Viking Cruises Announces the Launch of a New Book Series, THE WORLD OF FINSE, Written by Karine Hagen

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ Viking Cruises ( today announced the launch of the new book series , "The World of Finse," along with the first two installments titled, "Finse's First Journey" and "Finse Explores Europe." Written by Karine Hagen, Viking Vice President and daughter of Viking founder and Chairman Torstein Hagen, these children's books feature Karine's yellow Labrador, Finse, who was born at Highclere Castle the setting for the award-winning "Downton Abbey" on PBS's MASTERPIECE. The charming books explore Finse's adventures around the world set along the routes of Viking's itineraries and were launched this month at Highclere Castle's Christmas Markets.

The books' water color illustrations, by Suzy-Jane Tanner, provide the backdrop for the stories, in which Finse learns about geography, history and different cultures. The books were created with a nod to the many grandparents who travel onboard Viking ships and who share stories of their trips with grandchildren at home.

'I am fortunate enough to take Finse with me when I am on location filming for Viking, and telling stories of our itineraries through the eyes of a sweet and curious Labrador puppy seemed like a gentle and amusing way to teach children about the world," said Karine Hagen. "The books will hopefully also give our guests a way to share their travels with the children in their families.'

'We are thrilled that Viking has come to Highclere's Christmas markets to launch this exciting new series. This is where Finse's story began, and we are always delighted to have her home, at least until she is off on her next adventure,' said Lady Fiona Carnarvon of Highclere Castle, who is also a godmother of a Viking Longship.

"Finse's First Journey" and "Finse Explores Europe" are the first in a series of 12 books planned to track Finse's travels around the world. The books and accompanying Fuddlewuddle toy will be available to buy onboard Viking's fleet of European ships this holiday season and will be available on Amazon later this month. Digital versions, including author's narration, of the books are available for download from iTunes, with "Finse's First Journey" available here and Finse Explores Europe available here. For more information about "The World of Finse" and to see Finse in action on video, visit:

Books in "The World of Finse" series include:

Finse's First Journey (December 2013)

Finse Explores Europe (December 2013)

Finse Explores Russia (February 2014)

Finse Explores China (April 2014)

Finse Explores Scandinavia (June 2014)

Finse Explores France (August 2014)

Finse Explores Indochina (October 2014)

Finse Explores Egypt (December 2014)

Finse Explores Portugal (2015)

Finse Explores America (2015)

Finse Explores Good Manners (2015)

Finse Explores World Languages (2015)

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. Debuting its maiden season of ocean cruising in 2015, the sophisticated state-of-the-art Viking Star will host 930 guests on itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic; and the Mediterranean. As the world's leading river cruise line, since its 1997 inception the company has grown to a fleet of 35 river vessels (in 2013) offering scenic cruising along the rivers of Europe, Russia, Ukraine, China, Southeast Asia and Egypt. Viking has been honored multiple times in Travel + Leisure's "World's Best" Awards and Cond Nast Traveler's "Gold List" as well as recognized multiple times by Cruise Critic as "Best River Cruise Line," with the entire Viking Longships fleet being named "Best New River Ships of 2012" 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" and "Best River Cruise Line for Travel Agent Support" in TravelAge West's WAVE Awards. For additional information, contact Viking Cruises at 18558-VIKING (18558845464) or visit To join the Viking Cruises communities online, visit, and

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