Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Viking's first ocean ship is floated out of dry dock

Viking Cruises' inaugural ocean ship – the 930-passenger Viking Star – was floated out at a ceremony in Italy yesterday. The vessel touched water for the first time at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard near Venice. Viking Star will debut in early 2015 with maiden voyages in Scandinavia and the Baltic; and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean – as well as two new itineraries for 2016 that visit the British Isles. Three sister ships have also been ordered.
Viking chairman Torstein Hagen said at the ceremony: "Today is a proud day for our entire Viking family, as we are one step closer to launching a new era of ocean cruising. Viking Star’s maiden season was sold out before she even touched water, which just demonstrates how enthusiastic our guests are for destination-focused ocean cruises. It is this enthusiasm that has led us to place orders for two additional sister ships, Viking Sea and Viking Sky.”
According to Italian shipbuilding tradition, a float out ceremony is significant because it denotes a ship moving into its final stage of construction. Viking Star’s float out began at 10.30a.m. local time, when a “madrina” – a woman of honor from the shipyard – cut a cord to allow water to begin flowing into the ship’s building dock. Following a two-day process that set Viking Star afloat, she will now be moved to a nearby outfitting dock for final construction and completion of her interiors.