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Get More Privileged Access to Downton Abbey's Highclere Castle on Viking Cruises

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New “Great Homes” Cruise Extension Offers Additional Privileged Access to Highclere Castle, the filming location of “Downton Abbey”  

Viking Cruises became a household name during its sponsorship of the celebrated series Downton Abbey while it aired on PBS, and a new premier partnership builds on Viking’s continued commitment to enriching cultural programming. 

For years Viking has offered a variety of ways for its guests to experience life at Highclere Castle, the filming location of Downton Abbey


In celebration of the new film, a new Pre/Post Cruise Extension, was designed to give guests an exclusive look at several country estates that have served as the settings of acclaimed PBS and MASTERPIECE productions. Starting in 2021, the new five-day extension will be available on Viking’s RHINE GETAWAY river cruise itinerary and BRITISH ISLES EXPLORER ocean cruise itinerary and allows guests to explore Oxford and experience English country life. 

The program includes:

  • Viking’s Privileged Access® tour of Highclere Castle, with
  • an opportunity to taste the recently-launched Highclere Castle Gin, a super-premium London Dry Gin inspired by botanicals from the castle’s gardens. The extension also includes a visit to the nearby Bombay Sapphire Distillery to learn the history and production of gin;
  • a visit to Broughton Castle, home to the influential Fiennes family, whose members include the renowned British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and actors Ralph Fiennes and Joseph Fiennes; 
  • a visit to Chavenage House in the Cotswolds, best known for its appearance in the Masterpiece series Poldark; and 
  • a stroll in the gardens of Highgrove House, the private home of Charles, The Prince of Wales. 

More Viking Cruise Extensions to Highclere Castle


Viking's highest-rated Pre/Post Cruise Extension, is available for guests on select river and ocean cruise itineraries. This Privileged Access extension provides guests with an exclusive three-day experience in the rolling hills of England’s countryside with a champagne welcome and a tour of the castle and estate. 


A 5-day Pre-Cruise Extension for the Pharaohs & Pyramids Nile River cruise itinerary, this tour gives guests an introduction to Egyptian antiquities in preparation for their Nile experience, and includes retracing the steps of the world’s most famous Egyptologist, Howard Carter, and his benefactor, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon. Guests experience Privileged Access to archives and museum exhibits not normally accessible to the public, and at Highclere Castle, have the opportunity view the earl’s magnificent private collection of Egyptian artifacts. 


The Viking Way
The Viking Way® of exploration goes beyond the expected and iconic, providing guests with itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences. Local Life excursions shine a light on everyday activities, such as Viking Chef-hosted trips to local farmers’ markets, tea at home with local residents and visits with local schoolchildren. Working World excursions feature behind-the-scenes “making of” experiences, illuminating destinations through their most famous exports, such as factory and farm visits. Privileged Access excursions include experiences such visiting St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum “behind closed doors;” a private cooking class in a Tuscan castle; three different extensions that visit Highclere Castle, the filming location of Downton Abbey; and an exclusive dinner in the Churchill War Rooms in London.

Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.

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