The first Vessel of the brand-new cruise line, Viking Cruises, floats on water for the first time
A milestone was reached early on June 23, Monday, when the first and brand new cruise ship coming to Viking Cruises was "floated out," meaning her drydock was filled with water and ship floated for the first time. This is always an important and celebrated part of the building process.
This puts the new ship about 20 days ahead of schedule according to the Italian shipbuilding company, Fincantieri, where the ship is being constructed at its Marghera yard near Venice. Now that work is complete on the hull and its systems, Viking Star will now enter the fitting-out stage, and will likely be ready before its scheduled delivery date of March, 2015.
This vessel, named Viking Star is the first of three 930-passenger Viking ships and is already nearing completion, while work on her sister ships, Viking Sky and Viking Sea, has just started. These two latter ships are both scheduled for delivery in spring 2016.
As far as size goes; the proposed size for the Viking Ocean vessels makes them larger than average for luxury cruise ships, but certainly not out of range. At 47,000 tons for 944 people they are very similar to Crystal Symphony at 51,000-tons for 922 passengers. At this size they be able to access ports in almost any European city and provide a quick and easy embarkation and debarkation process.
All of the Viking Ocean ships will have the latest generation, high-efficiency hybrid engines with streamlined hulls and bows optimized hydro-dynamically for maximum fuel efficiency in addition to onboard solar panels and equipment to lower the carbon footprint and enable the vessels to meet strict environmental regulations.
The interiors of these vessels were designed by London-based SMC Design and Los Angeles-based Rottet Studios. Each ship will feature an indoor pool with retractable dome, a glass-backed "infinity pool" cantilevered off the stern; a two-deck Explorers’ Lounge at the bow, a Wintergarden and a spa with a sauna and a traditional Scandinavian “snow grotto”.
There will be a variety of indoor and outdoor dining venues featuring global cuisine and a three-deck atrium to be called the Viking Explorers’ Lounge. In the Wintergarden guests will enjoy a variety of musical entertainment and the Star Theater will provide the venue for onboard enrichment lectures and cooking sessions.
The new 14-deck ships will feature modern Scandinavian decor with five stateroom categories, all with private verandas and an additional 14 Explorer Suites. The ships will sail in Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea as well as the Eastern and Western Mediterranean regions.