Viking River Cruises sales to nearly 60 UNESCO World Heritage sites worldwide, including the Burg Maus Castle in Germany. // © 2011 Viking River Cruises
Since its international treaty was signed in 1972, UNESCO World Heritage has been dedicated to the identification, protection and preservation of sites considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. From Beijing’s Forbidden City to the Pyramids of Egypt, these sites are central to the cultural heritage of mankind. River cruise company Viking River Cruises, in particular, has made an effort to feature these sites on its itineraries around the world, recently announcing that it now offers guests nearly 60 UNESCO World Heritage sites on its varied itineraries.
For example, on the 23-day Grand European Odyssey, Viking’s cruise-tour through Europe, guests visit nine countries and 10 UNESCO World Heritage sites, from the network of windmills created in the Netherlands during the Middle Ages to an 18th-century Baroque palace in Wuerzburg.
In Southeast Asia, on the Mekong River, Viking offers the 15-day Magnificent Mekong cruise-tour. It includes the 11th-century Thang Long Imperial Citadel in the 1,000-year-old capital of Hanoi and the Khmer temple of Angkor Wat, built for King Suryavarman II in the 12th century A.D., with its intricate bas-relief stone carvings.
The 13-day Waterways of the Czars tour includes multiple days spent in Moscow where the Kremlin and Red Square are both identified as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Also featured on this itinerary are the historic center of St. Petersburg, the Open Air Museum of Architecture and the pogost of Kizhi — 18th century wooden churches built in medieval and post-medieval orthodox settlements. During the river cruise, Viking’s program directors discuss the background, context and regional perspective of these UNESCO Heritage sites and other outstanding landmarks.
As a further incentive to encourage clients to book a river cruise, Viking is running a Companion Flies Free promotion on select itineraries. It includes a two-for-one cruise, up to two-for-one airfare and complimentary wine through the end of March.