Spending some time in and around Amsterdam before and after the 2015 Viking Longships Christening, we brought home some bonus travel memories. Christening a dozen ships in one day, a formidable effort by any other cruise line, came naturally for Viking River Cruises. Showcasing their talent for bringing the best of destinations to Viking Guests, Viking sponsored a number of interesting experiences, ranging from learning to paint in the school of Van Gogh to a local Netherlands brewery that seems to be giving iconic Heineken a run for their money. These are my favorite images from that flawless event.
After christening 18 in one Guinness World Record day last year, the 12 new ships this year saw a bit more reflective Viking as the line brought the total to 64 ships in the water. Well on the way to an unofficial goal of 100 ships, Viking took the time to thank their employees; Godmothers to all the 2015 Viking Longships.
At the 2015 Viking Longships Christening, the Captains of all 12 ships being named that day were on hand and made for a great parade to begin the event.
At a press conference just before the 2015 Viking Longships Christening, Viking Cruises chairman Torstein Hagan answered questions ranging from how many more ships would be built in the future to reiterating company values which have served them so very well. Later that night, Hagan would be honored by his employees at a post-christening dinner, unbeknown to him at the time of this photo.
We enjoyed a number of interesting dinners aboard Viking Longships during our time in Amsterdam.
A very happy Torstein Hagan, Viking Cruises chairman on the day his company christened 12 new ships.
Amsterdam is the home to a number of art schools with some specializing in the work of Vincent Van Gogh. Interestingly, we had studied Van Gogh’s work in depth just last summer on Viking’s Portraits Of Southern France Itinerary, along with a number of other artists.
During our art class, local guide Carolyn added context to the art instructor’s words during a session that began with authentic Dutch Apple Pie and coffee. Pictured here also (top) cruise expert Peter Knego (Maritime Matters) and his work in progress as well as my attempt (left) to connect with Van Gogh’s work.
It was just the beginning of tulip season in Amsterdam and some of the ships christened at the event would be doing Viking’s popular Tulips and Windmills itinerary the next week.
At the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem, Netherlands, a different twist on standard museum fare. Each display setting also featured a variety of tulips, nicely arranged to complement the works in that area.
Also an instruction class on the basics of painting, this experience is not a Viking tour but available for groups of 8 or more when in town, scheduled in advance for about €45-50 per person. A deal.
Waiting for us in Haarlem, Netherlands; a great lunch made better with Jopen Brewery’s Summer Ale- very much along the lines of Alaska Brewing Company Summer or White Ale.
Served farm style, everything is on the table when guests come to lunch at the Jopen Brewery
Jopen brewery is in an old church in Haarlem, Netherlands and makes for an excellent place to connect with locals