Viking River Cruises with Four New Viking Longships

Viking River Cruises, a leading river cruise line, has christened the first four of its new Viking Longships at an event in Amsterdam.

Rebecca Eaton, executive producer of the PBS series “Masterpiece,” which includes the hit show “Downton Abbey,” and Joanna Lumley, the British actress famous for her role as “Patsy Stone” on “Absolutely Fabulous,” joined the celebration as the ceremonial “godmothers” for the Viking Freya and Viking Odin.

Harvard physicist Dr. Lisa Randall and Viking’s most traveled passenger, Gail Wiswedel, served as godmothers for Viking Idun and Viking Njord.

Meanwhile, the Disney Fantasy, fourth ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, was christened during a star-studded christening celebration at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. (Read: Mariah Carey Christens Disney Cruise Ship)

And the ultra-luxe line Crystal invited its travelers past and present to share an essay of Crystal-adulation on its Facebook page, with the chance to win a free cruise for two worth up to $15,000. (Read: Crystal Love Stories Essay Contest on Facebook)

“As we celebrate our 15th anniversary in 2012, we’re proud to say this is the biggest day in our company’s history. The christening of four new Viking Longships is the first step toward an exciting new horizon in our future,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking River Cruises.

“By the end of 2013, we will have launched an unprecedented 12 new Viking Longships in two years, and today we are thrilled and honored to have had such an eminent and sophisticated group of women helping us christen the first four of those vessels.”

The christening of the four new Viking Longships, according to the company, represents the first time in modern history that four cruise ships have been christened at once, with Viking Odin and Viking Idun christened in Amsterdam and Viking Njord and Viking Freya christened via satellite from the Neptun shipyard in Germany.

Guests at the christening ceremony enjoyed remarks by each godmother and presentations by Hagen and Yran & Storbraaten, the celebrated maritime architects and Viking Longship designers. The ceremony concluded with an onboard dinner and maiden voyage cruise around the Amsterdam harbor. It was announced Thursday, March 22.

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