Where in the world takes your breath away?
What place stills you into silence? Is it the view of a valley unchanged through centuries? Or the vision of a building whose grandeur is unfathomable? Seeing new sights, especially those that stop you in your tracks, is one of the inspiring things about travel. And something you can look forward to on every Viking journey, river, ocean and expedition.
From your ship, you are treated to rarely seen vistas, as you glide around the bend in the river, or cross an ocean to see a city coming into focus. And when you arrive in your destination, more great sights await. Here we have featured some that our guests tell us they love. We hope they inspire you to join us on a journey where you too can take the time to stop and stare.
AMALFI COAST, ITALY
UNESCO declared it an outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape. Certainly, it is one of Italy’s most memorable. Along the 50km stretch of Amalfi coastline, mountains cascade down to the sea, pastel-coloured houses cling to the cliffs and the rugged shoreline is dotted with small beaches and fishing villages. The views are spectacular. Built into the dramatic seaside cliffs is the winding Amalfi Drive, with too many views to see at once: the Bay of Naples, the pretty houses and lemon groves perched on the cliffs, the turquoise sea and, of course, the winding road itself which leads you from one extraordinary sight to another.
THE CHAIN BRIDGE AT NIGHT, BUDAPEST
Budapest, Hungary’s jewel of a capital city, spans both sides of the River Danube and of the many ornate bridges that cross the river, the twin-towered Széchenyi Chain Bridge is the most striking and is especially mesmerising when lit up at night. Imagine then, sailing into this glorious city at night, under the iconic Chain Bridge, its lights twinkling against the inky blue sky. From the Sun Deck or the Aquavit Terrace on your Viking Longship, the view of Chain Bridge and the dramatically illuminated Parliament Building is one of our guests’ most memorable. Budapest is a city of splendour any time of day, but at night it becomes truly magical.
Fourvière Hill, Lyon
Divided by two rivers, the Saône and the Rhône, that gracefully wind their way through the city, Lyon’s spectacular topography was first recognised by the Romans who founded its predecessor, Lugdunum, on the slopes of Fourvière hill in 43BC. Today, this basilica-crowned hill offers magical, panoramic views over the terracotta roofs of the UNESCO-listed Vieux-Lyon, one of the largest Renaissance neighbourhoods in the world. From Fourvière, you can walk downhill to the cobbled streets, where you can pause for refreshment in a Lyonnaise café. As the gastronomic capital of France, Lyon is a feast for the senses.
THE INSIDE PASSAGE, ALASKA
The view, rather views, from Alaska’s Inside Passage are breathtaking. One of the most beautiful places on earth, this network of sheltered waterways is home to spruce-covered islands, snow-capped mountains, landscape-moulding glaciers and small, picturesque coastal communities. Full of natural splendour, it’s no wonder these waters are so alluring. As you sail through this pristine wilderness keep an eye out for orcas, dolphins and whales. Overhead, bald eagles and cormorants feed off the bounty of fish in the waters below. Everywhere you look is a photo.
THE AQUAVIT TERRACE, THE VIKING LONGSHIPS
Why settle for one great view when you can marvel at one that is constantly changing? One minute, a medieval castle perched atop a hill, the next a timeless village, its church steeple rising to the heavens. One day, a glorious city, the next, a valley of vineyards. A journey along the river reveals celebrated cities, towns and landscapes. In doing so, it offers a unique and very special view of the world. Our Viking Longships are designed to make the most of those precious views, with floor to ceiling windows letting the outside in, On the Aquavit Terrace, enjoy a drink or a meal al fresco and immerse yourself in the extraordinary scenery.
SHIRLEY HEIGHTS LOOKOUT, ANTIGUA
The Caribbean island of Antigua has a beach for every day of the year. Shirley Heights is a restored 18th-century British military lookout, 446 feet above the sea. From here, you can enjoy sweeping views of the turquoise waters of English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour. On a clear day, you can also see Montserrat and Guadeloupe. Sunset is the perfect time to be there. If you look closely at the exact second the sun sets behind the ocean, you may see a green jet of light cover the horizon, known as the Green Flash. Green, turquoise, gold, whatever time of day you visit, the colours of this Caribbean island will stay with you forever.
Norway’s landscapes are epic, and it’s a challenge to choose one top view. Among the best are the sweeping views from the vast mountain plateau of Hardangervidda in Norway’s largest mainland national park. This stunning wilderness is home to herds of reindeer, as well as beaver, arctic fox and elk. Here, you can breathe in the pure air and the tranquillity as you gaze at the untouched beauty before you. On your way back from the plateau, stop to view one of Norway’s most visited sites, the spectacular Vorringsfosen Waterfall, which has a total fall of 182 metres.
The sight of a polar bear padding across the frozen tundra. The otherworldly vision of blue ice floating serenely on the horizon. A seal sunning itself on a craggy rock. A towering glacial waterfall. Sunset – orange, pink and mauve over the snow-capped landscape. A ghostly white beluga whale swimming alongside your ship. A journey into the pristine Arctic is a humbling experience of nature, with every minute of your journey revealing a new view, each more splendid than the last.
THE DOURO VALLEY
One of the most glorious places on earth, the Douro Valley is also one of the world’s oldest demarcated wine regions. From the river and the mountains, the views are breathtaking. Steep terraced vineyards carved into mountains are dotted with whitewashed quintas and granite bluffs. In summer, the vines are a vibrant green, turning to rich red in autumn. From Quinta das Carvalhas, a historic wine estate that lies 1,800 feet above the Douro, the views over the river and surrounding landscapes are spectacular. There are, of course, other places from which you can stop and stare at the remarkable scenery, but from here, on these timeless slopes, the views are unrivalled.
One of the world’s most remote places, Antarctica is simply stunning. Untamed and desolate, the White Continent is nature at its most dramatic and elemental. Snow, ice, water and rock are home to unique wildlife; whales, orcas, seals and penguins – there are more penguins than people in Antarctica and every one is a photograph. It is hard to capture on camera the sensation of feeling like a very small part of a vast, magical planet, but you will see sights and views that encapsulate this sense of majesty and awe.