Soon, the world of river cruising will be changed forever. On March 18, in Avignon, France, Viking Cruises will be christening another 18 of its Viking Longships. The christening ceremony will set a new Guinness Book of World Records for the most ships christened by one company in one day. It’s a pretty impressive feat. I should know because I was there to see it happen last year, too!
Viking Cruises is by far the most popular river cruising company for Americans traveling to Europe, Asia, Egypt and China. Their itineraries book out a year in advance. They cater specifically – and unapologetically – to the likes and desires of Americans. From my past experience with Viking Cruises, I know firsthand how relaxing and enjoyable a journey through Europe can be onboard a Viking Longship.
Which is why I’m anxiously anticipating attending the Viking Cruises christening ceremony in Avignon, where the godmothers of each ship will set a bottle of champagne smashing against the newest of this still-pretty-new fleet of ships.
Unlike christening ceremonies of major cruise ships, it is possible to fit several ships together all at once in port for a group christening, since their flat side make it easy to stack the ships side by side. Indeed, last year I was in my room getting ready for the day. When I looked up, I was shocked to see another Viking Longship had docked right outside my balcony. In fact, the balcony of the other Longship was touching my balcony railing. I hadn’t even heard the ship because of their extremely quiet engines. Now that really speaks to how quiet these river ships are.
My time in Avignon will be spent exploring the new Viking Longships and attending the christening ceremonies, with a celebratory gala afterwards. After the big day, we’ll be flying to Bordeaux, France to enjoy Viking’s newest itinerary, Chateaux, Rivers and Wine.
I look forward to the food, to the cultural outings, and reconnecting with familiar faces. After my stay on the Viking Aegir last year, I know what to expect from the ships and the staterooms. There is no need to worry about closet space or cramped rooms. I’ll have plenty of space to spread out, a bathroom larger than I’ve ever had on a cruise ship, and those stellar views out of my veranda balcony as we sail the rivers of Europe.
I can’t wait to share the pomp and pageantry of the christening of 18 new ships, setting a new world record, and sailing on a brand new itinerary through the famed delights of France