In May this year, Viking Ocean Cruises named the company’s latest new build Viking Venus in a ceremony conducted at sea in the English Channel. British journalist Anne Diamond was invited to be the ship’s ceremonial godmother and in keeping with the company’s custom, a bottle of Norwegian aquavit was duly cracked on the ship’s hull using a historic Viking broad axe to cut the ribbon to a soundtrack of recorded classical concerts.
Built by Fincantieri Shipyard, Ancona, Italy
Owned and operated by Viking Ocean Cruises
Propulsion: MAN 9L32/44CR, and two MAN 12V32/44CR engines, with 9 and 12 cylinders respectively providing a combined output of 23,250 kW
Speed: 20 knots
Guest capacity 930
Sister ships in service: Viking Star, Sea Sky, Sun, Orion, Jupiter
Onboard safety systems include safe return to port, and optimised hydrodynamics to reduce fuel consumption, including a bulbous bow and a ducktail stern which together are estimated to reduce power demand by 5% to 7%. As with most modern cruise ships, she can also be hooked up to shore power in port when made available.
An interesting energy-efficient feature is the Promas propulsion and manoeuvring system, developed by the Rolls-Royce Hydrodynamic Research Centre in Sweden. Incorporating the propeller and rudder in a single unit to increase hydrodynamic efficiency, the propulsion unit includes six-blade 4.5-diameter fixed-pitch mono-block propellers. The company has also invested in smart meters which are used by the company’s HQ engineering team to monitor energy use, including electricity and water.
Viking Venus is the seventh and latest of 20 sister vessels that Viking has ordered with the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, believed to be the largest number of ships built by a shipbuilder for a single owner. The first of the series, Viking Star, was built at the shipyard in Marghera and delivered in 2015. Subsequently, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Sun and Viking Orion were handed over in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively. All were all built at the Ancona yard along with Viking Jupiter, which joined the fleet in 2019. Future deliveries are scheduled through to 2027.
In 2020 Viking Sun was transferred to China Merchants Viking Cruises, a joint venture of Viking Ocean Cruises and China Merchants Shekou Cruises, and renamed Zhao Shang Yi Dun under Chinese registry. Also in 2020, Viking Cruises announced additional investments from its minority shareholders (TPG Capital and CPP Investments /Canada Pension Plan Investment Board) that will result in approximately USD 500 million being available to support Viking in its continued expansion.
Founder and Chairman of Viking Cruises is Torstein Hagen, a native of Norway. He served as CEO of Royal Viking Line from 1980-84 and also served on the boards of Holland America Line and Kloster Cruise Line before founding Viking River Cruises in 1997 and Viking Ocean Cruises in 2013.
Featured Image Courtesy: Viking Cruises