Viking Ocean Cruises is one of the fastest growing new companies in the cruise-industry. Formed in 2013 as another arm of Viking River Cruises, they now together are under the umbrella of Viking Cruises. The company was formed by Torstein Hagen, well known throughout the cruise-industry due to his involvement in several major companies like Kloster Cruise (NCL) and Holland America Line. But he had also been the CEO of Royal Viking Line in the mid 1980's and he was very fond of this line. That is why he had the fist ships of his new venture named after the first ships of the Royal Viking Line. Also in design, the ships had large similarities to those early '70's ships. The first order was officially just two ships, the Viking Star (2014) and Viking Sea (2016), but even before those were taken into service the order was gradually expanded and still is. Viking Sun is the fourth member of the fleet, following Viking Sky (2017) and two more are being built while she enters service, Viking Orion in 2018 and Viking Jupiter in 2019. Many more ships are now also on the horizon in this class, making a total of 17 ships in 2027.
Construction and general statistics
Viking Sun floated out of her buildingdock at the 15th of december 2016. She had been built at the Fincantieri yards in Ancona as yardnumber 6246. The ship measures some 47.842 tons, is 227,28 meters long, 28,79 meters wide and a draft of 6,65 meters. Her 944 passengers can use 14 decks, keeping a little space available for 465 crewmembers also. The ship is driven by two 12-cylinder and two 9-cylinder diesel engines of MAN design, giving her a normal speed of around 20 knots. The ship flies the Norwegian flag, homeported in Bergen.
Viking Sun as seen passing Velsen-Zuid after she transisted the IJmuiden locks towards Amsterdam during her first visit to the Dutch capital at the 6th of july 2018.
In design, all ships in the fleet are exactly alike, so it is easy for passengers to get around on any of the ships. There have been some changes from the first two ships in later ones, due to the fact that several spaces did't really work as planned. The ships are designed as very open, inviting Scandinavian boutique-style, using a lot of glass, blond woods and light colours. Overseen by the Los Angeles-based Rottet Studios and SMC Design from London, the ships are in semi-luxury style though not pretending to be truly high-end of the market.
Many outside features are based on the first trio of ships built for Royal Viking Line in the early 1970's, like the longer foredeck, rounded lines and the blue stripe between the lower and upper hull. Also the sharp tip of the bow is traditionally based on these ships. Of course the name of Viking Sun is based on the name for Royal Viking Sun, one of the later ships of the line built in 1988.
Below, the true name-giver is shown, entering IJmuiden port in an early sunrise in july 2010. This of course is the former Royal Viking Sun, then sailing under the name of Prinsendam for Holland America Line.
Viking Ocean only caters for passengers over 16 years of age, so there are no children's fascilities aboard. There also is no casino, but there are many classic, quiet lounges to lounge yourself through the day. In every port of call, the company offers one free excursion, WIFI aboard is also free and unlimited, just like the use of the self-laundry service and beer and wine at diner.
Cabins are at least 270 squere feet, making them quite big and all have their own balcony as there are no inside cabins. A kingsize bed, comfortable seating area, a 42-inch flatscreen LCD TV and heated floors in the bathroom make the cabins very comfortable. There also is a 24-hour roomservice available.
The float-out ceremony at the 15th of december 2016 was traditionally styled, meaning she was blessed by her Madrina Mrs. Yi Lou, Vice President of China Merchant Bank Financial Leasing. This, because Viking Sun was going to be the first Viking Ocean ship that was planned to be calling in China during her world-cruise. Also, the traditional welding of the coins below the mast was performed this day. One of these coins was a spcial 1911-dated one, representing Ragnhild 'Mamsen' Hagen, the mother of owner Torstein Hagen and name-giver to the Norwegian deli Mamsen aboard all of the ships of the line.
At the 25th of september in 2017, the ship was delivered to Viking Ocean Cruises as the fourth member of their ocean fleet. Then, she sailed from Ancona to Venice, where her first Mediterranean cruise started from the 4th of october onwards. She then crossed the Atlantic for a season of cruises in the Caribbean and around Cuba, before starting her first world-cruise during 141 days and calling at 5 continents, 35 countries and 66 ports.
On the 8th of march, 2018 Viking Sun was officially named in the port of Shanghai by again Madrina Yi Lou. By cutting a ribbon, she launched a fine bottle of Norwegian aquavit towards the ships bow. Aquavit is a traditional Norwegian beverage that travels across the equator before sale is possible because that way it ages and tastes the way it should. So a very fitting drink to smash against a ship that crosses the equator, well, regularly. At the ceremony, presented by Michelle Wang,the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra performed, together with the Chinese operatic tenor Dai Yuqiang and Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebo. It was the first time a cruiseship had been named in Shanghai's Bund.