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In May, Torstein Hagen, chairman and CEO of Viking River Cruises, announced the launch of a seagoing cruise line, Viking Ocean, to share the umbrella of Viking Cruises. The first ship, the 928-passenger Viking Star, is under construction at the Fincantieri Marghera shipyard after three years of research, planning and refining the design. Michele Saegesser, vice president of sales, the Americas, said agents were already selling cruises within hours of the books opening on May 17.
The new line has many features brought over from Viking’s highly successful Longships, including complimentary shore excursions in every port, complimentary wine and beer with dinner, complimentary Wi-Fi access and no non-commissionable fares. All staterooms feature a balcony, and the ship also offers two pools, hybrid engines, a stunning spa, a two-deck Explorers’ Lounge and a variety of dining options without surcharge. Introductory prices start at $2,999 per person for 10-day Mediterranean cruises and discounted airfare from $695, with two-for-one pricing available before July 31.