Viking Ocean Cruises today announced its second ship—the 930-passenger Viking Sea—was “floated out,” marking a major construction milestone and the first time that the new ship touches water.
The traditional ceremony took place yesterday, June 25, at Fincantieri’s Ancona shipyard—little more than a month after the new ocean line christened its first ship, Viking Star, in Bergen, Norway. Viking Sea is set to launch in early 2016; the company’s third ship on order, Viking Sky, is also currently under construction in Ancona and will debut in 2017. As a response to strong demand for Viking’s immersive itineraries, all three ships will sail popular routes in Scandinavia and the Baltic; and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean.
In addition to the float out of Viking Sea, the company also announced that Karine Hagen, Viking’s senior vice president of product and daughter of Torstein Hagen, will be godmother to Viking Sea and will officially “name” the ship during the christening ceremony in early 2016. Widely recognised as the face of the brand in Viking’s television ads and online cultural enrichment videos, Karine is responsible for infusing the company’s itineraries with extraordinary experiences. She is also the author of the children’s books, “The World of Finse,” an educational series that showcases the adventures of Karine’s yellow Labrador, Finse, set largely along the global destinations and routes of Viking’s cruise itineraries.
Viking Sea’s float out began at approximately 10:30 a.m. local time, with the maritime tradition of welding coins under the ship mast. Karine welded Norwegian commemorative coins representing four generations of birth years in her family: 1911 (grandmother Ragnhild, after whom the onboard restaurant Mamsen’s is named); 1943 (father Torstein, Viking’s chairman); 1970 (Karine’s own birth year) and 2012 (Karine’s Labrador, Finse, who was also present at the ceremony). Karine then cut a cord to allow water to begin flowing into the ship’s building dock. Following a two-day process that will set Viking Sea afloat, she will then be moved to a nearby outfitting dock for final construction and interior build-out.
Viking Star, Viking Sea and Viking Sky
Viking’s ocean ships are engineered at a scale that allows direct access into most ports, so guests have easy and efficient embarkation and disembarkation. Classified by Cruise Critic as “small ships,” Viking’s ocean fleet features understated elegance and modern Scandinavian design. Highlights include:
All Veranda Staterooms: Guests can choose from five stateroom categories, starting from a 270 sq. ft. Veranda Stateroom, all with private verandas, king-size beds, large showers and LCD TVs.
Explorer Suites: The ships feature 14 Explorer Suites, which are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,163 sq. ft. that offer sweeping views from wraparound private verandas as well as the most amenities and privileges of any category onboard.
Two Pool Choices: In addition to the Main Pool with a retractable dome permitting any-season swimming, the ships feature a glass-backed Infinity Pool off the stern, allowing guests to swim surrounded by their destination.
LivNordic Spa: In keeping with Viking’s Nordic heritage, The Spa onboard is designed with the holistic qwewellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind—from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a Snow Grotto where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air.
Explorers’ Lounge and Wintergarden: Spaces designed to facilitate mingling and storytelling, the two-deck Explorers’ Lounge at the bow is the perfect spot for taking in scenery through double-height windows over a glass of aquavit or pint of local craft beer; and the Wintergarden is a serene environment in which to relax and enjoy afternoon tea service complete with a hand-selected teas.
Dining Choices: Viking’s ships offer multiple restaurant locations and food choices—from The Restaurant and the World Café, serving a variety of global cuisines and regional specialties and Mamsen’s, which serves Norwegian deli-style fare—to intimate dining experiences at The Chef’s Table, Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant and The Kitchen Table, all serving meals prepared with fresh, local ingredients. Furthermore, with multiple choices for outdoor seating during meals, Viking’s ocean ships offer more al fresco dining than any other ships.
Enriching Entertainment: Connecting passengers to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking Cruises, and onboard venues include a dramatic three-deck atrium where passengers can enjoy musicians playing regional and classical music; the Theater, home of enrichment lectures from scholars and experts; an onboard cooking school where guests can learn how to prepare local specialties; and Torshavn, a piano lounge where guests can relax, mingle, and exchange stories after a day of exploring.
Sustainable Features: Designed with the environment in mind, Viking’s ocean ships feature energy-efficient hybrid engines, hydro-dynamically optimised streamlined hulls and bows for maximum fuel efficiency, onboard solar panels, and equipment that minimises exhaust pollution and meets the strictest environmental regulations.
Info courtesy of Viking Ocean Cruises