At the end of the month, we travel to Amsterdam for what has become an annual event; the launch of more new game-changing Viking Longships from Viking River Cruises. Arguably the hottest tickets in town for we who cover such events, it’s a ceremony heavy on tradition as new ship christenings are, regardless of the cruise line. Today we begin the Countdown To Christening (see this page, right) which runs as a daily feature here between now and the actual event itself. Along the way, we take a look back at previous Viking Longships christening events, tell more of where Viking River Cruises are right now, their plans for the future and more. Here’s what to expect.
“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 of the Viking Longships Class of 2015. The March 2015 event which launched 12 new Viking Longships bestowed the honor of Godmother on Viking’s longest-serving employees. “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.”
Viking Longships Christening- Credit Where Credit Was Due
It’s that recognition of long-serving employees thought I would like you to hang on to as we review christening events of the past, all of which have been far more than smacking a bottle of Champagne against each new Longships’ hull. The notion of honoring Viking employees goes a bit against the grain of what other cruise lines do, most commonly deferring to the star power of well-known celebrities to launch ships and perhaps bring the event more attention. Still, it’s one part of the Viking organization we really like and one that has us eager to sail again, year after year. Look for this topic to come up frequently between now and the 2016 christening in Amsterdam.
Viking Longships Christening- Vikings Take No Prisoners
Just about any cruise line that might launch multiple ships on one day would be happy to simply accomplish that feat. Vikings think a bit differently though, most often going against the tide of what those ‘other lines’ might do. That ‘take no prisoners’ way of doing business has earned Viking Longships a long list of awards ranging from top honors on the Conde Nast Traveler’ annual reader poll to Best New River Ships from the Cruise Critic Editor’s Picks Awards. We’ll take a look back at christenings since the debut of Viking Longships in 2012, including the 2014 Christening when 18 ships were christened in one day.
Viking Longships Christening- About Viking Longships
Viking Longships are unique for a number of reasons. First, Viking Longships integrate a patented corridor design and cutting-edge technology with comfortable amenities that reflect guest preferences and current travel trends. Significant enabling features on previous vintages have included:
- Aquavit Terrace– The all-weather indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace that reinvents the onboard lounge experience by bringing the panoramic outdoor river scenery indoors with retractable floor-to-ceiling glass doors and allows guests to enjoy the views and dine al fresco. Accommodating 190 passengers in 95 staterooms,
- Accommodation Choices- Viking Longships have a patented layout that allows for two Explorer Suites – the largest river cruise suites in Europe – as well as seven two-room Veranda Suites with a full-size veranda in the living room and a French balcony in the bedroom; 39 Veranda Staterooms with full-size verandas; and 22 French Balcony Staterooms.
- Sustainable-Additionally, all Longships have sustainability upgrades, such as onboard solar panels and organic herb gardens, and energy-efficient hybrid engines that also reduce vibrations for a remarkably smooth ride.
Still, since 2012 each year has brought a slightly different Viking Longship, causing industry watchers to explore the mostly-cosmetic and minute differences between vintages. Look for those slight differences along with more on the ships themselves as we countdown to christening day.
Viking Longships Christening- Not All Viking Longships Are Created Equal
While the lion’s share of Viking Longships host just less than 200 passengers, some rivers require a smaller ships and sail with even fewer passengers. We experienced the smaller ships introduced in 2015 on Germany’s Elbe River. Hosting less than 100 passengers, sister ships Viking Astrild and Viking Beyla are the newest and most modern ships sailing the Elbe River. While specially designed to navigate the more shallow river, these ships tout many of the same popular features.
Viking Longships Christening- As Long As We Are There
Also a part of Viking’s Christening event, a short preview cruise on one of the new Viking Longships enables us to bring the latest news and images on the latest ships from Viking River Cruises. This year, that minicruise travels on Holland’s waterways, sailing on the Rhine River to Schoonhoven and Rotterdam and sampling what Viking is doing ashore as well.
-Follow Along As The Countdown Continues-
- Chris Cruises– daily countdown posts in addition to the latest in cruise travel information.
- Cruise Addicts- A number of posts about river cruising and Viking River Cruises
- Twitter- Follow @OrlandoChris and #VikingLongships
- Instagram– One photo each day leading up to and during the event
- Facebook Photo Albums a variety of photos including first-look views of the 2016 Viking Longships and Christening
- Google+ posts along the way from the 2016 Viking Longships Christening
- Pinterest- Photo boards for Viking Longships 2016, Amsterdam Revisited, The 2016 Viking Longships Christening, A Day In Schoonhoven, Exploring Rotterdam
- Flickr Photo Collections- all the photos, broken down to the individual events that made up our total Viking experience, uploaded during the event as location bandwidth permits
-Check In On Previous Year Viking Christenings-
select posts from previous christening events
2012- 4 ships launched
- Cruise line to christen four ships in one day
- Viking christens thinking man’s ships at Amsterdam ceremony
- River cruise line staterooms on par, if not better, than the best at sea
- Cruise line introduces suites, on a river ship
- River cruising defined by Viking River Cruises (video)
- Making a Viking River Cruises longship (video)
- Your cruise questions answered: Viking River Cruises 101
- River cruise line staterooms, a look inside the best
- It is all about destination immersion with river cruising
2013- 10 ships launched
- Three Unique Things About A River Cruise
- Viking Names Ten New Longships, In One Day
- Vikings Prepare For Battle, Explore New Realms
- One Viking River Cruise Difference: Travel Documents To Dance About
2014- 18 ships launched
- Viking Longships Christening: We’re Here
- Vikings Prepare To Conquer A New Land
- Avignon, France – Viking Style
- Bordeaux Guide Typical Of Viking Standards
- Bordeaux Wine Tour Curiously Satisfying
- First Look: Viking Ships Custom Built For The Douro River
- Viking Christens Ships, Seals Partnership In Riverside Ceremony
- A River Cruise Photo Gallery That Is Missing The Most Important Part
2015- 12 ships launched
- As The Viking Empire Expands, So Do Choices
- Countdown To Christening: 2015 Viking Longships
- 2015 Viking Longships To Continue Naming Tradition
- 2015 Viking Longship Godmothers An Appropriate, Typically Thoughtful Choice
- The Stage Is Set: The Vikings Of 2015 Are Next
- The Unexpected Star Of Viking River Cruises
- River Cities A Big Part Of Viking Experience
- Favorite Scenes From The 2015 Viking Longships Christening