Viking Ocean Cruises today announced the float out of the new cruise line’s first cruise ship, the Viking Star. The ceremony where the ship first made contact with water took place at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy, and with it came the reveal of the vessel’s completed superstructure. She is one of three sister ships currently under construction.
“Today is a proud day for our entire Viking family, as we are one step closer to launching a new era of ocean cruising,” Viking Cruises Chairman Torstein Hagen said at the ceremony. “Viking Star’s maiden season was sold out before she even touched water, which just demonstrates how enthusiastic our guests are for destination-focused ocean cruises. It is this enthusiasm that has led us to place orders for two additional sister ships, Viking Sea and Viking Sky.”
The entire float out process will take two days and will conclude with the moving of the cruise ship to a final outfitting dock where her interior spaces will be finalized. The Viking Star is set to launch in early 2015 with itineraries in the Baltic and Mediterranean. The oceangoing Viking Star, Viking Sea and Viking Sky will extend the level of service and programming first established by the successful sister line Viking River Cruises. The line explains below:
Viking developed its ocean cruises by leveraging extensive feedback and input from Viking River Cruises passengers, and with experienced travelers in mind. Itineraries are designed for maximum time in port, often with late evenings or overnights, so guests can experience local nightlife or evening performances. Ports include both cosmopolitan cities and “collector ports,” and appeal to those with an interest in history, art and culture.
In addition, Viking Inclusive Cruising provides unparalleled value—with every cruise fare including a veranda stateroom, shore excursions in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including: beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry and 24-hour room service—a value of more than $2,400 per couple for an average cruise.
Classified by Cruise Critic 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, so guests have easy and efficient embarkation and debarkation. Light-filled and intimate, the ship features understated elegance and modern Scandinavian design. Highlights include:
- All Veranda Staterooms:– Guests can choose from five stateroom categories, starting from a 270 sq. ft. veranda stateroom, all with private verandas, king-size beds, large showers, and LCD TVs.
- Explorer Suites:– Each ship features 14 Explorer Suites, which are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,163 sq. ft. and offer sweeping views from wrap-around private verandas as well as the most amenities and privileges of any category onboard.
- Two Pool Choices:– In addition to the Main Pool with a retractable dome permitting any-season swimming, each ship features a glass-backed infinity pool, cantilevered off the stern, allowing passengers to swim surrounded by their destination.
- The Spa: – In keeping with Viking’s Nordic heritage, The Spa onboard each ship is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind—from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a “snow grotto” where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air.
- Explorers’ Lounge and Wintergarden:– Spaces designed to facilitate mingling and storytelling, the two-deck Explorers’ Lounge at the bow of each ship is the perfect spot for taking in scenery through double-height windows over a glass of aquavit or pint of local craft beer; and the Wintergarden is a serene environment in which to relax and enjoy afternoon tea service complete with a curated tea selection.
- Dining Choices:– Each ship offers multiple restaurant locations and food choices—from The Restaurant and the World Café, serving a variety of global cuisines and regional specialties—to intimate dining experiences at The Chef’s Table, Italian Grill and The Kitchen Table, all serving meals prepared with fresh, local ingredients. Furthermore, with multiple choices for outdoor seating during meals, Viking’s ocean ships offer more al fresco dining than any other ships.
- Enriching Entertainment:– Connecting passengers to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking Cruises, and onboard venues include a dramatic three-deck atrium where passengers can enjoy musicians playing regional and classical music; the Theater, home of enrichment lectures from scholars and experts; an onboard cooking school where guests can learn local specialties; and the Viking Piano Lounge, where guests can relax, mingle, and exchange stories after a day of exploring.
- Sustainable Features: – Designed with the environment in mind, Viking’s ocean ships feature 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.
From now through June 30, 2014, Viking is offering U.S. residents an Early Booking Discount with 2-for-1 pricing on cruise departures and savings of up to $2,000 per couple on international air.
For more information on the Viking Star and to book a cruise onboard, visit Viking Ocean Cruises‘ website here and contact a travel agent or call Viking toll free at 1-855-8-VIKING (1-855-884-5464).
HEADER IMAGE SOURCE: FINCANTIERI