The brand-new, 443-foot long vessel was christened by Janice Farrar-Titus, the late wife of renowned cruise industry innovator Warren Titus. After the traditional bottle of champagne had been successfully broken against the ship’s hull, Farrar-Titus blessed the ship and all her future voyages, saying, “may you begin your cruising days under a rainbow and sunny skies, and may you follow that rainbow around the bends in the river to the pot of gold.”
Capable of carrying just 188 passengers, Viking Prestige is set to embark on her maiden voyage, a 15-day Grand European Tour, in Amsterdam on Saturday, July 2. Following this spectacular cruise, Viking Prestige will begin her regular run operating the popular 8-day Romantic Danube itinerary. Travelling between Budapest and Nuremburg, this exciting voyage calls on ports in Hungary, Austria and Germany.
“This is a proud time for everyone at Viking River Cruises,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking River Cruises, said back in May. “I also find great significance in having Mrs. Titus as the ship’s godmother, considering my unparalleled respect for Warren Titus and his contributions to our industry with Royal Viking Line and Seabourn. It is additionally appropriate because June 30, our christening date, would have been Warren’s 96th birthday.”
The second “green ship” after Viking Legend, Viking Prestige will boast the same efficient features designed to benefit both the environment and passengers alike. At its core is a unique hybrid propulsion system that uses less fuel, produces minimal vibrations and offers passengers a smoother river cruise experience.
Onboard, Viking once again employed the talents of Yran & Storbraaten to work their magic on the ship’s interiors, drawing inspiration from one of cruising’s most celebrated forerunners: the much-beloved Royal Viking Line. Unobstructed panoramic views feature in every public room, and every stateroom aboard Viking Prestige is an ocean-view stateroom. French balconies are present on both Upper and Middle decks.
Viking Prestige is part of an ambitious $250-million fleet development program that was first announced last year. Between 2012 and 2014, ten new vessels will be constructed for Viking River Cruises, including the game-changing Viking Longships, an entirely new class of river cruise ship set to debut next spring.
To celebrate the launch of Viking Prestige, Viking is currently offering two-for-one cruise fares with complimentary wine, plus savings on all-inclusive roundtrip international airfare. These are available for all 2011 and 2012 voyages if booked before July 31, 2011.