River cruising has grown on an average annual rate of approximately nine percent, and in order to meet rising demand Viking River Cruises ordered two more ships for 2014. Now with a total of 14 new vessels scheduled for launch next year, viking will have introduced 30 new ships to waterways over a three year period. The 14 new ships are scheduled to sail Viking's European itineraries.
In March of 2013, Viking set a world record with the inauguration of 10 new Longships for the 2013 sailing season in a first-of-its-kind simultaneous christening ceremony in Amsterdam.
Another addition to Europe's rivers comes with the launch of Emerald Waterways, the first new European river cruise line to launch in over six years. The line is offering eight to 15-day itineraries, first prmied for launch on April 15, 2014. Fares start at $2,230 per person, based on double occupancy.
The line is purported to be in the market for the Viking River Cruises or AmaWaterways-level customer, and will have two ships available at launch. The Emerald Star and Emerald Sky each carry 182 guests in 20 staterooms (two staterooms are built for solo passengers) and 72 suites. Four itineraries will be available, including voyages down the Danube, Rhine and Moselle rivers.
On the environmental front, Carnival Corporation & plc announced a plan to work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Coast Guard and Transport Canada to implement over $180 million in exhaust gas cleaning technology across 32 of its ships. Vessels from Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Cunard that sail regularly within the North American Emission Control Area (ECA) will be host to the upgrades.
Carnival has been a partner in the development of this technology and will take the lead in further refining both design and installation aspects on ships with a variety of engine configurations between now and mid-2016.