Viking has unveiled seven new additions to its river fleet during a naming ceremony on the Rhine River in Basel, Switzerland.
Six of the ships – Viking Einar, Viking Sigrun, Viking Sigyn, Viking Tir, Viking Ullur and Viking Vali – are Viking Longships, inspired by the historic ships used by the real Vikings. The Longships will be deployed on Vikings most popular itineraries on the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. The seventh new ship – Viking Helgrim – is inspired by the design of the other ships but is specifically built to sail on the Douro River in Portugal.
The Viking Difference
“We began hosting guests on the rivers of Russia 22 years ago, and we have always done things differently. We focus on the destination, and we provide travel experiences that allow our guests to learn, to enrich their lives and to explore the world in comfort. It is ‘The Viking Difference’ that has made us the leading river cruise line in the world – and has helped river cruising become one of the fastest-growing segments of travel,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking in a press statement. “As the leader, it is also important that we recognize those who have helped us achieve success. This year I am especially proud to honor members of the Viking family as godmothers of our newest river ships.”
Following a maritime tradition dating back thousands of years, Viking invited seven long-serving employees to serve as honorary godmothers of the new ships. The naming ceremony took place via a satellite link-up connecting four European cities. Viking Einar and Viking Sigrun were named in person by their godmothers while docked in Basel. The other ships were “virtually” named, with Viking Sigyn and Viking Ullur in Rostock, Germany; Viking Tir and Viking Vali in Brunsbüttel, Germany; and Viking Helgrim in Porto, Portugal.
To launch each new ship, a bottle of Gammel Opland aquavit was broken on its bow. The brand of aquavit was from the same county in Norway as Viking’s Chairman Torstein Hagen’s mother, and was her favorite brand of the traditional Scandinavian spirit. After the naming event, guests enjoyed dinner at Basel’s Fondation Beyeler museum amid its ambitious current exhibition: The Young Picasso. Blue and Rose Periods.