LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Viking Cruises (www.vikingcruises.com) today announced the keel was laid for its first ocean cruise vessel, Viking Star, marking the next construction phase of the company's first-ever ocean product. The ceremony took place on Wednesday, December 18, at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard outside Venice, Italy. Viking Star is scheduled to be delivered in early 2015.
"Our new ocean itineraries are selling at an unprecedented rate, and the enthusiasm we have seen from guests is truly remarkable," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. "There is undoubtedly interest in an ocean cruise experience that returns the focus to the destination, and Viking is actively planning to meet that demand."
Steel was first cut for Viking Star in June 2013, and the laying of the keel is a formal recognition of the start of construction. The 930-passenger Viking Star features state-of-the-art design from experienced nautical architects and engineers. The company will also launch a record-breaking 14 new river vessels – Viking Longships® – in March 2014.
Viking's ocean itineraries will include Viking Star's maiden voyages in Scandinavia and the Baltic; and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean. Classified by Cruise Critic as a "small ship," the all-veranda custom-designed vessel allows travelers to get closer than ever to their destinations with maximum time in ports, while highlighting history, art and local culture through privileged-access excursions and onboard experiences that are truly designed for the experienced traveler.
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About Viking Cruises
Viking Cruises offers destination-centric river and ocean cruising designed for experienced travelers with an interest in geography, culture and history. Featuring onboard cultural enrichment and included shore excursions, Viking's journeys are competitively priced for genuine value. Debuting its maiden season of ocean cruising in 2015, the sophisticated state-of-the-art Viking Star will host 930 guests on itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic; and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean. As the world's leading river cruise line, since its 1997 inception the company has grown to a fleet of 35 river vessels (in 2013) offering scenic cruising along the rivers of Europe, Russia, Ukraine, China, and Southeast Asia. Viking has been honored multiple times in Travel + Leisure's "World's Best" Awards and Conde Nast Traveler's "Gold List" as well as recognized by the editors of Cruise Critic as "Best River Cruise Line," with the entire Viking Longships fleet being named "Best New River Ships of 2012" in the website's Editors' Picks Awards. The travel trade has ranked Viking as the "Best River Cruise Line" by Travel Weekly, Recommend and Travel Agent magazines, "Best Cruise Line for Luxury River Cruises" at the Luxury Travel Advisor Awards of Excellence and as "Best Overall Cruise Line for River Cruising" and "Best River Cruise Line for Travel Agent Support" in TravelAge West's WAVE Awards. For additional information, contact Viking Cruises at 1‑855‑8-VIKING (1‑855‑884‑5464) or visit www.vikingcruises.com. To join the Viking Cruises communities online, visit www.facebook.com/vikingcruises, www.facebook.com/vikingoceans and www.facebook.com/vikingrivercruises.
SOURCE Viking Cruises