More exciting news for fans of Viking River Cruises’trendsetting Viking Longships: the California-based line announced that it has expanded its 2013 newbuild order from eight to 10 ships, which will bring the total in operation along the waterways of Europe to 16 by the end of 2013.
What’s more, the company is planning the largest christening event of its kind in late March 2013, as it christens eight Viking Longships in a single go; four more than this year’s christening of lead ships Viking Freya, Viking Idun, Viking Odin and Viking Njord.
“The river cruise segment is rapidly growing, as more travelers are inspired to experience old destinations in a new way,” says Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking River Cruises. “Because of the overwhelmingly positive response we have seen from our passengers in the first season of our revolutionary new Viking Longships, we are pleased to continue our expansion to meet that demand.”
The last two Longships, Viking Baldur and Viking Magni, will join the fleet in the summer of 2013.
Currently under construction at the Neptun Werft shipyards in Rostock, Germany, the new Longships will sail some of Viking’s most popular European itineraries. The Longships have arguably been Viking’s most successful ships to-date, with extra features like the combination indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace, floor-to-ceiling windows, and two spectacular aft-facing suites that are the talk of the ship.
Viking’s confidence in the success of these new Longships is evident in the numerous patents the company has applied for, covering everything from the ship’s corridor arrangement to the design of its distinctive bow shape.
We’ve just returned from the Viking Freya along the Danube, and we had a chance to check out some of the minor but no less fascinating differences between Viking Freya, launched this spring, and Viking Embla, which entered service in the summer. Stay tuned later this week for an exciting look at the evolution of the Viking Longships.