Viking Announces Opening of 2026 European River Season

Due to strong demand, Viking announces the opening of its 2026 European river season on its current fleet of 80 river ships.

Viking Announces Opening of 2026 European River Season


Due to Strong Demand, Bookings are Now Open for the Company’s Popular River Voyages

Viking announces the opening of its 2026 European river season. With many 2024 dates already sold out and the 2025 season selling well, strong demand among North American travelers has led to an early opening of all 2026 departures for Viking’s iconic itineraries on the rivers of Europe.

“Our guests are curious travelers who are interested in history, art and culture, which is why Europe remains our most popular destination,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “The idea of a modern river voyage is still new to many, even to some of the most well-traveled individuals. But make no mistake; there is no better way of exploring the heart of Europe than sailing its historic waterways on an elegant Viking Longship. We look forward to welcoming more guests, both returning and new, on board our state-of-the-art vessels in the coming years.”

Viking Announces Opening of 2026 European River Season

With a current fleet of 80 river ships and more than 50 percent of the market share for North American travelers, Viking is by far the industry’s leading river line.

Popular itineraries in Europe

  • Danube Waltz (8 days; Budapest—Passau) – Soak up soothing steam at a Budapest thermal bath. Learn to waltz at a Viennese dance school. Savor Austro-Hungarian cuisine in Vienna and Budapest. Admire the Wachau Valley’s beauty. Explore lesser-known Central European cities like Bratislava and Passau. Witness daily monastic life on an exclusive visit to Göttweig Abbey. This eight-day itinerary reveals the best of these places while cruising leisurely through spectacular scenery.
  • Rhine Getaway (8 days; Amsterdam—Basel) – Explore one of Europe’s best-loved rivers. Discover the turreted fortresses, grand cathedrals, historic cities, medieval towns and stunning scenery of the Middle Rhine—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Taste the region’s renowned white wines, the roots of its terraced vineyards reaching back to Roman times. Savor the various culinary traditions of Alsace. With calls in Amsterdam, Cologne, and Basel, this journey reveals a rich landscape of beauty and culture.
  • Paris & the Heart of Normandy (8 days; Paris roundtrip) – Dock in the heart of Paris, admiring views of the Eiffel Tower and a replica of the Statue of Liberty from your ship. Experience history firsthand at the Normandy beaches. Delight in Rouen’s Gothic architecture. Explore Giverny and the charming house and gardens where Claude Monet lived and worked, the setting inspiring many of his masterpieces. This voyage celebrates history, art, food, and customs in France’s most alluring urban and pastoral settings.
  • Lyon & Provence (8 days; Lyon—Avignon) – Tap into your inner van Gogh at an Arles painting class. Discover Roman Provence at Les Arènes d’Arles and the Pont du Gard. Explore the world’s largest Gothic palace at Avignon’s grand Palace of the Popes. Excite your palate in Lyon, capital of French gastronomy. Savor local wines, hunt for truffles, and see how chèvre cheese is made. Come witness the beauty that inspired artists like Cézanne and Chagall on this eight-day voyage along the Rhône.
  • Portugal’s River of Gold (10 days; Lisbon—Porto) – Experience the renaissance of Lisbon, newly invigorated with trending galleries and restaurants. Explore two of Iberia’s oldest university towns: Coimbra, Portugal and Salamanca, Spain. Roam the port warehouses of Porto. Enjoy traditional cuisine, wine, and fado singing. Cruise the Douro River Valley, the world’s oldest demarcated wine region and a UNESCO Site. Our 10-day cruisetour includes a hotel stay in Lisbon and the added bonus of a visit to Spain.

More on Viking River Ships

Viking recently announced it will welcome an additional 10 Viking Longships® to its river fleet by the end of 2026. Currently under construction, eight of the new vessels will sail Viking’s itineraries on the Rhine, Main, and Danube rivers. Two additional Viking Longships will join the fleet on the Seine River. To meet the strong demand, five of the new vessels will be delivered in 2025, with the remaining five in 2026.

Booking Details

From now through December 31, 2023, Viking is offering North American travelers the Holiday Sale. This sale includes up to FREE international airfare, special fares, and a $25 deposit on all 2026 European river voyages—as well as other river, ocean and expedition voyages.



Are you happy to hear that Viking announces the opening of its 2026 European River season? Have you cruised the rivers of Europe with Viking? Drop us an anchor below to share your river cruise experiences.

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Heidi is a physical therapist by profession, cruise enthusiast at heart, and Princess all the time! She is a self-confessed thrill seeker, obsessive planner, and over-packer. She is always looking for the latest and greatest adventures onboard and ashore, enjoys researching top things to do in ports of call, and loves dressing up for formal nights.
Heidi Bucolo
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Viking Announces Opening of 2026 European River Season

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