December 6, 2013
Viking foresees no slow-down in its rate of expansion despite nearly doubling its fleet in the last two years by debuting 16 new longship-class ships -- including the Guinness World Record-setting, simultaneous launch of eight ships in Amsterdam in 2013.
The line's fleet currently stands at more than 30 ships, and Viking has plans to launch a further 14 longships in 2014. An additional order for 14 ships in 2015 would push the fleet to more than 60 ships and see the line nearly double the size of its fleet again -- for the second time in four years -- over a two-year period.
"In terms of longships, it will be just as many ships in 2015 [as in 2014]," a Viking representative told Cruise Critic.
Despite plans to launch four more ships in 2014 than it did during this year's record launch (10 ships total in 2013), Viking said it will forego an attempt at breaking its own record because the site of the launch ceremony -- Avignon, France -- would make it difficult to coordinate the effort.
"It's down to logistics, really," Viking's representative explained, hinting at another attempt. "There will be plenty more chances in future."
In addition to launching unprecedented numbers of river ships, Viking is also venturing into the ocean cruise market in 2015, with the launch of Viking Star, a 48,000-ton, 928-passenger ship which will trawl the waters of northern Europe's Baltic and fjords, and the Mediterranean, year round.
--by Jamey Bergman, U.K. Production and River Section Editor