Viking lays keel for first ocean cruise ship

Viking Cruises Chairman Torstein Hagen (center), with employees of Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard, at the keel laying ceremony for Viking's first ocean cruise ship, Viking Star, outside Venice, Italy Viking Cruises Chairman Torstein Hagen (center), with employees of Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard, at the keel laying ceremony for Viking's first ocean cruise ship, Viking Star, outside Venice, Italy Viking Cruises

DECEMBER 19, 2013 — Viking Cruises reports that Fincantieri's Marghera, Italy, shipyard has laid the keel for Viking Star, marking the next construction phase of the company's first-ever ocean product.

The shipbuilder is scheduled to deliver the 930 passenger Viking Star in early 2015, bringing Viking — a leading river cruise operator — into the ocean cruising market.

"Our new ocean itineraries are selling at an unprecedented rate, and the enthusiasm we have seen from guests is truly remarkable," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. "There is undoubtedly interest in an ocean cruise experience that returns the focus to the destination, and Viking is actively planning to meet that demand."

Viking's ocean itineraries will include Viking Star's maiden voyages in Scandinavia and the Baltic; and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean.