Viking River Cruises Christens 10 New Ships
To say that river cruising is popular would be an understatement. To meet growing demand, Viking River Cruises is updating and expanding their fleet and last month they made a huge leap by christening 10 new ships in one day.
On March 20, 2013 the company christened four ships in Amsterdam and six in the Neptun shipyard in Germany. A Guinness World Record adjudicator was on hand and officially marked the christening as setting a world record for ship christenings in a day, beating the previously held record of two.
The ships are all Viking’s Longships, which are the latest in design and technology. These ships are all identical with 95 staterooms, including two Explorer Suites and seven Veranda Suites. The ships feature a terrace that can go from indoor to outdoor depending on the weather, which give passengers the chance to dine al fresco, if the weather is nice.
Each ship has its own godmother, all of whom were chosen based on Viking’s goal to enrich passengers culturally and provide privileged access to each destination.
The recently christened new ships and their godmothers are:
- Viking Skadi was christened by Lady Fiona Carnarvon who wrote the book Lady Almina and The Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere. The ship is named after the Norse goddess associated with bowhunting, skiing and winter.
- Viking Rinda was christened by Agapi Stassinopoulos, who is the sister of Arianna Huffington, and an author of several books about the Greek gods.
- Viking Forseti was christened by Alexandra Lobkowicz who overseas a significant library and thousands of works of art that her family has collected over the years. Viking will offer a privileged access tour of the Lobkowicz Palace in Prague. This ship is named after the Norse god of justice and reconciliation.
- Viking Embla was christened by Zhang Ling who is an educator at a Viking sponsored school in Jinzhou, China. She coaches the orchestra at the school, which has performed for several Viking passengers throughout the years.
- Viking Tor was christened by Marit Barstad who is the sister of Viking River Cruises’ President and CEO Torstein Hagen.
- Viking Bragi was christened by Dertje Meijer who is the President and CEO of the Port of Amsterdam, which is the fourth largest port in Europe. Bragi is the Norse god of poetry.
- Viking Var was christened by Geraldine Norman, who is an expert in the history of St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum. She is also the founder of the Times-Sotheby index of art prices. This ship is named after the Norse goddess associated with oaths and agreements.
- Viking Jarl was christened by Sabine Rhabek. Rhabek is a former nurse at the United Nations Mission Hospital in Iran and is a founding member of the emergency room team at the General Hospital in Vienna.
- Viking Atla was christened by Birgit Brandner-Wallner who is the co-owner of Brandner Gmbh subsidiary, which operates 38 piers in Austria and Hungary. She is also the first woman in Austria to obtain a ship captain certification.
- Viking Aegir was christened by Eszter Völner, the daughter of Dr. Pál Völner, the secretary of the Hungarian State Ministry of National Development. She lives on the shores of the Danube. This ship is named after the Norse god of the ocean and king of the sea creatures.
All of these ships will be sailing itineraries on the rivers of Europe. Viking is hoping to break this record next year when they welcome 12 new Longships into their fleet.