Marking another year of impressive growth, Viking River Cruises recently welcomed the newest additions to its fleet of river cruise vessels at a simultaneous christening ceremony in Amsterdam and Rostock, Germany. The company christened a total of 12 new river vessels, including 10 of its award-winning Viking Longships® and two custom vessels for the Elbe River. This event officially brings Viking’s total river fleet size to 60 and comes just one year after the company set a GUINNESS WORLD RECORD™ for the most new ships launched in a single day.
All 10 of the new Viking Longships will be deployed on Viking’s itineraries in Europe, including three of the most popular itineraries – Grand European Tour, Romantic Danube and Rhine Getaway. Also, as a result of high consumer demand for the Elegant Elbe itinerary, the two new specially designed ships will double the company’s capacity on the Elbe River for 2015.
“We are immensely proud of the response to our new ships that we continue to receive from guests and industry experts,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. “It is always important that we recognize those who have helped us achieve success, and this year I am especially pleased to honor fellow Vikings as godmothers of our newest river vessels.”
Staying true to the naval tradition, Viking named 12 of its longest-serving employees as ceremonial godmothers for the new ships. With representation from Viking’s onboard operations team, as well as from the operational headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, the corporate headquarters in Los Angeles and the London office, each godmother represents a department that has contributed to the consistently high guest satisfaction ratings and the growth and success of the company. The full list of godmothers includes:
- Donora Anderson, Senior Director of Operations and godmother of Viking Skirnir
- Clare Armitage, Senior Operations Executive and godmother of Viking Eir
- Sinemie Bakker, Program Director and godmother of Viking Astrild
- Henrieta Balisova, Program Director and godmother of Viking Vili
- Adriana Filkaszova, Receptionist and godmother of Viking Beyla
- Jana Hudakova, Chief Receptionist and godmother of Viking Mimir
- Miriam Kajuchova, Housekeeper and godmother of Viking Ve
- Karoline Landa, Controller & Hotel Manager and godmother of Viking Lofn
- Kornelia Pfeiffenberger, Hotel Manager and godmother of Viking Vidar
- Faye Pirie, Specialist Cruise Consultant and godmother of Viking Modi
- Julie Rosoff, Senior Director of Marketing Services and godmother of Viking Mani
- Verona Thiele, Concierge and godmother of Viking Gefjon
Since debuting in 2012, Viking Longships have amassed a long list of prestigious awards. They topped Condé Nast Traveler’s annual readers’ Cruise Poll for best river cruise ships – with Viking Odin specifically being named the #1 top-ranking river cruise ship – and the entire class of vessels was named “Best New River Ships” in Cruise Critic’s® Editors’ Picks Awards.
Viking Longships integrate a patented corridor design and cutting-edge technology with comfortable amenities that reflect guest preferences and current travel trends. These features include a revolutionary all-weather indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace that reinvents the onboard lounge experience by bringing the panoramic outdoor river scenery indoors with retractable floor-to-ceiling glass doors and allows guests to enjoy the views and dine al fresco. Accommodating 190 passengers in 95 staterooms, Viking Longships have a patented layout that allows for two Explorer Suites – the largest river cruise suites in Europe – as well as seven two-room Veranda Suites with a full-size veranda in the living room and a French balcony in the bedroom; 39 Veranda Staterooms with full-size verandas; and 22 French Balcony Staterooms. Additionally, all Longships have sustainability upgrades, such as onboard solar panels and organic herb gardens, and energy-efficient hybrid engines that also reduce vibrations for a remarkably smooth ride.
Hosting 98 guests in 49 staterooms, sister ships Viking Astrild and Viking Beyla will be the newest and most modern ships sailing the Elbe River. Smaller than Viking Longships, with customized hulls and engines specially designed to navigate this unique river, these ships tout many of the same popular features – including an Aquavit Terrace, a wide variety of stateroom choices, hotel-style beds, energy-efficient hybrid engines, onboard solar panels and an organic herb garden, as well as Viking’s signature Scandinavian design aesthetic.
The expansion of Viking’s fleet comes as a response to increased traveler demand for destination-focused cruises, and there is still an opportunity to sail in 2015. Guests interested in current special savings discounts for 2015 departures and early pricing promotions for 2016 departures should visit the promotions page located on www.vikingrivercruises.com.