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New Ship No. 1 — Viking Sea

First in a series of new ships for 2016

Ship-SeaThe first new ship of 2016 will set sail the first week of April and the category it falls into is “A tough act to follow.” If the Viking Sea is, in fact, a clone of last year’s Viking Star then it will be a winner out of the gate. The Star was ship-of-the-year in the eyes of most experts and it will be interesting to see if they feel the same way about another Viking ocean ship now that they’ve seen one.

Launch date: April 4

Capacity: 930

Sister ships: Viking Star

Maiden voyage: Istanbul to Venice (9 days)

Home port: None

Ships then in Viking Ocean fleet: 2

Interesting: Like its predecessor, the Sea will be more about ports than sea days, visiting some places where bigger ships don’t fit. Despite that, Viking trumpets its “unique onboard experience” — generally larger rooms (270 square feet) that all have verandahs, two pools including an infinity pool looking out to sea, a Nordic-style spa and books and speakers to enrich your knowledge while sitting in “tasteful, understated elegance.” Like the Star, it’s expected to deliver a high level of all-inclusiveness from Wi-Fi to cappuccinos to shore excursions (one) in every port to wine and spirits with meals. This Sea is designed to be a Star.

In the news…

• Port Everglades breaks single-day record by 120 with 53,485 passengers
• Two new, big Costa ships heading for Asian market for 2019 and 2020
• Holland America, Carnival lead inspections — six ships perfect in 2015

Today at portsandbows.comCarnival Corporation’s big ship order


Holland America Eurodam
14 nights
March 27, 2016
Fort Lauderdale, Funchal, Cadiz, Malaga, Cartagena, Barcelona
Inside: $699
Cost per day: $49
www.hollandamerica.com

New in 2015 — Viking Star

Second in a series about new ships

This is what happens when river-ship people get into the ocean-ship business. Viking River Cruises is about to become just Viking Cruises (on the water) and what makes this first crossover venture a game-changer that will be watched world-wide is that all suites on the Star (270 square feet minimum) have balconies and cruises will depart late at night or stay over in ports.

Launch date: April 11

Capacity: 930

Sister ships: To come — Viking Sea and Viking Sky, both in 2016

Maiden voyage: Istanbul to Venice in nine days

Home port: Do river ships even have homes?

Ships then in Viking ocean fleet: 1

Interesting: Small by ocean standards, the Star comes out of the gate with a whopping 49-day cruise…yes, it can be broken into sections. The ship emphasizes simplicity, with gathering places named The Restaurant, The Kitchen Table and The Living Room. Several of the company's popular riverboat features are included — the Aquavit Terrace and an alfresco dining venue — and Viking is taking its commitment connecting customers and destinations to a new level by going ocean. With fewer than 1,000 passengers, the Star’s likely to feel spacious.

Today at portsandbows.com: All the latest cruise news

Carnival Conquest
6 nights
March 1, 2015
Fort Lauderdale (return): Key WestGrand CaymanCozumel
Inside: $329
Cost per day: $54
www.carnival.com

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