As part of its $250 million fleet development program, Viking River Cruises unveiled details of its four, state-of-the-art vessels set to launch at the start of its 2012 sailing season.

The four vessels, namely, Viking Freya, Viking Idun, Viking Njord and Viking Odin are the first of Viking's Longships, a new class of vessel within the fleet that is marked by sophisticated and inviting design coupled with high-tech and patent-pending features.

Designed by renowned maritime architects Yran and Storbraaten, the new ships have been crafted like ancient Scandinavian vessels and were named after key members of the Norse pantheon.

For our 2012 new builds, we have stretched ourselves creatively and technologically, evaluating every aspect of the guest's cruising experience and asking ourselves how we can surpass it, stated Torstein Hagen, Chairman and CEO of Viking River Cruises.

By shifting the corridor one meter and reorienting the staterooms to create additional space, the new Viking Longships will boast the largest real suites in Europe.

There will be separate sleeping and living rooms in each of its Explorer Suites and Veranda Suites as well as more full-size rooms and full-size verandas than other European river cruise vessels. In addition, three-quarters of staterooms will feature a veranda, French balcony or both.