Viking Orders Two Fuel-Efficient Ocean Cruise Ships, Will Sail at Higher Speeds

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday May 21, 2013

River cruise company Viking Cruises Ltd. (Viking) has launched an ocean cruises product line, Viking Ocean Cruises, for which it has ordered two fuel-efficient 928-passenger ships for delivery in 2015 and 2016.

The ships are being built by Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani Spa, and Viking chairman Torstein Hagen said the company may order up to four more.

Hagen said the new ocean cruises will give passengers more time at ports and less at sea than is standard in the industry.

“It is our view that in the race to build bigger ships, many cruise lines have lost sight of the destinations to which they sail," he said.

Viking say that as the vessels will be more fuel efficient than older vessels in the industry, it will be relatively less expensive to sail between ports at higher speeds, and that will allow for the extra stoppage time.

With fuel costs lower, "we don't mind driving more quickly" between ports if it means a better experience, Hagen says.

The Viking ship’s relatively small size will also allow them to access more ports, going against an industry trend of focusing more on passenger experience on board larger ships.

Carnival UK Chief Executive David Dingle recently said rising fuel prices are pushing cruise operators toward the model of larger ships and shorter distance trips.