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Viking this week marks the one-year anniversary for its award-winning enrichment channel, Viking.TV (https://viking.tv/). Launched last March, in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Viking.TV was conceived as a way to build community, stay connected and share positive experiences while people are staying home. As of this week, Viking.TV has broadcast more than 340 live sessions featuring original cultural content and virtual Privileged Access® to people and places around the world. The free daily livestreams and archived content on Viking.TV have had more than more than two million viewers, including past Viking guests, employees and those who have not yet travelled with Viking. The new milestone follows a year of accolades for the channel, including the “Breakthrough Award for Product Innovation” in the 2020 Silver Travel Awards.

“This time last year, we were all trying to find our way in a changed world. We launched Viking.TV because we felt there was a need to connect our guests, crew and other curious people to the world during a time of great isolation, uncertainty and fear. Now after 12 months, we are honoured to have welcomed so many esteemed guests from our longstanding cultural relationships—and to have brought them virtually into the homes of so many people,” said Karine Hagen, Executive Vice President of Viking. “We greatly look forward to restarting limited operations in May, and in the meantime, we are pleased to continue offering Viking.TV as a source of daily positivity and learning.”

Viking.TV Year of Highlights

It has long been known by explorers and astronauts that a daily routine is essential to maintaining overall well-being during periods of stress and isolation. Resonating during a year of uncertainty, Viking.TV provided new daily routines with cultural enrichment livestreams and viewer Q&A each day at the same time, as well as archived content for continued exploration. Since its launch, Viking.TV has featured exclusive interviews and live Q&A with remarkable explorers, museum curators, musicians, astronauts, actors, artists, performers, photographers, filmmakers and more. Highlights include:

  • Museum directors, curators and experts from Viking Cultural Partners have hosted virtual Privileged Access to cultural institutions around the world, including Oslo’s Munch Museum, London’s British Museum, St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum and Iowa’s Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum.
  • Viking Resident Historians, who typically provide destination-specific curriculum on ocean itineraries, have shared virtual lectures about world history. Additionally, Viking Resident Photographer Alastair Miller has hosted conversations with notable individuals such as filmmaker Ric Burns and wildlife filmmaker, Amos Nachoum.
  • In the spirit of exploration, Viking.TV has featured sessions with explorers including archaeologist Anne Stine Ingstad and Thor Heyerdahl, Jr., whose father famously crossed the Pacific Ocean on the Kon-Tiki raft. Other Wednesday sessions have been dedicated to the arts featuring interviews with Los Angeles Opera Maestro James Conlon, Royal Academy of Arts curator Ann Dumas, plus more.
  • Each week, iconic British broadcast journalist and Viking Venus® godmother, Anne Diamond interviews significant figures, including Yo-Yo Ma, world-renowned cellist; the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon; the Duke of Devonshire; former PBS MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton; Downton Abbey’s “Mrs. Patmore,” actress Lesley Nicol; and polar explorers Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft.
  • The Countess of Carnarvon has led more than a dozen virtual Privileged Access tours and glimpses of life at her home, Highclere Castle, widely recognized as the filming location of Downton Abbey. Additional “At Home” sessions have been hosted by members of the Viking family, providing local insights into iconic cities. A special session even explored space as home with a panel of former astronauts.
  • Yoga instructor Mona Therese leads Mind & Body yoga sessions every Saturday.
  • Weekly sessions feature musical performances from our onboard artists and Sissel Kyrkjebø, a Norwegian National Treasure and Viking Jupiter godmother.

Viking.TV Viewer Feedback

A year after launching Viking.TV, travellers have continued to write to Viking with comments of gratitude for the opportunity of exploration and cultural enrichment from home. Examples of viewer feedback include:

  •  “I cannot thank you enough for all you have done to bring me (and countless others) through this past very trying year. Viking.TV has been my daily companion, bringing the treasures of art, history, culture, music, travel, and adventure from all over the world. Your many wonderful hosts have educated, entertained, and encouraged me to expand my horizons, once travel again becomes possible.” – Mary S.
  • I am a retired teacher and I live by myself. You have no idea how much your Viking.TV has helped me survive the loneliness of this awful pandemic. I have learned so much, been entertained and charmed, and have thoroughly enjoyed your programs!!!! THANK YOU for doing this. Taking a cruise on one of your ships is now on my bucket listI am so grateful to you all, for this great gift!” – Debi B.
  •  “I just wanted to thank you for creating Viking.TV…Your website allows us to ‘travel’ across the world while staying safely at home.” – Tom C.
  • Thank you for this beautiful series; every day is wonderful! I especially want to thank Mona Therese who has helped me relieve many back problems and feel more whole during this pandemic time.” – Suzanne A.