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For 2011, Viking River Cruises is launching two new ships and refurbishing two ships. The new Viking Prestige, a 188-passenger sister ship to the company’s flagship, Viking Legend, with its efficient and silent hybrid propulsion, will sail the eight-day Romantic Danube itinerary from Budapest, Hungary, to Nuremberg, Germany.
Viking Emerald is the line’s newest, elegant ship sailing China’s Yangtze River. With this 264-guest vessel, Viking claims the largest suites in river cruising; she will offer the company’s three China itineraries.
Viking’s two completely refurbished ships are Viking Pakhomov in Russia and Viking Schumann on the Elbe River. Pakhonov will be completely renovated for 2011, sailing the 13-day Waterways of the Czars. She will carry 210 guests in two 290-square-foot suites and 104 staterooms with hotel-style beds, 26-inch, flat-panel televisions, in-room refrigerators and three promenade decks.
The refurbished Viking Schumann has a shallow draft, allowing her to sail the Elbe River through Central Europe. With 60 outside cabins, a sun deck, a sauna, a boutique and a library, she offers the 10-day Elegant Elbe with overnight stays in Berlin and Prague, Czech Republic, at each end.
In addition to new ships, Viking is also introducing two new itineraries in 2011. The first is the 11-day Passage to Eastern Europe itinerary, which features an eight-day cruise along the Danube River, bookended by hotel nights in Budapest and Bucharest, Romania. Also just announced is a new 12-day program in Egypt, called Pharaohs & Pyramids, which includes hotel nights in Cairo plus a cruise along the Nile River and across Lake Nasser. Guests can add either or both four-night land extension programs visiting Israel or Jordan.
Viking’s all-inclusive pricing takes in daily guided shore excursions and port charges. Agents who have registered at Viking’s travel agent portal can also create their own co-branded Viking websites, allowing them to give clients access to current Viking information while featuring the agency name, contact information and logo. Viking pays agents commission on everything it sells, with payment 29 days prior to departure; the company reports that commissions average more than $1,000 per booking.
Full ship details and deck plans as well as itinerary information can be found at VikingRiverCruises.com/Agents.