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Crown Cruise Vacations | July 12, 2020

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Viking River Cruises Archives – Crown Cruise Vacations

Viking To Offer Access to Highclere Castle, Filming Location of ‘Downton Abbey’

November 21, 2019 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

Viking To Offer Access to Highclere Castle, Filming Location of ‘Downton Abbey’

“Downton Abbey” fans are going to have a chance to visit filming locations for the popular TV series and movie, courtesy of Viking cruises.

Starting in 2021, Viking cruises will be offering a new pre/post cruise extension named “Great Homes, Gardens & Gin.” The extension was designed to give cruisers an exclusive look at several country estates that have served as settings for the acclaimed PBS and Masterpiece Theatre productions. Read more...

Complimentary extras add to Viking Kara cruise

May 2, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

It seems to be an unpleasant trend. Airlines are cutting services and adding new charges. Resorts are sneaking in hidden charges. Even my cable TV service at home has found new ways to boost the price. So it is surprisingly wonderful to see all the complimentary extras on my Viking Kara cruise.

I had only been on the ship one day and already I noticed little pluses that mean so much to travelers. I’m going to list some of them below – in no particular order – just to show what no-charge bonuses are offered on the Kara.

Here goes:

  • Free ship-wide WiFi that works surprisingly well in cabins in some locations on the Rhine River. The ship also has a small business office with two computers that passengers can use free of charge. It irks me that so many hotels, airports, and cruise ships charge outrageous sums for WiFi. Good for you, Viking River Cruises.
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    Dining delights abound on Viking Kara cruise

    February 10, 2016 | Jackie Sheckler Finch

    Would I prefer roasted pork medallions wrapped in parma ham, herb crusted ahi filet with warm chanterelle arugula vinaigrette or portobello mushroom lasagna?

    But, wait, that is just the first page. Another “always available” page offers even more choices – sautéed salmon filet, roast chicken breast or seared prime ribeye steak.

    And that is only the entrees. For starters, I can choose baba ghanoush & hummus, blackened beef carpaccio, baby spinach and blue cheese or parsley root veloute. Or on the “always available” starters side of the menu, I can order a cheese plate with mango thyme chutney.

    Dessert options include mascarpone & sour cherry cake, hot chocolate cake, traditional Paris-Brest, almond cake, warm apple hazelnut crumble, fruit plate, sorbet or several different kinds of ice cream and sauces.

    I had been told that food on Viking River Cruises is excellent and it certainly is. On a small ship, I figured the chef and cooking staff might not have much room to stretch their imaginations and cooking skills. But each meal has been wonderful with creative dishes and plenty of choices from executive chef Dimitar Yordanov and staff.

    The Viking Kara has two places to dine, either the main restaurant on Deck Two where a regular meal is served or the Aquavit Lounge on Deck Three where lighter fare is available. Breakfast is usually from 7 to 9:30 a.m., lunch is around 1 p.m. and dinner is about 7 p.m. Times are sometimes adjusted according to shore excursions.

    Two coffee, hot chocolate and tea stations in the upper atrium are also open 24/7 and have self-service machines that can produce lattes and cappuccinos, with mini-pastries offered in the morning and cookies in the afternoon.

    Both the Aquavit and the restaurant offer great views during meal time so you don’t have to worry about sacrificing river scenes when you dine. The restaurant has floor-to-ceiling windows with a large circular buffet area in the center of the room. Seating is open so passengers can eat different meals at different tables if they want.

    I am a breakfast eater so I go to the restaurant each morning to get fueled for our busy day. The breakfast buffet is heaped with a wide choice of food – cheese, meat, yogurt, grilled tomatoes, hash brown potatoes, yogurt, bunches of bread and pastries, oatmeal with toppings and much more. There’s also an omelet station where eggs can be cooked to order. Or you can choose from the printed menu and be served at the table. I have had the Eggs Benedict on the menu twice so far which means they are very good.

    Lunch includes a soup and salad bar with plenty of meats and cheeses or you can order from the menu – usually a featured entrée, pastas or sandwiches. Dinner, of course is the fanciest meal of the day. My favorite so far as been the special A Taste of Germany dinner with more German dishes than I could spell or sample. The buffet was packed with specialties, plus ordering from the menu was also offered. Each table had a wooden rack of pretzels and sausages, along with a plate of cheese, meat and spreads as appetizers.

    An accordionist and a hurdy gurdy player added to the German ambiance and a server delivered German beers and schnapps. Soft drinks, wine and beer are always complimentary at lunch and dinner. Just a welcome extra touch from Viking River Cruises.

    Story and

    Viking Kara dining

    Viking Kara dining

    Photo by Jackie Sheckler Finch


    The Rhine: As We See It

    March 26, 2013 | Roger

    Here are some more snapshots from our staff’s travel history. This history is recent. Last week, in fact. Our agency Vice President, Jeff was in Amsterdam and sailed down the Rhine last week as part of the inaugural for Viking River Cruises’ 10 new longships. That’s not a typo. Viking River Cruises inaugurated 10 ships simultaneously last week. We’ll have more information on the new longships in this spot soon, so keep your eyes peeled. And in the meantime, enjoy our view of the Rhine!

    Get on the river with Viking River Cruises! Experience the “longship” up close and personal. Get more information about the many different options Viking has by clicking here!

    Viking River Cruises: Even More New Ships!

    December 5, 2012 | Roger

    Viking River Cruises has been making a lot of changes and enhancements in recent years, and within the next 12 months, nearly a dozen new longships are to be put into service. Between this year and next, Viking will have introduced 16 new ships to the water. That’s right – 16! Some of the biggest cruise lines don’t even have 16 ships!