MV Viking Star is the lead ship of the Viking Star-class of cruise ships, and the first such ship operated by Viking Ocean Cruises, a division of Viking Cruises. She entered service in April 2015. Two Viking Star-class sister ships, Viking Sea and Viking Sky, will join her in the Viking Ocean Cruises fleet in 2016.
Class and type: Viking Star-class
Type: Cruise ship
Tonnage: 47,800 GT
Length: 228 metres long
Beam: 29 metres wide
Draught: 6.3 metres
Propulsion: 2 azipods
Speed: 20 knots
Capacity: 930 passengers
Crew: 602 crewmembers
Viking Star was designed by SMC Design of London, while Rottet Studio in Los Angeles was engaged to design her interior. The vessel's modern Scandinavian design ties in with that of Viking Cruises' river cruisers, and was intended to mix onboard elegance with a focus on destinations. As a relatively small vessel, Viking Star is able to access most ports directly, and thus facilitate efficient and trouble-free embarkation and debarkation processes. She also has a hydro-dynamically optimised streamlined hull and bow for maximum fuel efficiency.
The ship's first plate was cut on 7 June 2013 at the Fincantieri Marghera shipyard in Marghera, Italy. The plate cutting ceremony was attended, among others, by Torstein Hagen, founder and chairman of Viking. The keel was laid on 18 December 2013. Fincantieri launched Viking Star on 23 June 2014, about 20 days earlier than the previously announced launch date in mid-July.
In October 2014, Viking Ocean Cruises announced that Norwegian seafarer Gulleik Svalastog had been appointed as the captain of Viking Star. Captain Svalastog had more than 45 years of experience in the maritime industry, and most recently he had served as a captain for Color Line. He had previously held a variety of senior ship management positions, including the roles of superintendent for Norwegian Cruise Line and Crystal Cruises, and lead auditor for Det Norske Veritas. His initial task as captain was to be a member of the team overseeing the final stage of Viking Star 's outfitting and interior build-out.
In mid-December 2014, the ship successfully completed a week long period of sea trials in the Aegean Sea, during which she underwent more than 80 different tests. A variety of functions and systems were evaluated, including engine and propulsion performance, the navigation systems, and cabin acoustics.
Viking Ocean Cruises took delivery of Viking Star at the shipyard on 28 March 2015.
On board, Viking Star features 2 pools, the main pool and the Infinity Pool, a spa and a fitness center. She also has two restaurants, lounges, the piano lounge and the explorers lounge, the wintergarden, the aquavit terrace and the world cafe. Also, Viking Star has a sports deck, the star theatre and bar, the lobby bar and various shops.
Viking Star has five stateroom categories, all with private verandas, and 14 Explorer Suites. Up to 930 passengers can be accommodated in her 465 staterooms and suites, all of which are spacious for a cruise ship. The smallest staterooms are 25 m2 (270 sq ft) in size; the two-room suites range from 70.3 m2 (757 sq ft) to 134.5 m2 (1,448 sq ft) in area, and feature wrap-around private balconies offering sweeping views.
The vessel is fitted with energy-efficient hybrid engines, and onboard solar panels and exhaust pollution-minimising equipment to enable her to meet strict environmental regulations. Her Compac propeller shaft bearings, manufactured by Thordon Bearings, are lubricated by seawater, which is recycled into the ocean. The use of seawater as a lubricant lowers in-service maintenance costs, by eliminating the requirement for an aft seal. The seawater lubricant also replaces expensive biodegradable oils, which, if used, would need to be stored, sampled and disposed of, and would also create a risk of accidental oil discharge.
The theatre features live entertainment, as well as new-release films and some old favourites. Additionally, there are port talks and lectures from the on-board cultural enrichment programmes on art, history and culture. The lecture programme includes academic lecturers, local speakers and interactive demonstrations.
Some parts of this video are copyright to Avid Cruiser/Ralph Grizzle http://www.avidcruiser.com/