The 190-passenger, 443-foot-long Viking Njord will launch in April 2012. Five sister boats will debut in 2012 between March and August.
Njord and company will inaugurate Vikings's Longship class, riverboats named after Norse gods and designed by maritime architects Yran & Storbraaten (known for their work on Disney Dream
and Seabourn Cruise Line
's ships). The boats will sail Viking's most popular routes, including the 10-day "Tulips & Windmills" cruise, 8-day "Romantic Danube," 15-day "Grand European Tour" and 8-day "Danube Waltz."
Amenity-wise, here's what passengers can expect to find on Viking Njord and its sisters:
Viking is introducing "Explorer Suites." Njord will have two 445-square-foot suites featuring a separate living room, bedroom, bathroom and private, wraparound verandah. Seven 270-square-foot Veranda Suites will offer full-size verandahs in the living rooms and French balconies in the bedrooms, a balcony-and-a-half concept introduced by AMAWATERWAYS.
Seventy-five percent of Njord's cabins will feature verandahs or French balconies, including 39 205-square-foot Veranda Staterooms with full-size verandahs.
The Aquavit Terrace brings a new lounge concept to Viking. The all-weather indoor/outdoor space features retractable floor-to-ceiling glass doors for alfresco relaxation on nice days and climate-controlled views on crummy days.
Passengers will have several dining options with the addition of alfresco areas with grills on the Upper Deck.
Within the industry, Viking has a reputation for being slightly more "green" than its competitors. Odin and company will feature energy-efficient hybrid engines, solar panels and an organic herb garden.
Viking has opted not to take away from cabin space to offer a spa or cinema. Instead, it will offer spa and health club packages at luxury hotels in select destinations and provide the option to transform the ship's lounges into theaters with multiple viewing screens and surround sound.