Viking Cruises has officially begun construction on its first ocean ship, the Viking Star at a shipyard in Italy.
The vessel, which is due to be launched in early 2015, will be 47,800GT and hold around 928 guests.
The ship is one of two new models the line has ordered, which will both be built at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard outside Venice.
“This is a big step towards realizing our ocean cruising plans,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking Cruises. “With our new ocean cruises, we are applying the same principles behind our award-winning river cruises—small, intimate ships with destination-focused itineraries that allow guests to experience privileged access excursions and onboard cultural experiences.”
Viking’s expansion into ocean cruising marks the industry’s first new cruise line in nearly a decade. Itineraries including 15-nights from Bergen to Stockholm are already on sale.