The Viking Star will be built at the Fincantieri shipyard near Venice, Italy, with space for 928 passengers in 48,000 gross tons. It will be 754 feet long by 94.5 feet wide, and will have only balcony cabins -- a generous 270-square feet on average, with king-sized beds and extra-large showers.
An identical sister ship, yet to be named, is slated to debut in 2016. Both will feature modern Scandinavian décor, and in many ways the floor plan resembles that of the Viking River Longboats – but on a much grander scale.
In addition to the all-balcony staterooms there will be 14 two-room Explorer Suites, ranging from 757 to 1,448 sq. ft. with wrap-around private verandas.
There will be no private areas on the vessel for “suite guests only,” and there will not be abundant pull-down or sofa-beds to try to fit in as many people as possible. Public rooms will be light and airy, starting with the two top decks (seven and eight), all the way forward is a two-story Explorer’s Lounge with a 270-degree view to the front and sides of the ship.
Next we see the “World Café” – the casual dining area of the ship but with “actions stations” rather than buffet-style lines.
Additional al fresco seating for the World Café is offered in the Aquavit Terrace.
The Spa on deck one will have a large “thermal suite” – a self-service area with a large hot tub, a dry sauna, and a “snow room” where guests can dial up a light or moderate snowfall or “blizzard conditions” at the touch of a button.
Behind the Explorer’s Lounge is a two-story Wintergarden, a glass-enclosed space that allows natural sunlight to warm the room in any climate.
On the rear of deck seven is an Infinity Pool with a rear-facing glass wall below the pool's water line built into the aft end of the ship.
Deck two features an outdoor Promenade that surrounds the Restaurant, the Viking Piano Bar and two separate Cinema Rooms.
Every port of call will include a complimentary shore excursion for each guest – with passengers split into smaller groups with separate guides. Additional "premium" tours, such as visits to the Hermitage Museum at night, will be available at a surcharge.
Next is a “magrodome” enclosed swimming pool – i.e., one with a retractable ceiling to allow fresh air in or to seal it out depending on the weather.
The ship will offer complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks during the lunch and dinner hours and special coffees at any time.
Decks six through three have staterooms, and each deck has a self-service laundry. Deck three also includes the top story of a three-deck atrium that is surrounded by public rooms on decks two and one.
Cruises itineraries of nine to 15 days have already been calculated to average more time in more ports per cruise than any current cruise line. There will be at least three overnight port stays on each cruise and never more than one day at sea without a port call.
Viking River Cruises, the biggest river cruise line, unveiled plans for a new ocean-going cruise product. Called Viking Ocean, its first ship -- Viking Star -- is scheduled to arrive in 2015. And it should qualify as the most “all-inclusive” cruise ship yet.