Cruising Press Releases

Viking Announces Extended Sweepstakes Celebrating Theatrical Release of New Downton Abbey Film

Travel Agent News for Viking Cruises

Winners Will Visit Filming Location of “Downton Abbey” and Explore France On a Viking River Cruise 


Los Angeles (September 20, 2019) – In celebration of today’s theatrical release of the new full-length film Downton Abbey from Focus Features, Universal Pictures and Carnival Films, Viking ( today announced it has extended a sweepstakes offering U.S. residents the chance to visit Highclere Castle, the filming location of the movie and Emmy® Award-winning series. From now until September 30, entrants have a chance to win a grand prize that includes roundtrip international Business Class air for two, an 8-day Paris & the Heart of Normandy river cruise and the 3-night land extension program visiting Oxford & Highclere Castle. Starting October 1 and running through December 31, 2019, Viking will launch a new sweepstakes with additional chances to win the grand prize. For more information and to enter, visit the Highclere Castle Sweepstakes page on Viking’s website here.


“We are forever linked to Highclere Castle and Downton Abbey in the minds of our guests and many others, so this promotion is a natural celebration of the film’s U.S. release. We very are pleased at the initial response,” said Richard Marnell, Executive Vice President of Marketing at Viking. “Viking’s Privileged Access extension to Highclere Castle is our highest-rated Pre/Post Cruise Extension, and we are pleased to offer even more opportunities for guests to win the unique opportunity to visit the filming location of Downton Abbey.”


For years Viking has offered a variety of ways for its guests to experience life at Highclere Castle, the filming location of Downton Abbey. In celebration of the film’s global premiere, the company last week unveiled a new Pre/Post Cruise Extension, Great Homes, Gardens & Gin, which was designed to give guests an exclusive look at several country estates that have served as the settings of acclaimed PBS and MASTERPIECE productions. Starting in 2021, the new five-day extension will be available on Viking’s Rhine Getaway river cruise itinerary and British Isles Explorer ocean cruise itinerary and allows guests to explore Oxford and experience English country life. The program includes Viking’s Privileged Access® tour of Highclere Castle, as well as a visit to Broughton Castle, home to the influential Fiennes family, whose members include the renowned British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and actors Ralph Fiennes and Joseph Fiennes. The castle also served as a setting for the award-winning MASTERPIECE series Wolf Hall. As part of the extension, guests will visit Chavenage House in the Cotswolds, best known for its appearance in the MASTERPIECE 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.


Viking & Highclere Castle


In addition to the recently-announced Great Homes, Gardens & Gin cruise extension, Viking also offersOxford & Highclere Castle – its highest-rated Pre/Post Cruise Extension, which is available for guests on select river and ocean cruise itineraries. This Privileged Access extension was co-created and made possible by Karine Hagen, Executive Vice President of Viking, and the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. 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, which gives guests an introduction to Egyptian antiquities in preparation for their Nile experience, and 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, and at Highclere Castle, have the opportunity view the earl’s magnificent private collection of Egyptian artifacts.


Booking Details


From now through September 30, 2019, U.S. residents can take advantage of special savings on cruise fares, and up to free air on select 2019, 2020 and 2021 ocean and river itineraries.


Media Assets


Viking hosts a library of online videos about daily life at Highclere, available here. To purchase tickets for Downton Abbey, visit For more information, images and b-roll for Viking, contact [email protected].



About Viking Cruises


Viking was founded in 1997 with the purchase of four ships in Russia. Designed for discerning travelers with interests in science, history, culture and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests “the thinking person’s cruise” as an alternative to mainstream cruises. In its first four years of operation, Viking has been rated the #1 ocean cruise line in Travel + Leisure’s 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 “World’s Best” Awards. Viking currently operates a fleet of 78 vessels, offering scenic cruising on rivers and oceans around the world. In addition to the Travel + Leisure honors, Viking has also been honored multiple times on Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” as well as recognized by Cruise Critic as “Best Overall” Small-Mid size ship in the 2018 Cruisers’ Choice Awards, “Best River Cruise Line” and “Best River Itineraries,” with the entire Viking Longships® fleet being named “Best New River Ships” in the website’s Editors’ Picks Awards. For additional information, contact Viking at 1-855-8-VIKING (1-855-884-5464) or visit