If you are longing for a slower, more relaxing pace of travel, one that does not involve zipping around in airplanes and navigating crowded airports, why not take a river cruise to see the most beautiful landscapes and cities of Europe and Asia? Viking River Cruises has taken river cruising to a higher level with their luxurious vessels designed for the comfort of passengers: elegant rooms with outside river views (some even have balconies), gourmet meals, and modern amenities such as satellite TV.
They offer traditional European river cruises, for example, a 15-day journey along the Rhine, Main and Danube, from Holland to Hungary. This is a particularly atmospheric cruise because it takes you past the legendary Lorelei and the ruined castles and fortresses along the Rhine.
What is distinctive about Viking River Cruises is that they offer amazing trips in Russia and the Ukraine, China, Southeast Asia and Egypt. Imagine a historic 13-day journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow where you get to visit the Hermitage and Red Square, and also see the heartland of Russia with its ancient towns. Take a fat Russian novel with you (Tolstoy’s “War & Peace” is highly recommended) and you’ll feel at home.
In China, you can go on a 17-day odyssey where you spend 11 days exploring the Yangtze River between Chongqing and Nanjing, and the rest of the time visiting Beijing, Xian and Shanghai (the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terra Cotta Army and Old Shanghai). This trip includes a visit to Mt. Jiu Hua’s remote Buddhist Temple complex and Suzhou with its elegant classical gardens.
If you are tempted by the delights of Southeast Asia, there is an exciting river cruise along the mighty Mekong river from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) which includes a visit to Siem Riep and the mysterious, impressive Angkor Wat temple complex (a UNESCO World Heritage site).
Finally for those of you who have been dreaming of a Nile River cruise, there are several cruise packages on offer, the longest of which takes you from Cairo to Luxor to Lake Nasser. You visit the Valley of the Kings, the Pyramids, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Kasr Ibrim and Amada, and many more archaeological marvels. If you are interested in antiquities or are a fan of Agatha Christie’s “Death on the Nile”, this is one river cruise you can’t miss.
Visit the Viking River Cruises website to check the schedules and itineraries.
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