Viking Launches Inaugural China Coastal Cruise from Shenzhen with Chinese Flag Vessel “CM-Yidun”

This is the first of new routes launched as part of Viking’s joint venture with China Merchants.

Shenzhen, china, October 1, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Viking® today announced the maiden voyage of the Chinese-flagged vessel “CM-Yidun” in a joint venture with China Merchants Shekou. The ship departs from Shenzhen Shekou Port and will sail to Sanya by Hainan before returning to Shenzhen on an 8-day itinerary, marking the first in a planned series of coastal cultural cruises in China.

“It’s very exciting to be able to launch a brand new product and the first of its kind in China. We have always aimed to explore the world in comfort, and now we are offering our Chinese clients the opportunity to rediscover their own backyard in a new way – culturally enriching, in stylish comfort and with a touch. unique Nordic hospitality ”, declared Torstein Hagen, President of Viking.

He added: “We believe that cruising is a booming industry in China, and that Chinese consumer demand for cruises will continue to grow and become more sophisticated. Our joint venture partnership with China Merchants Group will allow us to take advantage of this trend. “

In the past five years since Viking entered the China market, it has earned a reputation for delivering top quality, culture-driven cruises and providing attentive service that makes guests feel right at home. Viking’s European river cruises designed for Chinese customers have garnered industry acclaim and loyalty. As part of effective pandemic control measures, China has seen a strong rebound in domestic travel, making it an opportune time to launch a “small ship” domestic cruise for a market that has so far only been exposed to mega-liners sailing to neighboring countries .

Although the ship is under the Chinese flag, it features Nordic Viking-style interiors, and the China Coastal Cultural Cruise Experience retains many of the brand’s signatures, including a well-organized book library, enriching lectures, a spa featuring traditional Scandinavian bathing rituals, shore excursions featuring multiple privileged access experiences and original Viking dining concepts like Norwegian grocery store Mamsen’s, Italian restaurant Manfredi’s and destination-oriented cuisines.

“The experience we set out to create is based on what has made Viking successful around the world and popular with our Chinese customers. We then added locally relevant elements to complement it, ”said Wee-Hoon Tan, vice president of products. Development & Marketing, the architect of this new product.

For example, since duty-free shopping is not possible on an inland cruise, the ship’s original cosmetics store has been redesigned to become “The Oriental Shop” – a place where customers can experience the traditional Chinese craftsmanship with innovative and modern touches. “We have however kept the Nordic Shop, which aims to allow Chinese customers to familiarize themselves with established and niche quality brands reflecting Nordic heritage and culture. In our jewelry store, we are proud to welcome world renowned Gübelin from Switzerland and presenting its very first point of sale at China. We are also delighted to have Chow Tai Fook, a domestic brand in China, who showcases many of their jewelry collections on our ship that are not readily available ashore, ”said Tan.

Tan added that the entertainment and enrichment content of the ship, as well as the food and beverage experiences were also located. “To complete the Chinese tea experience on our ship, we added guqin – a very elegant classical Chinese instrument, in our live music mix. Our main restaurant originally serving western food has been transformed into a modern style Chinese restaurant, Chinese street style grilled skewers have been added to our Pool Grill originally serving only burgers, Asian flavors have been mixed with our afternoon tea in Wintergarden and featured in the menus of the Table des Chefs. Our Torshavn Armagnac bar has also been redeveloped into Bar 1872, specializing in Chinese wines and spirits and serving a selection of exclusive cocktails inspired by the history of the China Merchants Group, which began in 1872. “

CM-Yidun also offers one of the most comprehensive COVID-19 protocols in the industry, offering a health protection plan designed to ensure the safety of every guest and crew member throughout the journey. Guests will find many of the same innovative pandemic prevention features on other Viking ships on CM-Yidun, including UV light disinfecting robots, facial recognition temperature scanners and more.

Updating the ship to prepare it for these new cruises took approximately 12 months. “We hope that every guest aboard CM-Yidun will appreciate the details that went into the design of this product and continue to experience the same vibe for which Viking has become known in China – a warm feeling of ‘home’, a ‘thoughtful person cruise’, ”Tan concluded.

For more information on CM-Yidun and China’s New Coastal Cultural Cruises, visit www.cmviking.com.

About Viking

Viking was founded in 1997 and offers destination-oriented trips to rivers, oceans and lakes around the world. Designed for seasoned travelers interested in science, history, culture and cuisine, President Torstein Hagen It is often said that Viking offers its customers The Thinking Person’s Cruise®, unlike traditional cruises. During its first five years of operation, Viking was ranked # 1 in ocean cruises in Travel + Leisure 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 “Best in the world” awards. In addition to Travel + Leisure honors, Viking has also been repeatedly honored on Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” as well as recognized by Cruise Critic as “Best Midsize Vessel” at the Cruisers’ Choice Awards 2018, “Best River Cruise Line” and “Best River Routes”, the entire Viking Longships fleet ® being named “Best New River Ships” in the Editors’ Picks Awards website. For more information, contact Viking at 1-800-2-VIKING (1-800-284-5464) or visit www.viking.com. For Viking’s award-winning enrichment chain, visit www.viking.tv.

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