Vard Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of shipbuilder Fincantieri, reports that it has signed a letter of intent with Viking for the design and construction of two new cruise ships, with delivery scheduled for the second quarters of 2021 and 2022. The letter of intent also includes an option for two more vessels. Vard and Viking have a common intention to enter into a final contract by the middle of this year, according to Vard.
The new ships will be developed by Vard Design in Norway. While details are scarce at this point, Vard did say that environmentally friendly and safe operations will be a key driver in the development process, with an eye to designing “among the most environmentally friendly ships.”
A representative for Viking tells Travel Agent that the company will not be commenting on the details of Vard’s announcement.
The announcement is the latest in a series of major fleet expansion moves for Viking. In March the company reported that it had signed a contract with Fincantieri for an order that would see the delivery of six new cruise ships by 2027, bringing its ocean-going fleet total to 16. Those ships are scheduled for delivery in 2024, 2025, 2026 and 2027.
Viking’s ocean fleet currently stands at four following last month’s delivery of the Viking Sun, which is now sailing a 141-day World Cruise from Miami to London. Up next, Viking Orion is scheduled to launch this summer, followed by an as-yet-unnamed sibling vessel in 2019.
The company also offers a number of river cruises onboard its Longships, as well as recently announced combination ocean and river cruises.