Viking and the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy marked a major milestone in the construction of the cruise line’s newest ship, Viking Vela, when she was floated out on November 30, 2023, and touched water for the first time. The ship, the 10th in the Viking fleet, is slated to launch in December 2024.
Viking Vela Celebrates a Maritime Tradition
Viking’s 998-guest Viking Vela was floated out of her construction bay at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Ancona, Italy, on November 30, 2023. A float-out ceremony is a maritime tradition that signals the completion of a ship’s exterior and the start of interior design and outfitting.
The shipyard is on schedule to deliver Viking Vela in December 2024. While all of the line’s blue water ships are identical, Viking Vela, with 499 cabins, will be slightly larger, and able to accommodate more guests than her sister ships, which typically have capacity for 930 guests in 465 cabins.
Most of Viking’s ocean ships are roughly 48,000-gross tons, while Viking Vela is 54,300-gross tons. Aside from the ship’s extra cabin space, all dining and entertainment venues aboard Viking Vela will mirror those onboard the existing ships in the fleet.
Like the rest of the Viking fleet, the new ship is being built to high environmental and safety standards.
“The Viking ships are built according to the latest navigation and safety regulations, are equipped with high-efficiency engines and systems that minimize the pollution of exhaust gases and that meet the strictest environmental regulations,” the Fincantieri shipyard said.
Viking’s All-Balcony Fleet Keeps Expanding
The cruise line’s existing ocean ships include Viking Saturn, Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Orion, Viking Jupiter, Viking Venus, Viking Mars, and Viking Neptune. The newest ship is Viking Saturn, which was christened in New York on June 6, 2023. The fleet offers all-balcony accommodations and is an adult-only vessel with a minimum guest age of 18.
In addition to the blue water fleet, Viking also operates two polar-class expedition vessels, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, both purpose-built for polar regions. Viking announced earlier this year that both expedition ships will offer Arctic voyages in summer 2025.
The delivery of Viking Vela is slated for December 2024. While the christening date and location have not yet been announced, the cruise line has revealed several itineraries the new ship will sail.
They include an 8-day Iconic Western Mediterranean, from Barcelona to Rome; a 15-day British Isles Explorer, from Bergen, Norway, to London; a 15-day Viking Homelands, from Stockholm to Bergen; a 16-day Malta, Morocco & the Mediterranean, roundtrip from Barcelona; a 13-day In Search of the Northern Lights, from London to Bergen; and a 13-day Iceland’s Majestic Landscapes, from Bergen to Reykjavik.
New Ship Will Offer Six Accommodation Choices
Viking Vela will feature six stateroom and suite accommodations, including Veranda, Deluxe Veranda, Penthouse Veranda, Penthouse Junior Suite, Explorer Suite, and Owner’s Suite.
The spacious Owner’s Suite, at nearly 1,500 square feet, offers multiple rooms, an ocean-view dry sauna, a boardroom, and several perks such as complimentary shore excursions by private car, and priority reservations at dining venues and the spa.
Dining venues include The Restaurant, the main dining room; Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant; Chef’s Table, a multi-course dinner event; Mamsen’s, serving Norwegian specialties in honor of the cruise line’s heritage; the Pool Grill; Aquavit Terrace, an al fresco dining spot; and the World Cafe, the fleet’s buffet venue, with indoor and outdoor seating.
Viking also offers guests the opportunity to participate in cooking instruction at a venue called the Kitchen Table. The onboard cooking school lets guests interact with the ships’ world-class chefs, as they bring local flavors from market to table.