On June 30, 2011, Viking River Cruises, the world’s leading river cruise line, held a christening ceremony for the 188-passenger Viking Prestige in Amsterdam . Janice Farrar-Titus, wife of the late renowned cruise industry innovator Warren Titus and the ship’s godmother, officially named the 443-foot vessel with a traditional breaking of a bottle of champagne. The launch of Viking Prestige represents the first phase of Viking’s $250 million fleet development program.
Reminiscent of the design philosophy of the storied Royal Viking Line, the concepts have been realized by well-known Norwegian maritime architects Yran & Storbraaten, designers of The Yachts of Seabourn, Oceania and Disney vessels, among others. Viking Prestige is the first ship in the fleet to feature the new open-air Aquavit Lounge at the bow, where passengers can enjoy a drink or meal alfresco. With all-outside staterooms and French balconies on both the Upper and Middle decks, the ship comes with Viking’s signature décor—or sophisticated, understated elegance.
Viking also recently unveiled details of six state-of-the-art vessels set to launch for its 2012 sailing season. Building on the company’s reputation as the industry innovator, Viking Ageir, Viking Embla, Viking Freya, Viking Idun, Viking Njord and Viking Odin are the first of Viking’s Longships—a new class of vessels marked by sophisticated and inviting design coupled with high-tech and patent-pending features.
The new ships are characterized by the long and graceful design of ancient Scandinavian vessels and were named after key members of the Norse pantheon. Scheduled to sail on some of Viking’s most popular European itineraries, each of the new Viking Longships will be 443 feet (135 meters) long and will have 95 staterooms. Representing a $120 million investment, each Longship will boast key innovations such as:
– Two Explorer Suites, which will be the largest river cruise suites in Europe at 445 square feet, each with a separate living room, bedroom, bathroom, and private wraparound veranda offering 270-degree views.
– Seven 270-square-foot Veranda Suites with fullsize verandas in the living room and French balconies in the bedroom.
– 39 Veranda Staterooms with 205-square-foot verandas.
– Sustainability upgrades such as energy-efficient hybrid engines, solar panels and an organic herb garden.
– A new all-weather indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace with retractable floor-to-ceiling glass doors.
– Alfresco dining areas on the Upper deck, adjacent to the lounge.