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Pair of Viking Longships are named in Koblenz

Godmothers Debbie Wiseman (Viking Herja) and Princess Stephanie Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg (Viking Hild) with the captains of their respective vessels. At far left is Bernard Meyer of Meyer Werft, the parent company of Longships builder Neptun Werft, and at far right is Viking chairman Torstein Hagen  Godmothers Debbie Wiseman (Viking Herja) and Princess Stephanie Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg (Viking Hild) with the captains of their respective vessels. At far left is Bernard Meyer of Meyer Werft, the parent company of Longships builder Neptun Werft, and at far right is Viking chairman Torstein Hagen (Photo: Viking River Cruises)

In festivities at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers in Koblenz, Germany, Viking River Cruises ushered in Viking Hild and Viking Herja on Tuesday.

They join Viking's more than 60 river vessels. Viking Hild will sail the Rhine this spring on a new 'Paris to the Swiss Alps' itinerary, and later this year both vessels will operate Viking’s popular 'Danube Waltz' and 'Rhine Getaway' itineraries.

'Two decades ago when we started this company, modern river cruising was still unknown to most travelers. Now, 20 years later, we are pleased that most travelers know river cruising, and they know Viking as a household name,' Viking chairman Torstein Hagen said.

Both godmothers represent key aspects of Viking's product: destination-focused food and wine experiences and cultural enrichment.

Viking Hild godmother Dr. Princess Stephanie Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg is the ceo of Weingut Fürst Löwenstein, a family-owned and top-rated winery in Lower Franconia. Along with her father-in-law, Prince Alois-Konstantin, Princess Stephanie serves as a steward for Schloss Löwenstein in Kleinheubach, the family’s ancestral home that was built in 1725.

Viking Longships on the Main sail past Schloss Löwenstein, and in conjunction with Prince Alois-Konstantin and Princess Stephanie, Viking created a Privileged Access excursion for travelers to tour the estate and winery. Fürst Löwenstein wine is also poured on Viking river and ocean cruises.      

Viking Herja godmother Debbie Wiseman MBE is an award-winning British composer and conductor with more than 200 credits including compositions from the small and big screens. She is also currently Classic FM Live’s composer in residence.

To commemorate Viking's 20th anniversary, the company commissioned Wiseman to compose a new signature piece of music to be recorded at Abbey Road Studios. It will premiere on Classic FM Live at the Royal Albert Hall on April 18.

Though two new river vessels in a year would be ample for most companies, for Viking it's a slowdown from the Guinness World Record namings of the recent past. However, the company is adding a pair of ocean vessels in 2017: Viking Sky began sailing in February and Viking Sun is due in November.

Posted 07 March 2017

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Anne Kalosh

US editor of Seatrade Cruise Review and Seatrade Cruise News

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