by Sara Jane Crane –
Here at Acendas Travel we work with a number of select travel partners in order to create the perfect experience for our clients. Our Travel Advisors spend a great deal of time getting to know you and your vacation needs and desires. After careful consideration and research, our advisors utilize our partnerships around the world to build complete travel packages including transportation, lodging, unique excursions, VIP experiences and much more.
One of our preferred partners is Viking River Cruises. a provider of authentic and unique premium river cruises. We asked Viking’s Reiner Marks to share his personal top choices for 2018 travel.
“As a former executive chef and hotel manager on board of numerous cruise lines and vessels, I would like to introduce to you my all-time favorite river cruise itinerary.
The Viking Cruises – Grand European Tour on which you will experience Europe’s most incredible river ports along the Rhine, the Main and the Danube during 15 unforgettable days would be my first recommendation.
This incredible journey has it all; Rhine Valley vistas from a 900-year-old castle, food samples and wine tastings in Austria’s Wachau Valley. Visit large metropolitan cities and quaint villages along the way. Learn the Viennese waltz and linger in Budapest’s Café Gerbeaud. Our most iconic itinerary traces the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers between the windmill-dotted waterways of Holland and the stunning landscapes of Hungary.”
Reiner Marks, Viking River Cruises
More 2018 Top Picks from Viking River Cruises
GRAND EUROPEAN TOUR GRAND EUROPEAN TOUR
Imagine 15 magical days along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. From Holland’s windmill-studded tulip fields to Germany’s fairytale castles, from the engineering marvel of the Main-Danube Canal to the picturesque vineyards of Austria’s Wachau Valley, this epic voyage presents the highlights of Holland, Germany, Austria and Hungary. Savor a decadent Sachertorte in a Viennese café. Enjoy panoramic views of imperial Budapest. Along the way discover the legend of the Lorelei, the ancient art of glassblowing, the music of Mozart and more. Guests who choose this voyage soon see why it is our most popular itinerary
During this 8-day journey, encounter the grand cities and quaint villages along the celebrated Danube River. Explore both sides of Hungary’s capital, traditional “Buda” and more cosmopolitan “Pest”, and from Fishermen’s Bastion see how the river divides this fascinating city. Experience Vienna’s imperial architecture and gracious culture, and tour riverside towns in Austria’s Wachau Valley. Explore a baroque cathedral and stroll cobbled streets lined with half-timbered houses. Savor the tastes of authentic dishes, learn about local legends, and understand why Strauss immortalized the “Blue Danube” in his famous melody.
Visit all the highlights of the legendary Rhine in just 8 days. In Germany, see the many charming castles commanding the riverbanks as you sail by, and tour both Marksburg Castle and the ruins of Heidelberg Castle. Admire Cologne, the jewel of the Rhine, with its awe-inspiring Dom, and experience the lush landscape of the Black Forest region. Also, explore Holland’s famous windmills and waterworks, encounter multicultural Strasbourg in France, and take part in the inviting nightlife in Rüdesheim’s Drosselgasse. On this itinerary, you see a lot without spending a lot of time.
LYON & PROVENCE
Sail the scenic Saône and Rhône Rivers past some of the most beautiful vistas of France’s countryside. During your 8-day journey, explore the famed region of Beaujolais and the colorful fields of Provence. Visit Gallo-Roman ruins in Vienne. Stroll the cobbled streets of Arles that inspired Vincent van Gogh. And visit Avignon, the “City of Popes.” Learn about the region’s time-honored winemaking traditions, sample Beaujolais varietals and try world-famous regional cuisine in Lyon.
PARIS & THE HEART OF NORMANDY
Combine the magic of Paris with the beauty of France’s Norman countryside and voilà! Experience history firsthand at the Normandy beaches, site of the famous Allied invasion on D-Day in 1944. Delight in the Gothic architecture of Rouen, and see where Joan of Arc was tried and executed. Lose yourself in the exquisite gardens of Giverny, whose rich palette inspired Impressionist Claude Monet for many years. Walk the cobblestone streets of provincial Vernon and share the splendor of Paris, the world’s most romantic city, with your companion. This fascinating 8-day journey has something for everyone.
About Viking River Cruises
Viking®, a Travel + Leisure, and Condé Nast Traveler award winner, offers destination-focused itineraries on the rivers of Europe, Russia, China, Southeast Asia and Egypt. Travel with like-minded travelers on what Viking calls The Thinking Person’s Cruise®, a culturally rich, immersive experience designed to help you explore the most intimate nuances of your destination both on board and ashore—with enriching shore excursions, insightful lectures, Destination Performances, cooking demonstrations and regionally inspired cuisine. Plus, with Viking Inclusive Value, just about everything is covered—port charges, Wi-Fi, meals, lectures, onboard activities and shore excursions—so all you have to do is relax and enjoy a great journey. And the award-winning Viking Longships® has set the standard in river cruising with spacious Veranda Staterooms, the largest suites in Europe, al fresco dining and more. Come discover for yourself why Viking truly is The World’s Leading River Cruise Line®.