2013 Preview: Eight New Viking Longships

The Class of 2013 is shaping up to be a great one for Viking River Cruises.  With six brand-new Viking Longships having entered service in 2012, the popular river cruise line is poised to launch an additional eight Longships in 2013.

Viking Idun, one of the new Viking Longships, docked along the Danube in Melk, Austria. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Each of the new Viking Longships will offer:

  • Two Explorer Suites, the largest river cruise suites in Europe at 445 square feet, 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.
  • Thirty-nine Veranda Staterooms with full-size verandas.
  • Twenty-two 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 TV’s 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.

One of the French Balcony staterooms aboard Viking Odin. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

The last point is particularly noteworthy: While onboard Viking Odin this past spring at her Amsterdam christening, I didn’t even notice that we had undocked and started navigating down the channel, despite the fact that my stateroom was located in the aft portion of the ship, closer to the engines.

With six ships already in service, the total number of new Longships on the waterways of Europe next year will rise to 14. Why is this such a big deal? Because it represents one of the largest expansions by a river cruise line in the history of the industry.

Viking Odin’s stunning interiors were designed by Yran & Storbraaten, the Norwegian design firm behind Seabourn’s recent luxury vessels. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Part of this can be attributed to greater public awareness of river cruising, and an increase in overall bookings. But even for Viking’s competitors, these additional eight vessels are good news, because they help to raise the profile of an industry that has already been described as the fastest growing segment of the entire travel industry.

And that’s good news all around.

More information on the Viking Longships can be found by visiting our complete Viking River Cruises profile here on River Cruise Advisor. Join us later this week as we report Live from onboard Viking Freya as she sails from Budapest, Hungary to Nuremberg, Germany.