Viking have been a popular river cruise line for the past 26 years and at present they operate a successful fleet of 35 river cruising ships along the rivers of Europe, Russia, China, Egypt and Vietnam.
Viking have recently announced their decision to diversify and to move into ocean cruising, and this new cruise line will be called Viking Ocean Cruises which will officially launch in 2015.
Viking’s chairman Torstein Hagen declared that Viking Ocean Cruises will be an upmarket cruise line with Scandinavian influences, and will focus on destinations in a way that he feels has been lost across much of the cruise industry in the last few years.
He declared that Viking felt that the emphasis in cruising had become too focused on building the biggest ships with the most innovative features, rather than on focusing on the actual destinations that people are travelling to.
This will be Viking’s first foray into ocean cruises, and they are the first new ocean line to announce a debut in almost a decade. Viking Ocean Cruises have ordered two ships for the new cruise line and these will both be able to hold 928 passengers each.
The first of the two ships, Viking Star, will begin cruising in the May of 2015 and will sail maiden voyages within Europe including the Baltic, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean. Staterooms on board the Viking Star’s maiden voyages have already gone on sale.
The smaller size of the Viking Ocean Cruises ships compared to some of the mammoth cruise liners that sail the world’s ocean at present will mean that the ships are able to visit the smaller ports of call. It will also mean they’ll be able to dock closer to the centre of certain ports of call too and passengers will undoubtedly benefit from this.
Viking Ocean Cruises are also set to offer all-inclusive packages that will include all on board meals, shore excursions in every port of call, beer and wine with meals and even wi-fi.
The inclusion of wi-fi in the all-inclusive rates will be welcome news to passengers who are increasingly relying on technological devices which require internet access during their trips. The prices charged by some ocean cruise lines are extortionate so this will certainly be something passengers will be happy about.
All cabins on board Viking Ocean Cruises ships are set to have balconies, and the smallest stateroom will be 270 square feet, which is significantly larger than most ocean cruise ships at the moment.
There will be 14 luxurious two room suites on Viking Ocean Cruises ships which will offer surround views from private, wrap-around balconies. These are sure to appeal to passengers who have a taste for luxury and the finer things in life.
The announcement of Viking Ocean Cruises launch in 2015 comes just as Carnival Cruise Line have recently stated that they will be withdrawing some of their ships and itineraries from Europe.
Thanks Emma Mock up Images Courtesy Viking River Cruises