Viking River Cruises, the world’s leading river cruise line, has teamed up with the Australian National Maritime Museum to host the historical exhibition, Vikings – beyond the legend.
‘‘We are proud to support and collaborate with the Australian National Maritime Museum on this exciting project,’’ says Viking River Cruises Australia managing director, Teresia Fors.
‘‘It is a rare opportunity to find something so intimately connected to our history and where there is such an obvious connection to our brand.’’
Developed by the Swedish History Museum, the exhibition draws on recent archaeological discoveries and hundreds of rare artefacts to shed new light on the Viking way of life and quash stereotypes of Vikings as ferocious, plundering pagans in horned helmets.
Exhibition visitors will view hundreds of unique artefacts including exquisite gold and silver pendants, the oldest known Scandinavian crucifix, beautifully designed jewellery such as armbands, neck rings, and brooches, small statuettes of Norse gods, and Viking swords ranging from 700AD to 1100AD which demonstrate the intricacy of Viking arts, craft, and metal work technologies.
‘‘Vikings have come to symbolise the terror of the so-called Dark Ages in Europe. They are a persistent presence in popular culture and hold a fascination for people, even in Australia,” says Australian National Maritime Museum curator, Dr Stephen Gapps.
Modern day Vikings
Viking River Cruises, founded by chairman and cruise industry stalwart, Torstein Hagen, has 22 itineraries next year, ranging 8-23 days. Although the majority of its river cruises are in Europe, the company is a Russia specialist with a comprehensive journey along the Viking’s sailing routes – the Volga, Neva and Svir between Moscow and St Petersburg.
The company set a world record in March with the christening of 10 new Viking longships, developed with techniques used by the historical Vikings and named after gods and goddesses from the Viking pantheon.
The first-of-its-kind simultaneous christening ceremony in Amsterdam debuted the ships and was certified by a Guinness World Records adjudicator as ‘‘the most ships inaugurated in one day by one company’’. Another 12 longships will be launched next year. Designed by legendary naval architect Yran & Storbraaten, the team behind the Yachts of Seabourn, these new vessels have state-of-the-art engineering, patented design and luxury.
Longships of today
These ships have: 95 comfortable outside staterooms (two explorer suites except Viking Hemming and Viking Torgil, 7 veranda suites, 39 veranda staterooms, 22 French balcony staterooms and 25 standard staterooms). The suites feature two rooms with a veranda off the living room and a French balcony in the bedroom; a sun deck with 360-degree views and shaded sitting area; organic herb garden and solar panels; putting green, and walking track; Aquavit Terrace with a revolutionary indoor/outdoor viewing area at the bow of the boat, and grills for al fresco dining; an observation lounge and bar with floor-to-ceiling glass doors, a restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows for panoramic views; library corner and on board boutique; and elevator and free shipwide wireless internet service.
Bookings: toll-free 1800 131 744 (Australia) or 0800 447 913 (New Zealand); www.vikingrivercruises.com.au