LOS ANGELES, April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Viking Ocean Cruises, sister company of Viking River Cruises, the world's leading river cruise line, and Fincantieri, world leader in cruise shipbuilding, today announced the signature of a Memorandum of Agreement for the construction of two new luxury ocean cruise ships. The memorandum also includes an option for a third vessel.
In line with Viking's intimate, destination-focused approach to cruising, the new ocean ships will be small by today's standards at approximately 45,000 GRT and will host 998 passengers in 499 cabins. The first ship is scheduled for delivery in late 2014, the second one in late 2015.
The parties have reached an agreement on the financial and technical aspects of the deal and expect to sign the contract shortly, once the final documents and conditions are finalized.
Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking, commented on the announcement: "We started Viking River Cruises to offer great destination experiences, and we are excited to bring this same destination focus back to ocean cruising. The ship designed by Fincantieri has a fresh and innovative design well suited to deliver the award-winning Viking experience."
Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri's Chief Executive Officer, said: "We are delighted and honored having been selected by Viking Ocean Cruises to build such an innovative project."
About Viking Ocean Cruises
Viking Ocean Cruises is a sister company of Viking River Cruises, the world's leading river cruise line. Viking Ocean Cruises has been established by the same management team that has delivered consistent award winning destination travel since 1997.
About Viking River Cruises
Viking River Cruises, the world's leading river cruise company, offers scenic cruising along the rivers of Europe, Russia, China, Southeast Asia and Egypt. The company has been honored multiple times as a top river cruise line on Conde Nast Traveler's "Gold List" and Travel + Leisure's "World's Best" Awards as well as recognized as the World's Leading River Cruise Operator at the World Travel Awards and by the editors of Cruise Critic as "Best River Cruise Line" in the website's 4th Annual Editors' Picks Awards. Travel agents have also recognized Viking River Cruises as "Best River Cruise Line" by Travel Weekly, "Best River Cruise Line" by 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" by TravelAge West. Since its 1997 inception, the company has grown to a fleet of 31 vessels (in 2013), and provides unique, deluxe vacations to experienced travelers with an interest in geography, culture and history. The year 2013 will also mark the complete bow-to-stern refurbishment of the company's entire Russian fleet, with all four vessels featuring Veranda Staterooms and Suites. For additional information, contact Viking River Cruises at 1‑877‑668‑4546 (1‑877‑66VIKING) toll-free or visit the company online at http://www.vikingrivercruises.com. To join the Viking River Cruises community online, visit http://www.facebook.com/vikingrivercruises.
Fincantieri is one of the world's largest shipbuilding facilities. The company is world leader in cruise shipbuilding, a reference operator in the large ferry sector and boasts a considerable orderbook in the military field. It is also active in the sector for mega yachts of over 70 meters long, in ship components and ship repairs and conversions. Headquartered in Trieste, the company employs a staff of about 10,000 and has eight shipyards in Italy. Fincantieri operates in the U.S.A. through its subsidiary Fincantieri Marine Group (FMG). The company, which serves both civilian and government customers, including the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, has three shipyards all located in the region of the Great Lakes.
SOURCE Viking River Cruises