ABOVE: A rendering of a "Viking Longship" on the Rhine.
You've got to give them credit: The corner-office honchos and shipbuilders at Viking River Cruises don't do things by halves. They've just announced another two "Viking Longships" for delivery in 2012, bringing next year's newbuild total to an even half-dozen.
The new ships--the Viking Embla and Viking Agir--will enter service in July and August of 2012, joining four new sister ships--Viking Freya, Viking Idun, Viking Njord, and Viking Odin--that are due to be christened in March. By 2014, a whopping 10 Viking Longships will be plying the rivers of Western and Central Europe as part of a US $250 million fleet-expansion and refurbishment scheme.
Viking reports that the new Longships will be 443 feet long, with 95 staterooms per ship. Every ship will have 39 "Veranda Staterooms," seven "Veranda Suites" with separate living rooms and bedrooms, and two "Explorer Suites" (each with a living room, bedroom, bathroom, and private wraparound veranda with 270-degree views).
The new Viking Longships will sail Viking's most popular European itineraries, including the 15-day Grand European Tour and the 8- to 10-day Romantic Danube, Danube Waltz, Tulips & Windmills, and Rhine Getaway cruises.
You can book now for cruises on the new ships in 2012. For fares and other information, see the company's Web site at www.vikingrivercruises.com.
Photo rendering: Viking River Cruises