Viking Ocean Cruises was formally launched in Los Angeles on 16 May and at the same time announced that its first new ship would be named Viking Star. She is the first of four ships (with options on two more) ordered from Fincantieri’s Breda shipyard near Venice for delivery in April 2015.

Viking Star and her sisters will slot into the premium sector of the market, carrying just 928 passengers in their 47,000gt. The first steel cutting for the lead ship was undertaken in June. When delivered, she will sail from Venice to Istanbul and then perform an epic 50-night voyage from Istanbul to Stockholm, thereafter spending three months in the Baltic before heading back to the Mediterranean.

The high spot of the accommodation (literally) will be the two-deck Explorers’ Lounge situated above the bridge. The interior design will be carried out by SMC Design of London and Rottet Studios of Los Angeles. Passenger accommodation will consist of cabins and suites, all of which will have their own verandahs.

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