Last December, we ran down the Viking plan to take over the world…or at least the world of river cruising! Viking River Cruises launched a record six ships in 2012, and smashed that record this week with the mass christening of 10 new Viking LongshipsTM during simultaneous ceremonies in Amsterdam and Germany. The event was certified by Guinness World RecordsTM as ‘The Most Ships Inaugurated in One Day by One Company.’
Workers attended festivities at the Neptun Werft shipyard in Rostock, Germany where six ships were christened. Four others were christened in Amsterdam with about a thousand guests, including Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen, the ships’ godmothers, and three other Viking vessels which docked for the event. Two of the ships in Amsterdam actually entered service in 2012, but had not been christened.
Viking, already the largest river cruise operator, is in the midst of building an empire. The company launched a record 14 ships in 2012-13 with another 12 now planned for 2014. Viking was named the #1 River Cruise Line in the 2012 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards, and appears in the Condé Nast Traveler Gold List as one of the Best River Cruise Lines with destinations in Europe, Russia, Ukraine, China and Egypt.
We covered the new Longships and then-current launch plans in a December post, and you can see highlights of the ceremonies and video tours of the new Longships at Viking River Cruises. For those keeping track, the new ships christened in Germany are the Viking Atla, Viking Forseti, Viking Jarl, Viking Rinda, Viking Tor and Viking Var. The two newest ships christened in Amsterdam are the Viking Bragi and Viking Skadia, which joined the Viking Aegir and Viking Embla.