Cruise Critic names Viking 'Best River Cruise Line' of 2013

Viking Cruises® has been honored as “Best River Cruise Line” by the editors of Cruise Critic® in the website's 6th Annual Editors’ Picks Awards.

In making the award, Cruise Critic’s international team of editors recognized Viking for its expansive fleet of new ships and the number of choices it can offer its guests.

This is not the first time Viking has been accorded high honors. Viking Cruises was also named “Best River Cruise Line” in 2011, and the new Viking Longships were named “Best New River Ships” in 2012.

“To again receive Cruise Critic’s top award for a river cruise line is a wonderful testament to the entire Viking team,” Torstein Hagen, Viking’s chairman, said in a statement following the announcement of the line’s honor. “We are the biggest river cruise line, but we will also always strive to the best— and having the editorial staff of Cruise Critic acknowledge Viking as such is the capstone of a remarkable year.”

Viking Cruises is currently in the midst of the most aggressive new shipbuilding effort in the industry, Cruise Critic noted. In March, Viking set a world record with the christening of 10 new Viking Longships®. In 2014, the company plans to launch an additional 14 Longships.

“Numbers mean options,” Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic said.

Viking Cruises was established in 1997 with four Russian river cruise vessels and a company name to honor the Vikings who first traveled by longship to explore Russia’s waterways. Today, Viking owns and operates 35 river vessels, making it the world’s largest fleet of river vessels.

The honor comes amid unprecedented levels of consumer interest in river cruising, the company said.Viking’s 2013 season was 96% sold out when the award was announced Oct. 17, and the company was more than 53% sold out for 2014.

Viking is the only river cruise company to operate in Europe, Russia, Ukraine, China, Southeast Asia and Egypt.

In 2015, Viking will launch its new ocean cruises. Viking’s ocean cruises will begin sailing in May 2015 with its first vessel — the 930-passenger all-veranda Viking Star — embarking on maiden voyages in Scandinavia and the Baltic, and the Mediterranean, the company said. Click here to read my previous post on the topic.

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