Viking To Launch Tour Company

Viking Tours will bring travelers to some of the most exotic places on the planet

By: Ana Figueroa

Viking River Cruises, the world’s largest river cruise company, has announced the launch of Viking Tours, a new venture that will bring travelers to some of the most exotic places on the planet.

Many of our customers have asked us if we would consider organizing land tours offering the same richly rewarding travel and high level of comfort that they have experienced with Viking River Cruises, said Torstein Hagen, Chairman and CEO of both Viking River Cruises and Viking Tours. In this, our tenth anniversary year, we felt the time was right to begin this exciting new venture.

Viking Tours will offer programs in India, Southeast Asia, Egypt, South Africa, South America, the Galapagos, Scandinavia, Antarctica and the South Pacific. All tours offer outstanding pre- and post-tour packages to such destinations as Bhutan, Dubai, Cambodia & Angkor, Petra, Reykjavik and Ayers Rock. We are very proud of these unique itineraries,” noted Ted Sykes, President of Viking Tours. Just as our river cruises allow travelers to explore places they could not easily reach by ocean cruise or bus tour, our tours provide travelers once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Based on feedback from our customers and our worldwide travel experience, we chose our initial list of destinations. We then carefully planned each tour to ensure the highest level of product delivery in terms of pacing, comfort and quality of the experience. We understand the high expectations our guests have of Viking and will again deliver to these standards.

Viking Tours will partner with some of the world’s most distinctive hotel and resort owners and operators: for example, Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces, purveyors of five-star luxury hotels in India, and Orient-Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises, which owns and manages hotels, trains, cruises and restaurants in an impressive array of exotic destinations. The Shangri-La in Bangkok, the Serengeti Serena Lodge and the legendary Kirawira Camp in Tanzania, the Victoria Falls Hotel in Zimbabwe, the Observatory Hotel in Sydney, the Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort & Spa in Australia’s Blue Mountains, the Hermitage Hotel at Mt. Cook on New Zealand’s South Island (with all glacier view rooms), and the Taj Lake Palace and Jai Mahal Palace, two beautiful former palaces in India, are just a few of the accommodations guests of Viking Tours will experience.

Depending on destination, in addition to luxury trains, deluxe ships and motor coaches, guests may travel by air, ferry, schooner, inflatable PolarCirkel boat, catamaran, Jeep, cable car, horse-drawn carriage, hot-air balloon, camel or elephant. Viking Tours is dedicated to ensuring that travelers always see the sights from the best and most interesting perspective as they progress along their journey. Viking Tours has also established partnerships that allow travelers to get “up close and personal with local people and be immersed in local cultures. Many tours feature dinners hosted by local families in their homes, or with native people in their villages.

Viking Tours departures begin in January, 2008; an Early Booking Discount of $500 per person ($1,000 per couple) is available on tours booked and paid in full by August 31, 2007. Commissions are set at 12 percent of the brochure price for tour packages, 5 percent on full-price air travel, and 10 percent on the Travel Protection Plan.