Viking Star Undergoes Sea Trials – Haimark Line To Commence Service In May – Stern’s Guide to European Riverboats

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 9th February 2015

This week we feature video footage that has just been released by Viking Cruises of their 930-berth Viking Star undergoing sea trials in the Aegean in December. She is due to enter service officially in May. At the same time, US-based Haimark Line will introduce the 210-berth coastal cruise ship Saint Laurent to summer service in the waters of the Great Lakes and St Lawrence. And finally, Stern’s Guide to European Riverboats has been released for 2015

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                                (See previous columns)

 

 

Viking Star Floated Out At Marghera – A Return To Seagoing Tradition But Every Cabin With A Balcony

Viking StarLast week, Viking Cruises floated out its first ocean-going cruise ship, the 47,800-ton 930-berth Viking Star. This event marks the introduction of one of the most important cruise ships in some years. In one way, she marks a return to the roots of traditional cruising, where destinations and the sense of being at sea, rather than at some fun fair, are an important part of the cruise product. At the same time, she is a step forward as every passenger cabin on board comes with a balcony.

The ceremony took place on Monday, June 23, at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard near Venice. With four sister ships now under construction, Viking Star will be the first to debut, in May 2015 with maiden voyages in Scandinavia and the Baltic. The next to be introduced will be the Viking Sea and Viking Sky, while the fourth ship has yet to be named.

“Today is a proud day for our entire Viking family, as we are one step closer to launching a new era of ocean cruising,” said Viking Cruises Chairman Torstein Hagen last week. “Viking Star’s maiden season was sold out before she even touched water, which just demonstrates how enthusiastic our guests are for destination-focused ocean cruises.”

Following a two-day process that floated the Viking Star, she was moved to the nearbyfitting dock for final completion. At 745 by 95 feet, these new ships will be slightly larger than one of the world’s most famous cruise ships, the Green Goddess, otherwise known as Cunard Line’s 34,183-ton Caronia of 1949, which measured 715 x 91 feet and also carried 930 passengers.
.
The new Viking ships will feature many premium amenities and services, including

– all cabins have a private balcony
– a two-deck high observation lounge at the forward end
– a complete walk-around promenade deck beneath the lifeboats and tenders
– the main dining room has floor-to-ceiling windows that slide open
– al fresco dining is available
– the first true infinity pool at sea
– the spa has been banished from deck 9 on top to deck 1 below.

Fort further details on booking a cruise on Viking Cruises new ocean ships please call The Cruise People Ltd in Europe on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk. or in North America 1-800-961-5536 or e-mail cruise@thecruisepeople.ca.

Viking Star Floated Out At Marghera – Saga Takes Space With MSC Cruises – And What Happened In 1914

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 30th June 2014..

 

Berengaria,ex-Imperator

Hamburg America Line’s giant Imperator became Cunard Line’s Berengeria after the First World War

Last week saw the float out at Marghera of the latest thing in ocean cruising. Viking Cruises’ Viking Star is a ship that is very traditional and yet is right up to date, with every stateroom having a balcony and all modern luxuries. We also look at Saga’s move back into outsourcing cruises from Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and MSC Cruises, something it has not done in a major way since the 1990s. And we look back at passenger shipping a century ago, how the war delayed the building of fifteen liners, and how it would denude the Hamburg America Line of its six finest ships, from the Imperator to the Tirpitz.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                          (See previous columns)

No More North Pole Departures After 2015 – Royal Caribbean Signs With Jamie Oliver’s “Jamie’s Italian” – The Introduction of Hagenisms

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 31st March 2014..

50 Years of Victory at the North Pole - Poseidon ExpeditionsAfter 2015, there will be no more nuclear icebreaker trips to the North Pole so passengers wanting to visit the North Pole are urged to book now or miss the boat entirely. Northern polar trips in future will concentrate on the Northwest Passage across the top of Canada and the Northern Sea Route above Russia. Between Quark Expeditions and Poseidon Expeditions there will be a record total of six departures for the North Pole in 2015. Elsewhere, Royal Caribbean International scored a coup last week by engaging British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to install the first “Jamie’s Italian” restaurants at sea on board the first two “Quantum” class ships, debuting this year and next. Finally, in view of last week’s Guinness Book of World Records christening of eighteen Viking Cruises river cruisers in a single week, we remember the introduction into the English language of the “Hagenism,” named for Viking CEO Torstein Hagen, by the US edition of Travel Weekly a year ago.

Photo: Poseidon Expeditions’ 2013 Voyage marking the 100th trip to the North Pole by nuclear icebreaker

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                        (See previous columns)

Mid-Size Newbuildings Take On New Importance – Small Ship Fleets Continue To Evolve – Carnival To Charge For Live Concerts

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 27th January 2014..

 

Seabourn Quest AerialRecent deliveries and orders for several new midsize ships in the 40,000- to 60,000-ton range signify a change in cruise ship development. The recent arrivals of Marina, Riviera, Europa 2 and orders for Viking Star, Seven Seas Explorer and a new 40,350-tonner for Seabourn, modelled on the smaller 32,000-ton Seabourn Quest (left), are beginning to hark back to the traditional days of cruising, making the big new ships look like circuses by comparison. The new midsize ships will become the First Class of 21st Century cruising while the megaships are quickly becoming the Tourist Class. At the same time, the small ship market continues to evolve, with the smallest Seabourn ships soon to go to Windstar Cruises. Meanwhile, Carnival Cruise Lines continues the trend of adding extra charges to mainline cruises, with the addition of live concerts at a charge on board eight of its ships in the Caribbean and Mexico.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                  (See previous columns)

Traditional Cruising To Return – Oceania’s Riviera at Reviewed.com – Veteran Cruise Ship Retired – Heritage Sailing Goes Ahead

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 13th January 2014..

Viking Star stern view

Viking Cruises has begun its advertising for the 2015-16 maiden season of its 930-guest 47,800-ton Viking Star, a ship that promises to move in a new direction in the contemporary world of cruising. Viking promises to steer away from mega ships and the superficial glitz that has become too common, and back traditional cruising. At the same time, another of the new wave of more traditional cruise ships, Oceania Cruises’ 1,258-berth 66,048-ton Riviera, has been attracting attention at Reviewed.com and at USA Today, which wrote up the review. Meanwhile, last week saw one of the last of the traditional ships, the Saga Ruby, complete her last cruise after a career of forty-one years. Finally, the Akademik Shokalskiy, now freed from the ice of the Ross Sea, will be able to take up this Friday’s expedition voyage from Bluff after all.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                         (See previous columns)

Viking Cruises Announces Details Of Its 925-Berth Viking Star – P&O Cruises Lays Keel For Its New 3,600-Berth Flagship – And 210-Berth Canadian-Built Pearl Mist Is Finally Delivered

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com

by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 20th May 2013

Viking Star new

Today sees news of three different ships with tonnages in the four-digit, five-digit and six digit ranges. Thursday saw the announcement by Viking Cruises of details of its new 47,800-ton 925-passenger ocean-going cruise ship Viking Star, which will be offically named in Bergen in May 2015. The new ship will be built by Fincantieri in Italy. The day before this, P&O Cruises laid the keel for its new 141,000-ton 3,600-passenger flagship (above), also at Fincantieri. No name has yet been announced but she is based on the design of Princess Cruises’  Royal Princess, due to be named by the Duchess of Cambridge in Southampton next month, and the Regal Princess. The new P&O flagship is due to enter service in March 2015. Meanwhile, in North America, Pearl Seas Cruises, a sister company of American Cruise Lines, finally took delivery of its 4,985-ton 210-berth Pearl Seas, a ship that was completed in 2009. The Canadian-built ship is intended to cruise the Great Lakes and East Coast of North America.

THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                  (See previous columns)

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