Viking River Cruises will add seven new ships in 2019.
Six of the new ships will be Viking Longships, which include full verandas, and will sail itineraries on the Rhine, Main, and Danube Rivers. The other ship, which Viking said will be “inspired by the Longships,” is being designed to sail exclusively on the Douro River.
The additions will bring Viking River’s fleet up to 69 total ships by the end of 2019, by far the most of any river cruise line.
“The Viking way of exploration has resonated with our target audience of experienced travelers, and this new ship order is a reflection of strong demand for more destination-focused cruises,” Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen said in a statement announcing the fleet additions.
The Longships will sport Viking’s signature Aquavit Terrace, an alternative to the ship’s main dining room located on the front of the ship that offers both indoor and outdoor dining, all included in the cruise fare.
For Viking River, the announcement brings its recent, comparatively quiet period to a halt. After introducing more than 50 river ships between 2012 and 2016, it only introduced two new Longships in 2017. Those ships were Viking Longship Herja and Viking Longship Hild, each of which will carry 190 passengers and sail the Moselle and Rhine Rivers.
In the meantime, Viking has built a new focus on its growing ocean business. In debuted its first ocean ship, Viking Star, in 2015; and has since added Viking Sea in 2016, and Viking Sky and Viking Sun in 2017. Earlier this month, Viking announced the name of its next ocean vessel, Viking Orion, due to enter service in summer 2018.
According to Travel Market Report’s upcoming River Cruise Report Card for Travel Agents, Viking River offers a commissionable fare that includes: government taxes, ancillary services, shore excursions, port charges, bottled water, Wi-Fi, and other add-ons. It also offers agent fam trips based on availability and demand.