Viking River Cruises Extends Sponsorship Of PBS' Masterpiece For Additional Year

With 24 Emmy® Nominations Just Announced for MASTERPIECE, New Sponsorship Deal Extends Through Season Five of "Downton Abbey"

Jul 17, 2014, 09:00 ET from Viking River Cruises

LOS ANGELES, July 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Viking River Cruises ( announced today it has renewed its national corporate sponsorship of PBS' celebrated series MASTERPIECE for another year. The announcement comes on the heels of MASTERPIECE earning 24 nominations for the 2014 Primetime Emmy® Awards, which will be given out in a ceremony on August 25. The new deal will extend through 2015 and will support programming that includes season five of the Emmy® Award-winning series Downton Abbey, as well as the hit series Mr. Selfridge and the Emmy®-nominated Sherlock. Viking first came onboard as a MASTERPIECE national corporate sponsor in 2011.

"Our partnership with MASTERPIECE is successful largely because of similarities between our audiences. Viking's guests, many of whom are MASTERPIECE viewers, enrich their lives through history, culture and exploration," said Richard Marnell, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Viking River Cruises. "We strongly believe in marketing the Viking experience to like-minded travelers, so we are proud to continue our relationship with MASTERPIECE, and we congratulate them on their 2014 Emmy nominations."

"I'm very honored to say that after 44 years, MASTERPIECE continues to make news, win awards, and attract new audiences," said MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton. "How many other television series have the great good fortune to make that claim? It's the fine work of our British partners and the solid support of PBS, our colleagues at Viking River Cruises and others that makes this all possible."

In addition to its MASTERPIECE sponsorship – and as a response to the incredible popularity of Downton Abbey – Viking also offers its guests an optional excursion to Highclere Castle, the setting of the hit series. The Oxford & Highclere Castle pre- or post- trip experience is available for guests on the Cities of Light or Paris & the Heart of Normandy itineraries. Co-created with the owners of Highclere Castle, the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, Viking guests spend three days in the rolling hills of England's countryside, with a champagne welcome and special tour of the famous home.

With river cruising as the fastest-growing segment of travel, Viking is expanding rapidly to meet customer demand. In March, Viking broke its own world record and christened 18 vessels across four countries in five days. Viking also recently announced it plans to launch 12 new river vessels in 2015, bringing the company's total river fleet size to 64 vessels next year. Additionally, the company's first ocean ship, the 930-passenger Viking Star®, is currently under construction and will set sail in early 2015.

For more information, visit or contact For booking details, contact a travel agent or call Viking River Cruises toll-free at 1-877-66VIKING (1-877-668-4546).

Production credits include:

  • Downton Abbey: A Carnival Films/MASTERPIECE Co-Production in association with NBCUniversal
  • Sherlock: A Hartswood West for BBC/CYMRU Wales in Co-Production with Masterpiece
  • Mr. Selfridge: A Co-Production of ITV Studios and Masterpiece

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, will debut in 2016. As the world's leading river cruise line, since its 1997 inception the company has grown to a fleet of 53 river vessels (in 2014) 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 To join the Viking communities online, visit, and

Logo -

SOURCE Viking River Cruises