Last month in Paris, executives from Viking said c’est la vie to eight bottles of Gammel Opland aquavit — smashing them into the bows of the line’s latest batch of Longships.
The event, held at Port de Grenelle — the line’s new Parisian docking facility — inducted four ships based in Amsterdam (Viking Egdir, Viking Geresemi, Viking Hervor and Viking Gymir) and four ships based in Paris (Viking Fjorgyn, Viking Kari, Viking Radgrid and Viking Skaga) into the fleet.
As crew lined the decks of Fjorgyn and Radgrid, each of the eight godmothers — five in attendance and three via satellite — gave a short speech before pushing buttons that dispatched the Norwegian liquor, a favorite of Viking chairman Torstein Hagen’s mother, into the respective vessel’s hull.
Hagen, who oversaw the event, later stated, “As we mark 25 years of sailing the iconic waterways of the world, it is always a proud day when we welcome new ships to our fleet and offer more opportunities for curious travelers to explore the world in comfort.”
Viking Now Has 73 River Ships
The eight new vessels represent a significant milestone for the line during its 25th anniversary year, as it returns to full service with a total of 73 river ships within the next three weeks.
To be able to berth at Port de Grenelle, the four Seine River vessels are shorter versions of the standard Longship, with a length of 410 feet and a capacity for 164 guests (versus the 443 feet and 190 guests of typical Longships).
As we mark 25 years of sailing the iconic waterways of the world, it is always a proud day when we welcome new ships to our fleet and offer more opportunities for curious travelers to explore the world in comfort.
Viking’s Longships, the first of which debuted in 2012, have a patented design with square bows that enable more space for public areas and accommodations than other river vessels with similar dimensions. Their facilities include a walking track, shaded and open outdoor seating, an herb garden, the Aquavit Terrace for indoor/outdoor casual dining, the Viking Lounge and Bar, a double-decker Atrium (with a reception desk, library, computer area and shop) and a restaurant offering water-level views through floor-to-ceiling windows.
Viking includes a complimentary shore excursion in each port; enrichment lectures and destination performances; Wi-Fi access; wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner; around-the-clock bottled water, tea, coffee and espresso drinks; and all port taxes and fees.
Thanks to the vessels’ fuel-efficient and quiet hybrid engines, each has a pair of aft-situated Explorer Suites that measure 445 square feet and feature a wraparound balcony, a separate bedroom and a sitting area. There are also seven 275-square-foot Veranda Suites (with a separate bedroom and sitting area); thirty-five 205-square-foot Veranda staterooms; eighteen 135-square-foot French Balcony staterooms; and twenty-two 150-square-foot Standard cabins with a window.
The Port de Grenelle berthing spot is the closest available to central Paris and is only a 20-minute walk to the Eiffel Tower and other key attractions. The Seine-based ships will sail on eight-day Paris and the Heart of Normandy itineraries, visiting La Roche-Guyon, Giverny, Rouen, Les Andelys and Le Pecque. The other four Longships will operate on varying itineraries on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers.