Ever since I first stepped onboard the Viking Odin in 2012, I’ve been hooked on river cruising, especially Viking River Cruises. As much as I will always love ocean cruising – including Viking’s own entry into this market – I’m also forever a fan of river cruising.

Come March 18, 2014, in Avignon, France, there will be a whole new batch of Viking Longships to appreciate. On this date, there will be 14 new riverboats christened, and we will be there to document the grand event and preview a new French itinerary.

Please feel free to follow our journey and ask any questions about Viking River Cruises, the Viking Longships or the itinerary along the way in the “Leave a Reply” section below this article, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Viking Longships Christening 2014

Following our fantastic experiences onboard the Viking Odin, Viking Freya and Viking Embla, we will board the new Viking Heimdal – one of the 14 vessels to be christened this year. The ceremony (like the one from 2012 pictured in the header above) will bring the grand total of newly designed Longships to 30, all impressively launched within a period of only three years.


The Viking Embla Longship
(Copyright © Jason Leppert)

It’s been enjoyable for us to discover the incremental improvements that have been made to the Viking Longships as they have been progressively launched, and we will certainly keep an eye out for the latest evolutionary changes. Certainly, the bulk of the specs will be in keeping with the first revolutionary design including the offset cabin corridor that maximizes stateroom and suite sizes and configurations. The convertible al fresco Aquavit Terrace, a favorite spot of ours at the bow, will also be onboard.


The Wonderful Aquavit Terrace
(Copyright © Jason Leppert)

Our time spent on the Viking Heimdal will briefly include two nights and a single gala dinner cruise before we disembark, but this adventure does not end there because we are then off to Bordeaux, France to rendezvous – yes, a French word appropriately enough – with the Viking Forseti.

French Preview Cruise

As far as our examination of the Viking Longship design evolution is concerned, the Viking Forseti will be a step back in time as one of the riverboats that was christened last year. Nonetheless, she is entirely brand new to us, and we can’t wait to experience a four-day preview cruise onboard. For 2014, Viking is introducing the new Châteaux, Rivers & Wine itinerary sailing through the famed wine region of France. Ordinarily, the full journey, plotted on the map below, is eight days in length.


The Route
(Copyright © Viking River Cruises)

The exact route of our mini cruise is not yet known, but we’re sure it will include a number of great opportunities to sample exquisite French wines while embarking on several guided tours. These are always a highlight of any Viking river cruise thanks to the close proximity of the historic destinations to the Longships themselves. As we say goodbye for now, please say hello to the Norse mythological figures for which the fleet is named: Aegir, Alsvin, Atla, Baldur, Bestla, Bragi, Buri, Delling, Embla, Eistla, Forseti, Freya, Gullveig, Heimdal, Hermod, Hlin, Idi, Idun, Ingvi, Jarl, Kara, Kvasir, Lif, Magni, Njord, Odin, Rinda, Skadi, Tor, and Var.


Viking Guided Tours
(Copyright © Jason Leppert)

For more information about the Viking Longships, visit Viking River Cruises website here.

Do you have any questions about the Viking Heimdal, Viking Forseti, Viking River Cruises or this new itinerary? Please feel free to ask us in the “Leave a Reply” section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

HEADER IMAGE SOURCE: JASON LEPPERT

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