Viking has signed a preliminary contract with Fincantieri to build another six ships to be delivered by 2027.
The agreement for the six additional ships, which will be delivered in 2024, 2025, 2026 and 2027, respectively, is subject to specific conditions.
Once formally signed, this contract will expand Viking’s partnership with Fincantieri to include 16 newbuildings, including options, which is claimed to be the highest for a shipyard from a single owner.
“When we launched our first ocean ship in 2015, we set out to re-invent ocean cruising. We focus on the destination, and we do not cram our ships with gimmicks and waterslides. Our understated, elegant, award-winning ships are designed to simply enable our guests to better explore their destination,” said Torstein Hagen, Viking chairman. “In our first two years of operation, we have been named the No 1 Ocean Cruise Line, and this new order speaks to the positive response we have received from our guests and the industry. As we continue to expand our brand, we look forward to bringing guests to more destinations around the world and introducing them to the Viking way of exploration.”
This announcement came just prior to the naming of Viking’s fourth ocean ship, ‘Viking Sun’, on 8th March in Shanghai. The ship is currently on Viking’s sold-out 141-day World Cruise from Miami to London, and her stop in Shanghai will mark the first time one of Viking’s ocean ships has called in China and she will also be the first cruise ship to be named in Shanghai.
Viking’s all-veranda ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tonnes, have 465 staterooms and host 930 guests. ‘Viking Sun’ is the newest addition to Viking’s fleet, which also includes ‘Viking Star’, ‘Viking Sea’ and ‘Viking Sky’.
Viking will take delivery of two more sisterships in the next two years, including ‘Viking Orion’ in June, 2018. With the arrival of ‘Viking Jupiter’ next year, Viking will be the largest small ship ocean cruise line.
With the latest agreement, another 10 ships are on order for delivery starting in 2021, which will bring Viking’s ocean fleet to 16 ships by 2027, the company confirmed.
In February, the company announced that it had raised $975 mill through a private placement of $675 mill in 5% senior secured notes, due 2028 and an additional 275 mill at 5.875%, due in 2027.
Viking said it will use the proceeds of the note offering to repay all outstanding loans used to finance the ‘Viking Star’ and ‘Viking Sky’, and to repurchase the’ Viking Sea’, which the cruise line has operated on a sale-leaseback agreement.