LOS ANGELES, April 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Viking Ocean Cruises® (www.vikingoceancruises.com) today announced its two ocean ships had their first port meeting yesterday in Santorini. The company's first ship, Viking Star, which launched on April 11, 2015, is currently sailing from Istanbul to Venice on Viking's popular Empires of the Mediterranean itinerary. Viking took delivery just last week of its second ship, Viking Sea, and she is currently sailing in the opposite direction toward Istanbul, where her first guests will board on April 3. From Istanbul, Viking Sea will make her way through the Mediterranean and into the Atlantic on the way to be officially christened on May 5 on London's Thames River in Greenwich. Following the christening, Viking Sea will spend the summer with Viking Star, sailing itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic. The two 930-passenger sister ships are virtually identical and yesterday shared docking space in Santorini while guests enjoyed shore excursions on the island.
"It is hard to believe that less than one year ago, we were just setting sail with our first ship, and now we have two sister ships together," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. "It is a proud day, and I am already looking forward to next year when we will have three ships to cross paths."
Classified by Cruise Critic as "small ships," Viking Sea and Viking Star each have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, boast 465 cabins and accommodate 930 passengers. Viking Sea is the second of six ocean cruise ships on order. The third ship, Viking Sky, will be delivered in early 2017; the three remaining yet-to-be-named ships will be delivered in late 2017, 2018 and 2020, respectively.
Viking Star launched in April 2015 to great customer and industry acclaim. In addition to being named "Best New Ocean Ship" in the Cruise Critic® 2015 Editors' Picks Awards, Viking Star received three First Place Placements in the 6th Annual Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Awards. The ship was also rated number one in its category in Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2016. In 2015, Viking was also rated the highest of all river and ocean cruise lines in Travel + Leisure's "World's Best" Awards.
Designed for discerning travelers, Viking offers guests "the thinking person's cruise" as an alternative to mainstream cruises. The Viking Difference is providing guests with extraordinarily well-designed cruises that bring them closer to the cultures of the world. Ships are small to get guests closer to their destination, with more time in port, more overnights and fewer days at sea. Onboard, guests find serene Scandinavian spaces, where every room is beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light. All-veranda ships mean that guests experience every day with a new, expansive vista. With the most al freso dining at sea, featuring regional cuisines and always-available American classics, Viking's guests can truly dine in their destination. A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences onshore and onboard. And only The Viking Way brings guests itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences.
In addition, Viking Inclusive Cruising provides a small ship experience at a big ship 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; premium dining reservations; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service—a value of more than $2,400 per couple for an average cruise.
For additional details, contact Viking Cruises toll-free at 1-855-8-VIKING (1-855-884-5464).
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. As the world's leading river cruise line, since its 1997 inception the company has grown to a fleet of 59 river vessels (in 2016) offering scenic cruising along the rivers of Europe, Russia, Egypt, China and Southeast Asia. Named Cruise Critic's "Best New Ocean Ship" of 2015, the sophisticated state-of-the-art Viking Star hosts 930 guests on itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic; the Western and Eastern Mediterranean; and the Caribbean and North America. The company's second ocean ship, Viking Sea, launches in April 2016; a third ship, Viking Sky, is under construction for delivery in early 2017; and three additional sister ships are on order. In 2015 Viking was rated the highest of all cruise lines in Travel + Leisure's "World's Best" Awards after appearing on – and topping – the river cruise rankings multiple times. Viking has also been honored multiple times Condé Nast Traveler's "Gold List" as well as recognized by the editors of Cruise Critic as "Best River Cruise Line" and "Best River Itineraries," with the entire Viking Longships® fleet being named "Best New River Ships" 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," "Best New River Cruise Ship" and for the seventh consecutive year, "Best River Cruise Line for Travel Agent Support" in the 2015 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 community online, visit www.facebook.com/vikingcruises, www.facebook.com/vikingoceancruises and www.facebook.com/vikingrivercruises.
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SOURCE Viking Cruises