Viking Star/Sea/Sky Gallery
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Ship Gallery & Report

NB The complete collection of photographs of Viking Sea can be viewed on my account here at Captain Martini >>

Viking Cruises was founded as Viking River Cruises in 1997 by Torstein Hagen who remains its Chairman. Today, the company's fleet of more than 64 "Viking Longships" is the largest in the world and the company remains in private ownership.

Building on its worldwide success in river cruising, Viking Ocean Cruises was created in 2013, the first entirely new cruise line in 10 years. The concept was to offer a small-ship, luxury experience, with more overnights in port, later departures and fewer sea days. This would have the added advantage of reduced mileages and lower fuel costs. An order for 2 identical ships was placed with Fincantieri, Italy, quickly followed by an order for 2 more, then a 5th with an option for a 6th ship.

The company's first ship made her debut in April 2015. Built by Fincantieri in Marghera, Italy and with a tonnage of 47,842grt, she is one-third the size of most modern ships today but larger than most other exclusive luxury ships and consequently able to offer a wider range of facilities. It is no coincidence that her raked bow echoes the Norwegian ships of the 1980's. The company's founder, Torstein Hagen, served on the boards of Holland America Line and Kloster (Norwegian Cruise Line). More significantly, he was CEO of Royal Viking Line from 1980-84 and the livery and names chosen for Viking's first 3 ships would be Viking Star, Viking Sea and Viking Sky, in tribute to the 3 famous sisters of Royal Viking Line, while the 4th ship would similarly be called Viking Sun. However, with at least 10 ships planned for the new fleet, the first 4 would be joined by Viking Orion in 2018, Viking Jupiter in 2019 and Viking Venus in 2021...

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Viking Sea (April 2016- )
47,800 grt; length 745.4 ft (227.2m); 930 passengers

Completed at Fincantieri's shipyard at Ancona, Italy, the second ship of the proposed fleet made her debut in April 2016 and it was by coincidence that I was aboard the brand new Koningsdam in Dubrovnik during her first official cruise when I saw Viking Sea, also upon her maiden voyage. I resolved then, that I wanted to travel on her.

(left) Viking Sea departing Gruz (Dubrovnik) in April 2016.

Romantic Mediterranean
8th - 15th January 2017

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NB The complete collection of photos from this cruise can be viewed on my account here at Captain Martini >>

The third ship in the new fleet, Viking Sky, was delivered in February 2017 and it would be on this ship that we would make our next Viking cruise...

In Search of the Northern Lights
14th - 26th March 2019

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While this proved to be a wonderful cruise and land adventure, it had an unexpected ending....

At 13.50hrs on Saturday 23rd March, in stormy seas off the coast of Hustadvika, Norway, Viking Sky suffered engine failure (later found to have been caused by an oil-level sensor shut-off switch) resulting in the ship being blown towards the rocks. Both anchors were dropped but the ship almost ran aground and at one point, a wave overwhelmed the promenade deck and smashed through a door into the aft restaurant holding half the ship's passengers at muster stations. A number of passengers were injured and many were bruised and drenched in seawater.

There followed 24hrs in which passengers were held at muster stations while helicopters from the Norwegian Air-Rescue Service evacuated a total of 479 passengers (just over half those on board) to Kristiansund. Meanwhile, partial engine power was restored and with the assistance of sea-tugs which reached the ship on Sunday 24th March, the ship was successfully turned and was able to make her way under her own power into the port of Molde, where she arrived around 16.30hrs on Sunday 24th March. The evacuated passengers were then returned by land to the ship and all passengers susequently flown home by various specially arranged charter-flights.

NB The complete collection of photos from this cruise can be viewed on my account here at Captain Martini >>

Our experience off Norway, however, did not put us off booking again; this time with friends around South America & Cape Horn on the sixth ship in the fleet, Viking Jupiter.

South America & the Chilean Fjords
23rd January - 11th February 2020

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The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a halt to cruising for over 15 months, with numerous cancellations and disappointments, so it was appropriate that our first cruise under the new health protocols would be a Viking one and it was to be aboard their brand new ship Viking Venus.

England's Scenic Shores
5th - 12th June 2021

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Total Mileage aboard
Viking Ships: 8,079 nautical miles

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