Viking Ocean Cruises announced Tuesday it will expand its destination-focused cruising to North America and the Caribbean with five new itineraries launching in September 2016. Its Viking Star ship will use Puerto Rico as its homeport for winter Caribbean itineraries, the company confirmed.
The ship will return to Europe in February 2017, with a transatlantic sailing from San Juan to Barcelona.
“We have always had a vision to reinvent ocean cruising — to bring destinations back to the forefront of the itinerary and to build ships that are designed to help our guests better explore their destinations,” said Torstein Hagen, founder and chairman of Viking Cruises.
“We launched our ocean cruises in Europe earlier this year, and just as the Viking explorers before us, we are now looking across the Atlantic for new discoveries. Our new itineraries in North America and the Caribbean will offer travelers experiences that broaden their horizons both on and off the ship,” he said.
Next year, the company will offer new itineraries, including the “West Indies Explorer,” an 11-day trip leaving San Juan toward the British, French and Dutch islands of the Lesser Antilles. In 2017, the company will offer an 18-day trans-Atlantic cruise from San Juan to Barcelona.
Christened in May 2015 in Bergen, Norway, the 930-guest all-veranda Viking Star is classified by Cruise Critic as a “small ship,” and is engineered at a scale that allows direct access into most ports. The small size of Viking’s ocean ships provides greater maneuverability, allowing them to dock where mega-liners that dominate the world’s ports today cannot, the company said.