The Cruise Examiner for 26th December 2011: Viking Ocean Cruises Orders Two Ocean-Going Cruise Ships – Other Cruise News: Passat Revives the Delphin – Saga’s Plans for Quest for Adventure
26/12/2011 1 Comment
THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com
by Kevin Griffin
The Cruise Examiner for 26th December 2011
There is some really good news to end 2011. A new company called Viking Ocean Cruises has just ordered two 41,000-ton 888-passenger cruise ships from STX France in St Nazaire, who are also now building Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Europa 2. This is the same shipyard that produced the Queen Mary 2, Crystal Serenity, Seven Seas Mariner, the eight “R” clas ships that now work for Azamara, Oceania, P&O, Princess and, as of next spring, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises as well, and Celebrity Cruises’ Millenium class. As well as having built many mass market ships for its biggest customer, MSC, the famous St Nazaire shipyard that built the Normandie and the France, has managed to get a corner on the bespoke cruise ship market as well. Although the new Viking Ocean ships will be built to a more human scale than man y of today’s behemoths, questions remain as to whether they will have proper forward-facing observation lounges, walkaround promenade decks and tiered decks aft, all marks of a comfortable ship. Meanwhile, an Indian entrepreneur will place the Delphin back into service in the German market after a year of lay up in Venice and Britain’s Saga has some interesting plans for the Saga Pearl II, which will become sister brand Spirit of Adventure’s Quest for Adventure next spring with the delivery of the Saga Sapphire, now trading as Bleu de France.
Note dated April 4, 2012: It now appears that the pending order from Viking Ocean Cruises with STX France has collapsed and the work may go instead to Fincantieri in Italy.
Note dated April 19, 2012: It has now been confirmed that a memorandum of understanding has been signed with Fincantieri to build two, option three, ships and they will now carry 998 passengers as opposed to the originally planned 888, and they will be about 10% larger at 45,000 tons.