- Nobel Peace Prize recipient Desmond Tutu to join Crystal spring 2015 South Africa voyage
- Norwegian enriches onboard dining with culinary favorites, new menus and more variety
- MSC Cruises and Chicco announce new partnership
- Cruise ferry Silja Europa to become accommodation vessel in Australia
- Crystal Cruises to sail Northwest Passage in 2016
- CRUISE BUSINESS COMMENTARY – Silja Europa charter as accommodation vessel positive to market
- Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' losses continue to mount
- Norwegian orders two more Breakaway-Plus ships
- Carnival Cruise Lines, Port of New Orleans agree to new five-year extension
- MSC Cruises plans to treble UK passengers to 200,000 by 2017, launches agent programme
- Meyer Werft's STX Finland acquisition moves ahead, may win major order from Norwegian
- Fincantieri prices IPO at floor of €0.78 per share, government investment company not selling shares
- Category: More News
- Published on Monday, 10 October 2011 21:13
- Written by Teijo Niemelä
Nearly 15 years ago, Viking River Cruises was established with four Russian river cruise vessels and a company name to honor the Vikings that first traveled by longship to explore Russia’s waterways. Since then, the company has grown to become the world’s leading river cruise line, offering passengers the opportunity to intimately experience destinations across Europe, Asia and Egypt like no other style of travel. As Viking River Cruises prepares to celebrate its 15th anniversary next year, the company today announced major enhancements to its Russian offering and a new microsite designed to inspire travelers to experience “the real Russia.”
Following dramatic bow-to-stern renovations, 2012 will mark the complete refurbishment of Viking’s four owned and operated Russian ships that set a new standard as the best river cruise ships in Russia and the only fleet entirely Western-managed. To commemorate the transformations and to honor Viking’s heritage, the ships will be renamed—Viking Rurik, Viking Helgi, Viking Ingvar and Viking Truvor. In addition to multiple itinerary updates, new for 2012 is an eight-day program, The Glories of the Hermitage, that features exclusive access and private tours at one of the world’s greatest museums. Also launching is a new microsite, found at www.TheRealRussia.com, which takes visitors on a video tour of the country through a series of inspiring, behind-the-scenes “webisodes.”
"Of all places in the world, we started in Russia. In fact, the idea for our company was born because my daughter had traveled along the Volga with her mother and grandmother," said Torstein Hagen, Founder and Chairman of Viking River Cruises. "We’re immensely proud of our Russian roots, and we continue to build upon our longstanding relationships and intricate knowledge of this captivating country so that we can share it with new travelers year after year."
Russian ship renovations
Launching in 2012, the renovated Viking Rurik (previously Viking Peterhof) is named after Rurik, the Viking warrior who founded and ruled the area known as Rus – now Russia. Its renovated sister ships – Viking Helgi, Viking Ingvar and Viking Truvor – are named for Rurik’s descendants, the original Russian explorers.
In addition to redefining the interior space to create significantly larger staterooms, Viking Rurik’s full bow-to-stern refurbishment is highlighted by full, private verandas added to all staterooms on the Upper and Middle decks, which house four Suites, two Junior Suites and 60 Veranda Staterooms. The two-room Suites – each 405 square feet – will have separate sleeping and sitting areas, two Sony 26-inch flat-panel televisions, a walk-in closet and a full bathroom with two sinks and a separate bathtub and shower Other in-room amenities for all staterooms include hotel-style beds, a safe and refrigerator plus premium bath products.
Just like its sister ships, Viking Rurik’s public areas such as the restaurant, lounge, library and bar will also be renovated to feature Viking’s signature Scandinavian décor. Other upgraded ship areas include a shaded sun deck and a walk-around open air promenade deck.
2012 itinerary enhancements
All four of Viking’s Russian ships sail the Waterways of the Czars itinerary, traveling from Moscow to St. Petersburg, or the reverse. The 13-day itinerary features multiple days in each city to tour highlights such as Moscow’s Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral plus St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum and Catherine’s Palace. Ports of call along the rivers include Kizhi Island, home to an open air museum of architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Golden Ring cities of Uglich and Yaroslavl.
For 2012, Viking is introducing a variety of new excursions and services to the Waterways of the Czars itinerary. Along with deep roots in Russia come strong connections with its leading artistic and academic institutions. Leveraging these relationships, on select departures Viking has introduced special performances by musicians from St. Petersburg’s venerable Mariinsky Theatre, as well as a Smithsonian Institution lecture series that explores a variety of topics on Russian history, myths and legends. A similarly exclusive program will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the vast art vaults of the Hermitage Museum. Other new cultural highlights include meeting Red Army veterans at Moscow’s Military Museum, visiting a school where young Russians learn restoration techniques to preserve the country’s architectural heritage, and home-hosted visits in riverside towns such as Uglich or St. Petersburg’s Kommunalkas (communal apartments). New onboard programs and services include Viking’s Concierge Services and Viking’s signature on-deck “A Taste Of…” event, highlighting an authentic selection of Russian cuisine such as Siberian pelmeni (ravioli), traditional borscht and blini.
The new Glories of the Hermitage program, which showcases the Hermitage Museum as a destination unto itself, provides art lovers with special access and private tours by Hermitage scholars. Viking guests also have a privileged opportunity to discover many of the museum’s greatest works, including those displayed at the off-site, state-of-the-art Storage Facility, which is not open to the public.
Online Russian inspiration
With Viking’s new microsite, www.TheRealRussia.com, online visitors can experience an insider’s tour of Russia, just as Viking passengers do. The site features a series of inspiring video webisodes, hosted by Karine Hagen, daughter of Torstein. Karine has spent more than two decades studying and living in Russia, and in the webisodes, she takes the viewer behind closed doors at the ballet, into the rural home of babushka Nadya and her family, and literally underground at the Hermitage, to explore her favorite Russia, “the real Russia.”
Ports & Destinations
- Mein Schiff 3 will inaugurate the lengthened pier in La Gomera
- Construction of Hamburg's third cruise terminal commences
- Denmark's Fredericia receives its first cruise ship call
- Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines return to Liverpool; Thomson and CMV will not
- Requirements “out of control” to cruise in Canadian Arctic - AECO
- Suite & Balcony Sale offers deals on Princess Cruises
- MSC Cruises promotes Autumn Mediterranean sailings in UK
- Oceania Cruises offers savings and flight upgrades in UK on Black Sea cruise in September
- Windstar Cruises celebrates America's birthday with savings
- P&O Cruises in two month summer promotion
- STX France begins construction on world's largest cruise ship
- Crystal creates visual magic with water for the AquaTheater on the Oasis and Allure
- Allure of the Seas features 3D digital cinema engineered by FUNA
- Allure of the Seas sails with KONE people flow solutions
- Starbucks and Royal Caribbean to offer first ever Starbucks at sea on Allure of the Seas
Products & services
- Trimline appoints Andrew Richards as new CEO
- Deerberg-Systems sets the course for the future of waste management of cruise ships
- Roxtec decides on further investments and R&D
- Scanship in Total Clean Ship Solution contract for third Viking Ocean Cruises' ship
- Cruise ship newbuilding price per gross ton to drop in 2015-17, second drop since 1990 -- Odo - CBR report
Air & Sea
- Etihad to add six new destinations during the first half of 2015
- Enhanced security measures at certain airports for U.S. bound flights
- Emirates inceases capacity on two more U.S. routes from December 2014
- New Heathrow megaterminal starts operations
- Alaska Airliners to increase its Seattle departures by 11% next spring