LOS ANGELES, Feb. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- After dominating the Cruise Critic® 2017 Cruisers' Choice Awards earlier this month, Viking Ocean Cruises® (www.vikingoceancruises.com) today celebrated the maiden voyage of its third ship, Viking Sky®, from Rome's Civitavecchia port to Barcelona. Sister ship to the award-winning Viking Star® and Viking Sea®, Viking Sky will begin her maiden season sailing itineraries throughout the Western and Eastern Mediterranean before heading north into Viking territory to sail Scandinavian and Baltic itineraries in the summer. Viking Sky will cross the Atlantic this fall and will finish out the year sailing itineraries in the Americas and the Caribbean.
"As we officially welcome our third ship to the fleet, it is a proud moment for the entire Viking family. We continue to see a positive response from our guests and the industry, which makes us confident in our future growth," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. "We started in the cruise business 20 years ago, and our philosophy is still the same – we do not try to be everything to everyone. We are a destination-oriented small ship cruise line, and as we prepare to introduce a fourth ocean ship by the end of 2017, we look forward to introducing even more guests to The Viking Way of exploration."
Classified by Cruise Critic as a "small ship," the all-veranda, Viking Sky, like her sister ships, has a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, boasts 465 cabins and accommodates 930 passengers. Viking's fourth ship, Viking Sun®, will be delivered in November and will spend her maiden season sailing the company's first-ever World Cruise. Viking Spirit® will join the fleet in 2018 and will sail itineraries in Australia, Asia and Alaska. A sixth, yet-to-be-named ship will be delivered in 2019; the arrival will mark Viking as the largest small ship ocean cruise line. The ocean ships are designed by experienced nautical architects and engineers, including the same interior design team responsible for the award-winning fleet of Viking Longships®.
The Viking Difference
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 fresco 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.
While every cruise fare includes a guided excursion in each port, Viking's optional excursion program was designed to provide guests with enriching experiences that go beyond the iconic and the expected, for example:
- The Hermitage Behind Closed Doors, St. Petersburg, Russia – Offered on the 15-day Viking Homelands itinerary, guests receive a Privileged Access view of the vaults of one of the world's greatest art collections at the magnificent Hermitage Museum.
- Vistas, Vikings & The Village Woodturner, Torshavn, Faroe Islands – Available on the 15-day In the Wake of the Vikings itinerary, guests can gain insight into daily village life and the rich Viking heritage as they explore the village of Kvivik, site of a 10th-century Viking settlement.
- A Taste of Provence, Toulon, France – Guests on the 17-day Catalonia to Greece itinerary can enjoy a private cooking lesson at a magnificent 19th-century house in the scenic Provençal countryside from Michelin-star rated Master Chef of France, Monsieur Bérard.
- Nazareth & The Sea of Galilee, Haifa, Israel – Offered on the 15-day Cities of Antiquity & the Holy Land itinerary, guests can choose to visit some of the most important places in the life of Jesus on this fascinating excursion through Canaan, Nazareth, Cana, Capernaum and Tabgha.
- King Crab Safari, Honningsvåg, Norway – Available on the 15-day Into the Midnight Sun itinerary, guests can set off in a deep-sea raft into the pristine waters of Sarnesfjorden to catch their own king crab in this thrilling excursion.
- Evening Concert on the Island of Our Lady of the Rocks, Kotor, Montenegro – On the 10-day Empires of the Mediterranean itinerary, guests can embark on a boat for the island of Gospa od Škrpjela, or Our Lady of the Rocks, to enjoy an exclusive and intimate guitar recital by two eminent Montenegrin musicians, Darko Nikcevic and Srdjan Bultaovic.
In addition, Viking Inclusive Value 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—an included value of more than $200 per person, per day for an average cruise.
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Through February 28, 2017, Viking is offering U.S. residents 2-for-1 cruise fare and air – plus a new "choice" offer, allowing guests to choose between a free beverage package, $400 shipboard credit per stateroom or prepaid onboard gratuities – for all 2017 sailings of the Viking Homelands itinerary. Viking is also offering 2-for-1 cruise fare and free air from more than 150 U.S. cities for all 2017 and 2018 sailings of the Panama & Central America itinerary. Contact a travel agent or call Viking toll free at 1-855-8-VIKING (1-855-884-5464).
About Viking Cruises
Viking Cruises, the leader in river and small ship ocean cruising, offers destination-focused itineraries designed for experienced travelers who have an interest in geography, culture and history. In its first year of operation, Viking Ocean Cruises was rated the #1 ocean cruise line in Travel + Leisure's 2016 "World's Best" Awards, which came on the heels of being rated the highest of all cruise lines in the 2015 "World's Best" Awards. Viking currently operates a fleet of 61 vessels, offering scenic cruising along the rivers and oceans of the Americas, Europe, Russia, Egypt, China, and Southeast Asia. By 2019 the company will operate six 930-guest ocean cruise ships and will sail itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic, the Western and Eastern Mediterranean, Asia, Australia, North America and the Caribbean. In addition to the Travel + Leisure honors, Viking has also been honored multiple times on Condé Nast Traveler's "Gold List" as well as recognized by Cruise Critic as "Best Overall" Small-Mid size ship in the 2017 Cruisers' Choice Awards, "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. For additional information, contact Viking Cruises at 1-855-8-VIKING (1-855-884-5464) or visit www.vikingcruises.com.
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SOURCE Viking Cruises