Viking announces Six More Viking Longships

By the end of 2013, 12 new Longships will have joined the Viking Fleet; we report live from the Christening on March 21, 2012.

Viking River Cruises just announced an additional six Longships, to enter service next year. Photo courtesy of Viking River Cruises.

To say that Viking River Cruises is on a roll is a profound understatement. This year, the line is introducing six of its most ambitious ships to date: the Viking Longships, two of which will be christened at the port of Amsterdam on Wednesday, March 21, with the other four entering service later on in the year.

While we’ll be covering this momentous event live from Amsterdam next week here on River Cruise Advisor and our sister-site, From the Deck Chair,Viking River Cruises surprised the industry on Wednesday by announcing another six Viking Longships to debut in 2013.

A rendering of the foyer and central staircase aboard the new Viking Longships, set to debut next week. Photo courtesy of Viking River Cruises

“The new orders reflect the great interest in Viking River Cruises and its revolutionary Longships,” said Viking’s Chairman Torstein Hagen.

The river cruise industry is one of the fastest growing travel sectors in the world, and by the end of 2013, Viking will have increased its fleet size by 12 ships, marking a new era both for the company and the river cruise industry, which has never before seen that kind of tonnage enter service in such a short period of time.

If you haven’t heard about these stunning vessels before, here’s a glimpse of some of their noteworthy features:

  • Two Explorer Suites, which at 445 square feet will be the largest river cruise suites in Europe, each featuring a separate living room, bedroom and private wraparound veranda, offering 270-degree views.
  • 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.
  • 22 French Balcony Staterooms.
  • A revolutionary new all-weather indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace, which reinvents the onboard lounge experience by bringing the panoramic outdoor river scenery indoors with retractable floor-to-ceiling glass doors allowing guests to enjoy the scenery and dine al fresco.
  • New premium in-cabin amenities that include heated bathroom floors and mirrors, Sony HD TVs, and premium bath products.
  • Sustainability upgrades, such as solar panels, an onboard organic herb garden and energy-efficient hybrid engines that reduce vibrations for a remarkably smooth ride.

The new Explorer Suites are the crown jewel of staterooms aboard the new Viking Longships. Illustration courtesy of Viking River Cruises.

The Viking Longships are also designed to appeal to mainstream cruisers, with interiors designed by the celebrated firm of Yran & Storbraaten. Each of the 12 Longships are being built by Neptun Werft, the river cruising arm of German shipbuilder Meyer Werft, also no stranger to cruise ship construction.

Next week, we’ll travel to Amsterdam to witness the christening of Viking Odin, one of the first Viking Longships to enter service. In addition to top-to-bottom photographs of this ship in all its glory, the Avid Cruiser’s Ralph Grizzle will be sailing along for the first inaugural preview cruise and will have a full report on this beautiful vessel as she sails through the Netherlands during the springtime.

The Lounge area aboard the new Viking Longships. Illustration courtesy of Viking River Cruises

Earlier this year, we said 2012 will be known as the year of the River Cruise. With this new announcement, the next two years could very well be The Year of the Viking!

Coverage of the christening of the Viking Longships begins Tuesday, March 20, pending internet signal availability and our ability to recover quickly from jet-lag! Why wait to get onboard the Longships? Check out our full Viking River Cruises profile right here on River Cruise Advisor!