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Crown Cruise Vacations | December 15, 2019

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Viking To Offer Access to Highclere Castle, Filming Location of ‘Downton Abbey’ - Crown Cruise Vacations

Viking To Offer Access to Highclere Castle, Filming Location of ‘Downton Abbey’
Jackie Sheckler Finch

Viking To Offer Access to Highclere Castle, Filming Location of ‘Downton Abbey’

“Downton Abbey” fans are going to have a chance to visit filming locations for the popular TV series and movie, courtesy of Viking cruises.

Starting in 2021, Viking cruises will be offering a new pre/post cruise extension named “Great Homes, Gardens & Gin.” The extension was designed to give cruisers an exclusive look at several country estates that have served as settings for the acclaimed PBS and Masterpiece Theatre productions.

The new five-day extensions will be available on Viking’s Rhine Getaway river cruise itinerary and British Isles Explorer ocean cruise itinerary. The extensions allow guests to explore Oxford and experience English country life.

“Many of our guests were introduced to both Viking and Highclere Castle while watching the ‘Downton Abbey’ series,” Karine Hagen, executive vice president of Viking, said in a press release.

“For this reason, we are linked in the minds of many ‘Downton Abbey’ fans.”

The program includes Viking’s Privileged Access tour of Highclere Castle as well as a visit to Broughton Castle. Serving as a setting for the award-winning Masterpiece Theatre series “Wolf Hall,” Broughton is home to the influential Fiennes family, whose members include the renowned British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and actors Ralph Fiennes and Joseph Fiennes.

As part of the extension, guests will visit Chavenage House in the Cotswolds, best known for its appearance in the Masterpiece Theatre series “Poldark” and stroll the gardens of Highgrove House, the private home of Charles, The Prince of wales.

While visiting Highclere Castle, guests will have an opportunity to taste the recently-launched Highclere Castle Gin, a super-premium London Dry Gin inspired by botanicals from the castle’s gardens. The extension also includes a visit to the nearby Bombay Sapphire Distillery to learn the history and production of gin.

“Not only are Viking and Highclere linked through ‘Downton Abbey’ but Karine and I are linked through life and our dogs,” said Lady Carnarvon. “We warmly welcome our extended Viking family to explore our home.”

 The Privileged Access extension was co-created and made possible by Karine Hagen and the Carnarvon family. The extension provides guests with an exclusive three-day experience in the rolling hills of England’s countryside with a champagne welcome and a tour of the castle and estate.

Earlier this year, Viking also announced the five-day “British Collections of Ancient Egypt,” a pre-cruise extension for the Pharaohs & Pyramids Nile River cruise itinerary. That extension gives guests and introduction to Egyptian antiquities in preparation for their Nile experience.

The extension includes retracing the steps of the world’s most famous Egyptologist, Howard Carter, and his benefactor, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon. Guests experience Privileged Access to archives and museum exhibits not normally accessible to the public. At Highclere Castle, guests also have an opportunity to view the Earl’s magnificent provide collection of Egyptian artifacts.

Story by Jackie Sheckler Finch , Photos courtesy of Viking cruises

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