It was an honor and privilege to be present for Viking River Cruises’ 2015 inaugural event in Amsterdam where 12 new riverboats were just christened, eight onsite and four at the Neptun Werft shipyard in Rostock, Germany. Averaging 10 ships launched every year since 2012, this now brings Viking River Cruises total count of vessels to an impressive 60, 40 of which are the line’s revolutionary Longships.
Three of the New Viking Longships (Copyright © Jason Leppert)
This year, ten new Viking Longships and two smaller variants for the Elbe River were introduced. These latest designs expertly maximize space and passenger capacity to reduce guest costs. Such innovations as as offset central cabin corridor and quieter engines allow for more stateroom and suite choices. The Longships thus comfortably accommodate 190 passengers in 95 private rooms.
Viking Skirnir Atrium (Copyright © Jason Leppert)
Shorter in length, reduced in height and shallower in draft to navigate the Elbe River’s unique properties, the Viking Astrild and Viking Beyla alternatively carry 98 guests in 49 staterooms. Still, they both feature accommodations comparable to the Longships such as the Aquavit Terrace for al fresco meals and lounging at the ship’s bow as well as a wide variety of cabin choices.
Torstein Hagen (center) and the Godmothers (Copyright © Jason Leppert)
What’s more, the godmothers for these 12 new ships were selected from within the Viking River Cruises family of employees to celebrate their importance to the continued success of the company. The godmothers and ships for 2015 are listed as follows:
Donora Anderson, Senior Director of Operations and godmother of Viking Skirnir
Clare Armitage, Senior Operations Executive and godmother of Viking Eir
Sinemie Bakker, Program Director and godmother of Viking Astrild
Henrieta Balisova, Program Director and godmother of Viking Vili
A Row of Longships with Champagne Christening Bottles at the Ready (Copyright © Jason Leppert)
Adriana Filkaszova, Receptionist and godmother of Viking Beyla
Jana Hudakova, Chief Receptionist and godmother of Viking Mimir
Miriam Kajuchova, Housekeeper and godmother of Viking Ve
Karoline Landa, Controller & Hotel Manager and godmother of Viking Lofn
Viking Skirnir Lounge (Copyright © Jason Leppert)
Kornelia Pfeiffenberger, Hotel Manager and godmother of Viking Vidar
Faye Pirie, Specialist Cruise Consultant and godmother of Viking Modi
Julie Rosoff, Senior Director of Marketing Services and godmother of Viking Mani
Verona Thiele, Concierge and godmother of Viking Gefjon
Fantastic Live Christening Entertainment (Copyright © Jason Leppert)
“We are immensely proud of the response to our new ships that we continue to receive from guests and industry experts,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. “It is always important that we recognize those who have helped us achieve success, and this year I am especially pleased to honor fellow Vikings as godmothers of our newest river vessels.”
A Celebration of the Viking River Cruises Staff (Copyright © Jason Leppert)
The 10 new Longships will set sail in Europe on itinerary favorites like Grand European Tour, Romantic Danube, and Rhine Getaway while the 2 new Elbe River vessels will embark on the Elegant Elbe itinerary.
Aerial Acrobatics Crown the Evening (Copyright © Jason Leppert)
Next up for Viking is the launch of the company’s first ocean-going cruise ship, the Viking Star, which Viking Ocean Cruises will take possession of this coming weekend and launch in April 2015. Stay tuned to Popular Cruising as we report from onboard and at the new ship’s christening in May 2015. And for 2016, there are yet another 6 Longships coming online.
Passing Shot of Viking Skirnir (Copyright © Jason Leppert)
HEADER IMAGE SOURCE: JASON LEPPERT