We all need a break. Entering year three of 14-days to flatten the curve, our collective need for a getaway gets stronger and stronger. Like every other industry in operation, the cruise lines see their fair share (if not more) of struggles as they grapple with COVID restrictions and variants. Viking, however, is sending out the good news on Friday as they launched their brand new ocean ship, “Viking Neptune.”
Who is Viking?
Founded in 1997, Viking began by purchasing four ships out of Russia. By 2000, the company expanded its fleet by purchasing Europe’s KD River Cruises, shoring up the rights to prime docking ports in key cities across the continent. That same year, they opened an office in Los Angeles. Since then, they grew to be the world leader in river cruises and added small ocean liners to their itineraries.
Viking specializes in smaller, more private experiences. It offers river cruises from the Rhine to the Mississippi or ocean cruises from the Caribbean to the Mediterranian. They also provide expeditions to focus more on exploration than luxury (albeit plenty of that also). They take cruising to discovery very seriously from scenic hikes, once-in-a-lifetime dives, and onboard enrichment lectures.
Launching “Viking Neptune”
“It is always a special day when a new ship meets water for the first time, and we look forward to welcoming guests on board the Viking Neptune this fall. Together with Fincantieri, we have built the world’s most elegant vessels, which truly allow our guests to explore the world in comfort,” said Chairman of Viking, Torstein Hagen. “We are marking several milestones in 2022, including our 25th anniversary and the 10th year since starting our ocean project. With the arrival of the Viking Neptune and her identical sister ship, the Viking Mars, this year—along with the debut of our two new expedition ships and new river ships—we are proud to firmly establish Viking as the leading small ship travel company.”
The ship was “floated out” in a traditional ceremony Friday at 11 am. This was the culmination of a two-day process that put it into the water for the first time. This signifies the final construction process as crews will begin the interior build-out. “Neptune” sets off on her maiden voyage in November across the Mediterranian before embarking on the Viking World Cruise (28 countries in 138 days) in 2023.