Viking has welcomed eight new river ships to its fleet during a celebration in Paris.
Four of the vessels — Viking Fjorgyn, Viking Kari, Viking Radgrid, and Viking Skaga are built specifically to navigate the Seine River and bring passengers to the heart of Paris with an exclusive docking location at Port de Grenelle, just a short walk from the Eiffel Tower.
The four additional ships, Viking Egdir, VIking Gersemi, Viking Gymir, and Viking Hervor will sail Viking’s popular itineraries on the Rhine, Main, and Danube rivers.
The naming of the new river ships comes as Viking continues its 25th anniversary. In January, the company launched its first expedition ship, Viking Octantis. By the end of the year, the line plans to launch a second identical expedition ship, as well as two new identical ocean ships, new purpose-built vessels for the Nile and Mekong rivers, and new Mississippi River sailings.
The Naming Ceremony
In keeping with maritime tradition, Viking invited eight cultural partners and important members of the company’s extended family to serve as ceremonial godmothers of the new ships. They include:
- Alma Deutscher, Godmother of Viking Gymir – A musical phenomenon, Alma captivates the classical world with her talents as a violinist, pianist, composer and conductor, and at just 17 years old was hailed as the “new Mozart” at an early age. She recently appeared on an episode of Viking’s award-winning enrichment channel, Viking.TV, where she discussed her upcoming concert series, which will be exclusive for Viking guests on select river voyages visiting Vienna.
- Helen Deutscher, Godmother of Viking Egdir – A violinist, pianist and vocalist, Helen is an accomplished musician who honed her musical and performance skills at the Music Gymnasium in Vienna and as a member of the Vienna State Opera’s children’s chorus; she has also performed in several productions of her sister Miss Alma Deutscher’s opera, Cinderella. Helen and Alma recently appeared together on an episode of Viking.TV, where they discussed their remarkable lives and many musical milestones.
- Dr. Janie Deutscher, Godmother of Viking Radgrid – An author and educator, Dr. Deutscher is also an accomplished musician and earned an organ scholarship to Oxford University where she later taught medieval literature; in recent years, she has concentrated on homeschooling and supporting the musical ambitions of her two daughters, Alma and Helen, godmothers of Viking Gymir and Viking Egdir, respectfully.
- Brenda Hunsberger, Godmother of Viking Hervor – For more than four decades, Ms. Hunsberger, Senior Vice President of Travel Services with AAA Club Alliance, has worked in the industry as an accomplished travel agent; she believes in the power of travel to transform perspectives and change lives.
- Karryn Christopher, Godmother of Viking Gersemi – Ms. Christopher is Executive Vice President of Preferred Partnerships & Marketing for Signature Travel Network, a member-owned travel cooperative established in 1956, where she has led the transformation of the company’s sales and marketing division.
- Ghislaine Wood, Godmother of Viking Fjorgyn – As the Deputy Director of the University of East Anglia’s Sainsbury Centre, one of the most important public university art galleries in Great Britain, Ms. Wood carefully curates exhibitions, including the upcoming “Visions of Ancient Egypt,” which was developed in partnership with Viking; opening in September 2022, the exhibit will honor the 100th anniversary of the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb. Ms. Wood discussed her work at the Sainsbury Centre in a recent episode of Viking.TV, including the origins of their Alaska collection which examines how indigenous Alaskan communities developed technologies and tools to adapt to their environment.
- Muriel Wilson, Godmother of Viking Skaga – As the Director of Event Strategy & Sponsorships for Virtuoso, Ltd., Ms. Wilson has been a distinguished staff member of the global network of agencies for more than 40 years and leverages her deep knowledge of the industry to develop quality hospitality and travel experiences for Virtuoso’s travel advisors and preferred partners.
- Kari Garmann, Godmother of Viking Kari – Former member of The Parliament of Norway and Oslo City Council, Ms. Garmann has made valuable contributions to Norway in the areas of government, business and banking throughout her career.
The event was executed by connecting the new ships via satellite across two European cities: Paris and Amsterdam.
Viking Fjorgyn, Viking Kari, Viking Radgrid, and Viking Skaga were docked in Paris at the Port de Grenelle, where they were named by their godmothers. The other four ships – Viking Egdir, Viking Gersemi, Viking Gymir, and Viking Hervor – were docked in Amsterdam and named by their godmothers, who also joined the celebration in Paris
In keeping with another maritime tradition, a bottle of Gammel Opland aquavit was broken on the bow of each vessel.
Gammel Opland hails from the same county in Norway where Chairman Torstein Hagen’s mother, Ragnhild, was born. It was her favorite brand of aquavit.(Photo courtesy of Viking)
New Seine Offerings
Building on Viking’s offerings in Paris and the four new longships sailing the Seine River, the company has announced a new post-trip extension called Paris: A Culinary Experience that will explore the cuisine of the French capital.
Available beginning in 2023 for guests sailing on the eight-night Paris & the Heart of Normandy itinerary, the new extension allows guests to immerse themselves in the culinary history of Paris and taste the gastronomic delights of the city.
Guests on the three-night extension will disembark their ship in Paris and explore the city with a culinary guide, visiting the “Belly of Paris” and the Rue Montorgueil, home to the city’s first pâtisserie, before checking into their hotel.
The following day, travelers will visit a Parisian cooking school to attend a croissant baking workshop with a local chef and learn about the pastry’s origins before enjoying a wine and cheese tasting at a private wine cellar.
On the final day, visitors will journey to the Jacquemart-André Museum for a tour of the 19th century mansion and its private art collection, followed by a special workshop delving into the art of table etiquette.
Each day allows plenty of free time for guests to explore iconic Parisian landmarks from their centrally-located hotel.
Viking has also announced a new holiday sailing, the eight-night Christmas on the Seine sailing roundtrip from Paris. Available during the holiday season starting in 2022, guests will sail through Normandy’s snow-covered countryside while enjoying the Christmas markets.
Passengers can choose from holiday-centric shore excursions such as baking homemade gingerbread at the 850-year-old Abbaye du Valasse or attending a Christmas ornament-making workshop in Rouen.
From now through March 31, 2022, Viking is offering special savings, plus airfare starting at $599 on all 2022 and 2023 departures of Paris & the Heart of Normandy.
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