February 22, 2012
The naming of the 190-passenger Viking Odin and Viking Idun will take place as planned on March 21, but Viking Freya and Viking Njord will not now be delivered until mid-April, when they will start sailing scheduled departures straight away, without a splashy launch party.
Five 'Tulips and Windmills' sailings on Viking Freya and Viking Njord have been cancelled, all of which were due to sail round-trip from Amsterdam. The affected dates are March 22, March 31 and April 9 for Viking Freya and March 28 and April 6 for Viking Njord. Guests impacted by the delay are being offered the chance to rebook a similar itinerary on a different ship and receive up to a 50 percent credit on a future cruise booking; or if they choose not to rebook, a full refund.
Viking's Longships are part of a $250 million investment programme. Ten identical Longships have been ordered, with six due this year; Viking Embla and Viking Aegir, identical to the first four ships, are scheduled for delivery in summer. Interiors on each ship have been designed by Yran & Storbraaten, the team behind Disney Dream and Seabourn's Odyssey-class ships, and features will include staterooms with balconies big enough to feature deck furniture (in addition to cabins with the more standard French balconies featured on modern riverboats), indoor-outdoor casual dining and ‘green' advances like solar panels, environmentally friendly hybrid engines and an organic herb garden on the large sun deck.
--by Sue Bryant, Cruise Critic Contributing Editor