Viking River Cruises announced that Viking Legend’s inaugural cruise has set sail.
The ship sailed out of Amsterdam Sunday for a Grand European Tour on its way to Budapest with nearly a full complement of 189 guests in 97 deluxe staterooms, 74 percent of which have French balconies.
"We have launched not only a beautiful new ship but a new era of European river cruise travel," Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen said. "This 'green' cruise ship, with its hybrid diesel engines and advanced emission control protocols, represents the future of cruise ships."
Viking Legend's new diesel-electric hybrid engines use an estimated 20 percent less fuel. Its engine rooms, one fore and one aft, are both completely noise-insulated, ensuring a very quiet ship.
Viking Legend has additional features that help reduce its impact on the environment, including its own membrane water treatment plant. It also is among the first to be certified under new EU guidelines regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
"Our new ship is the crowning touch on a strong year," Hagen said. "Viking is experiencing triple-digit growth for our 2010 program, and even with the economy, most 2009 Viking sailings are going out full."