(2:15 p.m. EDT) -- The Rhine River is a busy summer destination for river cruises in Europe, with multiple lines sailing its waters. One river cruise line, however, is betting on expanding its itineraries to also sail on the Rhine throughout the winter.
Viking River Cruises is introducing a new Middle Rhine itinerary that's set to debut in December 2023 and run through March 2024. The announcement is significant, as most river cruise lines typically shut down for the period between January and early March of each year. With this announcement, Viking joins Viva Cruises as one of only two river cruise companies that offer year-round itineraries in Europe.
Viking's winter itinerary -- titled "Treasures of the Rhine"-- consists of a 10-day sailing between Amsterdam and Basel. The voyage visits the Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland by calling in Arnhem, Cologne, Mainz, Heidelberg, Strasbourg and Breisach along the way.
"The Middle Rhine is one of our most popular destinations -- with constantly changing views of hilltop castles, historic towns and terraced vineyards along the steep valley sides, it is a region that will always be best explored by the river," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "Many of our guests have sailed the Rhine during other seasons, so we are pleased to offer a new option for those who may be interested experiencing Europe during a quieter time of year."
Viking also announced that it will be expanding its Christmas Market river cruise sailings in Europe. The line will add a total of 20 new sailings during the 2023 season, carrying an additional 3,686 passengers.
Viking currently offers two 8-day Christmas Market itineraries: Christmas on the Rhine -- sailing between Amsterdam and Basel -- and Danube Christmas Delights, which travels between Budapest and Passau.
Click here for our feature on the Best Christmas Markets to visit on a river cruise.