Viking Cruises, the world’s most popular river cruise line, is once again expanding with a new batch of river ships in 2019.
In four ceremonies across Europe, Viking added seven new river vessels expanding from 65 to 72 river ships. Six of the ships are the cruise line’s award winning Longships and will sail Viking’s most popular itineraries on the Rhine, Main, and Danube Rivers.
The seventh ship (Viking Helgrim), known as a baby Longship, is specifically designed for the Douro River in Portugal. Viking will now have four of these ships to sail the Duoro.
In keeping with maritime tradition, Viking asked seven of their employees to serve as godmothers of these seven new ships.
The godmothers of Viking’s seven new vessels are:
- Leah Talactac, Godmosther of Viking Einar
- Natalia Hofmann, Godmother of Viking Helgrim
- Wendy Atkin-Smith, Godmother of Viking Sigrun
- Rikke Semb Pertile, Godmother of Viking Sigyn
- Gisela Rückert, Godmother of Viking Tir
- Linh Banh, Godmother of Viking Ullur
- Minxuan Zhao, Godmother of Viking Vali
At a press conference before the christening ceremony in Basel, Viking’s Chairman Torstein Hagen talked about future expansion of Viking’s river and ocean ships. He also briefly touched on the company’s entrance into expedition cruising in the near future.
With six ocean ships currently in service, Viking has another six under contract/construction with four more on option. To put into perspective how fast Viking is growing, they launched their first ocean ship, Viking Star, just four years ago. Hagen stated that they are virtually sold out for 2019 with limited availability on select sailings.
Viking has another seven river ships scheduled to debut in 2020. They will be comprised of two Longships and four ships specifically designed for the Seine River in France. Viking signed a 15 year contract to be able to dock their ships near the Eiffel Tower.
The seventh ship will sail the Nile River in Egypt.
So what do we know about Viking’s entrance into expedition cruising? Well, not much at this point. The press conference held before the christening was the first time that the cruise line has publicly commented on the expedition ships that they signed a LOI with Vard.
Hagen said the ships will be small, but larger than current expedition ships. Cruise Fever will have all details about ships when Viking releases more information.
When will Viking begin offering cruises on the Mississippi River? Hagen once again joked that will be before Mardi Gras. We just don’t know which year before Mardi Gras.
What has fueled Viking’s fast growth in the cruise industry? Viking believes in offering a fair price that comes with tremendous value. They believe if they can offer a great cruise experience, everything else will fall into place.
Hagen ended the press conference by talking about when you travel, you make the world a better place. There’s no better way to see the world than to travel in comfort with Viking.