Viking Star 60 Percent Cheaper Than Oceania?

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What's Ahead

On May 8, I head to Germany to board Uniworld's S.S. Maria Theresa to see how she measures up to the all-inclusive luxury river cruiser Scenic Jasper. — Ralph Grizzle

Viking Star: Day 2, Departing Barcelona, Tor Touts 'Understated Elegance' For Nearly 60 Percent Cheaper Than Oceania

During a press conference on Viking Star this past weekend Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking Ocean Cruises, showed journalists a slide comparing nearly identical itineraries — both in Northern Europe for sailings in August 2016. Data was gathered for rates in comparable stateroom categories for both Viking Star and Oceania Nautica. With air from New York included, the 14-day itinerary goes for $2,005 more on Oceania Nautica than on Viking Star. That's not the whole story, though.

Read more.

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Day 1, Barcelona: Boarding The Nordic Inspired Viking Star, A Tour With Tor

 If you've been itching to travel to the Nordics (or longing to return), look no further than Viking Star. The new ocean cruiser is a tribute to ancient Viking heritage and to contemporary Nordic culture.

Shortly after embarking on Saturday, I toured the 930-guest vessel with Viking Ocean Cruises Chairman Torstein Hagen. As we walked through the main areas of the ship, I felt as though I were back in Scandinavia. I brushed against (faux) birch bark, admired a colorful carpet of lichen, stepped into a Swedish-branded spa operated by Stockholm's LivNordic, and dug my fork into Norwegian waffles topped with berries and sour cream — just as I have done many times back in the south of Sweden.

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Preview Uniworld’s Maria Theresa: Join Me For A European Jewels River Cruise

Channeling the Habsburgs on the Danube aboard S.S. Maria Theresa

I’ve spent a lot of time recently sailing on the rivers of Europe, but no matter how many times I travel there, I always find something new to like and appreciate about the European culture and way of life. For many, a river cruise through Europe is a cherished holiday, but I’ve always seen it as something more than that: an immersive adventure.

Starting on May 8, join me as I sail aboard Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s newest ship, the sleek and elegant S.S. Maria Theresa. I’ll be hopping aboard the ship in Wurzburg, part-way through her 15-day European Jewels itinerary that will take guests from Amsterdam to Budapest.

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7 Days Of All-Inclusive Barging, Plus Three Hotel Nights & Tours, $3,995 Per Person

Ready to go barging with our group of intrepid travelers? We have a great trip planned — a really great trip — and at a great price, $3,995 per person, double occupancy.

You'll need to contact me directly to get this price, and it's easiest to do so by using this link

Here's what is included:

• Six nights/Seven days of all-inclusive barging from Arles to Sete*

• Tours included everyday of the barge trip.

• PLUS two pre-hotel nights in a five-star hotel in Arles, including breakfast**

• PLUS one post-hotel night in a four-star hotel in Montpelier, including breakfast**

• PLUS three additional exclusive tours: Avignon, Pont du Gard & Chateauneuf du Pape, Sete Gourmet Markets Tour & Montpelier Tour

• For only $3,995  per person

* Transfers to Arles at the beginning of the trip and from Montpelier at the end of the trip are not included ** Note that a few lunches and dinners are not included for the pre/post days

I believe this trip offers an exceptional value. Barge trips nearly always start at more than $4,000 per person. And those are the beginning prices for the barge portion only. We're adding three extra nights at four- and five-star hotels, plus we're also adding special tours. All for $3,995 per person. CroisiEurope's price for the barge cruise alone is $2,824.

You'll find all of the details of the trip here.

Please let me know as soon as possible if you'd like to book space by contacting me through the form at this link.

I'm excited about taking you along and showing you some of my favorite places in one of my favorite regions of the world - and via a mode of travel that I think you'll find particularly appealing, barging.

Bon voyage, Ralph Grizzle

Six Tips To Extract More Joy From Your Cruise

In this free special report, I’ve put together a half dozen actionable items that can make the difference between cruise vacations that are memorable and others that fail to measure up to all you had hoped they would be. I’ve cruised on hundreds of ships, as a solo traveler and with family and friends.  — Ralph Grizzle, The Avid Cruiser

Click to download the report.

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