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SOURCE Viking Cruises
LONDON, October 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
First New Ship Will Set Sail on Destination-Focused Itineraries in 2015 / 2016
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 rapid 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," 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."
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.'
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:
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 by Italy's Fincantieri shipyard.
NOTES TO EDITOR
2015 Maiden Voyage Itineraries
From now through till 31st December, 2013, Viking is offering an introductory Early Booking Discount of £500 per person. Visit http://www.vikingcruises.co.uk/ocean for more booking information.
Viking Star Technical Details
Length overall: 745.4 ft. (227.2m); beam 94.5 ft. (28.8 m); draft 20.7 ft. (6.3 m); air draft 131.2 ft. (40.0 m); gross tonnage (GRT) 47,800 t; deadweight 3,640 t; service speed 20.0 kn; number of decks 14;
classification: Lloyds Register.
About Viking Ocean Cruises
Viking Ocean Cruises focuses on destination focused cruising in the small ship category and is priced for genuine value. Debuting its maiden season in 2015, the sophisticated state-of-the-art Viking Star will sail itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic; and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean. For additional information, contact Viking Cruises at 0800 319 66 60 or visit http://www.vikingcruises.com/ocean. To join the Viking Cruises communities online, visit http://www.facebook.com/vikingrivercruises,
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