Above: Four of Viking’s new longships are built specifically to navigate the Seine River and bring guests to the heart of Paris

One encouraging sign of the revival of European travel was the christening in mid-March of four new Viking riverboats, which have been specifically designed to cruise the Seine River. At 410 feet long, each is 33 feet shorter than the typical Viking vessels that navigate larger rivers like the Danube and the Rhine and carries 168 as opposed to 190 passengers. Their smaller size also allows the ships to dock at the Port de Grenelle, just a brief walk from the Eiffel Tower. As we recently discovered on an eight-day “Paris & the Heart of Normandy” trip, these more modest dimensions also make a perceptible difference to the cruise experience: Reducing the passenger count creates a noticeably more intimate atmosphere aboard and makes shore excursions efficient and seamless.

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Above: Four of Viking’s new longships are built specifically to navigate the Seine River and bring guests to the heart of Paris

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