Viking recently christened eight new river cruise ships during a celebration in Paris. Of the eight Viking Longships, four vessels—Viking Fjorgyn, Viking Kari, Viking Radgrid and Viking Skaga—have been built to navigate the Seine River and bring guests to the heart of Paris with an exclusive docking location at Port de Grenelle, just a short walk from the Eiffel Tower. The four additional ships—Viking Egdir, Viking Gersemi, Viking Gymir and Viking Hervor—will sail Viking’s popular itineraries on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers.
The christening 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, the company will have also added a second identical expedition ship, besides two new identical ocean ships, new purpose-built vessels for the Nile and Mekong rivers and new Mississippi river cruises.
Viking invited eight cultural partners and important members of the company’s extended family to serve as ceremonial godmothers of the new ships: Alma Deutscher, godmother of Viking Gymir; Helen Deutscher, godmother of Viking Egdir; Dr. Janie Deutscher, godmother of Viking Radgrid; Brenda Hunsberger, godmother of Viking Hervor; Karryn Christopher, godmother of Viking Gersemi; Ghislaine Wood, godmother of Viking Fjorgyn; Muriel Wilson, godmother of Viking Skaga; Kari Garmann, godmother of Viking Kari.
The naming event was executed by connecting the new ships via satellite across Paris and Amsterdam. The Viking Fjorgyn, Viking Kari, Viking Radgrid and Viking Skaga were docked in Paris at the Port de Grenelle, where they were named by their godmothers. The other four ships—Viking Egdir, Viking Gersemi, Viking Gymir and Viking Hervor—were docked in Amsterdam and named by their godmothers, who also joined the celebration in Paris. In keeping with maritime tradition, a bottle of Gammel Opland aquavit was broken on the bow of each new ship.
Building on Viking’s offerings in Paris and the four new Viking Longships sailing the Seine River, the company has announced a new post-trip extension, “Paris: A Culinary Experience,” which will explore the cuisine of the French capital. Available in 2023 for guests sailing on the eight-day “Paris & the Heart of Normandy” itinerary, the new extension allows guests to immerse themselves in the culinary history of Paris and taste the gastronomic delights the city has to offer. 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, before enjoying an evening of wine and cheese tasting 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 workshop delving into the art of table etiquette. Each day allows ample free time for guests to explore iconic Parisian landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Élysées from their centrally located hotel.
The line has also announced a new holiday itinerary, 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-clad countryside while enjoying the Christmas markets. Guests can select from holiday-centric shore excursions such as baking gingerbread at the 850-year-old Abbaye du Valasse or attending a Christmas ornament-making workshop in Rouen. On-board, guests can enjoy holiday-themed festivities including regional specialties and seasonal treats.