TRAVEL ADVENTURES . . .
VIKING EVENING OF CELEBRATION AND EXPLORATION
Dreamy Options on the Menu For 2020-2022 Revealed
by Bonnie Carroll
Torstein Hagan, Viking Chairman and his daughter Karine Hagen, Executive Vice President of Viking hosted a magnificent celebration in the Beverly Hilton Hotel to take their invited guests and Viking family members to the far end of the Americas to experience their sixth and latest ocean ship unveiling, the Viking Jupiter which launched 2019 as she sailed toward Cape Horn and was officially named by her godmother Sissel Kyrkjebo, recognized as one of the world's leading crossover sopranos and responsible for many of Norway's most treasured musical memories. Sissel is also known to Norwegian, Danish and Swedish audiences as the voice of Ariel in Disney's Film The Little Mermaid. The godmother blessing for a ship, its crew and passengers is a must for ships entering service in the maritime tradition. Instead of champagne, Viking does this blessing before the inaugural sail with Gammel Opland aquavit to name their ships.
Viking Jupiter Christening Reinactment by Sissel Kyrkjebo
The evening was also an opportunity for guests to learn from Torstein Hagen of Journeys to the Ends of the Earth and Closer to Home, including the launch of Viking Expeditions with the unveiling of the Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, their first Polar Class vessels to debut in 2022, with amazing video of the fabulous ships in the Antarctic. Viking dinner attendees were delightfully surprised to see the Polar Class Vessels contain a yellow submarine that guests can experience while on this cruise. Liv Arnesen, world-renowned Norwegian explorer, lecturer, author and educator and Ann Bancroft, world's preeminent polar explorer were special guest at the Viking event. They were both participants in the Viking Antarctica trip in 2019.
Devoted travelers with Viking attending were not surprised to learn that since it's inception Viking has grown at an unprecedented rate, they have added so many additional ships each year, included so many desirable destinations, and continue to be rated #1 in the cruise industry by travel experts and satisfied guests. Future plans being considered for Canada and Great Lakes cruises were shared with dinner guests with great enthusiasm. CEO Hagen is a no nonsense business man who's vision has lead the way for Vikings success and created a travel experience for people 55+ that is comfortably elegant and very educational, but does not include gambling, kids or dogs. He views it as a travel experience for educated thinking people who are interested in learning about the world they are living in and enjoy quiet and relaxation.
It is interesting to note that Torstein Hagen has a degree in physics from Harvard University and is now partnering with several world-leading academic institutions, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to develop a comprehensive research program encompassing marine biology, ornithology, glaciology, oceanography and atmospheric sciences. To support Vikings scientific program, each expedition ship is equipped with a wet and dry laboratory as well as a suite of sensors, instruments and marine field support equipment, including submarines and oceangoing jet RIBs.
A beautiful and elaborate bunad, Norwegian national costume, was worn throughout the celebration evening by Viking Executive Vice President Karine Hagen. This costume is formal wear and is worn during festive occasions such as weddings, anniversaries and birthdays, and also for religious occasions including baptisms, confirmations and Christmas. The bunad has its roots in 19 century National Romanticism, which included an interest in traditional folk costumes in Norway and neighboring countries such as Denmark and Sweden. Often the bunad is considered a family heirloom, and the design indicates the country of origin of the person who wears it, and is passed on from generation to generation.
Dinner was preceded by an opulent cocktail party where guests enjoyed an amazing offering of seafood hors d' oeuvres with cocktails and wine under the bows of two ancient Viking ships, followed by an elegant dinner in the mostly blue and white International Ballroom where guests enjoyed a root vegetable salad with choice of poached salmon, rib eye steak or oyster mushroom “scallops” that were outstanding. The sublime surprise of this beautiful dinner filled with exciting news on Viking 2020, soul touching entertainment by soprano Sissel Kyrkjebo, and a renowned violinist from Norway was a wall of divine Viking desserts, the same as those served on Viking ships. (please see dessert video below).
Ancient Viking Ship Symbols Welcomed Guests
A delicious and informative evening concluded with an intimate Q&A with Torstein Hagen and Viking Executives who answered questions from the media in the International Terrace which provided a bevy of thought provoking information from the talented CEO on fuel practices and new information that will be available to the public on clean fuel requirements for the future. As a huge fan of Viking I found the evening of celebration to be simply delightful and look forward to finding myself on yet another blissful trip with the Viking family in the near future, perhaps on a ship with a yellow submarine.
Media Q&A With Torstein Hagen, Chairman & Viking Experts
History of Viking: Viking River Cruises was founded in 1997 with the purchase of four ships in Russia. The company expanded into the American market in 2000, establishing a sales and marketing office in Los Angeles. Through rapid expansion, the company has become the largest river cruise line in the world, with double-digit growth in recent years. With the launch of Viking Ocean Cruises in 2015, the company expanded its global reach to new destinations and new guests. In 2016 we began offering a dedicated river cruise product designed specifically for Chinese travelers who wish to sail Europe's iconic waterways. For cruise information visit: www.viking.com.
Viking Surprises Beverly Hills Guests With Extravaganza Dessert Presentation. See Video Below: