Viking Cruises has set a new world record with the inauguration of its newest Viking Longships.
In a multi-phased event taking place over 24 hours, the company christened 16 of its award-winning Viking Longships – nine were christened in Amsterdam; four were christened in Rostock, Germany; and three were christened in Avignon, France. The first-of-its kind ceremony was subsequently certified by a Guinness World Records adjudicator as “The Most Ships Inaugurated in One Day by One Company.”
Viking already held the previous record, having christened 10 new ships in one day in 2013. Adding to the festivities, on March 21, Viking will also christen two new, unique river vessels in Porto, Portugal – bringing the total to 18 new ships launched across four countries in five days.
All of Viking’s new ships will be deployed on its most popular itineraries in Europe, and 2014 marks the first year that the company’s award-winning Longships will sail in France.
A total of four Viking Longships will be deployed on Viking’s itineraries in France, including one vessel dedicated specifically to the company’s new Châteaux, Rivers & Wine itinerary in Bordeaux. Also, as a testament to the popularity of Viking’s Portugal’s River of Gold itinerary, the two new ships there will double the company’s current capacity on the Douro River.
The expansion of Viking’s fleet comes as a response to increased traveller demand for destination-focused cruises. In addition to the new Viking Longships and new vessels in Portugal, the company’s first ocean ship, the 930-passenger Viking Star, is currently under construction and will set sail in early 2015.