Viking Ocean Cruises has announced that it will launch two additional ships, bringing the number of ocean ships in its new fleet to three.
VIKING SEA and VIKING SKY will both debut in 2016, joining the 930-passenger VIKING STAR, which is currently under construction and will delivered early in 2015.
The three Viking Ocean ships will sail in Scandinavia and the Baltic and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean, as well as two new itineraries for 2016 exploring the British Isles.
Extracts from the release:
VIKING OCEAN CRUISES TO TRIPLE SIZE OF NEW FLEET
With First Vessel Under Construction, Viking Announces Launch of Two Additional Sister Ships
Los Angeles (May 9, 2014)
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.”
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. Highlights include:
· All Veranda Staterooms: Guests can choose from five stateroom categories, starting from a 270 sq. ft. veranda stateroom, all with private verandas, king-size beds, large showers, and LCD TVs.
· Explorer Suites: Each ship features 14 Explorer Suites, which are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,163 sq. ft. and offer sweeping views from wrap-around private verandas as well as the most amenities and privileges of any category onboard.
· Two Pool Choices: In addition to the Main Pool with a retractable dome permitting any-season swimming, each ship features a glass-backed infinity pool, cantilevered off the stern, allowing passengers to swim surrounded by their destination.
· The Spa: In keeping with Viking’s Nordic heritage, The Spa onboard each ship is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind—from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a “snow grotto” where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air.
· Explorers’ Lounge and Wintergarden: Spaces designed to facilitate mingling and storytelling, the two-deck Explorers’ Lounge at the bow of each ship is the perfect spot for taking in scenery through double-height windows over a glass of aquavit or pint of local craft beer; and the Wintergarden is a serene environment in which to relax and enjoy afternoon tea service complete with a curated tea selection.
· Dining Choices: Each ship offers multiple restaurant locations and food choices—from The Restaurant and the World Café, serving a variety of global cuisines and regional specialties—to intimate dining experiences at The Chef’s Table, Italian Grill and The Kitchen Table, all serving meals prepared with fresh, local ingredients. Furthermore, with multiple choices for outdoor seating during meals, Viking’s ocean ships offer more al fresco dining than any other ships.
· Enriching Entertainment: Connecting passengers to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking Cruises, and onboard venues include a dramatic three-deck atrium where passengers can enjoy musicians playing regional and classical music; the Theater, home of enrichment lectures from scholars and experts; an onboard cooking school where guests can learn local specialties; and the Viking Piano Lounge, where guests can relax, mingle, and exchange stories after a day of exploring.
· Sustainable Features: 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.
MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his photography has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York and London.The LA Maritime Museum has commissioned works and collected his photographs. Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. A catalog from his series STRANDED (twilight of the ocean liner) was also published last year.
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