Viking orders two more ocean ships

By Tom Stieghorst

The Fincantieri shipyard in Italy said it has received an order from Viking Cruises for two more ocean-going ships similar to the Viking Star, which is scheduled to debut in 2015.

The 928-passenger ships, scheduled for delivery in mid-2016 and 2017, brings the number of Viking ocean ships on order to four.

“The interest in and popularity of our current ocean itineraries has been incredible, and they are selling at an unprecedented rate,” said Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen. “This new order allows us to offer consumers in our other markets the opportunity to explore the world in ways they have never experienced before through our destination-focused itineraries.”

Neither party disclosed the price for the ships.

In a statement, Fincantieri said the order deepens its relationship with Viking, which also is a leading river cruise operator. It said the two companies are discussing additional high profile joint projects in other cruise segments.

Viking Star, the first vessel in Viking’s ocean fleet, was ordered in May and will sail in the Baltic and Mediterranean seas in the summer of 2015. It is being marketed mainly to Americans over 55 as a destination-oriented line that will spend an average of 12 hours in port each day.