Viking Cruises: “100 river ships and 10 ocean by 2020”

Chairman and chief executive Torstein Hagen reveals grand plans
Viking River Cruises’ fleet could grow to 100 and its ocean fleet to 10 by 2020, according to the company’s chairman and chief executive, TTG Digital reports.
Speaking on board the maiden sailing of its first ocean ship Viking Star, Torstein Hagen said all the signs pointed to the ocean ships being as successful as its river sailings. He also hinted about plans to introduce a new expedition ship.
“Apart from a few cabins in December, we’re full this year, and 70% full for next year. We’re quite hopeful that [the ocean cruises] will be a success,” he said.
The line is already hoping to expand its ocean fleet to three by 2017, but Hagen said he had far grander ambitions. “I’m hopeful that we might be able to build at least two ships a year every year after that, and I would hope that we would have 10 of the ocean ships if things go well. I also want to have 100 Long Ships [the name of its river fleet, of which Viking currently has 60] by 2020.”
The first few ocean ships will follow a similar itinerary to that of Viking Star, sailing Western Europe itineraries from Barcelona and Bergen in Norway. But Hagen acknowledged that as the fleet expands he would like to see more exotic itineraries added.
“I’d want to put one out to Asia, and probably one in South America, and we could do a world cruise,” he said.
The 930-passsenger ships would all remain very similar Hagen added, as he revealed that the class of ship is to be named Venice Class, because it is small enough to sail into the Italian city.
Meanwhile, Hagen hinted at plans to develop a whole new offering to the market. Asked whether he would ever look at placing a ship down in Antarctica, he replied: “We have other plans for there”, which he confirmed would be a “different class of ship”.
TTG Digital
[pictured: Viking Rurik; courtesy Viking River Cruises]