Viking Cruises® today announced the rollout of its new onboard Viking Resident Historian program. Launching on Viking Star, Viking Sea and Viking Sky this month, a carefully selected faculty of historians will provide an enhanced level of enrichment for guests onboard all of Viking’s ocean cruise ships. A new video on the Resident Historian program can be found on the Viking website.
The Viking Resident Historians will provide guests with a high-level historical and cultural education that is specific to their journey, offering a framework for understanding the major chapters in world history. They will also conduct seminar-style roundtables – smaller, more intimate forums for discussion with guests, where the Viking Resident Historian will examine in-depth subjects related to their own area of specialization and/or particular areas of interest of the guests.
“Our guests are explorers – they are curious travelers who want to learn,” said Karine Hagen, Senior Vice President of Viking Cruises, who leads Viking’s enrichment efforts. “Having a fundamental understanding of iconic historical events in the destinations our guests visit helps bring a deeper understanding of the present – and perhaps also a better perspective on the future.”
The Viking Resident Historians have been engaged to provide a history course as a refresher, which is then supplemented by onboard Guest Lecturers who contribute their particular expertise (art, architecture, music, etc.) of the region. The responsibilities of Viking Resident Historians extend well beyond just lectures during each cruise itinerary and include:
- Presenting itinerary iconic lectures (examples in Europe and Scandinavia include: The Roman Empire; The Ottoman Empire; The Hanseatic League; Imperial Russia)
- Conducting roundtable discussions (examples include: The Elgin Marbles; Women Explorers; Venetian Naval Power)
- Hosting history-themed dinner discussions onboard
- Holding daily “office hours” for one-on-one time with guests
- Being available for guest questions and interactions outside lectures and office hours throughout the itinerary
The Viking Resident Historian lectures are exclusively produced by Viking, under the tutelage of Dr. Charles Doherty, Chief Viking Resident Historian. The lectures are standardized as a core curriculum to guarantee consistency throughout the fleet, regardless of which Viking Resident Historian is lecturing. As with other onboard lectures, the Viking Resident Historian series will be presented in The Theater – and each will also be filmed and made available for guests on the in-room entertainment system. Additionally, the series is currently being professionally filmed in-studio, and in early 2018 will be available in its entirety on-demand through the in-room entertainment system on all Viking river and ocean ships. Charles Doherty, PhD, has lectured in more than 60 countries for The National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History. Dr. Doherty received his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and attended the Courtauld Institute in London as a Fulbright Scholar.
The first three Viking Resident Historians that will be featured onboard Viking’s three ocean cruise ships this spring are:
- Dr. Mark Callaghan holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of London, an M.A. in Art History from Oxford University and a B.A. in Art History from the University of Manchester. Dr. Callaghan is a specialist in 20th century European art and culture and will serve as the Viking Resident Historian on Viking Sky on sailings of Empires of the Mediterranean this spring.
- Lt. Colonel Tony Coutts-Britton is a graduate of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and served with the British Army in Europe and Asia – and later with NATO in the Partnership for Peace program. Lt. Col. Coutts-Britton lectures on the social and political aspects of European military history and will serve as the Viking Resident Historian on Viking Sea on sailings of Empires of the Mediterranean this spring.
- Dr. Fenella Bazin holds a Ph.D. from the University of Liverpool, is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and is a Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool’s Center for Manx Studies. Dr. Bazin is a specialist in the Age of the Vikings and modern Norway and will serve as the Viking Resident Historian on Viking Star on sailings of Empires of the Mediterranean this spring.
The launch of the Resident Historian program is just the latest of several recent additions to the onboard cultural offerings for Viking Ocean Cruises, including:
- Munch Moments – In 2016 the company announced an exclusive partnership with Oslo’s Munch Museum, designed to celebrate the life and artwork of Norway’s most famous artist, Edvard Munch, with daily “Munch Moments,” staged for guests each day in the ship’s Atrium.
- The Metropolitan Opera – Viking has worked with the world renowned Metropolitan Opera to bring Puccini’s classic love story “La Bohème” to guests. As part of the Metropolitan Opera’s groundbreaking “The Met: Live in HD” series, this Viking Privileged Access experience takes guests beyond an ordinary visit to the opera with behind-the-scenes features such as interviews with cast and crew members.
- Viking Art Guide – Viking has launched the Viking Art Guide, a new mobile app available in the App Store, which is a walking tour of Viking’s ocean ships and the extensive collection of Nordic art onboard that can be experienced at a guest’s leisure.
The Viking Difference
Designed for discerning travelers, Viking offers “the thinking person’s cruise” as an alternative to mainstream cruises. The Viking Difference is providing guests with extraordinarily well-designed journeys that bring them closer to the cultures of the world. Ships are small to get guests closer to their destination, with more time in port, more overnights and fewer days at sea. Onboard, guests find serene Scandinavian spaces, where every room is beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light. All-veranda ships mean that guests experience every day with a new, expansive vista. With the most al fresco dining at sea, featuring regional cuisines and always-available American classics, Viking’s guests can truly dine in their destination. A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences onshore and onboard. And only The Viking Way brings guests itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences.
In addition, Viking Inclusive Value provides a small ship experience at a big ship value – with every cruise fare including a veranda stateroom, shore excursions in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including: beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; premium dining reservations; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service—an included value of more than $200 per person, per day for an average cruise.