Already the ninth ocean-going cruise ship for Viking Ocean Cruises, and the tenth in class, Viking Saturn reached an important milestone in the building stage. She was floated out for the first time during a ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy.
Viking Saturn Floated Out
Under the watchful eye of company CEO Torstein Hagen and Fincantieri CEO Pierroberto Folgiero, the tenth ship in the class, Viking Saturn, touched water for the first time in the Fincantieri shipyard in Ancona, Italy. Elena Del Mastro, an employee of the shipyard, was the ceremony’s godmother.
Like her sister ships, Viking Saturn will have space for 930 passengers in 465 suites and weighs 47,800 gross tons. She has been designed in cooperation with a team of naval architects and engineers from Los Angeles-based Rottet Studios and London-based Smc Design.
They have given the vessel a modern Scandinavian style, characterized by sophisticated yet functional elegance, a style well known across the Viking fleet of ships. All cabins onboard feature a private veranda; there are two swimming pools, including an infinity pool and a Scandinavian-inspired Spa and wellness center.
Guests will have the option of eight different inside and outside dining options, 24-hour room service, and several bars and lounges to enjoy.
Official debut in early 2023
Once she completes the last stages of the build, including sea trials and final outfitting, Viking Saturn will sail her maiden voyage on May 2, 2023, from Civitavecchia, Italy. Her first cruise will call in Livorno, Monaco, Marseille, Sete, and then end in Barcelona, Spain.
From Barcelona, the ship will be sailing a repositioning cruise to Northern Europe. Viking Saturn will be spending her inaugural season in Scandinavia and the North Atlantic starting early 2023.
The 930-guest cruise ship will sail on a 14-night Iconic Iceland, Greenland & Canada cruise that sails from Reykjavik, Iceland, on May 23. From there, the ship will be visiting several of the stunning destinations in Iceland, such as Heimaey in the Westman Islands; and Djupivogur, Seydisfjordur, Akureyri, and Isafjord, Iceland.
After that, the ship will sail across the always treacherous Denmark Strait to Greenland, where there will be visits to Nanortalik and Qaqortoq. Subsequently, the vessel will sail to L’Anse Aux Meadows, Canada, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and conclude the voyage with her maiden call to the United States in New York City.
Since the start of operations in 1997, Viking has seen a massive increase in ships. Currently, the company owns and operates more than 76 river cruise ships that sail in Europe, Russia, China, Southeast Asia, and on the Mississippi in the United States.
However, the company’s entry into the ocean-going cruise market has been especially impressive. With only one basic ship design, the company has been able to deliver new ships at an astonishing rate, only last month, the company took delivery of Viking Mars.
Photo Courtesy: Viking Cruises
Currently, there are nine ships sailing for Viking’s ocean cruise line, and one ship in the class is sailing for the Chinese market, previously known as MV Viking Sun, now Zhao Shang Yi Dun. There are plans for a further six ships after Viking Saturn.
The impressive part is that Viking has gone through this massive expansion with extremely high guest satisfaction ratings. It has managed to do this by offering guests at least one complimentary excursion per port of call, free wifi onboard, complimentary wine, beer, and soda during meals, port taxes and fees included, and many more freebies.
With the release of Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, Viking is now focusing on the ever-expanding expedition market. The company already set a record as Viking Octantis became the biggest cruise ship in history to sail through the Welland Canal.