As a result of strong customer demand, Viking Ocean Cruises will launch two additional ocean ships, bringing the total number of ships in its new fleet to three.Viking Sea and Viking Sky will both debut in 2016 and will be sister ships to the 930-passenger Viking Star, which is currently under construction and will set sail in early 2015.
Like their sister ship, Viking Sea and Viking Sky will sail in Scandinavia and the Baltic; and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean – as well as two new itineraries for 2016 that explore the British Isles.
It was just one year ago that Viking announced its plans to expand into the ocean cruise segment, marking the travel industry’s first new ocean cruise line in nearly a decade. With Viking Star’s 2015 maiden season now more than 70 percent sold out – and sales of 2016 sailings well underway – the company is expanding both its ocean and river product lines aggressively to meet increased traveler demand for destination-focused cruises.
This announcement comes directly on the heels of Viking’s news last month that it will launch 12 new river vessels in 2015, bringing the company’s total river fleet to 64 vessels.
“The introduction of Viking Star next year will represent a distinct change in ocean cruising—an alternative to the mega-liners dominating the world’s ports,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. “It is our view that in the race to build enormous ships, some cruise lines have lost sight of the destinations to which they sail. Based on the incredible response we have received, it is clear that our guests want a new experience to truly explore their destinations.”
Leveraging extensive feedback and input from Viking River Cruises passengers, Viking Ocean Cruises was developed with experienced travelers in mind. Itineraries are curated for maximum time in port, often with late evenings or overnights, so guests can experience local nightlife or evening performances.
Ports include both cosmopolitan cities and “collector ports,” and appeal to those with an interest in history, art and culture.
Viking Star, Viking Sea and Viking Sky
Classified by Cruise Critic as “small ships,” the 930-passenger all-veranda Viking Star, Viking Sea and Viking Sky are engineered at a scale that allows direct access into most ports, so guests have easy and efficient embarkation and debarkation. Light and intimate, the ships feature understated elegance and modern Scandinavian design.
Designed with the environment in mind, Viking’s ocean ships feature energy-efficient hybrid engines, hydro-dynamically optimized streamlined hulls and bows for maximum fuel efficiency, onboard solar panels, and equipment that minimizes exhaust pollution and meets the strictest environmental regulations.
NEW 2016 Itineraries
In addition to voyages in Scandinavia and the Baltic; and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean, Viking will launch two new itineraries exploring the British Isles for 2016:
• Into the Midnight Sun (15 days; Bergen – London) – Cruising the deep-cut fjords of the fabled Norwegian coast.
• Baltic Jewels & the Midnight Sun (29 days; Stockholm – London). This 29-day cruise includes 21 ports in 10 countries, such as Baltic gems, Norway’s fjords and overnight stays in Stockholm, St. Petersburg and Bergen.
Press Release, May 12, 2014, Image: Viking Cruises