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Australians are rushing to Europe’s rivers, forcing major lines like Viking to put on additional departures for 2020.

Viking, one of the world’s biggest river operators, has released more cruise dates for its most popular river cruises, including the ‘Waterways of the Tsars’, ‘Portugal’s River of Gold, ‘Grand European Tour’ and ‘France Finest’.

Viking’s move comes after many of its 2019 and even 2020 sailings have been sold out or have limited availability.

According to Viking, they are seeing Australians booking longer itineraries to make the most of their time in Europe, with Amsterdam to Budapest as well as Russian itineraries remaining firm favourites.

Portugal and France itineraries have also been very popular for 2019.

In fact, the bookings for their 2020 sailings already looks on par with 2019, which suggests a growing demand for river cruising, and guests are looking to book river cruise itineraries for 2020 at 2018 prices.

“While 2020 might sound far off, it pays to get in early! Guests who book these cruises in advance will be able to lock in their first choice of stateroom at the best possible price,” said Lubica Sibikova, Operations and Product Manager at Viking Cruises.

Viking has also released two new 2020 departures of its 15-day ‘Rhine & Viking Shores & Fjords’ ocean and river cruise combination itinerary.

“Our ‘Rhine & Viking Shores & Fjords’ cruise combo is the perfect fusion of Viking’s award-winning river and ocean cruises, which means guests get the best of both worlds with this completely unique travel experience,” said Ms Sibikova.

This itinerary is offered in both directions, from Bergen to Basel or vice versa where guests will discover Nordic sights and explore the highlights of the Rhine River.

Both itineraries depart from Bergen and Basel on September 1, 2020, from $9,790 per person.