Viking-Star's-first-ocean-shipViking Ocean Cruises has announced four new itineraries and 2017 departures for Viking Star and sister ships Viking Sea and Viking Sky, with new destinations including Jerusalem and Haifa in Israel, Amsterdam in the Netherlands and St. Peter Port in Guernsey.

“We are encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response Viking Star has generated among our guests and travel industry partners,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking Cruises. “We made a commitment to reinvent ocean cruising, and we are well on our way.

“By 2017 we will have two more ships designed to enable our guests to better experience their destinations,” Hagen added. “We will also have four new itineraries that offer our guests more time in port and enriching, cultural experiences at a better value than our competitors.”

The 2016 itineraries include Ancient Empires & Holy Lands , a 15-day itinerary sailing from Rome to Istanbul which offers the opportunity to explore historic destinations in the Eastern Mediterranean and experience some of the sacred sights of the Middle East while travelling through the heart of the Holy Land. Guests will have the chance to spend three days in Israel, making stops in Jerusalem and Haifa, gateways to Bethlehem and Nazareth, and will also be able to explore the ancient cities of Rome, Athens and Istanbul. Prices start from £3,990 per person, which includes an early booking discount of £500pp and gratuities when booked before 31 August 2015.

· NEW FOR 2016: Bergen to the Bosphorus (15 days; Bergen to Istanbul)—This epic journey begins in beautiful Bergen before cruising south to the Mediterranean, stopping in Paris and Lisbon along the way. Once in the Mediterranean, travellers visit Tunis, Valletta and Athens before concluding the trip in the ancient cosmopolitan city of Istanbul. Prices start from £2,990 per person, which includes an early booking discount of £500pp and gratuities when booked before 31 August 2015.

New for 2017 itineraries include Secrets of the Southern Mediterranean. The eight-day cruise departs from Rome and continues on to some of North Africa’s most historically significant destinations, including Tunis and Algiers. The itinerary also stops in Valletta, Sardinia and Valencia before concluding the trip in beautiful Barcelona. Prices start from £1,490 per person, which includes an early booking discount of £500pp and gratuities when booked before 31 August 2015.

Also in 2017, Barcelona, the Baltic & Beyond is a 22-day voyage from Barcelona to Stockholm, calling at cities including Barcelona, Lisbon, Paris, Amsterdam and St. Petersburg. Prices start from £4,990 per person, in which includes an early booking discount of £500pp and gratuities when booked before 31 August 2015.