By: Naomi Kinloch, CTA & Customer Service Manager
As an avid ocean cruiser on my first river cruise, I did have some trepidation about this vacation. I wondered if I might not have enough to do, or if I might feel out of place, knowing the average age of river cruisers is a bit higher than what I’m accustomed to. On both counts, I was pleasantly surprised. While there were no children on board, there was a good blend of ages, with younger, more active travelers, as well as older ones who moved at a slower pace. Our cruise director was attentive to all groups, as were all of the crew onboard, and it was a fantastic experience.
Viking Hlin is a “longship” and has modern, Scandinavian styling with easy access to thoughtfully designed public areas. I especially enjoyed the Aquavit Terrace, where I could dine or relax outside as we watched the beautiful scenery. My cabin was a French Balcony, which was just the right size for resting and viewing the river. It wasn’t huge, but it was large enough to accommodate two passengers comfortably, and there was ample storage space so luggage could be kept out of sight during the cruise. I fell in love with the heated bathroom floors, and I’m afraid I’m spoiled now—I am looking for my next cruise to include this amenity!
The Rhine River flows past quaint towns and magnificent castles and churches, against a natural backdrop of mountains, greenery, and rock formations. As we sailed through the Middle Rhine, considered the most scenic section, we were amazed at how well preserved the structures were, perched high above the river.
The towns we stopped in were just as impressive, with buildings from even the 13th century still standing. Most memorable of these to me was the Cologne Cathedral, which for many years was the tallest building in the world.
Another highlight was visiting the windmills in Kinderdijk. The windmills were originally part of a water management system to prevent flooding in the area. Today, as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the windmills are more a historical landmark than anything else, but it is still possible to view a functioning windmill.
Germany, France, and The Netherlands are all fantastic destinations; traveling through these countries by river is the ultimate vacation. I highly recommend the Rhine Getaway with Viking!
By: Naomi Kinloch
CTA & Customer Service Manager
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