The 998-guest Viking Vela, Viking’s newest ocean liner, was “floated out,” marking a significant construction milestone and the first time the ship has touched water. Scheduled to debut in December 2024, the Viking Vela will spend her initial season sailing cruises in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe.
While all of the line’s blue water ships are identical, Viking Vela will be somewhat larger and able to accommodate more guests than her sister ships, which generally have a capacity of 930 people in 465 staterooms.
Most of Viking’s ocean ships weigh around 48,000 gross tonnes, whereas the Viking Vela weighs 54,300. Aside from the added accommodation capacity, all dining and entertainment venues on Viking Vela will be the same as those on the other ships in the fleet.
Like the rest of the Viking fleet, the new ship is being built to strict environmental and safety standards.
“Together with Fincantieri, we have built the world’s most elegant ocean vessels, and it is always a proud day when our newest ship meets water for the first time,” Torstein Hagen, Viking’s chairman, said, “Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler both rank our small, elegant ocean ships #1.” We are different from other lines because of everything we do, but Viking also stands apart because of everything we do not do. No children. No casinos. No nickel and diming. We are excited to welcome the Viking Vela to our award-winning fleet next year and introduce even more curious travellers to the Viking way of exploration.”
The traditional float-out ceremony took place at Fincantieri’s Ancona shipyard and is significant since it indicates that a ship is nearing completion. At around 11:00 a.m. local time, the Viking team cut a cord that signalled the water to flow into the ship’s building dock. Following a two-day floatation procedure, the Viking Vela will be hauled to a nearby outfitting dock for final construction and interior build-out.
The Viking Vela
The Viking Vela is classified as a small ship with a gross tonnage of 54,300 tonnes and 499 cabins that accommodate 998 guests. She will join the award-winning ocean fleet, including the Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Orion, Viking Jupiter, Viking Venus, Viking Mars, Viking Neptune and Viking Saturn.
Viking Vela will be delivered in December 2024. While the exact date and place of the christening have yet to be confirmed, the cruise company has identified numerous itineraries on which the new ship will sail.
An 8-day Iconic Western Mediterranean, from Barcelona to Rome; a 15-day British Isles Explorer, from Bergen, Norway, to London; a 15-day Viking Homelands, from Stockholm to Bergen; a 16-day Malta, Morocco, and the Mediterranean, round-trip from Barcelona; a 13-day In Search of the Northern Lights, from London to Bergen; and a 13-day Iceland’s Majestic Landscapes, from Bergen to Reykjavik.