River Cruise Lines Add New Ships

With the recent popularity of European river cruising, the region’s leading lines are adding capacity in a bid to meet the increased demand from travellers. Viking River Cruises and Vantage Deluxe World Travel welcomed new additions to their fleets this week, christening the vessels in Amsterdam, a popular embarkation point on many itineraries.


New-generation “Longships” for Viking River Cruises

Industry heavyweight Viking River Cruises introduced its first 4 longships with a dual ceremony held in Amsterdam and the Neptun Shipyard in Rostock, Germany. British actress Joanna Lumley joined Harvard physicist Lisa Randall, television producer Rebecca Eaton and top Viking customer Gail Wiswedel to name the Viking Freya, Viking Idun, Viking Njord and Viking Odin, witnessed by the line’s executives and invited guests.


Designed by Yran & Storbraaten, the new river cruisers are being touted as game changers for the industry, boasting a new design that allows for full-sized staterooms with verandas and floor-to-ceiling glass doors, as well as suites with separate living areas onboard. Each 190-passenger vessel will also feature innovative all-weather indoor/outdoor terraces on the bow, a new concept for European river cruisers.


The 4 ships will sail on the River Danube, River Main and River Rhine, offering itineraries ranging from 8 to 15 days. Viking River Cruises has ordered another 8 longships for delivery this year and in 2013, cementing its position as the biggest river cruise line.


For more information, visit www.vikingrivercruises.com.


Vantage’s First New River Cruiser in 5 Years

Boston-based Vantage Deluxe World Travel has christened the ms River Discovery II, the newest addition to its European river cruising fleet. Long-time customer June Spargo, who has travelled with the company 63 times, led the official naming ceremony in Amsterdam alongside company and shipyard executives.


Measuring 135 meters in length, the ship accommodates 176 passengers in an array of luxurious staterooms and suites equipped with all the amenities found in land-based hotels, while recreational options include a state-of-the-art dining room, full-service cocktail lounge, internet cafe, library and fitness room. Floor-to-ceiling windows and French balconies afford panoramic views of the surrounding riverscape, with innovative energy- and fuel-saving technology earning the ms River Discovery II a “green ship” designation.


Vantage will deploy the ms River Discovery II on itineraries along the River Danube, River Main, River Rhine and the waterways of the Netherlands. 2 more sister ships, ms River Splendor and ms River Venture, are due to join the fleet in 2013 to nearly double the company’s presence on Europe’s rivers.


For more information, visit www.vantagetravel.com.


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