For the first time, Viking Cruises has started cruise operations out of Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Viking Orion departed on Wednesday night with guests onboard following an earlier plaque and keys ceremony.
Viking Cruises Begins Operations from Fort Lauderdale
It was a big day for Viking Cruises and Port Everglades on Wednesday when Viking Orion became the first in the fleet to begin cruises from the port. The 930-guest luxury cruise ship departed after 9:00 PM with guests onboard.
The vessel departed on a 14-day round-trip Caribbean cruise that includes calls at San Suan, Tortola, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Barbados, Dominica, Antigua, St Maarten, and the final port of call at St. Thomas. The ship will return to Fort Lauderdale on November 3, 2021.
“Viking’s arrival diversifies Port Everglades’ fleet with a new brand that focuses on history, culture, and exploration for curious travelers,” said Port Everglades Chief Executive and Port Director Jonathan Daniels. “We are honored that Viking has selected Port Everglades for their 2021-2022 winter cruise season and wish them great success in the Florida-Caribbean market.”
Earlier in the day before the ship departed, a ceremony took place with a traditional plaque and keys exchange. Port Director Jonathan Daniels presented Captain Richard Svardmark with a plaque and Broward County Vice Mayor Michael Udine gave him a key to the County.
Sister ship Viking Star will also begin cruises from the Florida port on Saturday, November 6. Both vessels will be offering Caribbean and Central America itineraries through 2022. Viking Orion is among the newest ships in the ocean fleet and entered service in 2018.
The ship is over 47,800 gross tons with a guest capacity of 930 and over 400 international crew members. Viking Star is an identical ship that entered service in 2015.