As I first mentioned in a previous post, Viking River Cruises is in the midst of a $250 million fleet development program, solidifying even more strongly its place as the leading river cruise company in the world.
In a recent announcement, Viking has released details of four new vessels, designated longships, which will be introduced into European waters at the beginning of the 2012 river cruising season. No other river cruise company has matched this milestone. For Viking, however, this is the second time since 2001 that they have accomplished this feat. I would imagine they are quite proud of this, and justifiably so.
Named after four gods in the Norse pantheon, the ships – Viking Freya, Viking Idun, Viking Njord and Viking Odin – will blend cutting edge technology with unrivaled amenities, including the largest real suites available on European rivers.
Each ship will have two Explorer Suites, measuring 445 square feet with wrap around veranda, and seven Veranda Suites of 270 square feet with a full veranda. All of these suites will feature separate bedrooms and living rooms. The ships will measure 443 feet in length and offer 95 staterooms. In addition to the suites, 39 Veranda Staterooms will feature full verandas as well.
The four longships will sail some of Viking River Cruises’ most popular European river routes, including the 10-day Tulips & Windmills, 8-day Romantic Danube, 15-day Grand European Tour and 8-day Danube Waltz.
With the two new ships entering service this year, Viking Emerald and Viking Prestige, and the four ships just announced for next year, Viking is more than half way to their stated goal of ten new ships by 2013. Add in several refurbishments of ships already in service, and the outlook for river cruising with Viking just keeps getting brighter.