On Thursday, March 20, Viking River Cruises set a world record with the christening of 10 new Viking Longships™. The first-of-its-kind simultaneous christening ceremony in Amsterdam debuted the ships – Viking Aegir, Viking Atla, Viking Bragi, Viking Embla, Viking Forseti, Viking Jarl, Viking Rinda, Viking Skadi, Viking Tor and Viking Var – and was certified by a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ adjudicator as ‘The Most Ships Inaugurated in One Day by One Company.’
Playing an integral role in the event were 10 distinguished women from around the world, representing the key Viking brand pillars of history, art, education, exploration and discovery, to serve as ceremonial godmothers for the new ships.
“Today is a proud day for Viking and for river cruising. We are honored to showcase 10 of our revolutionary new Longships and to have had such a celebrated group of women helping us christen them,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking Cruises.
Guests at the christening ceremony enjoyed remarks by each godmother and a presentation on the growth of river cruising by Hagen. A GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS adjudicator also presented Hagen with an official recognition of the record breaking achievement, ‘The Most Ships Inaugurated in One Day by One Company’ – eight* – breaking the previous record of two ships.
A first in modern history, four of the christenings took place in front of a crowd of approximately 700 in Amsterdam, and the remaining six were conducted live via satellite from the Neptun shipyard in Germany. The celebration concluded with an onboard dinner and maiden voyage cruise around the Amsterdam harbor.
The Viking Longship class of vessels integrate a patented design and cutting-edge technology with comfortable amenities that reflect guest preferences and current travel trends. These new features include a revolutionary new all-weather indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace that reinvents the lounge by bringing panoramic river scenery indoors with retractable floor-to-ceiling glass doors, allowing guests to enjoy the views and dine al fresco.
Accommodating 190 passengers in 95 staterooms, Viking Longships feature two Explorer Suites – the largest river cruise suites in Europe, complete with 270-degree views – as well as seven two-room Veranda Suites, each with a full-size veranda in the living room and French balcony in the bedroom; 39 Veranda Staterooms with full-size verandas; and 22 French Balcony Staterooms.
Additionally, Viking Longships lead the river cruise industry with sustainability upgrades including onboard solar panels, an onboard organic herb garden and energy-efficient hybrid engines that reduce vibrations for a remarkably smooth ride.
In 2014, Viking plans to break its own record with the launch of 12 new Longships; all of the new ships will sail the line’s most popular European itineraries: Tulips & Windmills (10 days, Amsterdam-Antwerp-Amsterdam); Passage to Eastern Europe (11 days, Budapest-Bucharest); Romantic Danube (8 days, Budapest-Nuremberg); Grand European Tour (15 days, Amsterdam-Budapest); Danube Waltz (8 days, Passau-Budapest) and Rhine Getaway (8 days, Amsterdam-Basel).
* Two of the 10 Viking Longships ships inaugurated on March 20 entered service in the summer of 2012 without an official christening ceremony, but did not qualify for inclusion in the Guinness World Record.