Viking Star

(10:20 a.m. GMT) Viking Ocean Cruises has announced a series of 13 new itineraries -- set to roll out in 2017, 2018 and 2019 -- ranging from eight- to 23-day sailings departing from major ports, such as Miami, Sydney, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Vancouver.

This year marks the launch of the line's Western Caribbean and Panama Canal and Central America itineraries on Viking Sky -- which debuts in March 2017 -- with return sailings from Miami operating from November 2017 to January 2018. Panama Canal and Central America itineraries will feature calls in Costa Rica, Columbia, Honduras and Belize -- covering eight countries and nine ports on a 15-day voyage. The Western Caribbean itinerary -- Turquoise Seas of the Western Caribbean -- includes three countries and five ports of call, such as Belize and Cozumel.

Looking further ahead, itineraries in Australia and New Zealand will operate on Viking Spirit -- which debuts in June 2018 -- from December 2018 to February 2019, with 15-day sailings from Sydney to Auckland, and vice versa, featuring nine ports of call.

The Alaska itinerary -- Alaska & the Inside Passage -- will operate from May to August 2019 on Viking Spirit and will include 11-night return cruises from Vancouver or Seward with calls at eight ports, including Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau and Skagway.

A series of Asia sailings will operate from August 18, 2018, to May 5, 2019 -- all on Viking Spirit. An example sailing includes the 21-day Passage to India voyage departing Mumbai on August 18, 2018.

The line's chairman Torstein Hagen said: "Our destination-focused ocean itineraries are built on the same successful principles as our river itineraries -- we offer our guests more time in port, enriching cultural experiences and the best-designed ships at sea. Starting later this year, our guests will have even more choices to explore around the world in 'the Viking way.'"

Following the launch of the line's first two ocean ships -- Viking Star in December 2015 and Viking Sea in April 2016 -- the fast-growing fleet rolls out a series of new 930-passenger ships in the coming years. In addition to Viking Sky and Viking Spirit, Viking Sun launches in late 2017 -- offering the line's first world cruise -- while the sixth yet-to-be-named ship is slated for 2019. 

Viking Ocean Cruises was named as Cruise Critic's Best for Value in the luxury category of its 2016 Editors' Picks awards.

-- By Kerry Spencer, Editor, U.K.