Viking Names 8 European River Ships

Viking ship naming

Viking has welcomed eight new river ships to its fleet during a celebration in Paris on March 16, according to a press release.

Of the eight new Viking Longships, four ships – the Viking Fjorgyn, Viking Kari, Viking Radgrid and the Viking Skaga – are built “specifically to navigate the Seine River and bring guests to the heart of Paris.” They boast an exclusive docking location at Port de Grenelle, which is a short walk from the Eiffel Tower.

The four additional ships – the Viking Egdir, Viking Gersemi, Viking Gymir and the Viking Hervor – will sail Viking’s popular itineraries on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers.

According to the press release, the naming of the new river ships comes as Viking continues its 25th anniversary and a “year of multiple milestones.”

In January 2022, the company launched Viking Expeditions and its first Polar Class vessel, the Viking Octantis. By the end of the year, Viking will have also welcomed 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 voyages.

“As we mark 25 years of sailing the iconic waterways of the world, it is always a proud day when we welcome new ships to our fleet and offer more opportunities for curious travelers to explore the world in comfort,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking. “Today we are especially pleased to honor eight talented and accomplished individuals as godmothers of our newest river ships, and we look forward to the start of another season of European river voyages.”

Viking said that it invited eight “distinguished cultural partners and important members of the company’s extended family” to serve as ceremonial godmothers of the new ships. The honored godmothers include:

• Alma Deutscher, Godmother of the Viking Gymir is a violinist, pianist, composer and conductor. She recently appeared on an episode of Viking’s 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 the Viking Egdir, is a violinist, pianist and vocalist. Deutscher 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 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.

• Janie Deutscher, Godmother of the Viking Radgrid, is an author, educator and an accomplished musician. She 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 the Viking Gymir and the Viking Egdir, respectfully.

• Brenda Hunsberger, Godmother of the Viking Hervor, is the Senior Vice President of Travel Services with AAA Club Alliance. For more than four decades, Hunsberger has worked in the industry as an accomplished travel agent.

• Karryn Christopher, Godmother of the Viking Gersemi, is the Executive Vice President of Preferred Partnerships & Marketing for Signature Travel Network, a member-owned travel cooperative established in 1956. As part of her role, Christopher has led the transformation of the company’s sales and marketing division.

• Ghislaine Wood, Godmother of the Viking Fjorgyn, is the Deputy Director of the University of East Anglia’s Sainsbury Centre. As part of her job, Wood 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.

• Muriel Wilson, Godmother of the Viking Skaga, is the Director of Event Strategy & Sponsorships for Virtuoso, Ltd. Viking said that Wilson has been Virtuoso’s “distinguished staff member” for more than 40 years. As part of her role, she develops quality hospitality and travel experiences for Virtuoso’s travel advisors and preferred partners.

• Kari Garmann, Godmother of the Viking Kari, is a former member of The Parliament of Norway and Oslo City Council. Garmann has made valuable contributions to Norway in the areas of government, business and banking throughout her career.

The naming event was executed by connecting the new ships via satellite across two European cities: Paris and Amsterdam. The Viking Fjorgyn, Viking Kari, Viking Radgrid and the Viking Skaga were docked in Paris at the Port de Grenelle, where they were named by their godmothers.

The other four ships – the Viking Egdir, Viking Gersemi, Viking Gymir and the Viking Hervor – were docked in Amsterdam and named by their godmothers, who also joined the celebration in Paris.

A bottle of Gammel Opland aquavit was broken on the bow of each new ship. Gammel Opland hails from the same county in Norway where Chairman Hagen’s mother, Ragnhild, was born and was her favorite brand of aquavit.

This year Viking will offer guests a “Privileged Access performance” led by Alma Deutscher at Vienna’s illustrious Wiener Konzerthaus. She will conduct the Strauss Capelle orchestra and perform the music of Mozart, the waltzes of Strauss on the violin and her own compositions.

Building on Viking’s offerings in Paris and the four new Viking Longships sailing the Seine River, the company has announced today a new post-trip extension entitled Paris: A Culinary Experience that will explore the cuisine of the French capital. It is available beginning in 2023 for guests sailing on the eight-day Paris & the Heart of Normandy itinerary.

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, guests 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 an evening wine and cheese tasting with an expert sommelier at a private wine cellar. On the final day, guests journey to the Jacquemart-André Museum for a tour of the 19th century mansion and its private art collection followed by a special workshop about the art of table etiquette. Viking said that each day will also allow free time for guests to explore Parisian landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Élysées from their centrally located hotel.

Additionally, Viking has announced a new holiday sailing, the eight-day Christmas on the Seine, sailing roundtrip from Paris. Available during the holiday season beginning in 2022, guests will sail through Normandy’s snow-covered countryside while enjoying the festive Christmas markets.

Guests can select from holiday-centric shore excursions such as baking homemade gingerbread at the 850-year-old Abbaye du Valasse or attending a festive Christmas ornament making workshop in Rouen. Onboard, guests will enjoy special holiday-themed festivities including regional dining specialties, seasonal treats and more.

From now through March 31, 2022, Viking is offering special savings plus airfare from $599 on all 2022 and 2023 departures of Paris & the Heart of Normandy.

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