NEW YORK -- Viking River Cruises said Wednesday that it plans to launch
seven new ships in 2019.
The news comes after a slower shipbuilding pace for the river
Viking will launch six of its Longship class of vessels on
the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers in 2019: the Viking Einar, Sigrun, Sigyn,
Tir, Ullur and Vali. It will launch a smaller Longship-style vessel, the Viking
Helgrim, on Portugal's Douro River.
Viking launched two Longships this year after launching six
in 2016, 12 in 2015 and 18 in 2014.
Meanwhile, Viking has been growing its ocean cruise
division, which has required a lot of the company's attention and investment.
But Viking chairman Torstein Hagen said that the company hasn't forgotten its
river cruise roots and plans to continue growing that business.
"Our business started on the rivers and we also have
aspirations on the rivers," Hagen said at a press conference in New York aboard the
Viking Sky, one of the company's oceangoing ships.
Viking in 2012 launched its Longship class, featuring ships
with an off-center corridor that allows for a variety of cabin configurations.
It was also the start of offering balcony cabins onboard Viking river ships.
The 190-passenger vessels are outfitted in a sleek
Scandinavian-style design and feature an Aquavit Terrace with retractable
floor-to-ceiling glass doors for dining inside or al fresco, depending on the
Johanna Jainchill contributed to this report.