Fincantieri Floats Out New Cruise Ship for Viking
While the cruise industry is working through the operational challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still making long-term plans for better days ahead - including new vessels. On Wednesday, Fincantieri's Ancona yard floated out the new 930-passenger cruise ship Viking Neptune, the latest in a long series of sister ships for Viking.
Viking Neptune will debut in November 2022 with itineraries in the Mediterranean, then head out on an all-new world cruise itinerary extending from 2023-2024.
"It is always a special day when a new ship meets water for the first time, and we look forward to welcoming guests on board the Viking Neptune this fall. Together with Fincantieri we have built the world's most elegant vessels, which truly allow our guests to explore the world in comfort," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking.
Viking Neptune's next sister ship, Viking Mars, will also deliver this year, followed by Viking Saturn in 2023. All of the firm's ships are built to the same design, with 465 staterooms and capacity for 930 passengers. The existing fleet of six includes Viking Star, Sea, Sky, Orion, Jupiter and Venus. (A seventh, Viking Sun, has been renamed Zhao Shang Yidun for a Chinese-market JV with China Merchants Group.)
Aboard its current fleet, Viking is taking its COVID-19 precautions seriously: it is the only line with fullscale PCR test laboratories on board (for its ocean and expedition cruise ships). This means that all guests and crew can receive saliva-based PCR testing with high frequency, as often as every day. For convenience, the onboard testing satisfies pre-flight test requirements for some jurisdictions.