VIKINGS LAND AT DARLING HARBOUR

September 22, 2013

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Teresia Fors, Managing Director Australia & New Zealand of Viking River Cruises showed off her Swedish national dress at the recent launch of the Australian National Maritime Museum’s exhibition “Vikings – Beyond the Legend” at Sydney’s Darling Harbour. Teresia said her grandmother wove the fabric, her mother did the embroidery and her great-grandmother made the blouse, truly a family effort.

Sandra Tiltman with Teresia Fors

Sandra Tiltman with Teresia Fors

Swedish food and even bottles of Viking Beer enhanced the Viking mood throughout the evening.

An exciting highlight was the “invasion” by Vikings holding flaming torches, followed by a swordfight, as Vikings watched to cheer on the victor.  The loser was carried away on a stretcher, after which the exhibition was declared open. The Vikings provided a guard of honour as guests entered the Museum to view the exhibition.

Viking Cruises is a major partner of the exhibition, showing at the Museum for a limited time.  Direct from Sweden, the variety of treasures on display reveal how the Vikings lived, going beyond the myth of Vikings as ferocious plunderers in horned helmets.

Amongst the artefacts that have never been seen in Australia before are Viking swords from 700-1100AD, bronze and silver jewellery, statuettes of Norse gods, gold and silver pendants as well as an eight metre replica of a Viking boat plus a restored reconstruction of a 9th century ship.

Sandra Tiltman            Photos:  John Pond

 

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MORE NEW SHIPS FOR VIKING RIVER CRUISES

September 21, 2013

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River cruising is the fastest growing segment of the travel industry and due to its popularity, Viking River Cruises recently announced they will be increasing their original order of twelve Viking Longships by an additional two vessels and will next year launch fourteen new Longships

This increased order reflects Viking’s position as the world’s leading river cruise line and by the end of 2014, they will have introduced a total of thirty new ships over a three year period, making this the most rapid fleet expansion program the cruise industry has ever seen. Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises said “We are working hard to match supply with demand and with these new builds, we have the best designed, newest and most extensive offer of ships on the rivers, more than double all our competitors combined.”

River cruising has grown at an average annual rate of approximately nine percent over the last few years and in March this year, Viking set a world record with the inauguration and simultaneous christening ceremony in Amsterdam of ten new Longships for the 2013 sailing season.

Offering modern design and comfortable amenities, plus their exceptional standard and variety of food, Viking Longships give passengers an unforgettable experience which ensures a high rate of return passengers. A revolutionary all-weather indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace is a new feature that reinvents the onboard lounge experience by bringing the panoramic outdoor river scenery indoors with retractable floor to ceiling glass doors and allows passengers to enjoy the views and dine al fresco

Freya Cologne HorizViking Longships layout allows for two Explorer Suites and seven two-room Veranda Suites with full size veranda in the living room and French balcony in the bedroom. The 39 Veranda Staterooms have full size verandas and there are 22 French Balcony Staterooms.  All Longships have sustainability upgrades such as onboard solar panels and organic herb gardens.  The energy efficient hybrid engines reduce vibrations, giving a very smooth ride.

Since Viking’s 1997 inception, their fleet has grown to 35 river vessels, cruising along the rivers of Europe, Russia, Ukraine, China and Southeast Asia. Featuring included shore excursions and on board cultural enrichment, excellent dining choices with included wine, it is easy to see why river cruising with Viking attracts passengers.

One of Viking’s most popular river cruises is the fifteen day Grand European Tour from Amsterdam to Budapest or return along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. This cruise offers a variety of sights, from Holland’s windmills and tulip fields to Germany’s fairytale castles and the picturesque vineyards of Austria’s Wachau Valley.

Viking Cruises is a major partner of the Australian National Maritime Museum’s upcoming exhibition “Vikings – Beyond the Legend” commencing on 19 September for a limited time.  Located at Sydney’s Darling Harbour, this exhibition, direct from Sweden, will display a variety of treasures and reveal how the Vikings lived, going beyond the myth of Vikings as ferocious plunderers in horned helmets.

Amongst the artefacts that have never been seen in Australia are Viking swords from 700-1100AD, bronze and silver jewellery, statuettes of Norse gods, gold and silver pendants as well as an eight metre replica of a Viking boat plus a restored reconstruction of a 9th century ship.     Sandra Tiltman 


PYRMONT FESTIVAL BACK FOR THIRD YEAR

May 12, 2013

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The Pyrmont Festival of Wine, Food and Art is back again for a third year, running from 17 to 26 May 2013.

The Festival is a collaboration between the Pyrmont Ultimo Chamber of Commerce, City of Sydney and the Mudgee Region Tourism and Wine industry.  It provides a unique opportunity for Pyrmont, just 2km from the CBD, to demonstrate its diversity as a dining and lifestyle precinct with events at art galleries, Pyrmont Wharf, Pirrama Park, TAFE NSW, The Star and bottle shops, as well as restaurants, bars and cafes.

Commencing with an outdoor breakfast on Friday 17 May at Pyrmont Bay’s Doltone House, followed at 12.30 pm by lunch at Flying Fish, the program offers plenty of choice.  Another unique experience to be held on 22 May is The Apprentice at Tafe NSW Wine Dinner.

The free outdoor event, ‘Wine, Food and Art’, which this year has expanded into two days, will be held in Pirrama Park on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 May, from 11am to 5pm.  Come and meet around 30 of Mudgee’s premium winemakers and taste from a selection of over 150 Mudgee wines, see the 7th Annual Pyrmont Art Prize, as well as enjoying all the food and entertainment, sounds like fun for the whole family.

For the first time, iconic Ultimo-Pyrmont cultural institutions will join in the celebrations, with events at the Australian National Maritime Museum, Powerhouse Museum and Sydney Heritage Fleet where one of the Festival’s concluding events of a wine and classical music concert ‘Music in the Sail’s’, will be held.

Other new events include Mudgee Region artists showcasing large works in a sculpture garden.

Pyrmont Festival's Huntington Estate breakfast at Dolton HousePyrmont chefs will team up with Mudgee Region winemakers with events at Café Morso with Bunnamagoo wines, Bar Zini with Cooks Lot wines, Pyrama with Vinifera Wines and Quilty Wines, and Blue Eye Dragon with Botobolar and Gooree Park.

Mudgee wine tastings will also be held at Fisherman’s Fine Wines at the Sydney Fish Markets, Porters Liquor and Red Bottle.

The Mudgee Region is 3.5 hours drive from Sydney and is one of the State’s first established wine regions.  It is renowned for its food and wine with around 40 family run boutique wineries, as well as excellent art, music, nature and history experiences.

After visiting the Festival and sampling some of the fantastic produce that the Mudgee region has to offer, I am sure that many people will be inspired to travel to Mudgee for a either a short break or a long weekend.  www.pyrmontfestival.com Sandra Tiltman