Viking River Cruises today announced its lineup of 20 2010 river cruise itineraries through northern and southern France, central and eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, China and Egypt. To launch the 2010 season, Viking offers an unprecedented Early Booking Discount, available through May 31, 2009. The suite of discounts includes:

· 2-for-1 pricing on the cruise portion of every itinerary, for every stateroom category (single staterooms receive a 50% discount)

· A $500-per-person discount on international roundtrip air purchased through Viking,
for a total savings of $1,000 per stateroom

· Complimentary wine with onboard dinners for guests who book and pay in full for a 2010 itinerary by May 31, to “sweeten” the deal even further

“Viking is committed to making these outstanding river cruise itineraries affordable for every traveler,” said Viking River Cruises Chairman Torstein Hagen. “We have always provided excellent value for guests’ travel dollars—but now more than ever people are looking for an affordable travel experience and to be in control of exactly how much they are spending.”

For 2010, Viking will launch three new itineraries:

v Danube Waltzis an 8-day itinerary sailing through four of Europe’s most enchanting countries—Germany, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia—along the storied Danube River, which includes a tour of the 900-year-old baroque Benedictine abbey at Melk and an all-day excursion to the scenic city of Salzburg.

v China Discovery is a 10‑day cruisetour featuring all the imperial treasures of Beijing plus a 6‑day Yangtze River cruise through the Three Gorges; guests on this itinerary enjoy a final afternoon and evening adjacent to Beijing’s Olympic Village, where they can see some of the distinctive venues constructed for the 2008 Summer Games.

v Nile Explorer is a 9-day itinerary that showcases the highlights of Cairo and features a 5‑day Aswan-to-Luxor cruise rich with comprehensive tours and experiences.

The 2010 season will also feature Viking Legend, Viking’s much-anticipated ship making its debut in July 2009—boasting the largest suites on Europe’s rivers and an innovative, energy-efficient propulsion system, Viking Legend joins the fleet on Grand European Tour, the line’s most popular itinerary. In total, Viking offers 19 ships to the North American market for 2010. In France, guests will enjoy the hospitality of Viking Sprit and Viking Neptune, featuring deluxe staterooms with hotel-style beds; in Russia, the fully renovated Viking Kirov and Viking Surkov set the standard; and the five-star Viking Century Sun is the most sumptuous ship in China, where every stateroom has a river view and private balcony.

Viking River Cruises itineraries provide excellent value for guests, because they are all-inclusive. The cruise fare covers accommodations, all onboard meals, shore excursions each day and cultural enrichment activities such as lectures, discussions, workshops, demonstrations of handmade crafts like glassblowing, embroidery and ceramics, and local food and wine tastings. And if air is purchased through Viking, transfers are included as well.

“Viking offers river cruises in four of the world’s regions, from 8 to 17 days in length, visiting anywhere from one to eight countries. There is truly something for everyone. We hope that our past guests will choose to join us again in 2010—perhaps traveling to a different region—and that we can introduce Viking to new guests as well. With our Early Booking Discount, there has never been a better time to take a river cruise,” declared Mr. Hagen.