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Devoted Downton Abbey fans have been flocking to book Viking’s popular, three-night holiday package to Highclere Castle, where they can experience what life was like with Lord Grantham and the Crawley family.

Today, in “real Downton Abbey”,  Lady Carnarvon lives at Highclere – and Viking cruisers are greeted with a cup of English tea and enjoy privileged access to the castle’s magnificent main hall, dining room, drawing room and the opulent library which fans will recognise as Lord Grantham’s private study.

It also has a secret door that leads to a beautifully adorned music room.

“Many of our guests were introduced to both Viking and Highclere Castle while watching the acclaimed Downton Abbey series. For more than a decade, we have been connected with Downton Abbey and the team at Carnival Films, through the television series and the first film and we are proud to continue this partnership,” said Karine Hagen, Viking executive vice president.

“Offering privileged access to cultural treasures around the world is a key aspect in the Viking way of travel – and our experience at Highclere Castle, developed in close collaboration with the Carnarvon family, have become cherished favourite among our guests.”

Downton Abbey: A New Era

To celebrate Viking’s partnership with the global premier of the latest film, Downton Abbey: A New Era, Viking hosted a sumptuous lunch at Nel restaurant with a menu of lobster, smoked salmon and lamb specially curated by British chef Nelly Robinson followed by a private screening of the movie yesterday.

Since 2013, Viking has offered guests a variety of ways to experience life at Highclere Castle, which is the home of the 8th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon.

Pre and post extensions co-created by Karine Hagen and the Carnarvon family include the highly-rated Oxford & Highclere Castle and Great Homes, Gardens & Gin extensions, both of which are available for guests on select river and ocean voyages. These include

  • 12 day Cities of Light from Paris to Prague or v.v. priced from $4,995pp in a Standard Stateroom
  • 15 day France’s Finest from Paris to Avignon or v.v. priced from $6,495pp in a Standard Stateroom
  • 8 day Paris & the Heart of Normandy from Paris to Rouen to Paris priced from $3,695pp in a Standard Stateroom

 Lady Carnarvon has also welcomed viewers to Highclere Castle on Viking’s award-winning enrichment channel, Viking.TV. In her ongoing series, At Home at Highclere, Lady Carnarvon offers virtual Privileged Access to the historic home and its grounds. In the past two years, she has led more than 20 virtual tours and offered glimpses of life at her home.

Highclere Drawing Room

Additionally, Lady Carnarvon has served as godmother to a Viking Longship, the Viking Skadi, and is the ceremonial godmother to Viking’s newest ocean ship, the Viking Mars, which debuts in May 2022.

For Australians looking to explore like the Crawley family in the latest film, Viking has the 8-day itinerary Lyon & Provence on the Rhone River, giving guests the chance to explore the region’s Roman history and to indulge in its acclaimed wines.

On Viking’s 15-day France Finest itinerary, guests will experience the best of the country’s art, cuisine, style and history during the journey between Paris and Avignon. Not only will passengers be able to indulge in the rich culinary heritage of Lyon, they will also enjoy the world-renowned wine s from the Burgundy region.