LOS ANGELES, March 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Viking River Cruises (www.vikingrivercruises.com) today welcomed the latest additions to its fleet with the christening of six new Viking Longships® during a waterfront celebration in Amsterdam. Recognizing the contribution the travel trade has made to the growth of the river cruise industry, Viking honored six of its key partners by naming them as ceremonial godmothers for the six new ships.
This christening event marks another year of impressive expansion for Viking, occurring just two years after the company set a second GUINNESS WORLD RECORD™ for the most new ships launched in a single day, and just one month before Viking Ocean Cruises launches its second ship, Viking Sea. Of the six new Longships, four will be deployed on Viking's most popular itineraries on the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers; the remaining two will sail the Seine River on Viking's Paris and the Heart of Normandy itinerary. Later this month, Viking will also debut a seventh new river ship for 2016, Viking Osfrid, which is inspired by the Longships design and specifically built for the Douro River, bringing the company's total number of ships in Portugal to three.
"River cruising remains one of the fastest-growing segments of travel, and we would not be the leading river cruise line without the help of travel agents," said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking Cruises. "The naming of ships by ceremonial godmothers is a naval tradition that dates back thousands of years. The partners we have chosen to name our newest ships are experts in their field, and as Viking has marketed the concept of river cruises over the last two decades, they have always recognized our value in the industry. We are honored to have their support and their participation in this year's celebration."
The prominent women who will serve as Viking Longship godmothers represent travel trade organizations from across North America and the United Kingdom and include:
- Lisa Anciaux, Godmother of Viking Rolf, is the Director of Travel Products for AAA Washington.
- Beth Butzlaff, Godmother of Viking Kadlin, is the Managing Director of Cruise Sales for Virtuoso.
- Michelle Chimko, Godmother of Viking Alruna, is the Chief Operating Officer of Alberta Motor Association.
- Jennifer Gasser, Godmother of Viking Egil, is the Vice President of Supplier Relations and Product Operations for World Travel Holdings.
- Beryl Gibson, Godmother of Viking Vilhjalm, is the Joint Owner of Northumbria Travel Limited.
- Sinead O'Connell, Godmother of Viking Tialfi, is the Director of Industry Relations for Vacation.com.
Since their debut, Viking Longships have amassed a long list of prestigious awards. Most recently, Viking topped USA Today's annual Readers' Choice Cruise Poll for best river cruise line, and the entire Viking Longships fleet has been 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. Staterooms include comfortable amenities such as hotel-style beds, heated bathroom floors, mini fridge, and both U.S. and EU outlets. 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.
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. As the world's leading river cruise line, since its 1997 inception the company has grown to a fleet of 59 river vessels (in 2016) offering scenic cruising along the rivers of Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Egypt, China and Southeast Asia. Named Cruise Critic's "Best New Ocean Ship" of 2015, the sophisticated state-of-the-art Viking Star hosts 930 guests on itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic; the Western and Eastern Mediterranean; and the Caribbean and North America. The company's second ocean ship, Viking Sea, will launch in April 2016, and a third ship, Viking Sky, is under construction. In 2015 Viking was rated the highest of all cruise lines in Travel + Leisure's "World's Best" Awards after appearing on – and topping – the river cruise rankings multiple times. Viking has also been honored multiple times Condé Nast Traveler's "Gold List" as well as recognized by the editors of Cruise Critic as "Best River Cruise Line" and "Best River Itineraries," with the entire Viking Longships® fleet being named "Best New River Ships" 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 seventh consecutive year, "Best River Cruise Line for Travel Agent Support" in the 2015 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 Cruises community online, visit www.facebook.com/vikingcruises, www.facebook.com/vikingoceancruises and www.facebook.com/vikingrivercruises.
SOURCE Viking River Cruises