Viking Cruises and its Viking River Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises brands are booming. Not only is their river product the most ubiquitous in Europe, now they are on track to transform the face of ocean cruising with the acclaimed new Viking Star, next headed for North America and the Caribbean, and five more cruise ships on the way. Is the next step for Viking world domination?Let’s do the math.They Have Strength in NumbersCurrently, Viking River Cruises sails an impressive 60 vessels, 40 of which are the line’s signature new Viking Longships, and another six of the latest design are scheduled to come online in 2016. Plus, the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy recently announced an agreement with Viking Ocean Cruises to build another two sister ships for the line, bringing the total fleet count to six by 2020. What’s more, Torstein Hagen, founder and chairman of Viking Cruises, has expressed an interest in growing that number to 10 oceangoing cruise ships. Clearly, the company is well on their way towards achieving that goal.They’re Crossing the PondJust this week, Viking Ocean Cruises revealed plans to bring the inclusive Viking Star to North America and the Caribbean for an introductory season with five unique itineraries – including two transatlantic crossings, a fall foliage exploration of New England and nine 11-day roundtrips from San Juan, Puerto Rico – from September 2016 to February 2017. By then, the line’s second ship, the Viking Sea, launching in March 2016, will be covering the European sailings.“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 Hagen. “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.”Fulfilling that promise are extensive new itineraries up to 15 days in length, which feature at least one complimentary shore excursion in every port. Viking details the sailings as follows: In the Wake of the Vikings (15 days; Bergen to Montreal) – Trace the route of Viking Leif Eriksson, setting off from his homeland, Norway, sailing from the old mercantile city of Bergen to the rustic Shetland Islands of Scotland the Faroe Islands, once home to the Viking Parliament.Witness the magnificent natural beauty of Iceland and Greenland; then, as Eriksson before you, land at Newfoundland, where L’Anse aux Meadows reveals evidence of Norse settlements. Sail on to Quebec, with explorations of Saguenay and Quebec City, before arriving in Montreal. Introductory 2-for-1 pricing starts at $6,499 per person. Sailing Date: September 18, 2016. Eastern Seaboard Explorer (13 days; Montre
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