Viking River Cruises‘ unprecedented market growth was expected to continue well into the future, but now you can add another two hardware orders into the mix as well. The line just announced that it will introduce not 12, as previously detailed, but 14 new riverboats to its fleet in 2014, bringing the total number of Viking Longships – the line’s newest design – to 30 vessels, all launched within a period of only three years.
It’s staggering to realize that the three longships we have experienced and reported on – the impressive Viking Embla, Viking Freya and Viking Odin (two of which are pictured above) – amount to only one-tenth of the modern fleet as it will soon come to exist. These ship builds mark the fastest fleet expansion of all time in the cruise industry, and they are well deserved. The line explains: “Over the last few years, river cruising has grown at an average annual rate of approximately nine percent. Within this segment, Viking has grown at a much faster clip than its competitors – an average of 22 percent per year, compared to the estimated four percent annual growth of other river cruise lines.”
What will all these new riverboats look like and be called you may wonder? Well, we can safely assume the exterior design will follow suit with those longships that have already been put into service, but subtle improvements are also very likely as Viking has made slight alterations with each new generation. Until seeing the final product, we do know what they will all be named as you can see for yourself by visiting the line’s longship web page here.
In the end, “we are working hard to match supply with demand, and with these new builds, we have the best designed, newest and most extensive offer of ships on the rivers – more than double all our competitors combined,” said Hagen. “More than ever, travelers want experiences that bring them closer to the destination, which is why we continue to design ships and itineraries with destinations and enrichment as the focus.”
For more information on the Viking Longships to come, visit Viking River Cruises‘ website here.
Are you planning a river cruise onboard one of Viking’s 30 new longships? Tell us about it in the comments section below…