Viking Cruises announced it had partnered with Carnival Films, Focus Features, and Universal Pictures for the release of the new full-length film based on the Emmy Award-winning series, Downton Abbey.
Viking has become a household name during the sponsorship of the celebrated series MASTERPIECE through the years Downton Abbey aired on PBS. The new premier partnership builds on the continued commitment of the company to enriching cultural programming. September 9 marked the global premiere of the film in London UK, which will be in U.S. theatres on September 20.
For years Viking Cruises has offered various ways for its passengers to experience life at the filming location of Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle. In celebration of the premiere, Viking unveiled a new pre-/post-cruise extension, Great Homes, Gardens & Gin, that was designed to provide an exclusive look at a number of country estates which have served as the settings of PBS and MASTERPIECE productions.
Beginning in 2021, the new 5-day extension will be offered on Viking's Rhine Getaway river itinerary and British Isles Explorer ocean itinerary and allows passengers to explore Oxford as well as experience English country life. The program features Viking's Privileged Access tour of Highclere Castle, and a visit to Broughton Castle, home to the Fiennes family, whose members include the British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and actors Joseph Fiennes and Ralph Fiennes. The castle served as a setting for the MASTERPIECE series Wolf Hall.
As part of the new extension, passengers will visit Chavenage House in the Cotswolds, popular for its appearance in the MASTERPIECE series Poldark, as well as stroll the gardens of the private home of Charles, The Prince of Wales, Highgrove House. While visiting Highclere Castle, travellers will have the chance to taste the recently-launched Highclere Castle Gin, which is a super-premium London Dry Gin inspired by botanicals from the gardens of the castle. The extension includes a visit to Bombay Sapphire Distillery to learn the production and history of gin.