Joanna Lumley has unveiled four brand new 950-cabin cruise ships in Amsterdam on behalf of operator Viking River Cruises, emphasising the swift growth of this area of the travel industry.
The large cruise operating company asked actress Lumley to be godmother of the ship Odin and broke a record by simultaneously christening of four vessels – Odin, Idun, Freya and Njord.
The unveiling marks £250 million of investment in Viking River Cruise’s fleet across three years.
To make the most of these new 190 passenger-carrying 443ft ships, built from a patent-pending design by maritime architects Yran & Storbraaten, holidaymakers will no doubt be looking to book London airport transfers to Amsterdam as soon as possible.
The vessels include two Explorer Suites, which include a living room, bedroom and private wraparound veranda. They are the biggest (445 sq ft) river cruise suites in Europe.
Space was found for seven two-room suites with a veranda and 29 cabins with balconies by repositioning corridors from the middle of the ship.
Other impressive parts of the ships include all-weather terraces with retractable floor-to-ceiling glass doors for outdoor eating, solar panels for the hybrid engines and an a herb garden for the chefs.
River cruises are often a little more expensive than large ocean superliners because of their smaller size and attract a different clientele.