JUNE 24, 2014 — Fincantieri's Marghera, Italy, shipyard yesterday started the two day float out of the 930 passenger Viking Star, the first of three cruise ships the shipbuilder has under construction for Viking Ocean Cruises. The ship will now move into the fitting-out stage, leading to its scheduled delivery in the spring of 2015.
Fincantieri has already started work on the Viking Sea and the Viking Sky, the second and third ships in the series. The Viking Sea is set to be delivered from the Marghera shipyard in the spring of 2016 with the Viking Sky following from the Ancona shipyard during the summer of the same year.
"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 Cruises Chairman Torstein Hagen said at yesterday's ceremony. "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 approximately 10:30 a.m. local time, when a "madrina" – a woman of honor – cut a cord to allow water to begin flowing into the ship's building dock. Following a two-day process that will set Viking Star afloat, she will then be moved to a nearby outfitting dock for final construction and interior build-out.
Classified by Cruise Critic as a "small ship," the 930-passenger all-veranda Viking Star – as well as its two sister ships under construction, Viking Sea and Viking Sky – is engineered at a scale that allows direct access into most ports, so guests have easy and efficient embarkation and debarkation. Light-filled and intimate, the ship features understated elegance and modern Scandinavian design. Highlights include:
Designed with the environment in mind, Viking Star features 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.