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Viking’s New Ocean Cruise Line Reinvents Destination Ocean Voyages

October 12, 2013 Cruise No Comments Email Email

Viking Cruises  announced the launch of its ocean product line, Viking Ocean Cruises (http://www.vikingcruises.co.uk/oceans) in the UK, marking the introduction of the travel industry’s 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.  Viking Cruises has aggressive expansion plans in both the ocean and river cruise categories. Anticipating high demand for the new product, a second ocean ship is on order for delivery in 2016 and conditional orders and options for four more additional ocean vessels also in place. The ocean ship order follows the company’s continued 250x250rapid fleet expansion in the river cruise sector, with 10 new river ships recently christened in March of this year and 14 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,” saidTorstein 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.”

As a direct result of extensive feedback and input from Viking River Cruises passengers, Viking Ocean Cruises was created. Itineraries were developed 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, all-inclusive pricing 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. Passengers 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- with prices starting from £1,499pp.

Wendy Atkin-Smith, Managing Director Viking Cruises UK said; We are thrilled to launch Viking Ocean Cruises in the UK market.  The state of the art design of our Viking Longships have revolutionised the river cruise experience and now, with the introduction of Viking Star,  we intend to revolutionise ocean cruising.  Our ship is smaller in size and smarter in design – an alternative to today’s mega-liners.’

Viking Star

Classified by Cruise Critic as a “small ship,” the new 930-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. Highlighted features 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: Viking Star‘s 14 Explorer Suites are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,448 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, Viking Starfeatures one of the only infinity pools at sea, allowing passengers to swim surrounded by their destination in a glass-backed pool cantilevered off the stern
  • The Spa: In keeping with Viking’s Nordic heritage, The Spa onboard Viking Star 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 the 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: Viking Star 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 Star offers more al fresco dining than any other ship
  • Enriching Entertainment: Connecting passengers to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking Cruises, and Viking Stars onboard venues include a dramatic three-deck atrium where passengers can enjoy musicians playing regional and classical music; the Star 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 Star features dual-fuel engines with ‘clean’ exhaust meeting the most stringent emission standards, a hydro-dynamically optimized streamlined hull and bow for maximum fuel efficiency, onboard solar panels, and equipment that minimizes exhaust pollution and meets the strictest environmental regulations

The ship has been designed by experienced nautical architects and engineers, including an interior design team of London-based SMC Design, and Los Angeles-based Rottet Studios. The first of two ocean ships on order, Viking Star will be built byItaly’s Fincantieri shipyard.

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