Viking Neptune eyes U.S. market

LOS ANGELES -- To meet the growing demand by U.S. travelers to explore the "real" Europe, Viking River Cruises launched the Viking Neptune on Aug. 9.

The Neptune is the fourth vessel introduced by the line this year and is the 28th ship in the company's fleet.

According to Viking officials, the U.S. market has had notable growth in the river cruise category, as travelers seek new ways to explore Europe.

The Viking Neptune joins sister ships Viking Spirit, Viking Pride and Viking Europe, which were named in Amsterdam in April.

The Viking Neptune is 370 feet long and features 75 outside passenger cabins, a lounge, restaurant, library and sundeck.

Designed with U.S. passengers in mind, standard cabins average 120 square feet, while the deluxe staterooms measure 154 square feet, the equivalent of many outside cabins on ocean cruise ships.

Viking River Cruises' newer ships, including Viking Neptune, offer amenities such as picture windows that open and hotel-style beds.

In 2002, the Viking Neptune will host the 16-day Amsterdam to Budapest, Hungary, Grand European cruise holiday and the 12-day Romantic Danube cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg, Germany, including three nights in Prague, Czech Republic.

Viking River Cruises also offers itineraries throughout Europe on the Rhine, Rhone, Main, Danube, Seine, Po and Volga rivers, among others.

For reservations or more information, call (877) 66-VIKING or visit www.vikingrivercruises.com.

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