Viking Eyes Guinness Record with 245-Day World Cruise

Viking Sun

Viking guests will embark on the new Ultimate World Cruise itinerary, a 245-day journey including six continents, 51 countries and 111 ports.

Sailing from London on the Viking Sun, the longest-ever continuous cruise will fully circumnavigate the globe before returning to London in May 2020.

In beginning this journey, Viking will attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the “longest continuous passenger cruise,” according to a press release.

Upon the return of Viking Sun to London next year, an official Adjudicator will confirm the successful attempt with a certificate presentation.

“For more than 20 years we have been committed to connecting travellers to culturally immersive experiences that allow them to explore the world in comfort,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “Our Ultimate World Cruise is the most extensive itinerary available in the industry, nearly double the length of our previous world cruise itineraries. I am pleased to offer such a unique experience for our guests.”

The cruise includes overnight stays in 23 cities.

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Three Inaugural Calls for Dover in May

Three Inaugural Calls for Dover in May

Viking Sun

The Port of Dover saw three first-time cruise calls in May, highlighted by the Viking Sun and also including the Deutschland and Zenith.

The ships were greeted in true Dover Cruise style with a water salute from Dover Tugs Doughty and Dauntless, the port said.

In addition, the first bank holiday weekend saw the historic Western Docks at full capacity for the first time since 2016 with three cruise ships berthed together.

There was also a call from the expedition vessel, the Silver Cloud. The ship’s guests enjoyed a unique kayaking experience to view the iconic White Cliffs up close.

Holland America Line’s Prinsendam arrived in port on the Royal Wedding day on Saturday, May 19 to a celebratory great British Street Party in Cruise Terminal Two.

“Complimentary tempting food and drink were provided along with musical entertainment from the talented Nick Bosworth on piano and keyboard. Life-size cardboard figures of the Royal Family were positioned in the terminal where guests enjoyed taking selfies with them creating unique holiday memories. It was marvellous to see the affection passengers from all over the world have for our Royal Family,” the port said.

What Viking’s growth means for river cruising

Image result for viking river cruises
The news that Viking River Cruises will add 24 Longships to its fleet signals two things: That following a brief lull in shipbuilding momentum, Viking is experiencing strong enough demand to merit a hefty commitment to more ships, and that the river cruise industry at large is entering a new growth phase.
So, let’s start with Viking. With the addition of 24 vessels in addition to the existing 65 ships already in the company’s river fleet (though we don’t know if and how many ships the company may retire in the coming years), one has to ask, what is in Viking’s secret sauce that lets it sustain such growth?
While only Viking is privy to the nuances of its success, the line has certain unique features that have likely helped fueled its expansion and popularity.
For one, Viking has become a household name in river cruising thanks in large part to its ads that blanketed popular TV programs like Downton Abbey on PBS and that air on National Public Radio. That kind of brand recognition definitely gives it an advantage.
In addition to product awareness, Viking has found the sweet spot in offering well-designed hardware at affordable prices. The line’s newest vessels, the Viking Longships, launched in 2012, feature open and airy public areas and contemporary Scandinavian design that makes them feel like unstuffy, sleek floating hotels. They also offer a wide range of stateroom options, from a modest 150-square-foot lower deck cabin with small windows to 275-square-foot veranda suites with step-out balconies and 445-square-foot explorer suites with a separate living room and bedroom.
It doesn’t hurt that Viking is also known for its attractive deals. For travellers who find river cruising to be too expensive, Viking’s promotions make its cruises more attainable.
Viking also pays agent commission on all components of its river cruises, including port charges and airline fees, which few other lines do.
Image result for amaways river cruises

While Viking’s fleet expansion always makes good headline fodder, Viking isn’t the only river cruise line that is growing. AmaWaterways recently announced that it will launch three vessels in 2019, including the double-wide 196-passenger AmaMagna, and this spring the last two of Crystal Cruises’ four new-build river ships set sail (the first two launched last fall).

The steady stream of ship orders suggests that demand for river cruising hasn’t let up. So, can Europe’s rivers sustain all the inventory? Well, there are certain issues the industry needs to consider as it continues on its shipbuilding path, including staggering itineraries so that that numerous ships aren’t all docked in the same ports at the same times. And docking space itself needs to be re-evaluated and solutions explored to ensure that ports don’t get overcrowded.

Physical growth logistics aside, however, river cruise lines often point out that the demand for the new ships is there. The number of river cruise passengers is still a small fraction of the number of ocean cruise passengers, meaning that many cruisers have yet to discover river cruising. For the river cruise lines, that fact alone signals that this segment is poised to continue on its current expansion path for years, if not decades, to come.