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Viking Cruises, renowned for their river cruise ships, will be launching a new ocean cruise line: Viking Ocean Cruises.

The first ship, Viking Star, will include voyages to Scandinavia and the Baltic, and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean on its maiden voyages in May 2015.

The 928-passenger all-veranda ship will have modern Scandinavian interior design and will feature a swimming pool with a retractable dome for all-season swimming and an infinity pool.

The Spa on board Viking Star is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind – from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a “snow grotto” where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air.

Viking Star will offer more al fresco dining than any other ship. The selection of restaurants range from The Restaurant and the World Café, serving a variety of global cuisines and regional specialties, to intimate dining experiences at The Chef’s Table, Italian Grill and The Kitchen Table – all serving meals prepared with fresh, local ingredients.

There will be a three-deck atrium for musical entertainment, an on board cooking school, Piano Lounge and Star Theatre – home to enrichment lectures.

The 2015 maiden voyages:

• 15-day Viking Homelands (Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Copenhagen, Bergen)

• 15-day Passage Through Western Europe (Bergen, London, Paris, Barcelona)

• 13-day Mediterranean Odyssey (Barcelona, Rome, Dubrovnik, Venice)

• 10-day Empires of the Mediterranean (Venice, Athens, Ephesus, Istanbul).

Viking Ocean Cruises’ itineraries will offer late evenings or overnight stays in many of its ports of call.

Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises, said:

“It is our view that in the race to build bigger ships, many cruise lines have lost sight of the destinations to which they sail. With our new ocean cruises, we are applying the same principles behind our award-winning river cruises to our itinerary and ship design; privileged-access excursions; and on board experiences to make destinations the true focus.”

Wendy Atkin-Smith, MD Viking River Cruises UK said:

“We are very excited about the introduction of Viking’s new ocean ship; allowing us to offer our customers the chance to experience even more destinations in style and comfort. We look forward to launching to the UK market later in the summer and until then we continue to focus on our ever popular river product and the overwhelming demand for the new Longships”.

The new ocean ship plans follow the company’s continued rapid fleet expansion in the river cruise sector, with 10 new river ships recently christened in March of this year and 12 new river ships planned to launch in 2014.

Bookings for the 2015 maiden ocean cruise season will be made available to passengers from the UK, Australia and New Zealand this summer. For more information visit vikingcruises.com

Read Viking smashes world record and announces plans for ocean cruise ships

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