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Viking River Cruises Already has one of the largest fleets on the waterways. And it shows no sign of slowing up.

Viking River Cruises will be adding 24 more river cruise vessels to its fleet, Viking chairman Torstein Hagen will be adding another 24 vessels to the fleet of 65 in coming years.

The line will be launching six of its Longships on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers next year. It will launch a smaller Longship-style vessel on Portugal’s Douro River. It already has one new vessel – the 52-passenger Viking Ra – on the Egyptian Nile.

And now, Viking is creating a strong presence in Australia.

Viking Australia MD Michelle Black told Cruise Passenger: “We have the largest river cruise fleet in the world and have been cruising for 20 years.

“Australians love the Grand European Tour from Amsterdam to Budapest or vice versa. It is our most popular river itinerary and is hard to beat. It’s the perfect itinerary for a first-time river cruiser.

“Russia is also in demand from Australians – we see consistently strong demand for our 15-day Waterways of the Tsars, which includes unique experiences such as visiting the secured vaults of the Hermitage after hours and having tea with a princess. Egypt is also very popular.”

Viking is already selling 2020 – meaning three seasons are on offer at once at 2018 prices. It’s the first.

Says Ms Black: “We have already opened 2020 across all our river products due to high demand for the 2019 season. We’re the only line to have all three seasons open at once and we are offering 2020 cruises at 2018 prices.

“This is proving very popular as guests can lock in a cruise for a $500 deposit. Essentially, they can take advantage of special offers available now for a trip in 2020. We opened up some 2020 cruises early due to unprecedented demand – including Egypt and Oberammergau, but as demand is already high for 2019 we’ve opened all 2020 early.”

And she revealed Viking was making some changes to its offerings.

“After watching ocean shore excursion booking patterns, we noticed guests want a choice, so we’re offering more shore excursion options.

“Our unique Aquavit Terrace means we offer the most outdoor dining on the rivers, and we’ve started trialling our exceptionally popular Manfredi’s ocean ship restaurant on our river ships.”