Friday, February 6, 2015

Public gets first glimpse of upmarket Viking Star cruise liner

Viking Cruises - long a purveyor of cruises along inland rivers in Europe, Russia, Egypt and Asia - has released a video that gives the first glimpse of the flagship of Viking Ocean Cruises, which is set to carry its first paying passengers in May.

The company posted an on-line video documenting the recent successful sea trials of its first ship, the 930-passenger Viking Star. The trials, which took place in the Aegean Sea in mid-December, represented the vessel’s first voyage in open water. The video is available here.

During nearly a week of intense diagnostics, maritime experts executed more than 80 different tests designed to evaluate everything from Viking Star’s engine and propulsion performance to her navigation systems and cabin acoustics. Following the trials, Captain Gulleik Svalastog deemed her “one of the most agile, state-of-the-art and seaworthy ships on the water,” according to the cruise line’s statement announcing the video.

"This was a major milestone for Viking Star, and we are proud to be another step closer to launch,” Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking Cruises, said. “Now we can focus on the finishing touches, and we look forward to welcoming guests onboard in two months’ time.”

Following final outfitting at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard near Venice, Italy, Viking Star will set sail for Bergen, Norway via Istanbul, Turkey. She will be officially christened in the homeland of the Vikings on May 17, Norwegian Constitution Day.

Classified as a “small ship,” the 930-passenger all-veranda Viking Star – as well as its two sister ships under construction, Viking Sea and Viking Sky – is engineered at a scale that allows direct access into most ports, providing guests with easy and efficient embarkation and debarkation.

Viking Star
“In the race to build bigger ships, many cruise lines have lost sight of the destinations to which they sail,” Hagen said in a 2013 statement announcing the launch of Viking Ocean Cruises. “With our new ocean cruises, we are applying the same principles behind our award-winning river cruises to our itinerary.”

Viking Ocean Cruises is the industry’s first new cruise line in nearly a decade. Read more here.

Described as “light-filled and intimate,” the Viking Star features understated elegance and modern Scandinavian design, according to the company.

The ship offers all Veranda Staterooms in five stateroom categories starting at 270 square feet. All staterooms have private verandas, king-size beds, large showers, and LCD TVs.

The Viking Star also includes 14 Explorer Suites, which are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,163 square feet and offer sweeping views from wrap-around private verandas and a collection of upmarket amenities. Explorer Suites also offer the most on-board privileges of any cabin category.

The vessel features a main swimming pool with a retractable dome that enables swimming in any season. The ship also features a glass-backed infinity pool, cantilevered off the stern, allowing passengers to swim surrounded by their destination.

An on-board spa, designed with Viking’s Nordic heritage in mind, embraces the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia. Its features range from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a “snow grotto” where snowflakes descend from the ceiling through chilled air.

The ship also offers spaces designed to facilitate interaction between passengers, including the Explorers’ Lounge and Wintergarden. It features multiple restaurant options and food choices, a dramatic three-deck atrium where passengers can enjoy musicians playing regional and classical music, the Star Theater where scholars and experts present lectures, an on-board cooking school where guests can learn local specialties, and the Torshavn piano lounge.

Viking Star features 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, the company said.

More details are available at http://www.vikingcruises.com/oceans.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.



Photo provided by Viking Cruises
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