Viking River Cruises Christens 10 New Longships
In an Amsterdam christening ceremony today, Viking River Cruises added an incredible ten new longships to their fleet. This addition is just one part of an $800 million investment in 24 ships—new builds and refurbishments—that will make 2013 a record-breaking year for the river cruise industry.
The ceremony kicked off with celebratory sprays of water by local fireboats, a heart-pounding performance by Viking drummers, and plenty of red-and-white balloons. The ships’ godmothers included Dertje Meijer (CEO of the Port of Amsterdam), Agapi Stassinopoulous (author of Conversations with the Goddesses and sister of Ariana Huffington), and Fiona Carnarvon (manager of affairs at Highclere Castle, aka Downton Abbey, which is sponsored by Viking River Cruises).
Viking pays homage to its namesakes’ legacy by naming the new ships for fierce Norse mythological figures; the likes of Aegir, a sea giant, Skadi, the goddess of winter and mountains, and Tor, the Thunderer, lend their names to the luxurious new vessels.
The new longship design has proven a major success: out of 50,000 cabins for sale until October this year, only 600 aren’t yet sold. The vessels each accommodate 190 passengers in luxurious suites and staterooms and feature state-of-the-art amenities. Viking has even introduced sustainability upgrades in the build of their fleet, such as solar panels, on-board organic herb gardens and energy-efficient hybrid engines that reduce vibrations.
FROSCH’s VP of Leisure Sales Ralph Cooper is in Amsterdam this week to help Viking celebrate their new ships. We’ll update this post as he sends in more photos and news.