The ultimate guide to Viking cruise ships and itineraries

Gene Sloan

Some cruise lines try to be all things to all people. Viking isn't one of them.

Since its founding in 1997, the upscale cruise brand has carved out a niche catering to a certain type of thoughtful, inquisitive, generally older traveler looking to explore the world and learn a thing or two along the way.

Most Viking customers are approaching their retirement years — or are already there — and they're eager to finally see all the places they didn't have time to visit when raising kids and establishing careers in their younger years.

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For this subset of travelers, Viking offers a wide range of both ocean and river cruise itineraries that have a heavy focus on the destinations visited. These aren't cruises where it's all about the ship.

Viking voyages bring a lot of extended stays in ports where passengers get more time to explore historical sites and experience the local culture than is typical on cruises. Unlike most lines, Viking offers included-in-the-fare tours in every port, allowing every passenger on board to get a guided experience during stops without having to pay extra. (In general, Viking voyages are highly inclusive, in keeping with its "no nickel-and-diming" philosophy.)

viking cruise lines wiki

On board, Viking's programming revolves heavily around what the line calls "cultural enrichment" — lectures by experts on topics related to the places its ships visit, as well as cultural and culinary offerings that often have a local tie-in.

What Viking ships don't offer is a lot of onboard amusements aimed at families and younger travelers. In fact, the line doesn't even allow children under the age of 18 on its ships. It's one of the only major cruise brands in the world with such a rule.

Viking ships also don't cater to the party crowd. If it's a floating celebration you're looking for in a vacation, this isn't the line for you.

As Viking founder Torstein Hagen likes to say, a Viking cruise is the "thinking person's cruise, not the drinking person's cruise."

Related: A beginners guide to picking a cruise line

3 things TPG loves about Viking

  • Its focus is on destinations and enrichment.
  • The elegant, Scandinavian-influenced design of its ships.
  • Its "no nickel-and-diming" philosophy.

What we could do without

  • The lack of fitness centers on Viking river ships.

The Viking fleet

Viking has more ships than any other major cruise brand in the world, more than 90 in all. It also has both ocean ships and river ships — something that is unusual among major lines. Despite this, it has one of the easiest-to-understand fleets.

That's because the vast majority of Viking's ocean vessels are carbon copies of each other. If you've seen one, you've seen them all. Ditto for the line's river vessels.

Viking currently operates 11 ocean ships, nine of which are nearly identical. The exceptions are two recently unveiled Viking ocean vessels specifically designed for expedition cruising — a type of cruising that involves traveling to remote, hard-to-reach places on hardy vessels that carry their own landing craft.

The nine nearly identical ocean ships — Viking Saturn, Viking Neptune, Viking Mars, Viking Venus, Viking Jupiter, Viking Orion, Viking Sky, Viking Sea and Viking Star — began rolling out in 2015. Each has the capacity for 930 passengers. Six more nearly identical vessels are scheduled to debut between 2024 and 2028, and Viking has options with a shipyard to order four more of the ships for delivery in 2029 and 2030.

viking cruise lines wiki

At 47,800 tons, these ocean ships are less than a fourth the size of the giant megaships being built by the likes of Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises, in keeping with Viking's focus on intimate, upscale voyages. Big floating resorts, they aren't.

Note that there is one more vessel in this same series, called Zhao Shang Yi Dun, that has been permanently transferred to a joint venture that operates for the China market. When it debuted in 2017, it originally catered to the North American market and was called Viking Sun.

Viking's two expedition ships, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, are smaller than the above vessels, as is typical for expedition ships, and carry 378 passengers at maximum occupancy.

viking cruise lines wiki

Then there are the river ships. At last count, Viking had 80 river ships in its fleet — an astounding number that is the result of blistering growth over the past decade. (As recently as 2012, the line operated just 29 river ships.)

As noted above, almost all of Viking's river ships are of the same basic design and are known as the Longships — a reference to the historic vessels used by Vikings in the Middle Ages.

Most Viking Longships are 443 feet long, the perfect length to fit into the locks on many of Europe's rivers. Viking has also built slightly shorter versions of the Longships measuring 262 feet, 361 feet or 410 feet in length specifically to sail on rivers where lock sizes or other navigational factors require a smaller vessel. The 410-foot-long versions of the vessels, for instance, were specifically built to be able to sail into the heart of Paris on the Seine River.

viking cruise lines wiki

While most Viking river ships are Longships, there are a few exceptions in the Viking river fleet. Viking operates several smaller, purpose-built vessels on the Nile River in Egypt and the Mekong River in Southeast Asia. It also has several older river vessels that predate the Longships that operated in Russia and Ukraine until recently. (For now, river cruise itineraries in both countries are on hold due to the Ukraine war.)

Viking also recently began sailings on the Mississippi River with a new ship specifically designed for the river and its tributaries.

Related: The 3 types of Viking ships, explained

Destinations and itineraries

Viking has one of the most diverse arrays of itineraries of any cruise line, mostly due to the fact that it operates both ocean cruises and river cruises.

Viking has a particularly large footprint when it comes to European river itineraries, with a wide range of sailings on nearly every European river of any note.

You'll find Viking river ships operating on the Rhine, Main and Danube in Central Europe; the Seine, Rhone, Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde in France; the Douro in Portugal; and the Moselle and Elbe in Germany. Until recently, Viking also operated cruises on the Volga in Russia and the Dnieper in Ukraine. (As noted above, sailings on the latter two rivers are on hold due to the war in Ukraine and may not resume for many years.)

viking cruise lines wiki

Viking also operates river trips on the Nile in Egypt and the Mekong River in Southeast Asia, and it recently began trips on the Mississippi River.

The line's ocean ships can be found in nearly every ocean and sea around the world, from North America to Europe and Asia.

Viking's ocean ships have a major presence in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, which the line considers its home turf. (The company was founded by a Norwegian family.) It's also a big player in the Mediterranean. You'll find Viking's ocean ships in other key cruise destinations as well, such as Alaska, the Caribbean and Panama Canal, Canada and New England, South America, Asia and Australia.

In addition, in early 2022, the line began its first cruises to Antarctica with its first expedition ship, Viking Octantis. That summer, the same vessel launched the line's first voyages in the Great Lakes — a destination that only a handful of cruise operators visit.

You'll find everything from eight-day cruises in the Mediterranean to 138-day around-the-world voyages among the line's voyages.

Related: The 5 best destinations you can visit on a Viking ship

Who sails Viking

Most Viking passengers are North Americans who are approaching retirement age or already retired. The company's core market is people who range in age from 55 to 75 years, although it does draw some passengers who are younger or older.

In general, it's an educated crowd, with many passengers coming from professional backgrounds or a life of running their own businesses. They're often people who have spent years focused on work and building up savings for retirement, and they're finally ready to start enjoying the fruits of their labor by spending some of the savings on travel to places they've long put off visiting.

They're also people who can afford a relatively high-end vacation experience. While Viking doesn't market itself as a luxury line, some would call it that. Viking vessels are full of luxury touches, with the pricing to match (see more on what Viking trips cost at the bottom of this story).

In general, you'll find a lot of couples on Viking ships and some solo travelers. You'll also find the occasional multigenerational group — a retired couple traveling with their working-age adult children, for instance.

However, unlike nearly every other cruise brand, what you won't find are families with young kids. As noted above, Viking doesn't allow passengers under the age of 18 on its ships — a key differentiator for the brand as compared to other cruise lines.

Cabins and suites

Is a balcony something you can't live without when staying in a cabin on a cruise ship? Viking could be your line.

Viking is one of the only cruise brands in the world that offers a balcony with every cabin on every ocean ship it operates — even the least expensive, smallest cabins. That's something that even the most upscale of Viking's ocean cruise rivals including Oceania Cruises , Azamara , Seabourn , Silversea Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises can't say.

Viking's ocean ships also offer a large number of suites, many of which are quite spacious. Even the smallest cabins on Viking's ocean ships are large by cruise ship standards at 270 square feet, and the largest suites measure nearly 1,500 square feet.

If you're looking for a big open room on an ocean cruise (and are willing to pay for it), Viking offers you plenty of options.

Related: The ultimate guide to Viking cabins and suites

Viking also offers lots of balcony cabins and suites on its river ships, something that isn't always the case in the river cruise business, where space on vessels is at a premium. Unlike its ocean ships, Viking's river ships aren't all-balcony-cabin vessels.

Designwise, Viking cabins and suites across all categories are modern and elegant in an understated sort of way, with Scandinavian-influenced furnishings and decor that tie to the Norwegian heritage of the company's founder.

You'll find beds topped with crisp, white duvets and Scandinavian throws, comfortable contemporary sofas and chairs in neutral tones, and light-wood desks and side tables that combine to offer a residential feel in bedroom areas. Soothing, minimalist colors — think creams, grays and lighter blues — are the order of the day.

Bathrooms in Viking cabins are serene, modernist escapes with luxurious travertine-lined walls, Scandinavian-influenced wood-veneered vanities, shiny white sinks and chrome fixtures.

viking cruise lines wiki

In keeping with the high-end nature of the brand, Viking cabins and suites have a lot of upscale touches, from sumptuous bedding that envelops you to heated floors in bathrooms. The rooms aren't overly flashy, though.

What they are is eminently functional, with storage in all the right places, lots of outlets for charging your devices and lighting right where you need it. We love the reading lights built into the fabric headboards, which are in addition to the lamps on bedside tables. You won't have trouble seeing the pages of the Viking Daily activity newsletter while lying in a Viking cabin bed.

viking cruise lines wiki

Other little touches in Viking cabins that show a line thinking about functionality as much as decor include the large and clear lettering on the Freyja toiletries that you'll find in every Viking cabin bathroom. The toiletries were specifically designed with bigger and clearer lettering than is common for toiletries on cruise ships and at hotels so that the line's older customers would have no trouble differentiating the body wash from the body lotion and shampoo.

Restaurants and dining

The number of restaurants and other dining options that you'll find on Viking ships will vary greatly depending on whether you are sailing on an ocean or a river ship.

All of Viking's oceangoing ships, which are much bigger than its river ships, have at least four and usually more outlets serving food of some sort.

Every one of the line's 930-passenger ocean ships has a main restaurant (called, simply, The Restaurant) with rotating menus that include dishes that tie to the destination where the vessel is sailing. There also are casual buffet eateries called World Cafe on every vessel. You'll probably eat most of your meals in one of these eateries.

The main restaurants on these ships are notable for their walls of glass that can slide open to create al fresco dining, something that is unusual in the cruise world.

viking cruise lines wiki

Each of the 930-passenger ocean ships also has two smaller restaurants with specialized cuisine: Manfredi's, a high-end Italian eatery, and The Chef's Table, which offers a five-course tasting menu themed around a specific cuisine that changes every few days.

There's no extra charge for dining in the smaller restaurants, but reservations are required. Each passenger is only allowed to make one to three reservations per cruise at the eateries, depending on which category of cabin they have booked.

Viking's bigger ocean ships also have poolside grills that serve made-to-order gourmet hamburgers and other grill items. Passengers can grab a snack — with a Norwegian twist — at the forward-facing lounges atop the ships, which are home to a small food counter called Mamsen's. Named after Viking founder Torstein Hagen's mother (Ragnhild "Mamsen" Hagen), it offers authentic tastes of Norway such as traditional heart-shaped waffles, specialty cakes and the brown goat cheese that is found around the country.

viking cruise lines wiki

Passengers will also find finger sandwiches, scones and teas in the afternoon at the glass-topped Wintergarden lounge at the top of every vessel.

The line's smaller expedition ocean ships, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, offer four of the above venues: The Restaurant, World Cafe, Manfredi's and Mamsen's.

Viking's river ships, by contrast, typically offer just two eateries: a main restaurant where passengers eat most of their meals and a smaller, casual buffet with indoor and outdoor seating.

Fun fact: The Manfredi's restaurants on Viking ocean ships are named after former Silversea Cruises owner Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio, a friend of Viking founder Torstein Hagen. Some Silversea ships, in turn, have lounge areas named after Hagen.

Entertainment and activities

Many of the activities on board Viking's ocean ships revolve around "cultural enrichment," to use a phrase often used by Viking executives. On any given day, you might find an expert on one of the destinations you're visiting lecturing in the theater, or a classical musician performing in the central atrium, known as The Living Room. The ships also offer some traditional entertainment, including production shows with singers and dancers.

On the line's river ships, you'll also find onboard lectures, usually related to the destinations the ships are visiting, as well as destination-related demonstrations and tastings. (On a Seine River voyage, you might have a tasting of local French cheeses or French wines, for instance).

You'll also find live piano music in the evenings in river ship lounges.

Theaters, lounges and shows

Each of the line's ocean ships has a theater at its front that is home to production shows, movie showings (with fresh popcorn available) and enrichment lecturers.

In keeping with Viking's focus on cultural immersion, lecturers often have expertise related to the places you'll be visiting on your sailing. The line also draws a wide range of interesting and accomplished people from all walks of life to serve as guest lecturers, including well-known academics, diplomats and even astronauts.

viking cruise lines wiki

In addition to the theater, a secondary lounge space on the ships called Torshavn is home to musical entertainment at night. It's also known for an extensive collection of Armagnacs, with one from almost every year of the past eight decades. (A fun game is to try the Armagnac from your birth year. Just be careful — some years are far more expensive than others.)

You'll also find musicians including pianists and guitar players performing at times in the Viking Living Room — a three-deck-high, atrium-like space at the center of the ship. Filled with comfortable seating areas and home to a bar, the Viking Living Room serves as a central meeting point for passengers throughout the day and night. It's also home to the ship's Explorers' Desk — the equivalent of a guest relations area on other ships.

viking cruise lines wiki

There's also live music at night in the Explorers' Lounge, a two-deck-high observation lounge and bar area at the very top of the ship. The Explorers' Lounge also is home to Mamsen's, the food counter serving tastes of Norway mentioned above.

The pool deck and other venues

The centerpiece of the top deck of each of Viking's ocean ships is the main pool area, which is home to a pool, hot tub and rows of lounge chairs, as well as comfortable seating areas.

The entire main pool area is covered with a glass magrodome that can be opened on short notice on warm and sunny days — or closed if the ship encounters inclement weather.

viking cruise lines wiki

Just behind the main pool area on each of the ocean ships is a lovely, glass-topped lounge with comfortable seating called the Wintergarden that is home to afternoon tea. A den of serenity, it's one of our favorite places on these vessels.

A secondary pool area with an infinity pool is at the back of each of the ships.

viking cruise lines wiki

Other interior spaces that are part of the ocean ships include a stylish spa with a thermal suite area that is open to all passengers at no extra charge (something that is not common on cruise vessels) and a fitness center.

Note that Viking river ships do not have fitness centers, which is relatively unusual for river ships. Viking has long argued that few of its customers use fitness centers and the space that would be devoted to one is better used for other things. However, if you're fitness-obsessed, Viking river ships may not be the best choice for your river trip.

Related: The 12 cruise ships with the most spectacular attractions at sea

Children's program

Viking does not allow children under the age of 18 on its vessels and thus has no children's programs on any of its vessels.

What to know before you go

Required documents.

Viking operates international itineraries where a passport is required. Passports must be valid for at least six months. Note that it is important that the name on your reservation be exactly as it is stated on your passport or other official proof of nationality.

Viking adds an automatic service gratuity (which it calls a "hotel and dining charge") of $17 per person per day to final bills, depending on your cabin category. If you are unhappy with the service you receive, you can adjust this amount before disembarking at the Explorers' Desk. (You can also increase the tip amount if so desired.) Also, a 15% gratuity is added to bills at bars and for drinks at restaurants.

Related: Everything you need to know about tipping on a cruise ship

As part of Viking's "no nickel-and-diming" philosophy, the line offers free Wi-Fi service to passengers on all its ships throughout sailings. Note that internet service can be slow at times of heavy use, as is typical on cruise vessels. In addition, in order to ensure fair usage for all, the line limits some heavy-bandwidth applications, downloads and software upgrades.

Related: Wi-Fi on cruise ships: 5 things to know about internet use on board

Carry-on drinks policy

Unlike many lines, Viking allows you to bring your own wine, Champagne, beer and liquor onto ships at embarkation with no limits. The line also doesn't charge a corkage fee.

Smoking policy

On all ships, smoking (including electronic cigarettes) is only allowed in designated outdoor areas. It's forbidden in cabins and on cabin balconies.

Some Viking ships, including all of the line's ocean vessels (including its one expedition vessel), have self-serve launderettes on cabin decks with washing machines, dryers, irons and ironing boards. The launderettes are stocked with detergent for the washing machines that, unlike on many cruise ships with launderettes, do not come with an extra cost.

In addition, most Viking vessels offer laundry and pressing services. Such services are complimentary for passengers staying in certain categories of cabins. Otherwise, fees are comparable to what you'll pay cleaners at home. Dry cleaning is available on the line's ocean ships but not on Viking river ships.

Viking's recently unveiled Mississippi River ship offers self-service launderettes but no send-out laundry and pressing service.

Related: Everything you need to know about cruise ship laundry services

Electrical outlets

All of the line's vessels have standard North American-style, 110-volt outlets in rooms as well as European-style, 220-volt outlets and USB ports in cabins.

The currency used on Viking ships is U.S. dollars.

Drinking age

You must be 21 to consume alcohol on Viking ships.

During the day, there is no specific dress code, and people dress casually. If it's a sea day in a warm-weather destination, and you're bound for the top deck, a short-sleeve shirt and shorts are just fine.

Evenings have an official dress code, but it's not too formal. The line asks passengers to keep things "elegant casual" when heading to any of the ship's dining venues, performances or special events. To Viking, that means a dress, skirt or slacks with a sweater or blouse for women, and trousers and a collared shirt for men. A tie and jacket for men are optional. Jeans are not permitted.

This evening dress code is not enforced at the casual World Cafe eateries on Viking ocean ships, where passengers can go even more casual in the evenings.

Related: Cruise packing list: The ultimate guide to what to pack for a cruise

Viking cruise loyalty program

Viking doesn't have a loyalty program in the traditional sense — one where passengers earn points every time they travel with the brand and progress through multiple tiers that bring an ever-expanding array of perks. However, it does offer a few basic perks for past guests.

Once you travel with the brand for the first time, you will automatically be enrolled in the Viking Explorer Society. As part of this society, you will receive:

  • A credit of $200 per passenger anytime you book a Viking voyage within one year of your last Viking voyage. If you reserve within two years, you receive a $100 credit.
  • An invitation to a members-only Viking Explorer Society cocktail party when sailing on Viking ships.
  • Early word by email or regular mail on new Viking Cruises itineraries and new ships, as well as special limited-time offers.

Note that the credits mentioned above cannot always be combined with promotions the line offers.

Related: The ultimate guide to Viking's cruise loyalty program

How much does a Viking cruise cost?

Viking sailings aren't inexpensive. Ten-night "Greek Odyssey" voyages to the Greek Islands start at $3,999 per person. That works out to roughly $800 per day for a couple sharing a room. Some of the line's more exotic sailings, such as its expedition trips to Antarctica, cost even more. Fourteen-night Antarctica trips start at $13,995 per person — about $2,000 per day for a couple.

Related: 6 ways to travel to Antarctica in luxury and style

Still, as is typical for cruise lines at the high end, Viking includes a lot in its base price. In addition to a room on board and all meals, the fares include beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner; specialty coffees, teas and bottled water around the clock; shipboard Wi-Fi; and (perhaps most notably) a shore excursion in every port. The latter is something relatively few lines roll into their base fares, and shore excursions can be expensive.

viking cruise lines wiki

Viking also includes access to the thermal areas of its spa in its base fares. Such access almost always comes with an extra charge on cruise vessels.

Viking fares do include port taxes and fees, which can add up to hundreds of dollars per sailing. Most other lines do not include port taxes and fees in their base fares and add them later in the booking process.

Note that Viking does charge extra for two key things that many luxury lines such as Silversea, Seabourn and Regent do not: alcoholic drinks at bars and gratuities. This is one reason some cruisers do not consider Viking at quite the same level as those other brands.

How to book

If you're sure you know what sort of cabin you want, on which ship, on which itinerary — and about a dozen other things — you can head over to Viking.com and book directly.

That said, given the complexity of booking a cruise — there are a lot of decisions to make during the booking process, trust us — we always recommend that you use a seasoned travel agent who specializes in cruises.

A good travel agent will quiz you about your particular interests, travel style and preferences, and steer you to the perfect cruise line, ship, itinerary and cabin for you. An agent can also help you if something goes wrong before, during or after your voyage.

If you're sure that Viking is your line, look for a travel agent who specializes in trips with the brand. You want someone who knows all of the line's many itineraries in detail and, preferably, has sailed on or at least inspected some of the line's vessels, too, to understand the various cabin types and onboard amenities.

Related: How to book a cruise with points and miles

Whether you use a travel agent or not, make sure to maximize your credit card spending when paying for the cruise by using a credit card that offers extra points for travel purchases . This could be the Chase Sapphire Reserve , which offers 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on travel and dining (excluding the annual $300 travel credit). There's also the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card , which offers 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on travel (and 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on dining).

Bottom line

Viking can be defined as much by what it isn't as what it is. It's not a line for families with young children. It's not a line that offers megaships topped with every sort of amusement known to humans. And it's not a line for the party crowd.

What it is is a line that has focused very specifically on "thinking person's cruises" that offer a deeper dive into the destinations that its ships visit than is typical at many lines. It's all about exploring the world and doing so in comfort.

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Viking Cruises

History, review, itineraries, ships, deck plans, news.

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Viking Cruises fleet

Viking tonle, viking vesta, viking vela, viking saturn, viking polaris, viking neptune, viking mars, viking octantis, viking venus, viking jupiter, viking orion, zhao shang yi dun-viking sun, viking star, review of viking cruises.

This is CruiseMapper's page for the three Viking Cruises subsidiary companies - the sister-brands Viking RIVER , Viking OCEAN and Viking EXPEDITIONS , their fleets (riverboats, liners, polar ships), cruisetour itineraries, destinations, homeports, cruise tracker. We have listed all Viking ships as schedules (itinerary calendars with prices) and current position tracking maps. Similarly named is the Finland-based cruiseferry company VIKING LINE (1959-founded).

In April 2021 was inaugurated the joint venture company "China Merchants Viking Cruises Co Ltd" (operating via the brand "Viking China Coastal Cruise"). The new company's fleet currently includes only Viking Sun (Zhao-Shang-Yi-Dun) but will be expanded by adding China-made newbuilds in the following years. China Merchants Viking Cruises' General Manager is Wu Wei. Viking Cruises China's Managing Director is Brendan Tansey.

Note: CruiseMapper's Viking ship schedules show departure and call ports (including towns and cities visited on shore excursions), themed voyages (holiday, itinerary themes) and port times (arrival-departure / port stays and overnights). CruiseMapper's Viking schedules also show how much will cost you to travel with the Viking brand.

In February 2024, Viking filed with SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission USA/an independent federal government agency/1934-created) for an IPO (initial public offering/first selling shares of stock to the public) in 2024-Q2. For the IPO, Viking worked with the major American financial/investment institutions UBS Group AG, Wells Fargo & Co, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America. After becoming a stock exchange-listed company (on May 1st, 2024), Viking's IPO was priced at US$24 per share, representing ~US$11 billion valuation (if fully distributed). The company plans to raise US$500+ million from potential private investors. 

Company history

The VIKING cruise travel brand was officially inaugurated on August 5, 1997.

Next is the company's 25th Anniversary video released in 2022 and presented by Torstein Hagen - Viking Cruises' Founder, President and CEO.

In 2022, Viking reported revenues of USD 3 billion and served ~470,000 tourists. As of 2023, the company owns and operates 9x ocean ships, 2x expedition ships and 79x riverboats, with another 14x riverboats on order (slated to be operational by 2026) and 10x ocean ships ordered (to be operational by 2030).

The company's significant growth is supported by TPG Inc (fka TPG Capital) and CPP Investments (Canada Pension Plan Investment Board) who in 2016 joined Viking as minority shareholders. In November 2020, Viking announced investments from TPG Capital and CPP Investments that added ~USD 500 million in net proceeds to support Viking's development.

Viking Expeditions ships operate in Arctic-Antarctica, Great Lakes , USA and Canada), Viking Ocean (global).

Viking River boats operate on the European inland waterways Danube, Rhine, Main, Mosel, Seine, Rhone, Saone, Douro, also in Asia (Mekong, Irrawaddy, Yangtze), Egypt (Nile, Lake Nasser), Ukraine (Dnieper), Russia (Volga, Svir, Neva, Lake Ladoga, Lake Baikal) and in the USA (Mississippi).

Viking Cruises logo - CruiseMapper

Viking Cruises Ltd (shipowner) is the parent company of Viking Flusskreuzfahrten AG (Viking River Cruises) as well as of KD Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt GmbH, which is subsidiary of Koln-Dusseldorfer (aka KD Cruises, fka KD Line). KD Line is an 1826-founded, Cologne -based company with a fleet of 14 cruise vessels (including "event ships" and a paddle steamer) deployed in Germany, on the rivers Moselle, Rhine and Main. Koln-Dusseldorfer was acquired by Viking in 2000.

Viking River Cruises holds 1/2 of North America's market. In the period 2011-2015, the company spent USD 600+ million on promotions. In May 2017, Viking celebrated its 20th anniversary. By the year 2027, the company's 16-ship ocean fleet will have a combined capacity of 16930 berths, ranking Viking OCEAN the world's largest cruise company with ship capacity under 1000 passengers.

Since August 2018, Viking Cruises (both brands/river and ocean) is an adults-only company that doesn't allow minor passengers (under 18 years of age) on its vessels.

On April 3, 2020, was the official launch of Viking.TV (https://viking.tv/). The company-exclusive online TV channel provides enrichment content and real-time video streaming from worldwide locations. Viking.TV targets primarily non-cruising people (those staying home) rather than travelers. The new channel also livestream sessions with various guests (experts, scientists, celebrities) and allows real-time interaction by submitting comments and questions.

Viking Cruises China

In early April 2019, Viking Cruises and China Merchants Group (China's first commercial corporation/1872-founded) unveiled a plan to launch a new cruise line (joint venture company) for the Chinese market. China Merchants Group's shipbuilding subsidiaries will design and construct the newbuilds for the new company. As of 2020, Viking fully owned and operated a fleet of 6 ocean liners plus 76 riverboats (almost all of which are of the patented Longship-Class).

On November 25, 2020, China Merchants Shekou and Viking officially signed the joint venture agreement a separate (China- flagged ) fleet of sea liners for coastal cruises. In mid-December 2020, Viking and China Merchants Shekou Industrial Zone Holdings officially announced the creation of the new joint venture company "Viking China Coastal Cruise" focused on mid-sized luxury ship voyages in China exclusively.

The new domestic travel brand (China Coastal Cruise Project) was scheduled for inauguration in 2021-Q1 with Viking Sun - transferred to the joint venture (news 8277). In January 2021, the vessel changed registry (from Norway to China) to qualify for the Chinese coasting trade. As flag state , China allows the ship to visit seaports under China's cabotage rules that regulate the shipping of passengers and/or goods between two Chinese ports. The brand's enrichment program is based on shipboard events (lectures, entertainment) and shore excursions themed on local history, traditions, nature, food.

In China (on Yangtze River), Viking Cruises operates under charter the large-sized boat Viking Emerald .

In October 2023 was announced plan for further investments in the Chinese market. Specifically, two new riverboats will be introduced in 2024, in addition to ocean ship cruises in Europe/Mediterranean tailored for Chinese consumers.

Viking RIVER CRUISES

As a division of Viking Cruises, Viking River Cruises has an estimated European river market share of ~49%. Cruisetour itineraries range from 7 to 23 days and include as regions the European rivers Rhine, Main, Danube, Saone, Rhone, Seine, Elbe and Douro, also Ukraine's Dnieper, Russia's Volga, China's Yangtze, Burma's Irrawaddy and Cambodia-Vietnam's Mekong. Most voyages are cruisetours and include river cruising, land tours, and hotel stays. All itineraries have at least one tour or guided shore excursion per day (complimentary / cruise fare-inclusive).

Viking River Cruises provides travelers with top-quality cruisetours and the world's newest and most innovative fleet of newbuild riverboats (by the patented "longship" design).

Viking's Longship fleet totals 65 boats, delivered in the period 2012-2021. Most were constructed by Neptun Werft GmbH in Rostock , and several by Meyer Werft GmbH in Papenburg (Alsvin, Bestla, Eistla, Ingvi, Lif).

Viking River Cruises Longship

On March 20, 2013, the newly renamed company "Viking Cruises" launched 10 ships at one time, thus entering the Guinness Book of World Records. Beginning on March 17, 2014, Viking christened 16 new boats over a 24-hour period, again setting an industry record. Viking named two more ships in Oporto (Portugal) on March 21.

On March 22, 2015, Amsterdam (Holland) witnessed the naming ceremony of 12 longships. Their godmothers were from USA (Los Angeles), the UK, and Russia. In 2015, Viking's river fleet expanded to 64 boats, 40 of which longships (capacity 190 passengers) introduced in 2012.

During the 2015 christening, 8 longships were in Amsterdam. The other 4 longships were named via live video link with the shipbuilding shipyard in Neptun Werft (Rostock, Germany). Two of the longships (Astrild and Beyla) are specifically designed for Elbe River. These boats are with modified longship design ("baby Longships") with only 2 decks (1/4 lighter) and capacity 98 guests (46 cabins).

On March 16, 2022, were joint-christened 8 riverboats - 4x in Paris (Fjorgyn, Kari, Radgrid, Skaga) and 4x in Amsterdam (Egdir, Gersemi, Gymir, Hervor).

On December 5, 2023, the company announced a shipbuilding order for 10x Viking Longships - 8x to be deployed on the rivers Rhine-Main-Danube, and 2x in France (Seine River). The newbuilds are scheduled for deliveries in 2025 (5x units/TBN) and in 2026 (5x units/TBN). Like all Viking Longships, the 10x new riverboats are constructed in Rostock (by Neptun Werft).

Viking European river cruises for Chinese travelers

In 2016 fall, Viking became the first European river cruise brand to offer voyages dedicated to Chinese tourists. The company dedicated two Longships, on which the primary onboard language is Mandarin.

The first longship's 2016 itineraries (starting November 10th) were on Rhine, between homeports Amsterdam and Basel. The second longship's 2017 itineraries were on Danube. On both riverboats, all the hotel staff was Mandarin-speaking and all signage was in Mandarin (from menus to toiletries). The onboard cuisine was traditional Chinese (dishes prepared by Szechuan and Cantonese chefs) plus European dishes by Michelin-star chefs.

After a 3-year hiatus, in 2023 Viking restarted its European river cruise program for Chinese tourists with Longship Viking Eistla (departing on June 1st out of Amsterdam).

All excursion programs ashore are organized by Viking River Cruises. Each ship has all 8 Mandarin-speaking tour guides assigned to 25-passenger groups. The Rhine cruise program includes a shipboard overnight in Amsterdam and 3 days (2 shipboard overnights) in Basel with Lake Lucerne tour. In Strasbourg, passengers take the high-speed TGV train to Paris. Optional (exclusive) deals include private jet travel (to any airport in Europe) for 1 day at the price of US$30,000 pp. Fares start from ~US$4300 pp.

Cruise Lines International Association/CLIA's projections for 2020 were that the number of Chinese cruisers to Europe will be the same (or larger) in comparison to the Americans.

Viking River Cruises line is a global travel corporation (Viking Flusskreuzfahrten AG) headquartered in the USA. And it all started in the not-so-distant 1997 with the establishment of the modest Viking River brand founded by a consortium of Scandinavian and Dutch investors, with only 4 second-hand riverboats bought in Russia.

In the mid-1990s, the company's founder, Torstein Hagen enjoyed a river cruise in Russia and was so excited that decided to create his own river cruising company. He started in 1997 by purchasing four Russian vessels. In 2000 Viking acquired Koln-Dusseldorfer (KD River Cruises). The KD purchase included an extremely valuable asset - the landing stages, and now Viking Cruises owns docks in more cities in Europe than it stops in. This ensures prime docking locations, easy passenger access and ability to walk into town directly.

In 2000 Viking enlarged into the US market by establishing company's US headquarters in Los Angeles, California . In April 2004 Viking expanded in China with cruise tours on Yangtze River. They additionally include hotel stays in a variety of cities, mainly in Shanghai and Beijing. As a result of newbuilds and acquisitions, in 2014 the company had a river fleet of 52 vessels with a total of 9200 berths.

Worldwide, Viking Cruises hires over 2,500 staff and crew. Line's river cruises are targeted primarily to English-speaking travelers in the UK, North America and Australia. Nowadays, Viking manages the world's largest fleet of river cruise vessels, ever.

In 2015, Viking's European river cruise sales became a bit slower than expected. The slower growth was partially related to the reduced demand for cruises in Russia. Viking's Ukrainian and Russian ships were laid up, but their staff remained on the payroll. Until the 2015 slowdown, the company reported a steady growth of over 30% per year for the period 2010-2015. The company's turnover (gross revenue) from both river and ocean shipping operations for 2015 was about USD 2 billion.

In October 2017, Viking River Cruises announced a shipbuilding order for 7 new riverboats . Of those, 6 are Longships ( Einar , Sigrun , Sigyn , Tir , Ullur , Vali ) plus one modified Longship design Douro River cruiser ( Helgrim ). The newbuilds were launched in 2019 and christened together on March 19. The 7-ship "virtual" naming ceremony was via satellite connections and held in 4 riverports - Basel Switzerland (Sigrun and Einar), Rostock Germany (Ullur and Sigyn), Brunsbuttel Germany (Vali and Tir) and Oporto Portugal (Helgrim).

For 2020 were planned the launches and inaugurations of 6 more Longship-Class boats - 4 with smaller capacity (168 pax) and deployed year-round on Seine River in France ( Fjorgyn , Kari , Radgrid , Skaga ) plus 2 standard (190 pax) and deployed on Rhine River ( Gersemi , Hervor ). In March 2021 were delivered Egdir and Gymir - the last longships on order with Neptun Werft.

Viking River Cruises deals include staterooms, onboard dining, most cultural activities, most shore excursions. Beer, soft drinks and wine by the glass are included with lunches and dinners. Viking ships are nonsmoking (interior) with a dedicated smoking area on Sundeck. Since the focus is on the port cities and river cruising, activities onboard are geared towards enrichment lectures.

In 2016-Q3, Viking Flusskreuzfahrten AG terminated the charter deals with Pericon AG (shipowner) and stopped to operate the riverboats Viking Spirit (now Seine Comtesse) , Viking Sun (now Rhein Melodie) , Viking Helvetia (now Rhein Symphonie) , Viking Pride (now Bijou du Rhone) and Viking Danube (now Filia Rheni 2) .

Viking Cruises Longships

In 2009, the newly-launched Viking Legend became the company's first riverboat fitted with hybrid (diesel-electric) engines. These new types marine engines use 20% less fuel than the conventional ones. The engine rooms are noise-insulated and this reduces noise and vibration. Environmental impact is further reduced through the ship's membrane water treatment plant. In 2011 was launched Viking Legend's sistership Viking Prestige.

In 2012 were introduced the "Viking Longship" class of vessels. All of these really long ships have the same/hybrid engine powerplant. They are environmentally friendly, with a patented interior design creating 2-room suites, numerous French Balcony staterooms, full-size rooms, and verandas. 2/3s of Longship's cabins are with French balconies, verandas, or both. Other features include the indoor-outdoor "Aquavit Terrace" (designed for outdoor relaxation and also suitable for alfresco dining), large "Explorer Suites" with wraparound balconies (aft / stern location), an organic herb garden and solar panels (on the Sun Deck).

Next YouTube video is about the original longships of the Vikings.

The first 6 Longships were launched in 2012 and collectively won "Best New River Ship" award. 10 more were launched in 2013, and additional 18 launched in 2014 (including 2 smaller ships purpose-built for Douro River in Portugal). All Viking Cruises Longships are named after Norse mythology gods and entities. Next official video reviews Viking's Longship cruise experience.

Viking Mississippi River Cruises (USA)

The company plans to add cruise ships on Mississippi River (USA). However, the process is slowed due to issues regarding the so-called "Jones Act" (Merchant Marine Act from 1920). It imposes restrictions on where USA-based ships can navigate and how to be staffed.

The company's plan to enter the USA river cruising market was officially announced in 2015. In October 2018 was announced as a potential start-up (with Mississippi-based boats) the year 2021. By 2027, Viking plans to increase its annual river shipping capacity to 100,000+ passengers (compared to 2018's 50,600) by deploying 6x boats. The 7-day American itineraries include roundtrips from NOLA/New Orleans , as well as one-ways between New Orleans and Memphis TN , and between St Louis MO and Minneapolis-Saint Paul MN .

Viking River Cruises USA ship

Viking's USA-based riverboats will be newbuilds ( vessel building cost ~USD 90-100 million per unit), each with 5 decks, passenger capacity 386, all-balcony staterooms (193 cabins total), an aft-located infinity pool, bow ramp (for passenger landings). All the 6 ships will be built and owned by ECO Shipyards (subsidiary of Edison Chouest Offshore - 1960-founded as "Edison Chouest Boat Rentals" marine corporation) and operated under charter by Viking Cruises USA.

The first boat ( Viking Mississippi ) starts operations in August 2022. Bookings opened in 2020 - on March 31 (past customers) and on April 15 (general public). Currently, Viking River Cruises USA offers 4 itineraries, themed as:

  • "Heart of the Delta" (8-day from New Orleans to Memphis) - prices started from GBP 3390 pp
  • "America's Heartland" (8-day from St Louis to St Paul) - from GBP 4790 pp
  • "Southern Celebration" (8-day roundtrip from New Orleans) - from GBP 3390 pp
  • "America's Great River" (15-day from St Paul to New Orleans) - from GBP 8690 pp

The Viking Mississippi itinerary program offers visiting 7 states (Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota) and the port cities Baton Rouge, Darrow, New Orleans, St Francisville, Natchez, Vicksburg, Memphis, Hannibal, St Louis, Burlington, Dubuque, Davenport, La Crosse, Red Wing, St. Paul.

Viking's main competitors in the American market are American Cruise Lines and American Queen Voyages (fka AQSC) .

Viking OCEAN CRUISES

In March 2016, Viking OCEAN confirmed the order of three more ocean vessels, which was increased to four in 2017 (December). By 2023, the newbuilds (by Fincantieri Italy) expanded the fleet to 10 liners.

Viking OCEAN's main competitor on the European market is MSC Explora Journeys .

  • The "9-vessel fleet" news was announced at the float-out ceremony of Viking Sky (March 2016). In April 2017, Fincantieri and Viking Cruises signed the MoA for the building of two vessels (fleet's 7th and 8th) with the option for two additional ships.
  • The "10-vessel fleet" news was officially announced in December 2017, when Viking Cruises signed the shipbuilding order for the 2 optional vessels.

The "16-fleet" news was announced on March 6, 2018, when Viking entered an agreement with Fincantieri for 6x more ocean vessels, to be delivered in the period 2024-2027. In September 2022 Fincantieri and Viking entered into an agreement for 4x more vessels (based on the option in the 2018-signed contract) with total value ~EUR/USD 1,7 billion. Deliveries were scheduled for 2026 and 2027 (2x units) and 2028 (2x units).

Viking OCEAN's fleet consists of the following vessels - Star (2015), Sea (2016), Sky (2017), Sun (2017), Orion (2018), Jupiter (2019), Venus (2021), Mars and Neptune (2022), Saturn (2023), Vela (2024), Vesta (2025).

  • Each vessel has max passenger capacity 928 (plus 465 crew-staff) and building cost ~USD 400 million (EUR 340 million).
  • Unlike the preceeding 10-ship series, Viking OCEAN's ships from the second/6-ship series (starting with Vela) are slightly larger (10 m longer, 2 m wider) and with more staterooms (493 vs 464) and bigger passenger capacity (998 vs 928).
  • Viking Sun (2017) is also from this series but was transferred to the Viking China joint venture in 2021.
  • Viking OCEAN's current plans are for a fleet of 16 sisterships, all of which are Fincantieri -built and Norway- flagged .

Fun fact is that only two Viking OCEAN ships (Orion and Jupiter) have a Planetarium. Named "Explorers' Dome", this theater-like venue is circular, with capacity 26 seats, and located forward on Deck 8, facing Explorers Lounge. It uses the latest video projecting technology to show constellations and other space-related 3D videos on its domed roof.

Among the vessels' innovative marine technologies are energy-saving hybrid engines, top-deck solar panels, pollution-minimizing exhaust systems. These ships also use seawater as a lubricant for their propeller shaft bearings. This technology lowers the vessel's maintenance costs and also the risk of sea pollution. Replacing the biodegradable oils, the water is being directly discharged into the sea.

All Viking OCEAN ships offer destination-rich itineraries marked by "small ship cruise" tour and onboard experiences. Compared to similar-class vessels operated by other companies, Viking OCEAN itineraries feature fewer sea days, longer port stays and many overnight ports of call.

Viking Ocean cruise ship (aerial)

On May 17, 2013, the company announced the launch of its "Viking Ocean" division. This was the reason for modifying the parent company's name to "Viking Cruises". The Viking Ocean brand was introduced in 2015 with Viking Star, which started operations with mostly one-way itineraries in Baltic Sea (Scandinavia, Russia) and Mediterranean Sea.

After Walt Disney Cruise Line (with MS Disney Magic , 1998-launched), Viking became industry's second cruise brand company to launch a purpose-built passenger liner ( Viking Star ). All Viking Ocean ships are from one series - same-designed, with same layouts, interiors and amenities, featuring spacious lounges, multiple dining options (several al-fresco / outdoor deck venues), 3-story Atrium, premium theater/show lounge, Sun Deck (with 2 swimming pools), Nordic-design Spa, Gym and sports area, Snow Room, duty-free boutique shops. The infinity pool (resistance swimming pool) on each ocean ship was a "first at sea" facility,

In mid-September 2016 was announced that TPG Capital and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board intend to make a joint investment of USD 0,5 billion in Viking Cruises. The deal resulted in combined 17% stake in Viking. The funding helped the company's growth, particularly on the ocean cruising market, and also strengthened its balance sheet as it branched into China (since 2016).

  • Viking Ocean's port agent for China is Wallem Ship Agency China. The company is responsible for vessels berthing (cruise terminal arrangements), logistics, freshwater supply, customs, crew changes, passenger disembarkation/embarkation.
  • Wallem China (part of Wallem Group) has a network of 28 offices across Asia, of which 8 are in China, The shipping agency handles annually over 500 cruise ship calls. The list of its services also includes drydock vessel support, newbuilding supervision, lifeboat servicing, equipment testing.

In 2017, Viking signed a sponsorship with National Geographic Society for shooting NatGeo's "Genius" (anthology series).

MV Viking Star became world's ever-first ocean ship with a "snow room". Must be noted, that the 2013-launched Viking Grace (2800-passenger cruiseferry operated by VIKING LINE ) was the first-ever passenger ship with a Snow Room. Viking Ocean ships' Snow Grotto is a wellness retreat with powdery snow falling down from the ceiling. The experience (touted beneficial to the body's blood circulation) includes heating in a sauna (steam bath), then walking into this small room. It is fitted with benches and has dark stone walls illuminated by blue light. The snow on the floor is kept at sub-freezing temperatures. This Arctic-themed facility is part of the ship's thermal suite (within the spa complex). This relaxation area has 1 hot tub, sauna room, heated ceramic loungers, therapeutic showers, salt-water thermal pool. Snow Grotto access is complimentary to all passengers.

On Apr 4, 2018, Viking and VARD (Norwegian subsidiary of the Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri) signed a LoI (Letter of Intent) for designing and building 2 new-class ocean liners.

  • The contract's potential value is approx NOK 5 billion (USD 611 million = EUR 525 m) for both ships, and also includes optional two more vessels of the same series.
  • The shipbuilding contract was officially signed on July 23, 2018.

The liners will be developed by VARD Design (Norway) with hulls constructed in Romania ( VARD Tulcea ). If started, the project will result in building a new fleet.

Viking OCEAN cruise deals

Just like on all Viking riverboats, Viking Ocean deals are inclusive of popular amenities, such as Wi-Fi Internet, alcohol (beer and wine at lunch and dinner), shore excursions (at least one in every port of call along the itinerary), spa usage (thermal pool, sauna, hot tub, Snow Grotto room (snow falling from its ceiling), Gym (fitness center), library (with books reflecting the cruise itineraries), 24-hour room service; absolutely all meals at any of the onboard restaurants; beverages (cappuccinos, espresso drinks), self-service laundry; in-room movies on demand, lectures, airport to cruise port transfers. At additional cost are only spa massages, beauty salon services; specialty beer, premium alcohol (wine and spirits), and some shore excursions.

In early 2018 was announced, that the Viking Cruises company raised USD 975 million through a private placement of USD 275 million (5,875% secured notes due in 2027) plus USD 675 million (5% secured notes due in 2028).

  • The note proceeds were used for repaying all the company's loans used to finance the building of the Viking Ocean liners Star and Sky, as well as for repurchasing Viking Sea (operated on a sale-leaseback agreement).
  • As of January 2018, Viking Cruises operated a combined fleet of 62 riverboats plus 4 ocean ships. As ownership, 1/5 (20%) of the company is owned by TPG Capital (US investment company) and CPP Investment Board (CPP=Canada Pension Plan).

The company's Net revenues for FY2017 were estimated at ~USD 1 billion.

Viking EXPEDITIONS

Viking Cruises' ocean liners made the company world's largest "small ship cruise" brand with a dominant share on the luxury travel market (23,9 % by year 2020). In 2019, the parent company also created the brand "Viking Expeditions" with a newbuild fleet of two small-sized expedition vessels - Viking Octantis (2021) and Viking Polaris (2022), plus an option for 2 more same-designed units.

Viking Expeditions (as a travel brand) was officially launched on January 15, 2020, with cruising operations starting in January 2022. Viking Expeditions ships are Norway- flagged (registered in Longyearbyen Spitsbergen ), smaller-sized (GT 30150 tons, LOA length 203 m, beam/width 24 m) and with reduced passenger capacity (378 each, plus 260 crew/staff) in comparison to Viking Ocean's liners (930 passengers plus 465 crew/staff each). The boats are constructed by the Norwegian shipbuilder VARD (subsidiary of Fincantieri Italy). The vessel's hull and superstructure are assembled at the shipyard in Tulcea Romania , then towed to VARD Soviknes Shipyard ( Alesund Norway ) for outfitting.

Traditionally for an expedition vessel, each Viking Expeditions ship has its own fleet of inflatable Zodiacs (speedboats used for passenger tendering and shoreside cruising), rigid-hulled inflatable boats (large-capacity unsinkable boat with a rigid bottom) and sea-kayaks. The ship design features several spacious open-deck areas, including Promenade Deck and bow-located Observation Deck (forward on Lounge Deck). Most passenger staterooms (189 total) are with French balconies, excluding only Deck 6's Suites (OS-Owner, ES-Explorer). Cabin sizes vary between 21 m2 (Nordic Balcony / French Balcony) and 114 m2 (Owner Suite with 73 m2 Terrace Garden).

Viking's expedition fleet will operate mainly polar cruises - in the European Arctic ( Svalbard Islands and Arctic Russia, roundtrips from homeport Tromso Norway ) and Antarctica (roundtrips are from homeport Ushuaia Argentina , with fly-cruise packages from Buenos Aires / included an overnight hotel stay prior departure and return flights). Other destinations are the Great Lakes USA and Canada-New England.

Signature onboard facilities available on each Viking Expeditions boat include:

  • Explorers Lounge (Decks 5-6, bow-facing) is 2-deck, circular-shaped, glass-covered and walled indoor observation lounge with wraparound windows. Explorers Bar is on Deck 5.
  • Aula Auditorium (Deck 2 aft) is a glass-walled auditorium (with tiered seating) hosting lectures, media presentations, itinerary-themed port talks, live entertainment programs. The lounge has floor-ceiling and wall-to-wall windows (providing 270-degree unobstructed views) and an outdoor deck seating (Finse Terrace). Aula Auditorium also doubles as Cinema, being fitted with a retractable screen (covering the entire window wall towards the stern) and latest sound and visual equipment. Aula Auditorium provides direct access to Finse Terrace, which makes it an indoor-outdoor observation lounge.
  • Finse Terrace is an outdoor lounge (adjacent to Aula Auditorium) with comfortable seating (padded sofas) and heated by firepits (heated lava rocks). Finse Terrace also provides alfresco dining and drinking when weather permits.
  • Aft-located (at the stern) indoor-outdoor pool deck lounge (Aquavit Terrace) with 3 infinity pools - positioned side by side and covered by a retractable glass roof. Each of the swimming pools is at a different temperature. The mid-pool has indoor-outdoor swimming experience.

Dining venues include The Restaurant (fine dining, regional cuisine specialties, classic dishes), The World Cafe (market-style buffet restaurant with open kitchen, live cooking station, bakery, grill stations, seafood bar with premium sushi, international food choices), Mamsen's Deli Restaurant (Deck 5, traditional Scandinavian dishes, Italian cuisine specialties) plus Room Service (24-hour, complimentary). Other venues include The Living Room, The Library Lounge, Auditorium Theater (Conference Room / Cinema), Expedition Central (Photography Studio / Photo Gallery / Coffee Bar), Nordic Spa Badestamp (Hot Tub Room), wellness complex (Hydrotherapy Pool, Spa Lounge, Gym, Saunas, Massage Rooms).

The Hangar is an aft-located indoor marina for launching the smaller-sized RIBs (rigid inflatable boats). The launch platform features a 26 m (85 ft) wide rollers-covered slipway (boat ramp) that allows safe and sheltered embarkation on the RIBs inside the ship.

Viking Expeditions cruise ship (Boat Marina)

The ship's expedition equipment is provided complimentary and to all passengers (regardless of cabin category). It includes Zodiacs (military-type rigid inflatable high-speed boats used for landings and coastal cruising), 2-seater sea-kayaks, two RIB boats (12-seats each), two mini-submarines (6-passenger, with revolving seats, spherical windows / 270-degree), Expedition Kit (cold-weather boots, waterproof pants, snowshoes, trekking poles, skis, binoculars). Each tour boat is fitted with latest Safety Equipment (satellite phone, VHF radio, ropes, life jackets, survival kits).

Exclusively for Viking Expeditions voyages, Viking Cruises partnered with Cambridge University's Scott Polar Research Institute (Polar Museum) that specializes in polar researches and glaciology. Via this exclusive partnership, on every voyage scientists from the Institute undertake on the ship and also share with the cruisers their expertise. Another exclusive partnership was signed with Cornell Lab of Ornithology (unit of Ithaca NY's Cornell University) which specializes in global bird research. Cornell Lab's ornithologists are also always present on the ship to interact with the passengers. Viking Cruises also partnered with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). NOAA scientists are present on all Great Lakes USA voyages to conduct researches (on local weather changes and ecosystems) and present lectures themed on the Great Lakes region.

(Coronavirus crisis) passenger shipping pause 2020-2021

Due to the COVID pandemic, Viking suspended passenger shipping operations fleetwide (ocean ships and riverboats worldwide) by canceling all voyages with pre-scheduled departures in the period March 12, 2020, through July 2021. Fleetwide operations were planned to resume on October 1, 2020. However, due to ongoing travel restrictions in Europe and the USA, as well as Canada's and Australia's ban on cruise shipping, Viking canceled the entire 2020 program (river+ocean) in mid-August.

  • VIKING OCEAN restarted operations on May 22, 2021, with Viking Venus (UK from Portsmouth England).
  • VIKING RIVER (European boats) restarted in July 2021 (Rhine-Douro-France rivers), VIKING's Egypt boat (Ra) - in August.
  • In March-April 2021, Viking OCEAN announced plans to restart operations with Viking Venus ("England's Scenic Shores" UK coastal itineraries roundtrip from Liverpool and Portsmouth /since May 22), Viking Orion ("Bermuda Escape" 8-day itinerary roundtrip from homeport Hamilton /since June 15) and Viking Sky ("Iceland's Natural Beauty" 8-day itinerary roundtrip from homeport Reykjavik /since June 26). All these voyages were open for booking to UK residents only. In May were added July-October departures (11-day roundtrips from Valletta Malta ) for the ships Viking Sea and Viking Venus.

All affected bookings received a 125% refund in FCC (future cruise credit) with rebooking or 100% monetary refund. Fully refunded (100% in FCC) were also all prepurchased through Viking packages and services. The FCC is valid for 24 months (after cancellation), for any Viking cruise itinerary (river-ocean-expedition) and fully transferable.

All bookings made by April 30, 2020, received Risk-Free Guarantee that allows penalty-free cruise cancellation up to 24 hours prior departure.

In January 2022, Viking became the world's first (and only) cruise line to built full-scale PCR laboratories onboard all OCEAN and EXPEDITION ships. All passengers and crew are daily tested onboard and Viking’s medical teams get the results quickly. Each PCR lab contains equipment and chemicals for conducting test analysis. The components are kept in freezers and refrigerators and stored at correct temperatures. Raa Labs (via RaaEdge/digital data processing system) gathers data from Wi-Fi sensors onboard, allowing real-time monitoring.

Itinerary of Viking Cruises

Here you can compare all Viking cruise ships ( RIVER , OCEAN , EXPEDITIONS ) and their itineraries, destinations, and departure dates. CruiseMapper provides you with free-of-charge schedules with listed cheapest ticket prices per person per itinerary.

In 2013, the company launched its new brand "Viking Ocean Cruises". Viking OCEAN's product was introduced in May 2015 with the launch of its first vessel MV Viking Star .

In 2019 the parent company created the brand "Viking Expeditions", with a newbuild fleet of two small-sized expedition vessels - Viking Octantis (2021) and Viking Polaris (2022), plus 2 more (optional) same-designed units.

Year-round European river cruises

In May 2023 Viking announced the inauguration of a year-round river cruising program in Europe by introducing the new 10-day "Treasures of the Rhine" winter itinerary.

The voyage is between Amsterdam Netherlands and Basel-Zurich Switzerland (in both directions) and visits as call ports Amsterdam (overnight), Arnhem , Cologne , Middle Rhine/Lorelei Rock, Heidelberg , Speyer , Kehl-Strasbourg , Breisach , Basel (overnight).

Viking's winter river cruise itinerary is run by the Longships/190-passenger boats Viking Alruna and Viking Tialfi .

The maiden voyage starts on December 23, 2023, with prices from EUR 1835 / GBP 1595 / USD 1970 per person for bookings made by June 30th.

(NEW) Longitudinal World Cruises 2023-2026

In 2023, celebrating the company's 25th anniversary, Viking EXPEDITIONS scheduled the "Longitudinal World Cruise I".

The 65-day itinerary (March 2 through May 5, 2023/ship Viking Octantis) visited 29 ports (9 countries, 3 continents) departing from Buenos Aires Argentina . The voyage visited the Antarctic Peninsula , continued northward around Cape Horn , along South America's coast (Chile, Peru, Ecuador), passed through Panama Canal , then up to Mexico, Florida USA, NYC New York , Canada (Nova Scotia and Quebec) and via St Lawrence River to Ontario and via Detroit MI , ending in Milwaukee WI . Fares started from USD 45000 per person with double occupancy.

On September 12, 2023, departed "Longitudinal World Cruise II" (ship Viking Polaris). The longer/71-day itinerary visited 33 ports (10 countries, 3 continents). The voyage started in the USA ( Duluth MN ) and ended in Argentina (Ushuaia), also visiting Antarctica.

The 70-day "Longitudinal World Cruise III" (ship Viking Polaris) was from Milwaukee WI to Ushuaia.

The 71-day Grand Journeys offered unique travel experiences within a single itinerary, navigating North America's inland waterways and engineering marvels Welland Canal and Panama Canal , as well as the scenic Chilean Fjords/Patagonia .

Viking's Longitudinal World Cruises included chartered domestic flights in Argentina (between Ushuaia and Buenos Aires).

Addressing the demand for Antarctic voyages, Viking EXPEDITIONS in December 2023 opened bookings for season 2025-2026.

The program featured the 87-day "From the Arctic to Antarctica" itinerary ( Nuuk Greenland to Ushuaia) departing in September 2025 and passing through the Canadian Arctic, then North and South America's eastern coast, visiting ports in the Caribbean, the Chilean glaciers, and ending in Antarctica.

In March 2024, were opened for booking two grand voyages ("Longitudinal World Cruise VI" and "Longitudinal World Cruise VII") traversing from  Antarctica to the Americas, plus "Viking World Journeys 2026" (from  Los Angeles  to  London-Greenwich ).

(ship  Viking Octantis ) The 69-day "Longitudinal World Cruise VI" ( Buenos Aires  to  Milwaukee ) groups 5 distinct itineraries spanning 9 countries. This voyage starts on February 24, 2026, and features transition through Panama Canal and an optional excursion to the Galapagos . Pricing started at US$96,000 per person, inclusive of business class airfare.

(ship  Viking Polaris ) The 63-day "Longitudinal World Cruise VII" (Buenos Aires to Milwaukee) groups 5 shorter itineraries (9 countries) begining on February 21, 2026. Fares started at US$89,000 pp (inclusive of business class airfare.

(ship  Viking Sky ) The 121-day "Viking World Journeys 2026" (Los Angeles to London) encompasses 50 complimentary land tours and visits destinations in 23 countries. Prices started at US$92,500 per person (inclusive of business class airfare).

VIKING RIVER itineraries

In 2013, Viking had 37 operational riverboats. Till the end of 2014, the fleet grew to 52. All European boats are Longships, with passenger capacity 190. Viking's ships in Russia are with average capacity 200+, while Viking's ships in China accommodate up to 246 guests.

Note: "Longship" is a new patented ship design. "Modified" longships are smaller in size.

Viking River Cruises Longship

Viking river cruise itineraries range from 7 to 23 days. They are operated along the:

  • European rivers Rhine, Main, Danube, Saone, Rhone, Seine, Elbe, and Douro
  • Asian rivers - Ukraine's Dnieper, Russia's Volga, China's Yangtze, Myanmar-Burma's Irrawaddy and Vietnam's Mekong.
  • Some voyages (few in Europe, Egypt, Southeast Asia, and China) are "cruise tours" marked. They include both the river cruising portion and hotel stays.

Viking's schedule 2024 (March thru November) included the new 12-day "Paris & D-Day 80th Anniversary" cruisetour (from London England to Paris France ) commemorating the Allies' "Operation Overlord" (Battle of Normandy). The cruisetour begins in London where are visited historic sites like Bletchley Park (an estate that was the principal center for codebreaking during WW2), Churchill War Rooms (museum), Imperial War Museum London, Gunwharf Quays, Southwick House, D-Day Museum.

After 4 days in England, tourists arrive in Paris City to embark a Viking Longship. The roundtrip French itinerary visits Giverny (Claude Monet's farmhouse and gardens), Rouen , as well as Normandy's American Military Cemetery and the World War beaches.

As the unparalleled leader in river travel, boasting a fleet of 80 river ships and commanding over 50% of the market share for North American travelers, Viking continues to set the industry standard. The company's 2026 itineraries in Europe include:

  • Danube Waltz (8 days;  Budapest  to  Passau )
  • Rhine Getaway (8 days;  Amsterdam  to  Basel )
  • Paris & the Heart of Normandy (8 days;  Paris  roundtrip)
  • Lyon & Provence (8 days;  Lyon  to  Avignon )
  • Portugal's River of Gold (10 days;  Lisbon  to  Porto ).

All itineraries have at least one tour or guided shore excursion per day - all included in the fares.

Viking Mississippi (2022) is a 5-deck riverboat operated in the USA under charter.

  • Aegir longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria
  • Alruna longship (Rhine) Germany, France, Switzerland
  • Viking Akun (Volga-Svir-Neva) Russia
  • Alsvin longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria
  • Astrild longship-modified (Elbe River) Germany, Czechia
  • Atla longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Belgium
  • Baldur longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria
  • Bestla longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, France, Switzerland
  • Beyla longship-modified (Elbe River) Germany, Czechia
  • Bragi longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, France, Switzerland
  • Buri longship (Saone-Rhone) France
  • Delling longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Belgium
  • Egil longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Austria, Germany, France, Hungary, Holland, Switzerland
  • Einar longship (Moselle-Rhine-Dutch waterways)
  • Eir longship (Rhine River) Germany, Holland
  • Eistla longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria
  • Embla longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria
  • Viking Emerald (Yangtze) China
  • Forseti longship (Dordogne-Garonne-Gironde) France
  • Freya longship (Danube) Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia
  • Gefjon longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Czechia
  • Gullveig longship (Rhine) Holland, Germany, France, Switzerland
  • Heimdal longship (Saone-Rhone) France
  • Helgi (Volga) Russia
  • Helgrim (Douro) Portugal, Spain
  • Hemming (Douro) Portugal, Spain
  • Herja longship (Rhine) Holland, Germany, France, Switzerland
  • Hermod longship (Saone-Rhone) France
  • Hild longship (Rhine) Holland, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland
  • Hlin longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria
  • Idi longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria
  • Idun longship (Danube) Germany, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia
  • Ingvar (Volga) Russia
  • Ingvi longship (Rhine) Holland, Germany, France, Switzerland
  • Jarl longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Belgium
  • Kadlin longship (Seine) France
  • Kara longship (Rhine-Main-Danube - Holland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria
  • Kvasir longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, France, Switzerland
  • Viking Legend (Danube) Austria, Hungary, Germany, Slovakia
  • Lif longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Belgium
  • Lofn longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Switzerland, Holland, Hungary, Austria, Germany, France, Slovakia, Czechia
  • Magni longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Belgium
  • Mani longship (Rhine) Holland, Switzerland, Germany, France
  • Viking Mekong (2002) , Viking Saigon (2021) and Viking Tonle (2025) - Mekong River, in Vietnam and Cambodia
  • Mimir longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Austria, Slovakia, Germany, Hungary
  • Modi longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, France
  • Njord longship (Danube) Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia
  • Odin longship (Danube-Main-Rhine-Moselle) Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, France, Czechia, Luxembourg
  • Osfrid longship (Douro) Portugal and Spain
  • Viking Prestige (Danube) Austria, Hungary, Germany, Slovakia
  • Rinda longship (Danube) Austria, Germany, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria
  • Rolf longship (Seine) France
  • Rurik (Volga) Russia
  • Sigrun longship (Moselle-Rhine-Dutch waterways)
  • Sigyn longship (Rhine and Moselle)
  • Sineus (Dnieper) Ukraine
  • Skadi longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, France, Switzerland, Belgium
  • Skirnir longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Belgium and Slovakia
  • Tialfi longship (Rhine) Holland, Germany, France, Switzerland
  • Tir longship (Danube-Rhine-Dutch waterways)
  • Tor longship (Rhine) Holland, Germany, France, Switzerland
  • Torgil (Douro) Portugal, Spain
  • Truvor (Volga) Russia
  • Ullur longship (Danube)
  • Vali longship (Rhine and Danube)
  • Var longship (Rhine) Holland, Germany, France, Switzerland
  • Ve longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia
  • Vidar longship (Rhine-Main-Danube) Holland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia
  • Vilhjalm longship (Danube)
  • Vili longship (Rhine-Main-Danube)Holland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia.
  • (2021-built) longships on Rhine River - Egdir , Gymir
  • (2020-built) longships on Seiner River in France - Fjorgyn , Kari , Radgrid , Skaga
  • (2020-built) longships on Rhine River - Gersemi , Hervor
  • (2020-built) RheinGalaxie Eventschiff (KD Line, charter cruises between homeports Cologne and Dusseldorf)

Note: In 2025 and 2026, Viking's river fleet will be expanded with 10 new Longships, by adding 5 boats per year.

Viking Cruises Egypt & Asia

Viking Ra (2018), Viking Osiris (2022), Viking Aton (2023), Viking Hathor (2024) and Viking Sobek (2025) are the company's owned ships deployed on Lake Nasser/Nile River in Egypt, in addition to MS Antares (an Amarco-owned hotelship) which is chartered by Viking.

Before the newbuild sisterships, Viking Cruises Egypt also chartered the boats MS Steigenberger Omar El Khayam (a Steigenberger-owned hotelship on Lake Nasser) and MS Mayfair (a privately-owned hotelship).

Century Legend and Century Paragon are the Yangtze River cruise ships in China. Both are privately owned and operated by Viking under a charter. These riverboats are also chartered by other major European lines, like AmaWaterways , Avalon , and Uniworld .

In Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos) Viking River Cruises charters riverboats from the Pandaw fleet - including the ships Katha Pandaw (as Viking Mandalay), and Orient Pandaw (as Viking Orient) .

Above is the Viking Yangtze River (China) cruise itinerary map that shows all ports locations (along Yangtze River) as well as the domestic flight connections ( Beijing - Xian - Chongqing and Shanghai - Wuhan ).

In April 2024, Viking introduced land tours to Mongolia. The new "Spirit of Mongolia" cruisetour extension is a 5-night (pre- or post-cruise) guided extension offering a visit to the Gobi Desert out of Ulaanbaatar (aka Ulan Bator). Other ex-China cruisetour extensions included departures/tours from Hong Kong and Beijing. Viking’s new China itineraries (titled "Best of China", "China Discovery", "Classic China", "Coast & Wonders of China") are for the Viking Yi Dun ship .

Egypt cruisetour packages (optional hotel+land travel)

In 2023-2024, Viking Cruises Egypt introduced pre- and post-cruise packages as optional extensions of the brand's premium Nile River voyages.

The 3-night Pre-Istanbul Package (priced from US$1400 pp) is inclusive of 3 hotel nights in Istanbul (at Westin Istanbul Nisantasi Hotel or similar), 3 meals (breakfasts), 2 guided/Viking Host-escorted tours (Istanbul Old City Tour, Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia, Topkapi Palace), flight from Istanbul to Cairo, as well as all transfers.

The 4-night Pre-Jerusalem Israel Package (priced from US$2400 pp) is inclusive of 4 hotel nights in Orient Jerusalem Hotel (or similar), 8 meals (4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner), 3 guided/Viking Host-escorted tours (Bethlehem Walking Tour, Jerusalem City Tour, Israel Museum Tour), a flight from Tel Aviv to Cairo, as well as all transfers.

The 4-night Pre-British Collections of Ancient Egypt package (priced from US$3700 pp) is inclusive of 2 hotel nights in London (Rosewood Hotel), 2 hotel nights in Oxford (Old Bank Hotel), 6 meals (4 breakfasts, 2 lunches), 4 Privileged Access visits (British Museum, Sir John Soane's Museum, Griffith Institute, Highclere Castle), 3 3 guided/Viking Host-escorted tours (Petrie Museum, Oxford Walking Tour, Ashmolean Museum), flight from London to Cairo, as well as all transfers.

The 4-night Post-Petra Jordan, Dead Sea and Amman Package (priced from US$2200 pp) is inclusive of 1 flight from Cairo to Amman, 4 nights (1x at Dead Sea, 2x in Petra, 1x in Amman), 8 meals (4 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners), 4 guided/Viking Host-escorted tours (Ancient Town of Madaba; Dead Sea Museum, Petra, Amman, Jerash), as well as all transfers. The home flight (from Amman) costs extra.

Viking Cruises USA

Starting operations in 2022 with 1 ship (out of all 6 planned newbuilds), Viking's USA-based river cruise ships will be 5-deck, with all-balcony staterooms, aft-located infinity pool, bow ramp (for passenger landings).

All the 6 ships will be built and owned by ECO Shipyards (subsidiary of Edison Chouest Offshore) and operated under charter. The 8-day cruisetours include roundtrips from New Orleans , as well as one-ways between New Orleans and Memphis TN , and between St Louis MO and Minneapolis-Saint Paul MN .

Viking Mississippi cruise itineraries visit seven US states (Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota) and the riverport cities Baton Rouge, Darrow, New Orleans, St Francisville, Natchez, Vicksburg, Memphis, Hannibal, St Louis, Burlington, Dubuque, Davenport, La Crosse, Red Wing, Minneapolis-St Paul.

On July 2, 2020, Viking opened for booking its 2023 Mississippi River cruises. The first boat ( Viking Mississippi ) was scheduled to debut in August 2022 and sail on the Lower and Upper Mississippi, between homeports Saint Paul Minnesota , and New Orleans Louisiana .

Viking's first USA river voyages were highly anticipated when they were announced in April 2020. The strong demand led the company to open additional 2023 sailings sooner than expected.

Viking's arrival in the USA represented a major commitment to economic and tourism development in numerous communities along the Mississippi River. It was expected that the new voyages would bring 5800+ tourists to the region in 2022 and 17600+ during the first full cruise season in 2023.

2022-2023 Viking Mississippi itineraries included:

  • 15-day "America's Great River" from New Orleans to St. Paul on nearly the entire length of the Mississippi River (multiple sailing dates in June, September, and October 2023) prices start at US$11000 per person, with discounted airfare from US$200 per person.
  • 8-day "America's Heartland" from St Louis MO (Missouri) to St Paul on the Upper Mississippi (multiple sailing dates in August-September 2022; additional sailings now available in July, August, and September 2023) prices start at US$4600 per person, with discounted airfare from US$200 per person.
  • 8-day "Heart of the Delta" from New Orleans to Memphis Tennessee on the Lower Mississippi (multiple sailing dates in October-November 2022; additional sailings now available in May-June 2023) prices start at US$4200 per person, with discounted airfare from US$200 per person.
  • 8-day "Southern Celebration" roundtrip from New Orleans, visiting Vicksburg Mississippi exploring the Lower Mississippi (multiple sailing dates in November-December 2022; additional sailings now available in January 2023) prices start at US$3700 per person, with discounted airfare from US$200 per person.

In April 2021, Viking opened 2024 Mississippi River voyages for sale.

Viking Cruises Egypt

Starting in 2018, Viking River Cruises is the first non-domestic company licensed to operate cruise ships on the Nile River in Egypt . The itineraries are operated by three new riverboats - Viking Ra (March 2018), Viking Osiris (August 2022) and Viking Aton (September 2023). Previously, Viking Egypt operated the Nile River and Lake Nasser itineraries with two chartered ships ( Steigenberger Omar El Khayam and Mayfair ).

Viking River Cruises Egypt ship

The Viking riverboats Ra-Osiris-Aton cruise only on the Nile portion (roundtrip from Luxor ). The sailings are with fly-cruise packages inclusive of two domestic flights ( Cairo -Luxor-Cairo). Viking's Nile River cruisetour is themed "Pharaohs and Pyramids".

The 12-day itinerary incorporates 7-day cruising on Nile River and starts with a 3-night hotel stay in Cairo and tours to iconic attractions like Grand Egyptian Museum, Great Pyramids of Giza, Mosque of Muhammad Ali. Cruise tourists then fly to Luxor to visit Karnak and the Temples of Luxor before boarding the Viking cruise ship for a 7-night Nile cruise to Aswan and back. Tours include a private visit to Nefertari's tomb (Valley of the Queens) and excursions to Khnum Temple (Esna) and the Dendera Temple complex (Qena). A visit to a Nubian village is also included.

VIKING OCEAN itineraries

VIKING OCEAN operates a fleet of newbuilds (identically designed vessels) named Viking Star (2015), Viking Sea (2016), Viking Sky (2017), Viking Orion (2018), Viking Jupiter (2019), Viking Venus (2021), Viking Neptune and Viking Mars (2022), Viking Saturn (2023), Viking Vela (2024), Vesta (2025).

See below the list of main Viking OCEAN itineraries as themes and ports of call:

  • Mediterranean cruises leave from: Turkey (Istanbul), Italy (Venice, Rome /port Civitavecchia), Spain (Barcelona).
  • Northern Europe/Baltic cruises depart from Norway (Bergen) and Sweden (Stockholm).

All voyages include overnight stays in both ports (of departure and final disembarkation). In the UK, Viking OCEAN ships are homeported in London-Greenwich England .

Repositioning cruises are officially themed as:

  • Northbound Atlantic: "VIKING EMPIRE" (Istanbul-Stockholm)
  • Southbound Atlantic: "PASSAGE THROUGH WESTERN EUROPE" (Bergen-Barcelona), "SCANDINAVIA TO SPAIN" (Stockholm-Barcelona)
  • Baltic-UK: "BALTIC JEWELS and THE MIDNIGHT SUN" (Stockholm-London) and "INTO THE MIDNIGHT SUN" (Bergen-London).

Viking Baltic itineraries are operated in the summer, themed as "Viking Homelands" (14 nights in length). Baltic Sea routes offer visits to 8 different countries, with a total of 11 cruisetours (all complimentary, included in the Viking Baltic deals prices). Viking Mediterranean itineraries are themed as:

  • (Barcelona to Rome, 7-nights) "Romantic Mediterranean" (visits 4 countries, includes 8 land tours)
  • (7-nights) "Mediterranean Getaway" (visits 3 countries, includes 6 land tours)
  • (9-nights) "Empires of the Mediterranean" (visits 5 countries, includes 7 land tours)
  • (12-nights) "Mediterranean Odyssey" (visits 6 countries, includes 10 land tours)
  • (14-nights) "Mediterranean Explorer" (visits 5 countries, includes 12 land tours).

In November 2018, Viking announced an 11-day itinerary named "Greek Odyssey". It is expected to allow passengers to explore the Aegean Sea's ancient empires of antiquity during the quiet season. Voyages aboard the Viking Sea are roundtrips from Piraeus-Athens and begin January 2021. The itinerary includes 3 new ports of call for the cruise line: Nafplio , Volos and Thessaloniki in Greece, as well as a visit to Ephesus marking Viking's return to Turkey.

Highlights of the Greek Odyssey itinerary include:

  • Volos, Greece is a cosmopolitan port city, and the region was once considered the playground of the gods. Passengers can experience the exciting scenery of Meteora, with its medieval monasteries, or explore the religious center of Dion, situated on the foothills of Mt Olympus.
  • Thessaloniki, Greece is the 2nd-largest city in the country and offers a mix of modern life and ancient culture. While in port, passengers can walk the waterfront promenade with its many restaurants and cafes, or head outside the port city to the remains of the Macedonian kingdom of Alexander the Great.
  • Nafpilo, Greece is set between the Bay of Argos and breathtaking mountains. Travelers can explore its Byzantine churches and Venetian homes, take a drive to the imposing fortress towering over the city, Palamidi, or travel to the Peloponnese peninsula.
  • Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey is among the world's best-preserved cities of antiquity. Passengers can visit the remains of Byzantine Basilica of St John, enjoy sights like the massive Great Theater and Library of Celsus, and see the modest home where the mother of Jesus, Mary, lived out her final days.
  • Scenic cruising: Mt Athos: On sea days, passengers will sail past Mt Athos, the "Holy Mountain" (UNESCO Site, the spiritual capital of Orthodox Christianity). The soaring peaks of the peninsula are home to twenty monasteries where monks work to preserve a vast collection of liturgical works and art.

The cruise fare includes balcony cabins for all passengers, complimentary shore excursions in all ports, all onboard meals, complimentary wifi, wine and beer with lunch and dinner, access to spa's Thermal Suite, and 24-hour room service.

Viking's 7th ocean ship ( Viking Venus ) joined the fleet in 2021, with an inaugural season in Northern Europe and Scandinavia. Itineraries include "In Search of the Northern Lights", "Into the Midnight Sun", "British Isles Explorer" and "Viking Homelands". Viking is also expanding its Mediterranean program by adding 5 new itineraries visiting Istanbul. The new 8-day "Ancient Mediterranean Treasures" itinerary (between Athens and Istanbul ) features overnights in both cities.

Travelers looking for an extended experience in the region are able to choose longer versions of the itinerary, such as:

  • 15-day Ancient Adriatic Treasures, sailing between Venice and Istanbul
  • 15-day Ancient Mediterranean Antiquities, sailing between Rome and Istanbul
  • 22-day Iconic Mediterranean Treasures, sailing between Barcelona and Istanbul, or
  • 29-day Mediterranean's Iconic Shores, also sailing between Barcelona and Istanbul and including visits to Croatia and Montenegro.

In September 2020, Viking introduced a new (2023 itinerary) - the 29-day "Baltic Jewels And The Midnight Sun" from London UK to Stockholm Sweden via Norway, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Estonia, Russia, Finland, Sweden. Viking Venus is scheduled to depart on July 22, 2023, and visit 10 countries (with 19 guided shore excursions included in the fares).

In August 2020, Viking Cruises opened for sale two new Panama Canal itineraries - 18-day "Panama Canal and Coastal Holiday" (departing December 24, 2021) and 11-day "Classic Panama Canal Passage" (departing November 6 and 16, 2021, and visiting Key West , Cozumel , Belize City , Roatan , San Jose , Colon ). In addition, Viking announced 3 new departures (in October, November and December 2021) of the 15-day "Panama Canal and Central America" itinerary roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades, Florida) . Viking's Panama Canal cruises are on Viking Star .

In May 2023, Viking EXPEDITIONS revealed 3 new Arctic voyages for the summer. Starting in July 2025, these new itineraries, ranging from 13 to 27 days, offer explorations of Canada and Greenland in the polar north, with two of the three voyages visiting the Canadian High Arctic.

The first itinerary, "Into the Northwest Passage ," is a 13-day roundtrip voyage from Nuuk, Greenland . It takes guests to remarkable destinations such as the pristine waters of the Ilulissat Icefjord and the eastern entrance of the renowned Northwest Passage in Pond Inlet, Canada. Travelers can immerse themselves in Inuit traditions, witness stunning natural beauty, and partake in activities like kayaking or Zodiac landings. This voyage offers a chance to discover undiscovered territories under the midnight sun, with sailing dates available from July through September 2025.

The second itinerary, "Canada & Greenland Explorer," spans 15 days and operates between Toronto, Ontario, and Nuuk. Travelers on this awe-inspiring journey explore the rugged shores of Canada and Greenland, surrounded by drifting icebergs and dramatic landscapes. They have the opportunity to learn about Inuit traditions in remote communities and experience the stark beauty of the Arctic. Sailing dates for this itinerary are available in July and September 2025.

For those seeking a more comprehensive exploration, Viking offers the 27-day "Canada & the Northwest Passage" voyage. This itinerary sails between Nuuk and Toronto, Ontario , showcasing the majesty of floating icebergs, rugged lands, and deep-blue fjords rich in marine life. Guests gain insights into Inuit communities and their enduring traditions, while enjoying the endless daylight of the midnight sun. Sailing dates for this voyage are also available in July and September 2025.

ex-Malta cruises 2021

Following the COVID crisis, in May 2021 VIKING OCEAN scheduled for three ships ( Sea , Venus , Star ) a mini-season (July-October departures) based on 11-day roundtrips (3 itineraries) from homeport Valletta Malta .

  • The "Malta and Adriatic Jewels" itinerary started with an overnight in Valletta and visited ports in Montenegro ( Kotor ) and Croatia ( Dubrovnik , Split , Zadar , Sibenik ), plus Gozo Island Malta (Mgarr Harbour) .
  • The "Malta and Greek Isles Discovery" itinerary also started with an overnight in Valletta and visited ports in Greece ( Kalamata , Piraeus-Athens , Santorini , Rhodes , Crete/Souda ).
  • The "Malta and the Western Mediterranean" itinerary started with Valletta overnight and visited ports in Sicily ( Messina ), mainland Italy ( Naples , Civitavecchia-Rome , Livorno , Genoa ), and Spain ( Barcelona ).

Later was added the 21-day "Malta, the Adriatic and Greece". The B2B itinerary started with Valletta overnight and visited Kotor, Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Sibenik, Mgarr Malta, Valletta (overnight), Kalamata, Piraeus-Athens (overnight), Santorini, Rhodes, Souda Crete.

For the ex-Malta season, Viking partnered with Lufthansa (Deutsche Lufthansa AG - Germany's largest airline) to offer non-stop Transatlantic flights between New Jersey USA (Newark Liberty Airport) and Malta Airport, exclusively for Viking OCEAN customers.

Viking World Cruise 2021-2022 (Viking Star)

In mid-July 2020, Viking Ocean announced the company's "Viking World Cruise 2021-2022" planned for MS Viking Star . The 136-day itinerary visits 56 ports in 27 countries, with 11 port city overnights and 3x new for Viking cruise ports ( Phillip Island Victoria Australia , Eden NSW Australia , Yangon Burma ).

The voyage starts from Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale, Florida USA) on December 24, 2021, and ends in London City England . Signature destinations include Central America, Panama Canal transit , USA West Coast, Hawaii, Transpacific crossing to New Zealand and Australia, Asia, Middle East, Suez Canal transit to Europe (Mediterranean) and the UK.

Shorter itinerary segments are also available for booking, including the 119-day "Viking World Horizons 2022" (Los Angeles to London, departure January 10, 2022) that visits 49 ports in 22 countries.

Both packages are priced from USD 50000 (EUR 43100 / ~GBP 39300) per person (double occupancy outside cabin rates). Bookings made by September 30, 2020, receive USD 2000 pp in "shore excursion credit" plus USD 1000 pp in OBC (onboard credit).

Viking World Cruises 2022-2023-2024 (Viking Neptune, Viking Sky)

Viking Neptune itinerary program was announced by VIKING OCEAN in late-December 2020. The new ship was scheduled to start operations with a World Cruise 2022-2023 . The 138-day itinerary visited ports in 28 countries (total 58 ports) with overnights in 11 port cities.

Departing on December 22, 2022, from Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale Florida) , Viking World Voyage 2022 visits ports in Central America, follows Panama Canal transit and sailing up North America's West Coast. A 121-day segment (Viking World Journeys) allows travelers to join the cruise ship in Los Angeles CA , from where the itinerary continues to Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand, Asia and the Middle East, Europe (Mediterranean and Atlantic Coastal) ending in London-Greenwich, England UK .

Viking Neptune's World Cruise itinerary offers overnights (also double overnights) in 11 ports, including Auckland New Zealand , Sydney NSW Australia , Benoa Bali Indonesia , Saigon Vietnam , Singapore , Yangon Burma , Colombo Sri Lanka , Mumbai India , Haifa Israel , Istanbul Turkey and London-Greenwich (before the debarkation). Note: For the itinerary's all call ports see at the ship's Wiki section here .

Curiously, in August 2021, Viking OCEAN announced a "double world cruise 2023-2024" with two ships (Neptune and Sky) sailing on an identical itinerary from Florida to the UK. While Viking Neptune departs on December 23 (2023), Viking Sky departs earlier (on December 20, 2023), sailing in parallel with Neptune.

  • Departing from Fort Lauderdale and ending in London-Greenwich, "Viking World Voyage 2023-2024" prices started from USD 60,000 (EUR 51015) on Viking Sky/Dec 20, and from USD 55,000 (EUR 46760) on Viking Neptune/Dec 23.
  • An Early Booking promo (for bookings made for September 30, 2021) offered USD 2000 pp (shore excursions credit), USD 1000 pp (OBC-onboard credit) plus USD 1000 pp OBC (for Viking Explorer Society/loyalty program members).

Viking's World Cruise record (2019-2020, Viking Sun)

On August 31, 2019, Viking Sun started the 245-day "Viking World Voyage 2019" spanning 6 continents and visiting 51 countries via 111 call ports (including 21 port overnights). The London City (Port Greenwich) roundtrip itinerary was officially listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's "longest continuous passenger cruise".

VIKING OCEAN's 8-month long westbound voyage (officially named "Ultimate World Cruise") included a Transatlantic crossing (RepositionCruises.com) and passing through Suez Canal .

"Viking World Cruise 2019" prices started from USD 90,000 per person (with double occupancy).

VIKING EXPEDITIONS itineraries

The inaugural cruise itineraries of both expedition vessels are 13-day polar voyages - one in Antarctica , the other in the European Arctic. Viking's Arctic cruises (to Svalbard Islands and Arctic Russia) are roundtrips from homeport Tromso Norway and priced from USD 14,000 per person (double-occupancy balcony cabin). Viking's Antarctic roundtrips are from homeport Ushuaia Argentina , with prices starting from USD 15,000 pp (fly-cruise packages from Buenos Aires with included overnight hotel stay prior departure and return flights to Europe-USA-Canada-Australia).

Next are listed all Viking Expeditions cruise itineraries by length and theme.

  • 44-day "From the Arctic to Antarctica" (from Tromso to Ushuaia)
  • 19-day "Antarctic and South America Discovery" (from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro)
  • 18-day "South America and Antarctic Discovery" (from Rio de Janeiro to Ushuaia)
  • 15-day and 13-day "Antarctic Adventure" (from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia)
  • 15-day "Atlantic and Equator Sojourn" (from Cork to Rio de Janeiro)
  • 13-day "Arctic Adventure" (roundtrip from Tromso Norway)
  • 13-day "Viking's Northern Isles" (from Tromso to Cork)
  • 13-day "Canadian Discovery"(from NYC New York City to Toronto)
  • 10-day "Caribbean Connections" (from Bridgetown to NYC New York)
  • 8-day "Niagara and the Great Lakes" (from Toronto to Milwaukee)
  • 8-day "Undiscovered Great Lakes" (from Thunder Bay to Milwaukee)
  • 8-day "Great Lakes Explorer" (from Milwaukee to Thunder Bay)
  • 15-day "Great Lakes Collection" (from Toronto to Duluth, and the reverse)

Viking's Great Lakes cruises visit ports and destinations in Canada's Ontario state ( Thunder Bay , Toronto , Welland Canal, Niagara Falls, Point Pelee NP) and the USA's Minnesota-Michigan-Wisconsin states ( Detroit MI , Alpena MI , Mackinac Island MI in Lake Huron , Apostle Islands WI, Houghton MI on Lake Superior , Traverse City MI , Milwaukee WI on Lake Michigan , Duluth MN ) and feature passing through Soo Locks at Sault Ste Marie (Lake Superior - Lake Huron transition).

Viking's Canada cruises visit NYC New York , Halifax NS , Gulf of St Lawrence (scenic cruising, Cape Breton National Park), Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island) , Magdalen Islands Quebec (scenic cruising), Cap-aux-Meules (Quebec), Sept-Iles Quebec , Saguenay Quebec (zodiac cruising through Saguenay Fjord), Quebec City , Trois-Rivieres Quebec , Montreal Quebec , Seaway Locks (transit to Lake Ontario), Toronto Ontario .

Viking's Antarctic cruises are inclusive of 2 domestic charter flights (between Buenos Aires - Ushuaia ) and an overnight hotel (in Buenos Aires / pre-cruise). Signature destinations include Beagle Channel (Glacier Alley) and Drake Passage , Cape Horn , Half Moon Island , Deception Island (Whalers Bay) , Brown Bluff , Wiencke Island (Damoy Point) , Lemaire Channel, Petermann Island , Cuverville Island , Neko Harbor ( Antarctic Peninsula ),

Viking's Arctic cruises visit Tromso Norway , Svalbard Islands Norway , Polar Ice Cap (scenic cruising), Spitsbergen Island (Barentsburg, Smeerenburg, Barentsburg, Alicehamna/Alice Harbour, Hornsund, Nordfjorden, Liefdefjorden), Bjornoya (Bear Island) , Barents Sea (cruising).

Viking EXPEDITIONS summer 2023 season includes a new 2-week itinerary in the Great Lakes along with additional offers in North & South America. Debuting in June 2023, the 15-day Great Lakes Collection itinerary is due to sail between Toronto (Ontario Canada) - Duluth MN (Minnesota USA) , providing passengers with a complete view of the region and call ports in all 5 Great Lakes. Due to strong demand, Viking Cruises has also announced 2023 dates for 4 existing Great Lakes expeditions: the 8-day Great Lakes Explorer, Undiscovered Great Lakes, Niagara & the Great Lakes itineraries, as well as the 13-day Canadian Discovery.

3 additional expedition cruises in North & South America are also due to debut in summer 2023. The new, 16-day Canada & the Atlantic Coastline itinerary will expand offerings along the St. Lawrence River and Atlantic coastline, featuring destinations including Quebec City , Charleston SC , Norfolk VA , Trois-Rivieres (Quebec) , and more. Vacationers can discover the beauty of Patagonia while sailing out of Santiago (Valparaiso, Chile) to Ushuaia (Argentina) on the new 2-week Patagonian Shores & Chilean Fjords itinerary, while passengers looking to explore destinations in North, Central & South America, can choose the new 18-day Panama & Scenic South America itinerary.

Viking Cruises related cruise news

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The Viking Ocean Fleet

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Discover Our Ships

Viking boasts a fleet of small, all-veranda, modern ocean ships. Each sister ship is engineered at a scale that allows direct access into most ports. Classified by Cruise Critic as “small ships,” the fleet features understated elegance and Scandinavian design.

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Viking Ocean 360° Tour

Go inside our Viking Ocean ships with an interactive tour.

Ship Videos

A gathering of happy construction workers looking at the plans for a new Viking Ocean Ship.

Viking Jupiter Float Out

May 10, 2018. The 930-guest Viking Jupiter —the sixth Viking ocean ship—touches water for the first time during its “Float Out” in Ancona, Italy. Join Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen and Norwegian soprano Sissel Kyrkjebø, the ship’s godmother, as they celebrate this major construction milestone.

Viking Jupiter Naming Ceremony

Viking Jupiter Naming Ceremony

January 15, 2020. Amid a festive celebration that paid tribute to the spirit of exploration, our sixth ocean vessel was officially named in Los Angeles, California. The ship’s godmother, world-renowned Norwegian soprano and crossover singer Sissel, offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for Viking Jupiter —a naval tradition that dates back thousands of years.

Astronaut Anna Fisher with Tor and Karine Hagen

Viking Orion Naming Ceremony

June 14, 2018. Amid a spectacular celebration that paid tribute to the spirit of exploration, our fifth ocean vessel was officially named in Livorno, Italy. The ship’s godmother, retired NASA astronaut Dr. Anna Fisher offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for Viking Orion —a naval tradition that dates back thousands of years.

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Viking Sky cruise timeline: A breakdown of what we know happened

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A Viking cruise ship needed to be evacuated over the weekend as engine trouble and stormy weather caused the ship to take on water and endanger the 1,373 passengers and crew aboard. What played out was a chaotic 48-hour nightmare. 

 All the important details have yet to emerge about what happened on the Viking Sky cruise ship that carried 1,373 passengers and crew, like  why the ship was traveling in dangerous weather , and Norway officials have begun investigating. We now know that low oil levels caused the engine to fail.

Accounts from passengers , a crew member and officials have provided further details as to how it all unfolded. 

Here's everything we know so far about the Viking Sky cruise incident:

What was the Viking Sky's plan?

The Viking Sky, a vessel with gross tonnage of 47,800, was on a 12-day trip that began March 14 in the western Norwegian city of Bergen, according to cruisemapper.com .

The ship was visiting the Norwegian towns and cities of Narvik, Alta, Tromso, Bodo and Stavanger before its scheduled arrival Tuesday in the London-area port of Tilbury on the River Thames.

The ship started listing dangerously

The Viking Sky sailed from the northern city of Tromso bound over the weekend for Stavanger in southern Norway when the ship began struggling with engine failure, started listing dangerously, then took in water. Norwegian media reported gusts up to 43 mph and waves over 26 feet. 

According to a crew member's account , exclusive to USA TODAY, the ship's four engines began shutting down in the midst of a storm that started late Friday. .

The crew member requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

More on our exclusive: Crew member recounts what happened on that stranded, storm-tossed Viking Sky cruise ship

The crisis began Saturday morning. As the ship drifted without power, the crew threw out anchors to keep it in place, fearing it would be smashed on treacherous offshore rocks. The crew member said the ship started to list, and the crew rushed to grab life jackets and distribute them to the passengers, some of them elderly.

Cellphone footage from the ship shows furniture sliding across rooms as the boat rocks.

"Everything was broken: plates, glasses, furniture," the crew member said. He said he saw a heavy grand piano go flying upside down inside a lounge. 

Carolyn Savikas of Pennsylvania described the terror aboard the Viking Sky to  Norway's VG newspaper , saying she heard a "terrible crash," after which the ship rocked, and water raced in.

"We were in the restaurant when a really huge wave came and shattered a door and flooded the entire restaurant," she said. "All I saw were bones, arms, water and tables. It was like the Titanic – just like the pictures you have seen from the Titanic."

Although the crew member described the crew as well-trained for emergencies, he said he called his family at one point when the Wi-Fi was working "to say goodbye. I was thinking it was going to sink when we listed."

What first reports looked like: Cruise ship off Norway issues mayday, begins evacuating 1,300 passengers and crew

Passengers took to social media and have given interviews about what they were witnessing onboard as they waited to be rescued.

Alexus Sheppard posted a video on Twitter of severe tilting due to the rough waters. "We're waiting for evacuation by helicopter," she wrote with the hashtags #VikingSky and #Mayday.

"You could feel the ship climbing the waves and then just plummeting on the other side. Waves were rocking the sides of the ship too, and it was kind of pitching back and forth as well," Jamey Kennedy, 64, of Clinton, Tennessee, said.

'This can't be real': 'This can't be real': Tennessee couple rescued from Viking Sky cruise ship in dramatic airlift

How the Viking Sky rescue mission developed

After the order to evacuate came, rescuers worked all night Saturday and into Sunday to airlift more than 400 passengers (about half the total) to shore by a fleet of five helicopters flying in the dark, slowly winching people up one-by-one from the heaving ship as the waves crashed and the winds shrieked.  

Despite the danger, the crew member said some passengers rushed to be airlifted, fearing the ship would sink before rescue.

To get to the life jackets, the crew member said employees had to open doors onto open decks and into the wind and form human chains to distribute the life jackets while the ship was leaning perilously close to the frigid water below.

Those involved in the rescue mission hadn't experienced a rescue this intense before . 

The CHC, a helicopter service, was called to assist the rescue effort at 2 p.m. local time on Saturday. The company's mission involved 12 pilots, seven rescue swimmers, six hoist operators, two ground support engineers and a system operator.

By the numbers: Five helicopters, 28 rescuers, 464 saved: Inside the Viking Sky cruise ship rescue

Its first helicopter arrived within 30 minutes after being called, and a second one later joined to assist.

"The two helicopters worked seamlessly together in a rescue pattern that ensured one aircraft was hoisting passengers at all times," according to a post on CHC's website. "During each mission, 15 to 20 passengers were hoisted and subsequently transported to safety." Two more CHC aircraft were later sent to support the evacuations, and a fifth government-contracted aircraft arrived, as well. A total of 464 passengers were lifted off the cruise ship, per CHC's latest numbers.

Ship makes it to safety

The ship, aided by tow vessels, finally limped into the Norwegian port of Molde on Sunday, freeing the remaining 436 passengers and crew of 458.

Mission complete: Cruise ship from Norway reaches port with remaining passengers after mayday, air rescues

"All passengers and crew are safe, and passengers will be flying home starting tonight," the cruise line said  in a statement  on its website Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Norwegian time. "Throughout all of this, our first priority was for the safety and well-being of our passengers and our crew. We would like to thank the Norwegian Redningssentral and the Norwegian emergency services for their support and skill displayed in managing the situation in very challenging weather conditions."

“When we got the engine running again, we realized we were going to save ourselves," Inge Lockert, a Norwegian pilot on the ship, told the Vesteraalen newspaper. 

Lockert was one of two pilots from the Norwegian Coastal Administration who boarded the ship on Saturday to help the crew take the ship into port, the Vesteraalen daily said. Only Lockert has spoken publicly.

More from the pilot: Viking Sky cruise ship woes off Norway started with engine snags, pilot says

The Viking Sky investigation begins; why the engine failed

Norwegian authorities on Monday began investigating why the cruise ship was sailing in stormy weather.

"We don't know the reason why the ship sailed, knowing such bad weather was forecast," Kurt Olsen, acting director for Norway's Accident Investigations Board, told USA TODAY. "We have a very good weather service in this country, so I would guess the crew knew everything about the forecast. How they responded will definitely be part of the investigation."

Lars Alvestad, the head of Norway's Maritime Authority, said Wednesday that low oil levels were the "direct cause" of the engine failure that stranded the Viking Sky on Saturday.

More details: Viking Sky cruise ship engines failed because of low oil levels, maritime official says

The NMA indicated in a press release that while oil in the tanks was relatively low, it was within set limits. But as the ship crossed rocky seas, movement of oil in the tanks triggered an alarm.

Olsen would not speculate why the Viking Sky captain decided to sail despite the weather warning. He said ship operations were one part of the investigation, along with a technical study of why the engines failed and a third review of how the rescue was handled.

The ultimate question: Norway wants to know why cruise ship sailed in stormy weather, forcing air evacuation

Yngve Skovly, a police inspector in the Molde region, told the  Verdens Gang  tabloid there was no suspicion of criminal behavior and the ship was too new to suspect maintenance problems. He said crucial information could be obtained from the ship's computer logs.

Torstein Hagen, chairman of ship owner Viking Ocean Cruises, said his company would conduct its own investigation and support government agencies reviewing the mishap. Police expected all passengers to be flown out of Norway by Monday night. 

"The last few days have been both dramatic and hectic for guests and crew on board Viking Sky," Hagen said in the statement. "I would like to apologize for all our guests have been through."

A total of 36 people were admitted in local hospitals and as of Tuesday, one person was in critical but stable condition in an intensive care ward. Seven others were expected to be discharged later Tuesday, hospital officials said.

Despite the Viking Sky incident, cruising is one of the safest ways to travel, according to the trade group Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Citing a 2017 study , CLIA says that although the cruise industry's capacity has grown by 48 percent, the overall number of operational incidents has declined by 38 percent.

As expected: After Viking cruise ship rescue, passengers concerned about cruising safety

Contributing: Sara Moniuszko, John Bacon, Maria Puente, Julia Thompson, Brittany Crocker (Knoxville News Sentinel) and Associated Press

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Viking Mississippi

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Hosting 386 guests in 193 all outside staterooms, the new state-of-the-art Viking Mississippi is inspired by our award-winning Viking Longships® and ocean ships and features clean Scandinavian design, as well as public spaces that are familiar to guests but that have been reimagined for Mississippi River voyages. Purpose-built for the Mississippi, the ship’s cutting-edge design, expansive windows and comfortable amenities make it the first truly modern cruise ship in the region.

  • Only 386 guests
  • Length: 450 feet
  • Beam: 75 feet
  • Class: river ship
  • Year built: 2022

Interactive Deck Plan

Hover and click on the deck plan to explore the ship. 0), attr: { 'href': pdfurl }" class="ignore" target="_blank">see a pdf version of the deck plan., ship features.

  • 193 comfortable all outside staterooms (128 Veranda & Deluxe Veranda Staterooms, 8 French Balcony Staterooms, 24 Penthouse Veranda Staterooms, 16 Penthouse Junior Suites, 7 Terrace Suites, 10 Explorer Suites)
  • All suites feature two full-size rooms with large veranda
  • Sun Terrace with Infinity Plunge Pool
  • Stroll the full 360-degree promenade deck for views of scenic landscapes and regional wildlife
  • The Bow, a quiet sitting area at the front of the ship
  • Aquavit Terrace, a revolutionary indoor/outdoor viewing area for al fresco dining or an American barbecue experience
  • The Explorers' Lounge and Bar with two-story panoramic views of the Mississippi
  • River Café, a new way to dine featuring American classics
  • Elevators throughout the ship
  • Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)
  • Self-service launderettes and laundry service
  • Intelligent energy-efficient propulsion systems produce less vibrations for a smoother ride
  • 42" flat-screen LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand

Stateroom Features

The purpose-built Viking Mississippi offers a wide variety of staterooms for your selection. From Veranda Staterooms to the abundance of extra perks and amenities in our spacious Explorer Suites, there is no finer way to travel. And whichever stateroom you choose, you will find it beautifully designed in the understated elegance for which Viking is known.

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Explorer Suite (ES)

  • Stateroom size: 657–1,024 sq ft (includes private veranda)
  • River-view suite with private wraparound balcony, private veranda and well-appointed living room & dining area
  • Wheelchair Accessible (#300 only)
  • King-size Viking Explorer Bed (optional twin-bed configuration) with luxury linens & pillows
  • Additional 42" flat-screen interactive LCD TVs in sitting area
  • 110/120 volt US-standard outlets & USB ports
  • Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, bathtub, double-sink vanity, heated floor, anti-fog mirror & hair dryer
  • Premium Freyja® toiletries
  • Plush robes & slippers
  • Telephone, safe, refrigerator
  • Individual climate control
  • Purified water refilled daily
  • Welcome bottle of champagne
  • Mini-bar with alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, water & snacks (replenished once daily)
  • Traditional Norwegian Marius-weave blanket
  • Personal coffee machine with premium coffee & tea selections
  • Stateroom steward & twice-daily housekeeping
  • Complimentary laundry & shoe shine services
  • Silver Spirits beverage package included
  • Under-bed suitcase storage space
  • Roomy wardrobe with wooden hangers

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Terrace Suite (TS)

  • Stateroom size: 425 sq ft (includes private veranda)
  • River-view suite with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door opening to an extensive veranda
  • Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, double-sink vanity, heated floor, anti-fog mirror & hair dryer

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Penthouse Junior Suite (PS)

  • Stateroom size: 400 sq ft (includes private veranda)
  • River-view suite with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door opening to a full-size veranda
  • Additional 42" flat-screen interactive LCD TVs in living area

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Penthouse Veranda Stateroom (PV)

  • Stateroom size: 336 sq ft (includes private veranda)
  • River-view stateroom with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door opening to full-size veranda
  • Private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated floor, anti-fog mirror & hair dryer
  • Complimentary pressing & shoe shine services

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Deluxe Veranda Stateroom (DV)

  • Stateroom size: 268 sq ft (includes private veranda)
  • Mini-bar with soft drinks, water & snacks (replenished once daily)

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French Balcony Stateroom (FB)

  • Stateroom size: 301 sq ft
  • River-view stateroom with French balcony (floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door)
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Private bathroom with accessible shower, heated floor, anti-fog mirror & hair dryer

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Veranda Stateroom (V)

  • Mini-bar with soft drinks, water & snacks

Itineraries This Ship Sails

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NEW! Mississippi Delta Explorer

  • PRICE & BUILD

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America’s Heartland

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New Orleans & Southern Charms

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America’s Great River

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NEW! Upper Mississippi Explorer

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Grand Mississippi Voyage

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NEW! The Big Easy to the Gateway City

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NEW! Mississippi River Odyssey

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Heart of the Delta

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Ship Highlights

Hosting 386 guests in 193 all outside staterooms, the new state-of-the-art Viking Mississippi is inspired by our award-winning Viking Longships® and ocean ships feature clean Scandinavian design, as well as public spaces that are familiar to guests but that have been reimagined for Mississippi River voyages. Purpose-built for the Mississippi, the ship's cutting-edge design, expansive windows and comfortable amenities make it the first truly modern cruise ship in the region.

Ship Videos

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Introducing Viking Mississippi

Welcome to four destination-focused, culturally enriching journeys along the Mississippi River—designed for curious, experienced travelers seeking an in-depth look at the history and heritage of America’s heartland and the soul of the South.

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Viking Mississippi Float Out

February 2022. The 386-guest Viking Mississippi ® was “floated out” in Louisiana, marking a major construction milestone and the first time the ship has touched water. Set to debut in summer 2022, the Viking Mississippi will sail Viking’s highly anticipated voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi River, between New Orleans and St. Paul.

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Norwegian cruise mogul’s success secrets: Focus on the wealthy and absolutely no kids allowed

Viking cruise at the French Mediterannean port of Marseille.

Torstein Hagen founded his cruise line with a few simple principles in mind. Among them: focus on the wealthy and intellectually curious; no nickel-and-diming; and no kids.

Almost three decades on, his Viking Holdings Ltd. is among the world’s biggest luxury cruise operators, and Hagen’s fortune will surpass $5 billion as the company completes its initial public offering in New York.

Viking  raised  $1.54 billion from the oversubscribed share sale, showing that investors are willing to pour money into a sector that was decimated by the Covid pandemic and now is rebounding.

The shares  priced near the top  of the marketed range, according to a  regulatory filing , valuing the company at around $10.4 billion. Hagen controls roughly half of the shares, making him the second-richest person in the industry after Carnival Corp. Chairman Micky Arison, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The listing also marks the pinnacle of an endeavor that, in Hagen’s  words , began with “two guys with two mobile phones and four river ships” seeking to woo customers who sought “more than just a vacation.” As the 81-year-old chief executive officer has often told journalists: Viking cruises are for the thinking person, not the drinking person.

Viking representatives didn’t respond to requests for comment on Bloomberg’s calculation of Hagen’s fortune.

Physics Degree

Born near Oslo, Hagen earned a degree in physics from the Norwegian Institute of Technology and an MBA from Harvard University. After a stint in management consulting, he entered the cruise industry in the 1970s. Around two decades later, following multiple failed attempts to help buy or otherwise take control over cruise lines with different investor groups, Hagen led the purchase of the four river ships and formed Viking.

The company initially focused on cruises along rivers up and down Europe before expanding into ocean travel and special expeditions to places like Antarctica and the US Great Lakes. Based in Bermuda, Viking today operates 92 vessels and employs more than 10,000 people. 

Its target customers: affluent English speakers aged 55 or older, with time and money to explore the world. Last year, 90% of its clients came from North America, according to the company’s registration statement. In the US, the 55-plus cohort holds around three-quarters of the country’s household wealth, Federal Reserve  data  show. 

In recent years, Viking has sold stakes to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and alternative-asset manager TPG Inc. Both offloaded more shares in the offering than initially anticipated, according to a  filing .

Read More: TPG, CPPIB Are Said to Weigh Offering More Shares in Viking IPO

Hagen didn’t sell stock. His daughter, Karine, who has been working for Viking since it was founded and is now executive vice president, will control a small stake of less than 1%.

Viking said proceeds from the offering will be used to “increase our capitalization and financial flexibility” given its “substantial indebtedness.” It had $5.4 billion of debt at the end of 2023.

In a letter to shareholders included in the registration statement, Hagen noted the company sees big growth potential among consumers in China and elsewhere around Asia. That would go beyond “China Outbound,” the cruise offering in Europe with full crews of Mandarin speakers that Viking launched in 2016. The firm is also exploring safaris and land tours.

“We view Viking as the premier provider of travel experiences for thinking people,” the billionaire wrote in the letter. “We do not try to be all things to all people.”

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What You Need To Know About Cruise Operator Viking’s IPO

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SOPA Images / Contributor / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

  • Cruise operator Viking Holdings generated $4.7 billion in revenue last year, the company revealed in a Friday filing with the SEC, ahead of its planned debut on the New York Stock Exchange under the "VIK" ticker.
  • While the cruise line has not disclosed the number of shares that will be offered or their pricing, Barron's estimated Viking's IPO could be valued at over $10 billion.
  • Cruise stocks have started to rebound after reporting strong results amid a surge in demand as the industry works to recover from the billions in losses suffered during the pandemic.

Viking Holdings, the parent company of the Viking cruise line, filed an F-1 form Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ahead of its planned initial public offering (IPO) that revealed the company made $4.7 billion in revenue in 2023.

Viking, which said Friday that it plans to debut on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "VIK," initially announced plans to pursue an IPO in February. While the cruise line has not disclosed the number of shares that will be offered or their pricing, Barron's estimated Viking's IPO could be valued at over $10 billion.

Viking's Business Metrics Show Growing Revenue

The cruise line generated $4.7 billion in revenue in fiscal 2023, compared to $3.18 billion in 2022, and $625.1 million in 2021. Viking posted a $1.86 billion loss last year, largely because of a refinancing program it undertook through private placement , a way to raise capital without undergoing an IPO.

Adjusting for those one-time losses, Viking said it reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of about $1.09 billion for 2023.

Viking's luxury cruise business is divided between 80 river vessels and nine ocean ships, along with two expedition ships and a chartered river ship that operates in the Mississippi river. The cruise line expects to receive 18 new river ships by 2028, and six new ocean cruise liners by 2026.

Cruise Stocks Climb on Surge in Demand

In what could be a promising sign for Viking's debut, some cruise stocks have started to reverse losses suffered during the pandemic, with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings ( NCLH ), Royal Caribbean Group ( RCL ), and Carnival Corp. ( CCL ) recently reporting record bookings.

As of Friday's close, Norwegian shares have gained 45% over the past 12 months, while Carnival shares have surged 55%, and Royal Caribbean shares more than doubled in value over the same period.

Securities and Exchange Commission. " FORM F-1 REGISTRATION STATEMENT ."

Viking Holdings. " VIKING FILES REGISTRATION STATEMENT WITH SEC FOR PROPOSED INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERING ."

Viking Holdings. " VIKING ANNOUNCES CONFIDENTIAL SUBMISSION OF DRAFT REGISTRATION STATEMENT FOR A PROPOSED INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERING ."

Barron's. " Cruise Operator Viking’s IPO Could Be Valued at Over $10 Billion ."

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COMMENTS

  1. Viking (cruise line)

    Viking (formerly Viking Cruises) is a cruise line providing river, ocean, and expedition cruises.Its operating headquarters are in Basel, Switzerland, and its marketing headquarters are in Los Angeles, California.. The company has three divisions, Viking River Cruises, Viking Ocean Cruises, and Viking Expeditions, offering cruises along the rivers and oceans of North and South America, the ...

  2. Sign up to receive updates from Viking

    Ocean Ships and Itineraries In 2015, Viking introduced its first ocean ship with the naming of the 930-guest all-veranda Viking Star.One year later, Viking launched its second ocean ship, the Viking Sea, which was joined by sister ship the Viking Sky in 2017, the Viking Orion in 2018, the Viking Jupiter in 2019 and the Viking Venus in 2021.

  3. Ship Fleet Overview

    Viking boasts a fleet of small, all-veranda, modern ocean ships. Each sister ship is engineered at a scale that allows direct access into most ports. Classified by Cruise Critic as "small ships," the fleet features understated elegance and Scandinavian design. Viking Star Viking Sea Viking Sky Viking Orion Viking Jupiter Viking Venus Viking ...

  4. River, Ocean, & Expedition Cruises Around the World

    Call Viking at. *Free airfare on select departures of Grand European Tour, Capitals of Eastern Europe, Lyon Provence & the Rhineland and European Sojourn, plus select China, Panama Canal, Hawaii, Canada, Mississippi River, Great Lakes and Antarctica itineraries. We invented modern river cruising, reinvented ocean cruises & now are perfecting ...

  5. History

    Viking Line vessels combine the luxury and sumptuousness of cruise ships with high-capacity vehicle decks, thereby meeting the needs of cargo traffic and of tourists who wish to continue their journey by car. In chronological order, this book briefly presents these vessels, which have greatly contributed to the emergence of modern Baltic Sea ...

  6. Viking Saga: The Tale of Tor Hagen And His Voyage From Ousted ...

    Viking's Voyages Tor Hagen's cruise ships travel more than a million nautical miles a year, with ports of call in 103 countries. "Everybody said you won't be able to finance the ships, build ...

  7. The ultimate guide to Viking cruise ships and itineraries

    As Viking founder Torstein Hagen likes to say, a Viking cruise is the "thinking person's cruise, not the drinking person's cruise." Related: A beginners guide to picking a cruise line. 3 things TPG loves about Viking. Its focus is on destinations and enrichment. The elegant, Scandinavian-influenced design of its ships.

  8. Viking River Cruise Ships: Everything You Need to Know

    Viking offers a variety of itineraries on Europe's rivers -- but what doesn't change much are the cruise ships themselves. Known as "Longships," Viking's fleet of river cruise ships on most rivers ...

  9. Viking Cruises

    Cruise Lines International Association/CLIA's projections for 2020 were that the number of Chinese cruisers to Europe will be the same (or larger) in comparison to the Americans. Company history. Viking River Cruises line is a global travel corporation (Viking Flusskreuzfahrten AG) headquartered in the USA.

  10. Ship Fleet Overview

    Viking boasts a fleet of small, all-veranda, modern ocean ships. Each sister ship is engineered at a scale that allows direct access into most ports. Classified by Cruise Critic as "small ships," the fleet features understated elegance and Scandinavian design. Viking Star Viking Sea Viking Sky Viking Orion Viking Jupiter Viking Venus Viking ...

  11. Viking Sky cruise timeline: A breakdown of what we know happened

    A Viking cruise ship needed to be evacuated over the weekend as engine trouble and stormy weather caused the ship to take on water and endanger the 1,373 passengers and crew aboard. What played ...

  12. Viking Polaris

    King-size Viking Explorer Bed (optional twin-bed configuration) with luxury linens & pillows. Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary) 55" OLED flat-screen TV featuring MSNBC, FOX News, National Geographic and more. Additional 42" flat-screen interactive LCD TVs in living area. 110/220 volt outlets & USB ports.

  13. Viking Mississippi

    Hosting 386 guests in 193 all outside staterooms, the new state-of-the-art Viking Mississippi is inspired by our award-winning Viking Longships® and ocean ships and features clean Scandinavian design, as well as public spaces that are familiar to guests but that have been reimagined for Mississippi River voyages. Purpose-built for the Mississippi, the ship's cutting-edge design, expansive ...

  14. Norwegian cruise mogul's success secrets: Focus on the ...

    Viking is known for letting absolutely no kids on board its cruises. Gerard Bottino—SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images Torstein Hagen founded his cruise line with a few simple principles in ...

  15. What You Need To Know About Cruise Operator Viking's IPO

    Viking Holdings, the parent company of the Viking cruise line, filed an F-1 form Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ahead of its planned initial public offering (IPO) that ...

  16. Ocean Cruises

    A Viking ocean ship sails near Dubrovnik in Croatia. The text appears: DISCOVER MORE on the world's best small ships. A Viking expedition ship sails past a snowy landscape in Antarctica. The text remains: DISCOVER MORE on the world's best small ships. A Viking Longship sails at sunset in the Netherlands.

  17. Viking Saturn

    Viking Saturn. Expand your horizons on our award-winning, all-veranda small ship, with just 930 guests, allowing us to dock where larger ships cannot. Only 930 guests. Length: 745 feet. Beam: 94 feet. Class: small ships. Year built: 2023.