LOS ANGELES, Jan. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Viking Cruises (www.vikingcruises.com) today announced that it has signed on as a sponsor of The Great British Baking Show, which recently premiered on PBS stations in the U.S. The new deal extends Viking's presence on PBS beyond its highly visible partnership with the celebrated series MASTERPIECE, which includes the Emmy® Award-winning series Downton Abbey and Sherlock. Similar to its MASTERPIECE sponsorship, Viking commercials will bookend each episode of The Great British Baking Show, airing on Sundays at 8 p.m. in January and February. Viking will also leverage recipes from the show across its marketing channels.
Already a hit series in the U.K., The Great British Baking Show follows the trials and tribulations of passionate amateur bakers whose goal is to be named the U.K.'s best. Each week, the bakers tackle a different skill, the difficulty of which increases as the competition unfolds. Mary Berry, a leading cookbook writer, and Paul Hollywood, a top artisan baker, serve as judges. Together with hosts and comic foils Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, Berry and Hollywood search for the country's best amateur baker by testing the competitors' skills on cakes, breads, pastries and desserts, crowning a winner after 10 weeks of competition.
"We have enjoyed an incredibly successful partnership with MASTERPIECE and PBS over the last four years largely because our audiences value the same types of enriching entertainment and life experiences," said Richard Marnell, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Viking Cruises. "Our guests are often interested in the intrinsic connection between food and travel, which makes The Great British Baking Show a particularly good fit for our brand. Of course we are also proud to support Mary Berry, godmother to our new Viking Longship Alsvin."
"The Great British Baking Show is a great complement to MASTERPIECE Downton Abbey, which Viking Cruises has supported for the last four years," said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming at PBS. "We are thrilled that Viking is also supporting The Great British Baking Show, which has been gaining a passionate audience of its own here in the U.S."
In March 2014, Viking set a world record for christening 18 vessels across four countries in five days – each of which was "named" by a prominent ceremonial godmother. Because enriching culinary experiences are at the heart of every experience Viking offers its guests, Mary Berry was selected as godmother of Viking Alsvin. "After spending some time onboard Viking Alsvin, I can see why people are so taken with river cruising. As someone who is fascinated by travel, culture and food destinations you certainly get a sense of the Viking spirit on board," Berry said at the christening.
With river cruising still the fastest-growing segment of travel, Viking continues to expand in order to meet customer demand. This year the company will launch more new river vessels and will introduce two new itineraries celebrating springtime on the Rhine River. Additionally, the company's first ocean ship, the 930-passenger Viking Star®, is currently in the final construction phase and will set sail in April 2015.
About Viking Cruises
Viking Cruises offers destination-centric river and ocean cruising designed for experienced travelers with an interest in geography, culture and history. Featuring onboard cultural enrichment and included shore excursions, Viking's journeys are competitively priced for genuine value. Debuting its maiden season of ocean cruising in 2015, the sophisticated state-of-the-art Viking Star will host 930 guests on itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic; the Western and Eastern Mediterranean; and the British Isles. Two additional ocean ships, Viking Sea and Viking Sky, are also on order. As the world's leading river cruise line, since its 1997 inception the company has grown to a fleet of 60 river vessels (in 2015) offering scenic cruising along the rivers of Europe, Russia, Egypt, China, and Southeast Asia. Viking has been honored multiple times in Travel + Leisure's "World's Best" Awards and Conde Nast Traveler's "Gold List" as well as recognized by the editors of Cruise Critic as "Best River Cruise Line," with the entire Viking Longships® fleet being named "Best New River Ships of 2012" in the website's Editors' Picks Awards. The travel trade has ranked Viking as the "Best River Cruise Line" by Travel Weekly, Recommend and Travel Agent magazines, "Best Cruise Line for Luxury River Cruises" at the Luxury Travel Advisor Awards of Excellence and as "Best Overall Cruise Line for River Cruising," "Best New River Cruise Ship" and for the sixth consecutive year, "Best River Cruise Line for Travel Agent Support" in the 2014 TravelAge West's WAVE Awards. For additional information, contact Viking Cruises at 1‑855‑8-VIKING (1‑855‑884‑5464) or visit www.vikingcruises.com. To join the Viking communities online, visit www.facebook.com/vikingcruises, www.facebook.com/vikingoceancruises and www.facebook.com/vikingrivercruises.
SOURCE Viking Cruises