Viking River Cruises Celebrates Launch of Second Ship on Magnificent Yangtze River

Viking Century Sky Provides New Level of Comfort, Style and Experiences in China

LOS ANGELES, April 20 /PRNewswire/ — Viking River Cruises celebrated the inaugural launch of Viking Century Sky along the Yangtze River on Sunday, April 10, 2005. Over 150 attendees, including special guests, New Century Cruise Company and Viking River Cruises representatives, joined Viking Century Sky in Chongqing for an exclusive celebratory dinner and sail-away party. The group then visited mystical Shibaozhai Temple, Qutang Gorge, the Lesser Three Gorges, and majestic Three Gorges Dam during a three-night cruise.

“China is becoming an extremely popular vacation destination, and Viking River Cruises received very positive feedback from passengers in 2004 on Viking Century Star and China itineraries,” said Viking River Cruises Chairman Torstein Hagen. “So now, we’re excited to introduce a second ship that sails along the Yangtze, allowing passengers even greater flexibility when deciding on their Viking River Cruises China itinerary.”

Viking Century Sky was built in partnership with the Chongqing New Century Cruise Company, who built Viking Century Star the previous year. Viking Century Sky is Viking River Cruises largest ship to date, and includes an observation lounge, restaurant, sauna, sun deck, bar, business center, gym, shops, and beauty salon. An Internet bar allows passengers to keep in touch with the world around them, and two elevators provide easy access the ship’s five decks. The decor is Scandinavian-influenced and reflects the cruise line’s Viking heritage while surrounding passengers with elegant contemporary style in all cabins and public areas.

Measuring 415 feet in length and 56 feet in width, Viking Century Sky has 153 cabins, accommodating more than 300 passengers. All cabins have a private balcony, bathroom and shower, hotel-style beds, telephone, TV, air conditioning, in-room safes and hair dryers.

For 2005, Viking River Cruises offers five different Cruisetour itineraries in China. The all-inclusive programs, ranging from nine to 18 nights, feature either a three- or four-night cruise (depending on direction) between Chongqing and the Three Gorges Dam, or a nine-night cruise between Chongqing and Shanghai, in addition to in-depth land packages highlighting Shanghai, Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Hong Kong and Lhasa. Each program includes all-shore excursions and tours, meals aboard and on land, hotel nights in five-star and deluxe properties, intra-Asia flights, and a Viking River Cruises English-speaking escort from airport arrival to departure. Passengers can choose from more than 200 departures through December 2005.

About Viking River Cruises

Viking River Cruises, the world leader in river cruising, offers quality service, gourmet cuisine and comfortable scenic cruising along Europe, Russia and China’s majestic rivers. Honored as the top river cruise line on Travel & Leisure’s “World’s Best” Awards, Viking River Cruises has also appeared on Conde Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” in 2004 and 2005. Two of Viking River Cruises ships, Viking Europe and Viking Pride, were voted as “The Best Cruise Ships in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler’s readers’ poll in 2005. Since its 1997 inception, the company has grown to a fleet of 25 vessels and provides a unique, affordable vacation to experienced travelers with an interest in geography, culture and history. For additional information, contact Viking River Cruises toll-free at 1-877-66VIKING (1-877-668-4546) or visit the company online at vikingrivercruises.com.

About Chongqing New Century Cruise Company

New Century Cruise Company is a modern and innovative tourism company based in Chongqing, a starting point of many cruises on the Yangtze River. It has been promoted by the government of Chongqing with its 31 million inhabitants, and by the China Ministry of Transportation.

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