Another new cruise ship has moved closer to its official debut: Viking reports that it has taken delivery of Viking Orion, the company's fifth ocean ship. The delivery ceremony took place the morning of June 7 when the ship was presented at Fincantieri's shipyard in Ancona, Italy. On June 14, the ship will arrive in Livorno, Italy, where it will officially be named by its ceremonial godmother, Dr. Anna Fisher, American chemist, emergency room physician and retired NASA astronaut. The ship's name was inspired by the prominent constellation and Dr. Fisher's work on NASA's Orion exploration vehicle project. Viking Orion will spend its inaugural season sailing the Mediterranean, before journeying to Australia, Asia and Alaska, where it will be Viking's first ship to call on the northernmost U.S. state.
Like the rest of Viking’s ocean ships, the Viking Orion has a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, with 465 all-balcony staterooms that can accommodate 930 guests. Viking Orion is the fifth addition to Viking's ocean fleet, which also includes Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky and Viking Sun. With the arrival of Viking Jupiter in spring 2019, Viking says that it will be the largest small ship ocean cruise line. Ten additional ships are also planned for delivery starting in 2021, which could bring Viking's ocean fleet to 16 ships by 2027.
Designed by the same team responsible for Viking's fleet of river-going Viking Longships, Viking's ocean ships incorporate details that pay homage to its Nordic heritage. A glass-backed infinity pool cantilevered off the stern offers unobstructed views; indoor-outdoor spaces offer options for al fresco dining; huge windows and skylights let in light; and a wrap-around promenade deck is available for strolling. Dining options range from the World Café, which serves global cuisine with live cooking and open kitchens; to Mamsen's Norwegian-style deli. The Chef's Table celebrates cuisines from around the world with multi-course tasting menus and wine parings; and Manfredi's Italian Restaurant serves Tuscan and Roman cuisine. With the Kitchen Table experience, guests have an opportunity to shop, cook and eat with the Executive Chef.
Shore excursions are aimed at travelers interested in history, art, music and cuisine, with an emphasis on extended and overnight port stays. Every cruise fare includes an exterior stateroom, a complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including: beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; alternative restaurant dining; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service.