Viking River Cruises Announces Two More Newbuilds for 2012
By Theresa Norton Masek
August 17, 2011 4:54 PM
Viking River Cruises has ordered two more ships in its “Longships” class for delivery in 2012, bringing the total of new vessels to six. These two new ships are part of company’s $250 million fleet development program, comprised of several complete refurbishments plus the introduction of 10 new Viking Longships by 2014.
The two new ships -- Viking Embla and Viking Aegir -- will make their debut in July and August 2012, respectively, joining sister ships -- Viking Freya, Viking Idun, Viking Njord and Viking Odin (to be christened in March 2012).
“Ever since we announced the introduction of the Viking Longships earlier this year, the response has been overwhelming,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman and CEO of Viking River Cruises. “To accommodate the demand, we have decided to accelerate the newbuilds schedule and bring two more Viking Longships into the fleet in 2012.”
The Longships are a new class of vessel designed by maritime architects Yran & Storbraaten, the team behind the Disney Dream and the Yachts of Seabourn.
By shifting the corridor one meter and reorienting the staterooms, this patent-pending design of an asymmetrical corridor configuration creates additional space and a variety of stateroom choices, the company said in a statement. The result is what the company calls “the largest real suites in Europe” because they feature separate sleeping and living rooms in Explorer Suites and Veranda Suites. Plus, three-quarters of staterooms will feature a veranda, French balcony or both.
Each of the Viking Longships will be 443 feet long with 95 staterooms. Each will feature two 445-square-foot Explorer Suites with a separate living room, bedroom, bathroom and private wrap-around veranda. The seven 275-square-foot Veranda Suites will have a full-size veranda in the living room and a French balcony in the bedroom. The 39 Veranda Staterooms, with full-size verandas, will measure a total 205 square feet.
The new indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace will have retractable floor-to-ceiling glass doors so it can be used in any weather. An al fresco dining area will be located on the Upper deck, adjacent to the lounge. Sustainability upgrades include energy-efficient hybrid engines, solar panels and an onboard organic herb garden.
Named after key individuals from Norse mythology, the six ships are scheduled to sail Viking’s most popular European itineraries including the 15-day “Grand European Tour,” the eight-day “Romantic Danube,” the eight-day “Danube Waltz,” the 10-day “Tulips & Windmills” and the eight-day “Rhine Getaway.” Also, additional departures were added in late 2012 to visit European Christmas markets.
Viking River Cruises pays agents commission on everything they sell, with payment 29 days prior to departure; commissions average more than $1,200 per booking. Viking also offers many commissionable upgrades, including a Travel Protection Plan, land extensions and various air programs. Viking’s all-inclusive pricing covers accommodations, all onboard meals, daily guided shore excursions, port charges and more. Agents who have registered at Viking’s travel agent portal can also create their own co-branded Viking website, allowing them to give clients access to current Viking information but featuring their own agency name, contact information and logo. For more information, call 877-66-VIKING.