16 More Viking Longships. A second Guinness World Record. One spectacular day.

Streamers explode over guests as Viking River Cruises welcomes an additional 16 vessels to the fleet. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Streamers explode over guests as Viking River Cruises welcomes an additional 16 vessels to the fleet. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Today was one of the most deeply moving days I have ever experienced in my lifetime, as we bore witness to the christening of Viking River Cruises striking Viking Longships, 14 of which will set sail this year and two of which were introduced into service last summer. I know that sounds rather lofty, so perhaps I should explain. Today’s celebrations in Avignon could have easily been ho-hum; it is, after all, the third consecutive year that Viking has christened a massive amount of new vessels at once. Instead, Tuesday, March 18 became what I believe is the best celebration of Viking’s success out of them all.

On-tour this morning in beautiful Avignon, France. Shown here is the Palace of the Popes. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

On-tour this morning in beautiful Avignon, France. Shown here is the Palace of the Popes. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Aaron Saunders, Live Voyage Reports Our morning started with a tour of picturesque Avignon, all of which is easily accessible from the Viking docks along the Rhone. Our three-hour guided tour took us through the historic center of Avignon and to the Palace of the Popes, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

All Things French in Avignon. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

All Things French in Avignon. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Fresh flowers...Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Fresh flowers…Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

...fresh everything, really. C'est magnifique! Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

…fresh everything, really. C’est magnifique! Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Inside Avignon's imposing Palace of the Popes. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Inside Avignon’s imposing Palace of the Popes. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Each 'rue' seems to be more picturesque than the last. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Each ‘rue’ seems to be more picturesque than the last. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

I could go on in detail about Avignon, but we’ll save that for a future article. For now, I want to focus on the big event: the Christening of the 2014 Viking Longships.

Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Viking crew assembled for the festivities. It's a real family atmosphere here onboard Viking Heimdal. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Viking crew assembled for the festivities. It’s a real family atmosphere here onboard Viking Heimdal. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Champagne: never christen a ship without it! Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Champagne: never christen a ship without it! Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

The official ceremonies kicked off at 2:45pm – under skies that inexplicably cleared, bathing Viking Buri and Viking Heimdal in brilliant sunlight for the first time today. With a video uplink from the Neptun-Werft yards in Rostock, Germany near the seaside town of Warnemunde, a total of seven ships were christened today, following the nine christened yesterday in Amsterdam – for a grand total of 16. And there’s still two more to go on Friday in Portugal!

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Our Live Voyage Report from the 2014 Viking Longships Christening Ceremonies continues tomorrow as we fly to Bordeaux for a taste of Viking’s newest itinerary in France! Be sure to follow along on twitter by following @deckchairblog or the hashtag #LiveVoyageReport.

 

4 Responses to Viking Longships 2014 Live Report – Day 2

  1. […] in One Day by One Company” with the simultaneous christening of 16 new Viking Longships over 24 hours in Avignon .See video report […]

  2. […] the Viking Cruises Viking Longships christening events last week in Amsterdam, Avignon, Bordeaux and Porto, Viking welcomed a total of 18 brand-new river […]

  3. […] Viking Cruises confirmed what they had previously announced back in March when they christened a massive 18 new river cruise vessels in five days across four countries: the line will take delivery of 12 new river cruise ships in 2015. But while […]

  4. […] Viking Cruises confirmed what they had previously announced back in March when they christened a massive 18 new river cruise vessels in five days across four countries: the line will take delivery of 12 new river cruise ships in 2015. But while […]

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