The exciting birth of a brand new ocean cruise line continues to steam ahead with the recent keel laying of Viking Cruises‘ Viking Star. The 930-passenger ship’s first steel was cut back in June of 2013, and now vertical construction begins. Following the unprecedented and continued success of Viking River Cruises, Viking Ocean Cruises will bring the company’s brand of value-added travel to the oceans, now with at least four new vessels launching through 2017, pending final financing for the second pair.
Torstein Hagen – Chairman of Viking Cruises, parent company to the river and ocean operations – was on hand during the keel laying ceremony and was quoted by Seatrade Insider as saying, “The current plan for Viking Cruises includes these four ocean-going ships plus two more (options), but this is only the beginning.” So, it’s quite possible that Viking Ocean Cruises will grow to consist of 6 total cruise ships, if not more.
If the rapid growth of Viking River Cruises is to be the template for the ocean-going brand, then that number could expand quickly. The year 2012 saw the introduction of 6 new Viking Longships to European rivers with another 10 that came online in 2013. Plus, another 14 are set to be christened this year as well, bringing the total of new riverboat designs to 30. For now, we have early 2015 to look forward to as the delivery date for the Viking Star, the first in a possible series of innovative new cruise ships.
For more information on the Viking Star and Viking Ocean Cruises, visit the cruise line’s website here.
What is your impression of Viking Cruises’ growth in the ocean and river markets? Please feel free to tell us in the comments section below…
HEADER IMAGE SOURCE: VIKING CRUISES