PHOTO: Chief Viking Resident Historian Dr. Charles Doherty. (photo courtesy of Viking Cruises)
In a continuing effort to bring guests closer to destinations and their pasts, Viking Cruises is launching a Viking Resident Historian program aboard its Viking Star, Viking Sea and Viking Sky ocean ships.
Chief Viking Resident Historian Dr. Charles Doherty was aboard the Star when we took the ship to the Caribbean in 2016, and we shared a lovely shore excursion with him in St. Kitts. Now, he is heading up the enrichment program of onboard historians.
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The program will center around understanding the context of each particular cruise within world history. Interactive roundtable sessions will spur more intimate discussions as to where the group is traveling.
“Our guests are explorers – they are curious travelers who want to learn,” said Karine Hagen, Senior Vice President of Viking Cruises, in a press release. “Having a fundamental understanding of iconic historical events in the destinations our guests visit helps bring a deeper understanding of the present – and perhaps also a better perspective on the future.”
Viking Resident Historians begin by giving a history refresher course, and then other guest lecturers infill with their own areas of expertise for a broader perspective in regional art, architecture, music and more.
Meanwhile, Viking Resident Historians will lecture on iconic itinerary topics such as The Roman Empire, The Ottoman Empire, The Hanseatic League and Imperial Russia in Europe and Scandinavia. They will also conduct roundtable discussions, host history-themed dinners and have daily “office hours” to take additional questions and for other guest interactions.
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Doherty is producing the standardized program exclusively for Viking. Presentations will be given in The Theater, but each will also be filmed so that they can be viewed in guest cabins while onboard. By early 2018, they will all be available for on-demand viewing on the ocean and river ships as well.
Doherty has lectured in over 60 countries on behalf of The National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History. He earned his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and also went to the Courtauld Institute in London as a Fulbright Scholar.
Dr. Mark Callaghan, Lt. Colonel Tony Coutts-Britton and Dr. Fenella Bazin are the trio of Viking Resident Historians to first be featured on Viking’s current three ships this spring. Callaghan specializes in 20th-century European art and culture and will be aboard the Viking Sky. Coutts-Britton focuses on European military history from a social and political perspective and will be aboard the Viking Sea. Bazin specializes in the Age of the Vikings and modern Norway, and will be aboard the Viking Star.