The much-anticipated launch of Viking River Cruises newest ship, Viking Legend, is nearly here. The christening ceremony will take place in Cologne, Germany on the 2nd of July; Viking Legend’s inaugural sailing, a cruise from Cologne to Amsterdam, follows. Viking Legend will be christened by her godmother: legendary star of Germany’s large and small screen, actress Dagmar Berghoff.

This extraordinary new ship featuring cutting-edge technology and two of the region’s largest suites. Debuting on the popular 15-day Viking River Cruises Grand European Tour itinerary—which takes guests along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers between Amsterdam and Budapest—Viking Legend has diesel-electric hybrid engines that use an estimated 20% less fuel than comparable diesel-only ships and provide an exceptionally quiet ride.

Viking Legend’s Propulsion Systems – Efficient and Quiet

“Viking Legend’s diesel engine propels a generator that supplies the ship’s electrical systems,” explained Viking’s Vice President of Nautical Operations Thomas Bogler. “At any given moment the ship’s energy needs are automatically calculated and the engines produce and supply only as much energy as needed. This allows the ship to use 20% less energy than a comparable ship.” The new ship will also provide a quieter ride for guests by using four smaller propellers instead of two large propellers.

The new propulsion system offers additional benefits. “The diesel engine is smaller than a conventional engine, so it vibrates less, making it very quiet,” Mr. Bogler pointed out. “The system also allows us to continue cruising even if one of the engines has to be taken offline for scheduled maintenance—remaining engines will simply produce more output to compensate.” Viking River Cruises is the first to introduce this technology to European river cruises.

Thomas Bogler was recently honored with this year’s Pro Danubio Award, presented to him at the 12th annual Danube Cruise Conference in Belgrade. The award, given by the Danube Tourist Commission, recognizes those who are doing the most to create excellence in Danube tourism.

Legendary Luxury

At 443 feet, the three-level Viking Legend will be the longest in the Viking fleet, and will accommodate 189 guests in 98 staterooms. Additional amenities include 26‑inch flat-screen televisions, refrigerators, hairdryers and in‑room safes. Aboard Legend, guests will enjoy fine dining at the ship’s restaurant featuring seasonal menus and local specialties to complement every destination, a cozy library, sun deck with 360-degree panoramic views, onboard boutique and an observation lounge—just a few of the ship’s features designed with the comfort and convenience of every Viking guest in mind. Viking Legend takes river cruising to a new level with two of the largest suites in Europe, measuring 310 square feet each.

“While all our staterooms are deluxe, with hotel-style beds, European linens and high-quality amenities, these suites are truly magnificent,” said Viking’s Chairman Tor Hagen. “Their size and configuration are comparable to those of high-end American hotel rooms, so guests can relax in unprecedented comfort and privacy.”

Viking Legend’s décor will be similar to that of Viking’s newest ships (like Viking Helvetia) and most recent renovations (like Viking Surkov and Viking Kirov). “We are delighted to be once again working with the Norwegian design firm of Yran & Storbraaten to design the ship’s interiors. Their signature look is a warm neutral palette of colors, bright woods and Scandinavian-inspired design,” stated Mr. Bogler.