedition Cruises Around the World

    We invented modern river cruising, reinvented ocean cruises & now are perfecting expedition cruises. Explore the world in comfort with Viking.

  4. Viking's 180-day World Cruise Departs in 2024 and Sails to 5 Continents

    This 180-day World Cruise Departs in 2024, Sailing to 5 Continents, 37 Countries, and 85 Ports. Viking just announced its 2024-2025 lineup of World Cruises. The year may have just begun, but ...

  5. World Cruises and Grand Voyages with Viking®

    Visit up to 53 countries on one of our Viking World Cruises, or take a Grand Voyage of two or more itineraries on one, seamless trip. Learn more and book today!

  6. Viking World Cruise

    Viking Ocean Cruises offers an exciting opportunity to travel the world on their highly-acclaimed, intimate ocean cruise ships. These new, all-veranda ships carry only 930 guests and access ports that larger ships cannot.

  7. Viking World Cruise

    Witness one of the world's most iconic skylines during an evening cruise along the River Thames. Shore excursions vary by itinerary and are subject to change. Set sail on an epic journey of discovery as you traverse the globe. Explore the world's majestic cities and immerse yourself in local cultures during overnight stays in 15 ports.

  8. Viking Announces 2024-2025 World Cruise Itineraries on Viking Sky

    Cruise line Viking has released the itineraries for its 2024-2025 World Cruise offerings, including the new 180-day Viking World Voyage I. The epic voyage will visit 37 countries and 85 ports, and will include overnight stays in 13 cities.

  9. Viking World Cruise

    Read all the details about the Viking World Cruise ocean cruise.Find ports, excursions, and attractions featured on this Viking cruise.

  10. Find A Cruise

    Find your perfect cruise on board our elegant, award-winning Viking Longships®. 100% owned and operated. The best docking locations in Amsterdam, Budapest and Paris.

  11. Viking Ocean World Cruise Reviews

    Viking Ocean World Cruise Cruises: Read 31 Viking Ocean World Cruise reviews. Find great deals, tips and tricks on Cruise Critic to help plan your cruise.

  12. Mediterranean Cruises

    From ancient Rome to Moorish Spain, classical Greece to the Holy Land, the empires of the Mediterranean left a remarkable historic legacy—set amid unmatched beauty. Admire the turquoise splendor of the Greek Isles, the vineyards of Provence, the élan of Barcelona and more.

  13. Discover our Viking World Cruise with the crew of the Viking Neptune

    Join Bruce Allen Scudder, Cruise Director, and Ronald Schweighardt, Hotel General Manager, for a glimpse of life on board one of our newest ocean ships, the Viking Neptune. Mr. Scudder and Mr. Schweighardt recount memories from their time on board our Viking World Cruise, which included traversing ancient ruins in Rome and witnessing the magnificent northern lights in Norway. Throughout the ...

  14. Viking Ocean Cruise Reviews

    Viking Ocean Cruise Reviews: See what 6,897 cruisers had to say about their Viking Ocean cruise. Find detailed reviews of all Viking Ocean cruise ships and destinations.

  15. 10 Around-the-world Cruises for the Trip of a Lifetime

    These world cruises offer the ultimate itineraries. Here's what you need to know about around-the-world cruises, plus some top itineraries from the best cruise lines.

  16. Viking World Cruise

    Get available dates and pricing for Viking World Cruise ocean cruises. Book your 2025 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to London (Greenwich) ocean cruise through Viking Cruises.

  17. The five essential things you should know before you board a Viking

    With more than 90 ships sailing on rivers, lakes and oceans around the world, Viking is one of cruising's major players. Its European river fleet is the largest in Europe and Viking has river ...

  18. Viking Cruises Waterways of the Tsars Review. Moscow to St Petersburg

    Taking a Russian river cruise from St Petersburg to Moscow, sailing on the Waterways Of The Tsars is the best way to visit Russia.

  19. Moscow River Cruises

    With 2,500 historic and architectural monuments, 70 museums, 50 theaters, 4,500 libraries and 540 colleges, Moscow is a major cultural and economic metropolis. Although Peter the Great turned his back on Moscow to make St. Petersburg his capital in 1712, the city remained important politically, so much so that the tsars were still crowned here.

  20. Russian River Cruises for 2024, 2025 & 2026

    Russian river cruises bring you the best of Moscow and St. Petersburg, along with a taste of everyday Russian life as you cruise between the two legendary cities. A river cruise offers peace of mind that you'll make the most of your time in this fascinating country, with English-speaking guides and easy access to the top sites. The Hermitage, Red Square, and the ancient cities of Russia's ...

  21. Our Readers' Favorite Small-ship Ocean Cruise Lines of 2023

    Travel + Leisure Readers' 5 Favorite Small-ship Ocean Cruise Lines of 2023. Readers shared why great things come in small (ship) packages in our annual "World's Best Awards" survey for 2023.

  22. Surprise: The Best Cruise Stock in the First Half of 2024 Wasn't Royal

    Viking (VIK 1.60%) is a cruise company founded in 1997 which is focused on smaller ships for river cruises, and its shares are performing well. Viking wasn't around for the entire first half of ...

  23. 10 Top Christmas Cruises for 2024 & 2025

    Looking to go on a Christmas cruise? From festive onboard experiences to European Christmas markets ashore, here are the top holiday cruises around the globe.

  24. Thinking About a Mississippi River Cruise? There's One Big 'If.'

    Though operators are building ships, and towns are investing in landings and other infrastructure, fluctuations in the river's flow, exacerbated by climate change, are hampering sailings.

  25. Moscow Vows Response Over US Cruise Missiles

    For the first time since the Cold War, long-range U.S. missiles will be periodically deployed in Germany - a move stoking the ire of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who vowed to "target" European capitals in response, reported the BBC.

  26. NEW! Viking World Journeys

    Join us for a voyage of discovery bookended by Los Angeles and England's majestic capital. Explore French Polynesian isles and New Zealand and Australia's storied cities. Witness Asia's cultural gems and sail to the shores of Africa in search of the "Big 5." Visit fascinating cities in Morocco and immerse yourself in history in Portugal's capital. Overnights in 15 destinations ...

  27. China, Russia Conduct Joint Pacific Military Patrol

    China and Russia conducted a joint naval patrol in the northern and western Pacific, Beijing's Defense Ministry said Sunday, adding that the exercise was not "targeted" at any other nation.

  28. Putin Is Watching the West's Indecision With Derision

    Opinion | The full-scale invasion of Ukraine by President Vladimir Putin, a nuclear-armed authoritarian leader, poses what appears to be a completely unsolvable challenge for Western diplomacy.

  29. Grand Journeys

    Our carefully curated Grand Journeys combine multiple Viking itineraries to offer you in-depth exploration of one region, from Scandinavia and the Baltic to Southeast Asia and North America. Traverse the world's lakes and oceans with us and learn from world-class guest lecturers, savor regional cuisine and experience some of the most iconic ...

  30. India's Modi tells Putin that 'heart bleeds' over deaths of children in

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday that the death of innocent children was painful and terrifying, a day after a lethal strike on a children's ...