Friday, December 20, 2013

Viking Cruises Reaches Major Milestone For New Ocean Cruise Line

The keel has been laid for Viking Cruises' first ocean cruise ship, Viking Star, marking the next construction phase of the company's first-ever ocean-going vessel. The ceremony took place on Wednesday, December 18, at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard outside Venice, Italy.

Steel was first cut for Viking Star in June 2013, and the laying of the keel is a formal recognition of the start of construction. The 930-passenger Viking Star features state-of-the-art design from experienced nautical architects and engineers. Viking Star is scheduled to be delivered in early 2015.

As reported by Seatrade Insider, this is just a start for Viking's ocean cruises—"With two memoranda of understanding, in April and December 2012, and subsequent contracts signed respectively on July 12, 2012, and Dec. 13, 2013, Fincantieri is building two ships for Viking while other two await finalization of financing, 'but we don’t see major problems,' said Torstein Hagen, founder and chairman of Viking Cruises, adding, 'The current plan for Viking Cruise includes these four ocean-going ships plus two more (options), but this is only the beginning,'"

Of his destination-intensive concept, Hagan said, "The ship and cruising idea are designed for people of 55-plus years, couples-focused, English-speaking, well-educated, affluent, who have an interest in culture, history and music" and when "compared to other competitors in the same market niche... [cruises will cost] significantly less."

Additionally, Hagan has revealed the success of the line's marketing campaign, saying, "Our new ocean itineraries are selling at an unprecedented rate, and the enthusiasm we have seen from guests is truly remarkable. There is undoubtedly interest in an ocean cruise experience that returns the focus to the destination, and Viking is actively planning to meet that demand."

Viking's ocean itineraries will include Viking Star's maiden voyages in Scandinavia and the Baltic; and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean. The all-veranda custom-designed vessel allows travelers to get closer than ever to their destinations with maximum time in ports, while highlighting history, art and local culture through privileged-access excursions and onboard experiences that are truly designed for the experienced traveler. On a related note, the company will also launch a record-breaking 14 new river vessels—Viking Longships®—in March 2014.

Take a look at what is in store on Viking Star.

Image & Video Courtesy Viking Cruises

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