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Viking River Cruises has placed an order for two additional 190-passenmger Viking Longships in 2013. This brings the number of new ships launching next year to eight and a total of 14 new Viking Longships over a two-year period.
This closely follows the company’s March announcement that it had commissioned six Longships in addition to the six debuting in 2012.
“As the fastest-growing segment of travel, river cruising is inspiring more vacation plans than ever before,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman. “We are very pleased by the response we have seen to our new Viking Longships, and we are continuing our expansion to meet that demand.”
The Longships are responding to today’s market with features that include two Explorer Suites at 445 square feet, each with a separate living room, bedroom and private wraparound veranda, offering 270-degree views; seven two-room Veranda Suites, each with a full-size veranda in the living room and a French balcony in the bedroom; 39 Veranda Staterooms with full-size verandas and 22 French Balcony Staterooms. Stateroom amenities range from heated bathroom floors and mirrors to Sony HD TV’s and premium bath products.
Passengers have also praised the all-weather indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace, with retractable floor-to-ceiling glass doors that allow guests to enjoy the scenery and dine al fresco.
The company has incorporated sustainability upgrades, such as solar panels, an onboard organic herb garden and energy-efficient hybrid engines that reduce vibrations for a remarkably smooth ride.
The ships are scheduled to sail four of Viking’s most popular European itineraries, including the 10-day Tulips & Windmills route, the eight-day Romantic Danube, the 15-day Grand European Tour and the 8-day Danube Waltz. The two newest ships, Viking Jarl and Viking Atla, will host guests on the eight-day Rhine Getaway cruise sailing from Amsterdam to Basel.
Viking pays agents commission on the total invoice of a cruise, including the government taxes, port fees, air upgrades, beverage packages, shore excursions and travel protection plans. And agents who have registered at Viking’s travel agent portal can create a co-branded Viking website.