Viking Ocean Cruises Announces New Itineraries Through 2019
Photo by Jason Leppert
Today onboard the Viking Star, as it makes its inaugural run from New York to San Juan, Puerto Rico for the Caribbean, Viking Cruises chairman and CEO Torstein Hagen revealed new itineraries for its ocean fleet through 2019.
As anticipated, the Viking Ocean Cruises brand will head for the Asian and Russian Far East and Australia in Winter 2018 and Alaska in Summer 2019. The line will deploy its fifth ship, the Viking Spirit, in the regions.
Viking also more specifically detailed the launch dates for its upcoming ships. Following the Viking Star and Viking Sea already online, the Viking Sky will follow in February 2017, Viking Sun in October 2017, Viking Spirit in June 2018 and an as-yet-unnamed sixth sister-ship in March 2019, seemingly ahead of the original 2020 target date. Meanwhile, the Sky is likely to be christened in Tromso, Norway next year, Hagen said.
As to itinerary specifics, Hagen stated they are not for sale quite yet, but the Viking Spirit, “… will be going up and down from Bangkok to Hong Kong for awhile. It will be going from Sydney to Aukland, then some positioning, and then it’ll do Seward to Vancouver in the summer. And then you can put these pieces together in a long cruise which would be 93 days from Aukland all around to Vancouver. In the old days, people used to call this a ‘Circle Pacific Cruise’ (pictured above).”
Further port details as well as individual segment lengths are still to be announced, but a signature feature of Viking itineraries are overnight stays at embarkation and disembarkation destinations, so those at least are expected. Also sure to be showcased will be an included shore excursion in every port, another one of the line’s hallmarks.
Regarding the new deployment, Hagen explained, “Alaska again falls into the category of beautiful places. In my cruising days, I was once in Alaska on a ship, and it is a serene experience I must say. And I think a ship like this suits well for that quiet environment in Alaska.”
Also mentioned at today’s session is the line’s now 83 percent sold first World Cruise aboard the new Viking Sun straight out of the shipyard in 2017. Hagen said there may be some variation to the reprised world itinerary in 2018.
Not forgotten, of course, is the company’s other brand, Viking River Cruises, which plans to launch an additional two of its new Longships in 2017 and eventually still make it to the Mississippi River in the United States. It’s just a matter of when exactly the line will introduce riverboats domestically, which is dependent on securing a local shipbuilder that can fulfill the company’s standards and specifications.
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