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Marking a landmark year of innovation and expansion, Viking River Cruises (www.vikingrivercruises.com.au) proudly christened the first four of its new Viking Longships at a spectacular event in Amsterdam yesterday. Rebecca Eaton, executive producer of hit shows such as Downton Abbey, and Joanna Lumley, the British actress famous for her role as Patsy Stone on Absolutely Fabulous, joined the celebration as the ceremonial godmothers for Viking Freya and Viking Odin. Renowned Harvard physicist Dr Lisa Randall and Viking’s most travelled passenger, Gail Wiswedel, served as godmothers for Viking Idun and Viking Njord.

“As we celebrate our 15th anniversary in 2012, we’re proud to say this is the biggest day in our company’s history. The christening of four new Viking Longships is the first step toward an exciting new horizon in our future,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking River Cruises. “By the end of 2013, we will have launched an unprecedented 12 new Viking Longships in two years, and today we are thrilled and honoured to have had such an eminent and sophisticated group of women helping us christen the first four of those vessels.”