Viking Cruises launch Viking Ocean Cruises, the first new cruise line in nearly a decade.
Developed from the ground up to return the focus of cruising to the destination, Viking Ocean Cruises will begin sailing in May 2015 with its first vessel—Viking Star—embarking on maiden voyages in Scandinavia and the Baltic; and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean.
The company says it has aggressive expansion plans in both the ocean and river cruise categories, with a second ocean ship on order for delivery in 2016 and conditional orders and options for four more additional ocean vessels. The ocean ship order follows the company's continued rapid fleet expansion in the river cruise sector, with 10 new river ships recently christened in March of this year and 12 new river ships planned to launch in 2014.
"It is our view that in the race to build bigger ships, many cruise lines have lost sight of the destinations to which they sail," said Torstein Hagen , Chairman of Viking Cruises. "With our new ocean cruises, we are applying the same principles behind our award-winning river cruises to our itinerary and ship design; privileged-access excursions; and onboard experiences to make destinations the true focus."
Classified by Cruise Critic as a "small ship," the new 928-passenger all-veranda Viking Star is engineered at a scale that allows direct access into most ports, so guests have easy and efficient embarkation and debarkation. The ship's understated elegance and modern Scandinavian design is crafted for maximum guest comfort.