There are many cruise travelers who aren’t interested in a big ship cruising experience in the ocean. They just want to try something different and therefore they turn to river cruises. On small ships, travelers sail European rivers and anchor at iconic destinations.
In this sector, Viking River Cruises (vikingrivercruises.com) has always been a major player. Although Viking Cruises has been offering superior river cruises to travelers for many years, it aims to offer something different now. The company wants to explore new areas and provide travelers with a better experience. Thus, Viking River Cruises has decided to sail custom built ships to redefine ocean cruising.
A gala event was organized by the company at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. During the event, Viking River Cruises announced that it would effectively become Viking Cruises and split off into an organization focusing on two distinct paths. While Viking Rivers will continue to focus on popular longships, Viking Oceans will build a new fleet of ships going into the ocean. The fleet will begin with a new ocean line, Viking Star, with a capacity to accommodate 930 passengers. Viking Star will set sail in 2015 and visit ports all around Europe, something which isn’t possible with river cruise ships.
Initially, Viking Star will offer a choice between three summer European itineraries. These three sailings will begin and end with overnights in the first and last ports. Unlike other lines, Viking Star will not just board passengers at the first port to rush into everything and sail a few hours later. Similarly, once the ship sails to the last port, passengers will be able to stay overnight. The cruise ship will disembark travelers on the next day.
Viking Star will even offer more flexibility between the first and last ports and stay in these ports longer. This will allow passengers to experience interesting nightlife, which is something that has never been offered by other cruise lines.
Viking Oceans will take all the elements of Viking Rivers and apply them to the ocean. They promise to set new standards for ocean cruising lines with a fresh, new and innovative approach.
The Viking Star looks majestic with an all-balcony stateroom with a generous area of 270 square feet. Viking Oceans will also include other ships of similar size to offer a delightful experience to travelers. The sheer size of these ships will issue a notice to competitors – “The Vikings are Coming”.
Viking Oceans aims to take some important lessons from its popular river cruise longships and apply them to ocean cruising. This will allow them to create a completely unique and distinct choice for cruise travelers. Viking Oceans will offer some exceptional features that are only available on other cruise lines at an extra cost. Some of these include shore excursions, free Wifi for every passenger in every area on the ship, every stateroom with king-sized bed, every bathroom with a 12 square feet shower, wine, beer and soft drinks included in meals, and specialty restaurant options.
However, the company states that a Viking Oceans cruise ship will not be for everyone. They want to target customers who’re 55+ years, well educated, English-speaking, curious, affluent, active and interested in culture, history and music. If you stop considering the 55+ years factor for a moment, you’ll realize that Viking Cruises can be a perfect fit for many more travelers.
What Viking Cruises is trying to do can be a completely viable option for many travelers who’ve never cruised or don’t like the idea of traveling on big cruise ships. Viking Cruises will be perfect for a person who does not like the floating-hotel travel experience. Viking Star will not have children’s programming or cabins that can hold more than two guests. Unlike other cruise lines, it will not include unnecessary casinos, amusement park-rides, giant fitness centers and bars.