The Latest Cruise Updates for Q1

Luxury cruise lines have grown, changed and added amenities this Q1. Check out the last developments to happen in the luxury cruise line indusrty before the first quarter of 2015 closes. 


Viking River Cruises

Viking hosted a simultaneous christening ceremony in Amsterdam and Rostock, Germany, for 12 new river ships this month.

The new vessels included 10 Viking Longships and two custom vessels for the Elbe River. This event officially brings Viking's total river fleet size to 60 and comes just one year after the company set a Guiness World Record for the most new ships launched in a single day.

All 10 of the new Viking Longships will be deployed on Viking's itineraries in Europe, including three of the most popular itineraries – "Grand European Tour," "Romantic Danube" and "Rhine Getaway." Also, as a result of high consumer demand for the "Elegant Elbe" itinerary, the two new specially designed ships will double the company's capacity on the Elbe River for 2015.

Also this month, Viking Ocean Cruises has taken delivery of the company's first oceangoing ship, the Viking Star.

The delivery ceremony took place on March 28 when the ship was presented at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard outside of Venice, Italy. On April 11, Viking Star will set sail from Istanbul and will make her way through the Mediterranean and into the Atlantic on her way to be officially christened on May 17 in Bergen, Norway.

“This has been a remarkable journey, and I am grateful to everyone at Viking and Fincantieri who has worked tirelessly to turn our vision into reality,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking Cruises. “With Viking Star’s maiden voyage and christening now within sight, we are ready to bring our destination-focused experiences to ocean cruising.”

The all-veranda Viking Star has 465 cabins and will accommodate 930 passengers. It is engineered at a scale that allows direct access into most ports in order to promote an easy embarkation and debarkation. Light-filled with modern Scandinavian décor, the ship was designed by the same interior design team responsible for the fleet of Viking Longships. Viking Star is one of three ocean cruise ships on order. The remaining two ships, Viking Sea and Viking Sky, are currently under construction.

Maria Theresa
(L-R) Guy Young, president and CEO of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection; Beatrice Tollman, president and founder of Uniworld’s sister company The Red Carnation Hotel Collection; and Princess Anita von Hohenberg, Godmother of the S.S. Maria Theresa


Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection's newest ship, the Maria Theresa, has been christened by her Godmother, Princess Anita von Hohenberg, during a ceremony in Amsterdam.

Princess Anita, a direct descendent of Maria Theresa, the ship's namesake and the Archduchess of Austria during the Baroque period, was joined by Guy Young, president and CEO of Uniworld; the Tollman family, who have owned and operated Uniworld for more than 10 years; and approximately 120 guests.

The new ship is fashioned in the spirit of her namesake and will cruise the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers. Her inaugural voyage will depart March 28, with guests experiencing Belgium and the Netherlands on a nine-day “Tulips & Windmills” itinerary.

David Bilsland


Silversea has announced 26 sailings with either a culinary or wine focus over the course of 2015 and 2016.

With the only "L'École des Chefs by Relais & Châteaux" cooking school at sea, Silversea offers a special culinary curriculum, including hands-on instruction and events. Culinary trainer David Bilsland, a former instructor at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in London, hosts the program, which is free of charge.

Highlights include specialized workshops covering an array of topics from basic knife skills and kitchen terminology to sauces and baking; cooking demonstrations with wine pairings and interactive Q&A sessions; cooking competitions between Chef Bilsland and the ship's own culinary team; a "Lunch and Learn" event offering small groups of guests a chance to sample a meal of specially prepared dishes; and "Take It Home" recipes meant to give guests an edge when entertaining at home.