VIKING OCEAN CRUISES UNVEILS FOUR NEW ITINERARIES & OPENS 2017 SAILING SEASON
Nearly Sold Out Maiden Season and Strong Demand Lead to Additional Options in 2016 & 2017
Los Angeles (June 18, 2015)—Fresh off the christening of its first ship, the 930-passenger Viking Star®, Viking Ocean Cruises® (www.vikingoceancruises.com) today announced that four new itineraries and 2017 departures for Viking Star—and sister ships Viking Sea® and Viking Sky®—are now open for booking. The 2017 program includes sailings on Viking’s most popular itineraries in the Mediterranean, Western Europe, Scandinavia and the Baltic. Viking’s guests now have even more opportunities for destination-focused cruises in 2016 and 2017 that span from ancient empires to the towering fjords of Norway and beyond.
“We are encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response Viking Star has generated among our guests and travel industry partners,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking Cruises. “We made a commitment to reinvent ocean cruising, and we are well on our way. By 2017 we will have two more ships designed to enable our guests to better experience their destination. We will also have four new itineraries that offer our guests more time in port and enriching, cultural experiences at a better value than our competitors.”
New Mediterranean & Holy Land Itineraries
Not only is Viking adding sailing dates to existing itineraries, but the company has also created four new enrichment-filled programs that will take guests from the sun-soaked region of the Mediterranean to the cultural capital of St. Petersburg.
- NEW FOR 2016: Ancient Empires & Holy Lands (15 days; Rome to Istanbul)—This 15-day itinerary offers the opportunity to explore historic destinations in the Eastern Mediterranean and experience some of the sacred sights of the Middle East while traveling through the heart of the Holy Land. Guests will have the chance to spend three days in Israel, making stops in Jerusalem and Haifa, gateways to Bethlehem and Nazareth, and will also be able to explore the ancient cities of Rome, Athens and Istanbul. Introductory 2-for-1 pricing starts at $4,199 per person with discounted airfares from $695 per person.
- NEW FOR 2016: Bergen to the Bosphorus (15 days; Bergen to Istanbul)—This epic journey begins in beautiful Bergen before cruising south to the Mediterranean, stopping in Paris and Lisbon along the way. Once in the Mediterranean, travelers visit Tunis, Valletta and Athens before concluding the trip in the ancient cosmopolitan city of Istanbul. Introductory 2-for-1 pricing starts at $3,699 per person with discounted airfares from $895 per person.
- NEW FOR 2017: Secrets of the Southern Mediterranean (8 days; Rome to Barcelona)—Guests will set sail through the southern Mediterranean, departing from glorious Rome and continuing on to some of North Africa’s most historically significant destinations, including Tunis, a dazzling city that mixes North African tradition and French colonialism, and Algiers, home of the Notre Dame d’Afrique. The itinerary also stops in Valletta, Sardinia and Valencia before concluding the trip in beautiful Barcelona. Introductory 2-for-1 pricing starts at $1,999 per person with discounted airfares from $595 per person.
- NEW FOR 2017: Barcelona, the Baltic & Beyond (22 days; Barcelona to Stockholm)—This voyage travels through the waterways of Western Europe and the Baltic, giving guests the opportunity to explore iconic world-class cities such as Barcelona, Lisbon, Paris, Amsterdam and St. Petersburg. Introductory 2-for-1 pricing starts at $5,999 per person with discounted airfares from $695 per person.
Viking Star, Viking Sea and Viking Sky
Recently christened in Bergen, Norway, the 930-passenger all-veranda Viking Star—as well as her two sister ships under construction, Viking Sea (2016) and Viking Sky (2017)—is 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 on board.
- 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.
- The Spa: In keeping with Viking’s Nordic heritage, The Spa on board is designed with the holistic wellness 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 guests to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking Cruises, and onboard venues include a dramatic three-deck atrium where guests can enjoy musicians playing regional and classical music; the Theater, home to 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 optimized streamlined hulls and bows for maximum fuel efficiency, onboard solar panels, and equipment that minimizes exhaust pollution and meets the strictest environmental regulations.
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About Viking Cruises
Viking Cruises offers destination-centric river and ocean cruising designed for experienced travelers with an interest in geography, culture and history. Featuring onboard cultural enrichment and included shore excursions, Viking’s journeys are competitively priced for genuine value. Debuting its maiden season of ocean cruising in 2015, the sophisticated state-of-the-art Viking Star will host 930 guests on itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic; the Western and Eastern Mediterranean; and the British Isles. Two additional ocean ships, Viking Sea and Viking Sky, are also on order. As the world’s leading river cruise line, since its 1997 inception the company has grown to a fleet of 60 river vessels (in 2015) offering scenic cruising along the rivers of Europe, Russia, Egypt, China, and Southeast Asia. Viking has been honored multiple times in Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best” Awards and Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” as well as recognized by the editors of Cruise Critic as “Best River Cruise Line,” with the entire Viking Longships® fleet being named “Best New River Ships” in the website’s Editors’ Picks Awards. The travel trade has ranked Viking as the “Best River Cruise Line” by Travel Weekly, Recommend and Travel Agent magazines, “Best Cruise Line for Luxury River Cruises” at theLuxury Travel Advisor Awards of Excellence and as “Best Overall Cruise Line for River Cruising,” “Best New River Cruise Ship” and for the sixth consecutive year, “Best River Cruise Line for Travel Agent Support” in the 2014 TravelAge West’s WAVE Awards. For additional information, contact Viking Cruises at 1 855 8-VIKING (1 855 884 5464) or visit www.vikingcruises.com. To join the Viking Cruises community online, visit www.facebook.com/vikingcruises, www.facebook.com/vikingoceancruises and www.facebook.com/vikingrivercruises.