Friday, March 25, 2016

Viking Ocean Cruises continues expansion

Viking Ocean Cruises, the newest entrant into the ocean cruise space, has taken delivery of its second ship and announced plans to add three more to its quickly growing fleet.

The cruise line, which offered its first sailing aboard the Viking Star in 2015, took delivery of Viking Sea, the company’s second ship, on March 24. On April 3, Viking Sea will set sail from Istanbul, traverse the Mediterranean Sea then north through the Atlantic Ocean to London. She will be officially christened on May 5 on the Thames River in Greenwich, England.

Viking Sea at Fincantieri shipyard
Viking Ocean Cruises’ third ship, the Viking Sky, marked a major construction milestone on March 23 when she was floated out of dry dock for the first time at Fincantieri shipyard near Venice, Italy. The “float out” is the first time a new ship touches water.

The Viking Sky will be delivered in early 2017.

While the Viking Star is currently operating on routes in the Baltic region, Northern Europe and the Mediterranean, the cruise line previously announced that it will serve North America during the fall and winter of 2016.

The ship will cross the Atlantic in a 15-day cruise that traces the route of Leif Ericsson’s voyage of 1000 A.D., departing Bergen, Norway on Sept. 18 and arriving in MontrĂ©al, Quebec. Following that voyage, the ship will sail itineraries along the eastern seaboard of the U.S. and the Caribbean before returning to Spain in the spring of 2017.

As of this writing, some six months before departure, the cruise is already sold out according to Viking Ocean Cruises’ website.

Viking also announced that it has placed an order with Fincantieri for three additional sister ships, which will bring Viking’s total number of ocean ships to six by 2020. Names of the new ships have not yet been announced.

Viking Sky float out
All of Viking's ships are considered small ships. Each accommodates 930 passengers in 465 cabins. The size of the ships allows them access to smaller ports and enables them to bring their guests closer to their destination, something the larger ships that dominate the cruise industry today cannot.

In addition to the size of its ships, Viking Ocean Cruises differs from many other cruise lines in the value it provides. While many cruise lines levy additional charges for beverage packages, specialty dining, shore excursions and Internet access, Viking offer what it calls Viking Inclusive Cruising.

Under that pricing plan, every cruise fare includes a veranda stateroom, shore excursions in each port of call, all on-board meals, all port charges and government taxes in addition to many other complimentary amenities including beer and wine with lunch and dinner service, premium dining reservations, Wi-Fi, self-service laundry, access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa and 24-hour room service. The cruise line estimates those items represent a value of more than $2,400 per couple for an average cruise.

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Photos provided by Viking Ocean Cruises
Click on photos to view larger images

2 comments:

  1. A cruise is all about taking a relaxed vacation and doing things at your own pace.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tirun, thanks for the comment -- and thanks for the confirmation! I am currently preparing for a summer cruise to Alaska and am taking exactly that approach, avoiding things like shore excursions that require me to be up, dressed and dockside at 7:30!

    ReplyDelete

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