DECEMBER 4, 2012 — Viking Ocean Cruises, sister company of Viking River Cruises, has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Fincantieri for the construction of two more ocean cruise ships with an option for another two. The related ship contracts will be completed subject to the customary closing conditions.
The agreement also provides for a series of joint initiatives to study liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion.
The new ships will be twins to the two ordered by Viking at the Italian shipbuilder earlier this year (see earlier story). In line with Viking’s intimate, destination-focused approach to cruising, the ships will be small by today’s standards at approximately 48,000 gross register tonnage (GRT).
Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking, commented on the announcement: “This additional order indicates just how strong early response has been to our ocean cruise concept which focuses on small ship destination cruising at a great value. We are very excited to have Fincantieri as a partner as we work to bring the destination back to ocean cruising.”
Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, said: "We are very pleased to intensify our collaboration with Viking and this new agreement demonstrates our ability to compete in the market."
And, in remarks apparently aimed at politicians and labor unions, he said, "We have done our part and we hope that the institutions responsible for supporting exports will continue to sustain those in this strategic industry for the national economy. We also hope that the unions and workers feel confident about the future by giving their utmost commitment to making our company ever more competitive. Without this determination, the excellent results achieved this year, namely acquisition of basically all the new prototype cruise ships projects in 2012, will be hard to maintain.