Whether wandering through charming storybook villages or savoring destination focused dining, there is perhaps no better way to discover Europe than on a riverboat cruise. If you’re considering riverboat cruising, let us give you seven more reasons to jump on board this growing trend.

Viking recently announced its European River fleet expansion with seven new ships. The launch of the new Viking river ships is the company’s largest milestone, and a great reason to set sail for enchanting rivers and what lies beyond.

Credit: Viking River Cruises

The Rhine River, in Basel, Switzerland set the stage for the recent naming of the seven new river ships with a festive celebration. The Viking Einar, Viking Sigrun, Viking Sigyn, Viking Tir, Viking Ullur and Viking Vail will be deployed from Viking’s most popular itineraries on the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. Inspired by the longship’s design, the seventh new ship, Viking Helgrim was built specifically for the Douro River in Portugal.

Six of the seven ships added to the fleet are Viking Longships. If you aren’t familiar with longships, expect to be impressed. With a streamlined Scandinavian design, longships are not only built to bring you up close to your destination but provide the largest suites of any riverboat ship, including oversized staterooms with full-size verandas, perfect for al fresco dining.

Integrating culture, local cuisine and unrivaled port excursions Viking offers guests an immersive experience through the rivers of Europe. Understated, yet elegant suites offer a relaxing reprieve from the day; a day filled with art, music, and history. Imagine having tea in the home of local residents or visiting the “The Real Downtown Abbey;” a private tour of Gottweig Abbey, where you will have the unique opportunity to dine with Abbey monks and receive a special traveler’s blessing. It’s these types of itineraries that let guests truly dive deep into the local culture and one of the reasons Viking swept the Cruise Critic’s 2019 Cruises Choice Award with 11 First Place Wins.

Creating memories comes through sharing means and sampling local cuisine. Unlike mass-produced food buffets on large ships, Viking’s chefs prepare exquisite dinners prepared with locally sourced ingredients, for a true taste of the port’s culture. Epicurean’s will even have the opportunity to accompany Viking Chefs on hosted trips to local farmers markets. Onboard, sample regional cuisine and dessert specialties along with wine pairings based on your destination port.

Credit: Shutterstock

It’s the bespoke details of ‘The Viking Difference’ that makes the company an industry leader. And, keeping with maritime traditions dating back thousands of years ago, Viking invited seven long-serving employees and important members of the company’s family to serve as honorary godmothers of these new ships. If you’re ready to be among the first to set sail on one of the newest beauties, you’re in luck! Viking is currently accepting bookings for upcoming cruises.