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|Headquarters||Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States|
Viking Ocean Cruises, the ocean cruise division of Viking Cruises, launched in 2013 to offer the same small ship experience as the company's river division. Specifically designed to provide more time in port than competitors, including late evening stays and overnights, itineraries sail Scandinavia, the Baltic, the Americas, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
In 2013, Viking Cruises announced the first new cruise line in nearly a decade. Its ocean cruise product line is intended to leverage the company's managerial experience in ocean cruising as well as its success in the river cruise sector. Viking's ocean cruise division began sailing its first vessel, Viking Star, in 2015. Since then, the ocean fleet has expanded to include three more sister ships: Viking Sea in 2016, and Viking Sky and Viking Sun in 2017. They will be joined by Viking Orion in 2018 and three more by 2022. Initial ocean cruising destinations included Scandinavia, the Baltic and the Mediterranean, calling on ports such as Bergen, Norway; St. Petersburg, Russia; Gda?sk, Poland; and Barcelona, Spain. With its expansion, Viking is offering itineraries in the Americas, the Caribbean, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, as well as its first World Cruise.
Viking Star is a 930-passenger all-veranda cruise ship, classified by the Cruise Critic trade publication as a "small ship." The ship, along with its sister ships Viking Sea, Viking Sky and Viking Sun, was designed by experienced naval architects and designers with features including dual-fuel engines, a hydro-dynamically optimized streamlined hull for maximum fuel efficiency, onboard solar panels and equipment that minimizes exhaust pollution.
The four ships were built by Fincantieri shipyard in Ancona, Italy, and the interior design, rich in Scandinavian influence, was developed by London-based SMC Design and Los Angeles-based Rottet Studio.
Viking Cruises is the first cruise line to launch a new purpose-built ship since Disney Cruise Line introduced Disney Magic in 1998.Viking Star and its identical sister ships, Viking Sea, Viking Sky and Viking Sun, have 465 staterooms in five categories, all with private verandas and a square-footage (270) that exceeds that found on most cruise ships. The ships' largest suite, the Owner's Suite, is nearly 1,500 square feet. There are also multiple lounge and dining venues with several options for dining outdoors on deck. Other onboard areas include a three-story atrium, theater, library, sun deck including two pools, Nordic-inspired spa, gym and yoga area, and onboard boutiques. Their infinity pool is one of the first of its kind at sea, and the floor-to-ceiling windows that bring sunlight into the ship's interior spaces are unique among ships of this class.
Complimentary amenities on all ocean ships in the Viking fleet include Wi-Fi Internet access; beer and wine with lunch and dinner; at least one shore excursion in every port; a Scandinavia-inspired spa, which includes a thermal pool, hot tub, sauna and a chilled Snow Grotto in which snow gently falls from the ceiling; fitness center; library with curated books to reflect the cruise line's destinations; 24-hour room service; meals at all the ship's restaurants; cappuccinos, lattes and other espresso drinks available throughout the ship; self-service laundry; movies on in-room televisions and entertainment, movies and lectures in onboard theaters; and transfers between the arrival airport and the ship. Paid amenities on all ships include several spa and salon services; specialty beer, wine and spirits; and additional shore excursions.
Each sister ship is one-third the size of many cruise ships being built by major cruise lines. This allows it to enter into smaller ports. Its overall length is 745.4 ft. (227.2 m); its beam is 94.5 ft. (28.8 m); the draft is 20.7 ft. (6.3 m); and the gross tonnage (GRT) is 47,800 t.
Since the 2015 maiden voyage of Viking Star, the company has received many accolades from cruise industry experts and critics.