Viking River Cruises is expanding its fleet with the addition of 12 new river vessels and two Rhine cruises in 2015, highlighting the European river cruise boom and meeting increased traveller demands for destination-focused cruises.
The 12 new river vessels will include ten additional award-winning Viking Longships and two unique vessels for the Elbe River.
The order comes after Viking christened 18 vessels across four countries in five days last month, and the new additions will bring the company's total fleet size to 64 river vessels.
Viking Longships feature a patented corridor design, a revolutionary all-weather indoor-outdoor Aquavit Terrace and retractable floor-to-ceiling glass doors.
Viking Longships are capable of accommodating 190 passengers in 95 staterooms and have green upgrades, such as on-board solar panels and organic herb gardens and energy-efficient hybrid engines to lower vibrations.
The two vessels are expected to double the company's capacity on the Elbe River in 2015. The Viking Astrild and Viking Beyla will feature an Aquavit Terrace, a wide variety of stateroom choices, hotel-style beds and energy-efficient hybrid engines.
Additional features include on-board solar panels and an organic herb garden, as well as Viking's signature Scandinavian design aesthetic.
The company's first 930-passenger Viking Star ocean ship is expected to set sail in early 2015.
Image: Viking Longships' exterior. Photo: courtesy of Viking River Cruises.