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Viking Glory Launched- Europe’s Latest Cruiseferry

VIKING GLORY Fast Facts

Current Name: VIKING GLORYPrevious Names: N/A
Shipyard: Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry Co, Ltd (XSI), Xiamen, China, XSI488AIMO Number: 9827877
Current Operator: Viking LineCurrent Route: Turku - Åland - Stockholm
Length Overall: Beam:
Passenger Capacity: 2800Vehicle Capacity: 1500 lane metres
Tonnage: Sister-ships: N/A

It feels like a very long time since July 2017 when Viking Line placed a firm order with Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry Co, for a new cruiseferry. Originally due for delivery in 2020, early delays in the design and production, compounded by Covid difficulties mean that the ship is only due to be handed over around November 2021.

Finally, it feels like things are really moving forward. VIKING GLORY was launched on 26 January 2021 with a live event to mark the occasion.

VIKING GLORY – Launch Video

VIKING GLORY will replace the AMORELLA on the Turku – Åland – Stockholm route around late January to early February 2022. When introduced, she will sail evenings from Stockholm and mornings from Turku. The 63,813 gross tonne ship is expected to be Finnish-flagged, but depending on the relative merits, a Swedish flag is not ruled out.

Of the ship, Jan Hanses, Viking Line’s CEO said

“Viking Glory embodies Viking Line’s faith in a bright future for travel on the Baltic Sea. Key words are sustainability, energy efficiency and innovative Nordic design. Viking Glory is the result of a close collaboration with Finnish and other Nordic partners, who by contributing their expertise and know-how will enable us to soon celebrate the launch of a unique vessel”

Viking Line Press Release 25 January 2021 https://www.vikingline.com/press-room/4BF37FBC91AC13BE

The ship will partner with the 2013-built VIKING GRACE.

VIKING GRACE at Mariehamn, May 2016. Credit: Gary Andrews
VIKING GRACE at Mariehamn, May 2016. Credit: Gary Andrews

“Climate-Smart”

Inevitably for a newbuild vessel, the VIKING GLORY has ‘Green Credentials’. As with the VIKING GRACE, the ‘Glory will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). Even though VIKING GLORY is larger than her predecessor, she is expected to use 10% less fuel and is claimed to be one of the world’s most energy-efficient vessels. The focus throughout the project has been on energy optimization and eco-friendly solutions.

Key Nordic partners in developing environmental technology details and an innovative interior include Wärtsilä, ABB Marine, Koncept, Climeon, Kone, Deltamarin, Almaco, Evac, Pointman and Projektia.

Interior Review

Whilst there have been a few renders of VIKING GLORY’s interior, the launch event revealed many more details.

Viking Line describes VIKING GLORY’s concept as “Nordic design with a focus on archipelago views.” The company say that they want to “open up the world’s most beautiful archipelagos to passengers in a brand-new way”. The vessel offers large panoramic windows combined with quiet, comfortable travel in all seasons. The entire interior is “characterized by timeless, yet playful design, Nordic light, sustainability and digital solutions.”

What we know is revealed below but we have still to hear many details, not least of any innovations in the design of the 922 cabins. We can also expect that significant digitalisation will be brought to the customer experience.

VIKING GLORY – interior preview.

Torget Piazza

This appears to be a central meeting place onboard, making very dramatic use of natural light.

Market

It appears that Viking Line has chosen a “Food Market” concept of the type that is becoming increasing popular around Europe at shopping and leisure complexes, seen at locations ranging from Copenhagen’s Tivoli to Oslo’s Gardermoen Airport to Kirkgate Market in Leeds. Essentially, such places work with a range of contemporary food outlets served by common seating areas. This appears to be adjacent to Torget Piazza, creating something far removed from the traditional ferry space.

Vista Room

This appears to be one of the major bar areas onboard, creating a space that seems to suit use on the vessel’s day and night crossings. Previous generations of cruiseferry have been dominated by “night club” spaces as the main entertainment location onboard.

Tax Free Shopping

Initial impressions suggest that Viking Line’s approach to shopping is more traditional than the type of “wow feature” shops that Color Line has gone for with COLOR HYBRID, Tallink with MEGASTAR and DFDS with the CÔTE D’OPALE.

Algot’s

This appears to be a rather upmarket pub/bar.

Conference Centre

Viking Line clearly see a big future for onboard Conferences with extensive facilities for corporate groups. With companies increasingly questioning the time allocated to such events, a 24-hour mini-cruise on the Stockholm – Turku route may prove more attractive than the 48-hour offerings of many other routes.

Vista Deck

These early images of the outside deck area appear to show that an effort is being made to create something special that can be enjoyed during daytimes onboard in summer. The result looks much more “cruise” than “ferry”.

VIKING GLORY Artist impression of completed vessel. Image: Viking Line.
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