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Enrichment vacations: Viking Ocean Cruises launches new resident historian program


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Viking Resident Historian Charles Doherty’s presenting a Viking History lecture on Greek Civilization. This program is now launching on Viking Star, Viking Sea, and Viking Sky this month.   photo credit: FTP Edelman

Viking Cruises just issued a press release announcing its new onboard Viking Resident Historian program.  A select cuculty of historians will be onboard Viking’s ocean cruise ships to provide a new level of enrichment for guests.

Viking offers what it refers to as “the thinking person’s cruise”  for discerning travelers as an alternative to mainstream cruises. A new video on the Resident Historian program is available on the Viking website.

Along with this destination driven learning, the ships are small to get guests closer to world culture and their destination. There is more time in port, more overnights and fewer days at sea.

The program will provide guests with a high-level historical and cultural education specific to each journey. It will offer a framework for understanding the major chapters in world history.

The Viking Resident Historian lectures are exclusively produced by Viking under the direction of Dr. Charles Doherty, Chief Viking Resident Historian. The core iconic lectures remain consistent throughout the fleet regardless of which Viking Resident Historian is lecturing.

This will include seminar-style roundtables that provide more direct access to the historians with smaill group discussion forums.  The Viking Resident Historians have a range of areas of specialty and experiences. They will examine in-depth subjects related to their own area of specialization and delve into the particular areas of interest of the guests.

The Resident Historians will be accessible throughout the ship.

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Dr. Charles Doherty’s round table discussion on the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. Photo credit FTP Edelman

“Our guests are explorers – they are curious travelers who want to learn,” said Karine Hagen, Senior Vice President of Viking Cruises, who leads Viking’s enrichment efforts. “Having a fundamental understanding of iconic historical events in the destinations our guests visit helps bring a deeper understanding of the present – and perhaps also a better perspective on the future.”

This learning experience will be supplemented by onboard Guest Lecturers who contribute their particular regional expertise  in areas such as art, architecture, music.

According to the press release, Viking Resident Historians will:

  • Present itinerary iconic lectures (examples in Europe and Scandinavia include: The Roman Empire; The Ottoman Empire; The Hanseatic League; Imperial Russia)
  • Conduct roundtable discussions (examples include: The Elgin Marbles; Women Explorers; Venetian Naval Power)
  • Host history-themed dinner discussions onboard
  • Hold daily “office hours” for one-on-one time with guests
  • Be available for guest questions and interactions outside lectures and office hours throughout the itinerary

As with other onboard lectures, the Viking Resident Historian series will be presented in the Theater. It will also be filmed and available on the in-room entertainment system.  In early 2018 it will be available in its entirety on-demand through the in-room entertainment system on all Viking river and ocean ships.

Charles Doherty, PhD, has lectured in more than 60 countries for The National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History. He received his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and attended the Courtauld Institute in London as a Fulbright Scholar.

The first three Viking Resident Historians that will be featured onboard Viking’s three ocean cruise ships this spring are:

  • Dr. Mark Callaghan holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of London, an M.A. in Art History from Oxford University and a B.A. in Art History from the University of Manchester. Dr. Callaghan is a specialist in 20th century European art and culture and will serve as the Viking Resident Historian on Viking Sky on sailings of Empires of the Mediterranean this spring.
  • Lt. Colonel Tony Coutts-Britton is a graduate of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and served with the British Army in Europe and Asia – and later with NATO in the Partnership for Peace program. Lt. Col. Coutts-Britton lectures on the social and political aspects of European military history and will serve as the Viking Resident Historian on Viking Sea on sailings of Empires of the Mediterranean this spring.
  • Dr. Fenella Bazin holds a Ph.D. from the University of Liverpool, is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and is a Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool’s Center for Manx Studies. Dr. Bazin is a specialist in the Age of the Vikings and modern Norway and will serve as the Viking Resident Historian on Viking Star on sailings of Empires of the Mediterranean this spring.

Viking Ocean Cruises was rated the #1 ocean cruise line in Travel + Leisure’s 2016 “World’s Best” Awards.  It was also rated the top cruise line in the 2015 “World’s Best” Awards.

For additional information, contact Viking Cruises at 1-855-8-VIKING (1-855-884-5464) or visit









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