With 17 Emmy® Nominations Just Announced for MASTERPIECE, New Sponsorship Deal Extends Through Final Season of “Downton Abbey”

Los Angeles (August 4, 2015)— Viking River Cruises® ( announced today it has renewed its national corporate sponsorship of PBS’ celebrated series MASTERPIECE for another year. The announcement comes on the heels of MASTERPIECE earning 17 nominations for the 2015 Primetime Emmy® Awards. The new sponsorship deal will extend through 2016 and will support programming that includes the sixth and final season of the Emmy® Award-winning series Downton Abbey, as well as the hit series Mr. Selfridge, the Emmy®-nominated Sherlock, the popular new series Poldark and the upcoming Indian Summers. Viking first came onboard as a MASTERPIECE national corporate sponsor in 2011. MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston.

“It is our view that successful partners should enjoy growth together, and that is certainly the case for our partnership with MASTERPIECE,” said Richard Marnell, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Viking River Cruises. “Together with MASTERPIECE, we engage with audiences of people who strongly believe in enriching their lives through the arts, culture, history and exploration. We are proud to continue our relationship with MASTERPIECE, and we congratulate them on this year’s Emmy nominations.”

"MASTERPIECE and Viking River Cruises has been a dream partnership; our viewers and their current and potential travelers are cut from the same cloth,” said MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton. “Viking's support of our expanded MASTERPIECE schedule, including Wolf Hall and Grantchester, has worked well for everyone. Sail on, Viking!"

"We are thrilled that Viking has extended their corporate support of MASTERPIECE," added Suzanne Zellner, VP Sales for WGBH's Sponsorship Group for Public Television. "Viking’s long-term partnership with MASTERPIECE demonstrates that PBS sponsorships work, and help build business for sponsors."

In addition to its MASTERPIECE sponsorship – and as a response to the incredible popularity of Downton Abbey – Viking also offers its guests an optional excursion to Highclere Castle, the setting of the hit series. The Oxford & Highclere Castle pre- or post- trip experience is available for guests on the Cities of Light or Paris & the Heart of Normandy itineraries. Co-created with the owners of Highclere Castle, the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, Viking guests spend three days in the rolling hills of England’s countryside, with a champagne welcome and special tour of the famous home.

As a response to increased traveler demand for Viking’s destination-focused cruises, the company expanded its river offerings in 2015 with the launch of new award-winning Viking Longships® and new European itineraries. Since entering the North American market in 2000, Viking has continued to set industry standards with best-in-class river cruise ships, award-winning service, outstanding quality and all-inclusive itineraries offered at a competitive price.

In early 2015, Viking officially expanded into the ocean cruise market and with the launch of its first ocean ship, the 930-passenger Viking Star® – marking the arrival of the travel industry’s first entirely new cruise line in a decade. In June, Viking “floated out” its second ship, Viking Sea® at Fincantieri’s Ancona shipyard. Viking Sea is set to launch in early 2016, and the company’s third ship on order, Viking Sky®, is currently under construction for debut in early 2017. All three ships will sail popular routes in Scandinavia and the Baltic; and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean.

For more information, visit or contact For booking details, contact a travel agent or call Viking River Cruises toll-free at 1-877-66VIKING (1-877-668-4546).

Production Credits:

  • Downton Abbey: A Carnival Films/MASTERPIECE Co-Production
  • Sherlock: A Hartswood West for BBC/CYMRU Wales in Co-Production with Masterpiece
  • Mr. Selfridge: A Co-Production of ITV Studios and Masterpiece
  • Indian Summers: A co-production of New Pictures for Channel 4 and Masterpiece, in association with All3Media
  • Poldark: A Mammoth Screen Production for BBC and Masterpiece

About Viking Cruises

Viking Cruises offers destination-centric river and ocean cruising designed for experienced travelers with an interest in geography, culture and history. Featuring onboard cultural enrichment and included shore excursions, Viking’s journeys are competitively priced for genuine value. As the world’s leading river cruise line, since its 1997 inception the company has grown to a fleet of 60 river vessels (in 2015) offering scenic cruising along the rivers of Europe, Russia, Egypt, China, and Southeast Asia. Debuting its maiden season of ocean cruising in 2015, the sophisticated state-of-the-art Viking Star hosts 930 guests on itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic; the Western and Eastern Mediterranean; and the British Isles. Two additional ocean ships, Viking Sea and Viking Sky, are also on order. Viking has been honored multiple times in Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best” Awards and Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” as well as recognized by the editors of Cruise Critic as “Best River Cruise Line,” with the entire Viking Longships® fleet being named “Best New River Ships” in the website’s Editors’ Picks Awards. The travel trade has ranked Viking as the “Best River Cruise Line” by Travel Weekly, Recommend and Travel Agent magazines, “Best Cruise Line for Luxury River Cruises” at the Luxury Travel Advisor Awards of Excellence and as “Best Overall Cruise Line for River Cruising,” “Best New River Cruise Ship” and for the sixth consecutive year, “Best River Cruise Line for Travel Agent Support” in the 2014 TravelAge West’s WAVE Awards. For additional information, contact Viking Cruises at 1 855 8-VIKING (1 855 884 5464) or visit To join the Viking Cruises community online, visit, and