ONBOARD THE VIKING STAR — Viking Ocean Cruises will expand
its horizons to Asia, Australia and Alaska, company chairman Torstein Hagen
The rapidly expanding ocean line will deploy its fifth ship,
Viking Spirit (due for completion in June 2018) to the Far East and Australia
in the winter of 2018. It will then move the ship to Alaska for the summer of
2019, Hagen said.
Hagen called Alaska a “serene” experience. “A ship like this
suits well for the quiet environment of Alaska,” Hagen said in a presentation
to reporters and travel agents.
In Asia and Australia, Hagen said the Viking Spirit will cruise
between Bangkok and Hong Kong, and between Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand. He
said it will be possible to book a 93-day cruise from Auckland to Vancouver.
“In the old days people used to call this a Circle Pacific
cruise. Many of our guests like long cruises and to get away from bad weather,
particularly in the Northeast, is not a bad thing,” Hagen said.
Viking Star, the first of six identical ocean ships to be
built for Viking, is on its way to San Juan to begin the line’s first cruises
in the Caribbean, a series of 10-day sailings. Its second ship, Viking Sea, has
remained in Europe for Mediterranean cruises during the fall, winter and
Hagen said he preferred to offer Med cruses in the
off-season rather than in the popular summer. “If you have a choice between
being in Rome in July and being in Rome in January, I pick January. There are
fewer tourists, less temperature, less crowds. And our guests have had enough
sun in their lives,” he said.
Viking’s third ocean ship, Viking Sky, is due in February
2017 and its fourth, Viking Sun, is scheduled for October 2017.