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Vigkin

Viking’s new ships will carry fewer passengers to sail on the Elbe river. Image: Viking River Cruises

Viking River Cruises has revealed it will launch 12 new ships in Europe next year, proving there’s no slowing down in the European river cruise boom.

The announcement comes a month after Viking christened 16 ships in a day, setting a new record for the number of vessels inaugurated by one line within 24-hours.

The 12 new ships will bring the line’s fleet size to 64 in 2015.

Of the new vessels, 10 will be 190-passenger Viking Longships featuring the all-weather Aquavit Terrace, an organic herb garden, 22 French balconies, seven Veranda Suites and 39 Veranda staterooms.

The other two ships will be almost half the size of the Viking Longships, allowing them to sail through the shallow Elbe River in central Europe.

They will sail with customized hulls and engines designed to navigate through the river.

A spokesperson told Cruise Passenger the hull will be completely flat at the bottom, which will allow for ease of movement through the river.

“The engines will be positioned with three smaller engines at the back and one at the front, to allow smoother and more controlled turning – rather then three large engines at the back like in most Longships,” the spokesperson explained.

Additionally, the ships will only carry 98 passengers in 49 staterooms.

They will feature the Aquavit Terrace as well as Viking’s signature Scandinavian design aesthetic, solar panels, hotel-style beds and energy-efficient hybrid engines.

The two ships will sail the line’s only Elbe itinerary, Elegant Elbe, which includes hotel stays in Berlin and Prague and stops in Magdeburg, Wittenburg and Dresden.

Next year, the line will also introduce two new itineraries along the Rhine River during Europe’s springtime.

An eight-day Legends of the Rhine cruise takes guests from Amsterdam to Frankfurt, with stops in Remagen and Nijmegen.

The ten-day Rhine Rhapsody takes guests along the Rhine, Main and Moselle Rivers for tours in France and visits to European towns like Trier, Rudesheim and Cochem.