Viking, whose sponsorship of the television series "Downton
Abbey" brought the allure of European river cruising into American living
rooms, has formed a partnership to promote the Sept. 20 release of the Downton Abbey
While Viking for years has offered a variety of ways for guests
to visit Highclere Castle -- the filming location of Downton Abbey -- Viking is
now offering a new pre- and post-cruise extension called "Great Homes,
Gardens & Gin." The five-day package is designed to give guests an
exclusive look at several country estates that have served as the setting of
Viking is also sponsoring a sweepstakes through Oct. 31
giving U.S. residents a chance to win
a trip to Highclere Castle. The grand prize includes roundtrip international
business class air for two, an eight-day "Paris & the Heart of
Normandy" river cruise and a three-night land extension visiting Oxford
and Highclere Castle.
"Many of our guests were introduced to both Viking and
Highclere Castle while watching the Downton Abbey series," said Karine
Hagen, executive vice president of Viking. "For this reason, we are linked
in the minds of many Downton Abbey fans.
"Partnering for the release of the new film is a
natural extension of our close relationship with Highclere Castle and our close
personal friendship with the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, with whom we
proudly created Viking's highest-rated cruise extension."
The new five-day extension will be available in 2021 on
Viking's "Rhine Getaway" river cruise and "British Isles
Explorer" ocean cruise. The itinerary enables guests to explore Oxford and
experience English country life. It includes Viking's Privileged Access tour of
Highclere Castle as well as a visit to Broughton Castle, home to the
influential Fiennes family, whose members include British explorer Ranulph
Fiennes and actors Ralph and Joseph Fiennes. The castle also served as a
setting for the award-winning Masterpiece series "Wolf Hall."