There definitely is a new player in town. In 2013, Viking Ocean Cruises had been formed by Torstein Hagen as a modern variant to the old Royal Viking Line. In 2015, their first ship set sail under the name of Viking Star, but this was only the beginning. Viking Jupiter now is the sixth ship within the same class and many, many more will follow. At the time of writing, may 2019, the company had already ordered 17 ships in this class, as well as several 'special' ships, meaning expedition-style cruiseliners. But a class of 17 40.000-ton ships is unheared of in the history of ocean cruising. The company really brings their river-cruise expertise to the worlds oceans and is taking many markets by storm. In 2019, they are the leading line in northern Europe as seen by passenger capacity and this is only four years after their first ship has even seen water.
The first time Viking Jupiter visited The Netherlands was at the 6th of may in 2019. She is seen here passing the village of Velsen Zuid on her way from Amsterdam to the North Sea.
Construction and general statistics
All of the Viking Ocean ships have the same profile, so the ship measures 47.842 tons and has a lenght of 227,20 meters and a width of 28,80 meters. Her draft is 6,30 meters and she has space aboard for some 930 passengers and 465 crewmembers. They can use 14 decks in total of which 9 are reserved for passengers. The ship flies the Norwegian flag and is homeported in Bergen. She was built at the Ancona Yards of Fincantieri in Italy to a cost of 340 million Euro.
At the 18th of october in 2017, the ships keel was laid, as is traditionally said, with the lowering of the first 380-ton buildingblock. The ship was launched om may 10th in 2018 and delivered to the company as their sixth ship on february 7th, 2019. The floatout ceremony had been led by the ships godmother Sissel Kyrkjebo, a Norwegian soprano singer and she was attended by of course company president Torstein Hagen and Giovanni Stecconi, the shipyards director.
Viking Ocean makes things very simple. They just construct one class of 17 ships as they are also doing with their rivercruises fleet. A few things have been changed from the first ship, Viking Star, as time progressed, but in general the ships of Viking ocean are axactly the same in lay-out and style. On the outside, the ships are modern variants to the sisters of Royal Viking Line from the early 1970's, with long, sleek bows, a blue line on the hull and rounded lines. It gives them a classic feel in looks and them also being not too large in size makes them easy visitors to less crowded ports. The midships pool can be covered with a dome which is covered itself in solar panels to provide extra energy and this makes the ships of the company less reliable on fossil fuels. At the aft, the so-called Infinity pool end directly at the edge of the ship so it gives the idea of an infinite pool, with the ocean being the rest. All interiour spaces on the ship were designed by the London-based SMC and the Los Angeles-based Rottet Studios.
There are 465 cabins in 18 grades, all some 20% larger then the standard staterooms on the modern cruisefleet. Of them, 47 are suites, 38 are penthouses and 386 do have a balcony. The ship is very classic in style, with a traditional wintergarden and pianolounge, and lacking of large shows or impressive venues. In style, the ship is very comfortable without becoming true luxurious and all is included in the price. This also means the Spa, beers and wines and one excursion in every port of call. In the Spa is also located the so-called Snow Room, in which a powdery snow falls down from the ceiling which is supposed to be very good for your blood circulation.
Environmentfriendliness is also very important aboard, as the ships propellershafts are lubricated by seawater instead of oil, the already named solarpanel, hybrid energy-saving engines and a pollution minimizing exhaust system.
While trying to dock in Athens at the 14th of february 2019, just two days into her maiden voyage, the ship collided with the pier due to high winds after a cable snapped on one of the three tugboats. Viking Jupiter suffered small damage but the pier itself suffered damage over a lenght of 15 meters. Small repairs could be made and she was able to return to her scedule. At june 6th, her namingceremony has been planned in Oslo, Norway and as said, Sissel Kyrkjebo will be her godmother.