By Hollie-Rae Merrick
But speaking onboard Viking Star, company chairman Torstein Hagen (pictured) said delays with the building of Holland America ship Koningsdam at the Italian shipyard Fincantieri had had a knock-on effect on the construction of one of Viking’s new vessels.
The third ship, which was due to launch next summer, will now be delayed until spring 2017, with any passengers who had already booked sailings given the option to transfer over to Viking Sea. Hagen confirmed that all three ships would share a similar design, following the pattern of the 930-passenger ‘Venice class’ ship Viking Star.
UK managing director Wendy Atkin-Smith dismissed worries that this could dampen the line’s plans for expansion. She said: “Hardly any of her sailings were on sale yet, because our 2016 offering is not for the full year yet.
“We will have some passengers booked on to the ship, but they will be transferred over. There’s as much damage limitation as possible.
“As far as I know, the Koningsdam ship that was being built is taking longer than predicted so it’s impacted on us. Everything depends on other factors, but it’s not going to affect the expansion plans at all.”
Hagen previously revealed hopes to grow the line’s fleet substantially to more than 100 Longships and 10 ocean ships – a significant increase from its current fleet of 63 river vessels and one ocean ship – within the next five years.