|Photo courtesy Viking River Cruises|
The latest additions follow two years in which Viking broke its own Guinness World Record for "the most ships inaugurated in one day by one company." The company christened 10 ships in 2013 and 16 last year.
The addition of the new ships officially brings Viking’s total river fleet size to 60.
“We are immensely proud of the response to our new ships that we continue to receive from guests and industry experts,” Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises, said in a statement marking the events.
Viking Cruises® has been honored as “Best River Cruise Line” in 2014, 2013 and 2011 by the editors of Cruise Critic® in the website's Editors’ Picks Awards. The publication also named Viking Longships “Best New River Ships” in 2012.
All 10 of the new Viking Longships, which bear the names of Norwegian gods, will be deployed on Viking’s itineraries in Europe, including three of the most popular itineraries – Grand European Tour, Romantic Danube and Rhine Getaway. Also, as a result of high consumer demand for the Elegant Elbe itinerary, the two new specially designed ships will double the company’s capacity on the Elbe River for 2015.
Hagen added that the company has six new river vessels on order for 2016 with the option to order more if demand dictates. Viking is the only river cruise company to operate in Europe, Russia, Ukraine, China, Southeast Asia and Egypt.
Later this spring, Viking will enter the ocean cruise market. 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. Read my post on the Star’s debut here.
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