PORT ST. MAARTEN – Viking Cruises has confirmed that the cruise ship Viking Sea will be the first commercial cruise ship to call at Port St. Maarten post-Irma on Monday, December 4th. Port St. Maarten Management is elated to be welcoming the first commercial cruise vessel return to the destination, and appeals to call stakeholders to finalize as much as possible clean-up and remodeling tasks prior to the vessels port call.
Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher on Thursday stated: “Port St. Maarten and Government has been working diligently to keep our cruise partners up to date on our recovery efforts.
“We are very happy to announce that Viking Cruises will kick off commercial cruise activities to our shores on December 4. With December being the month that will see more cruise calls from other lines, it reminds us that our partners still have confidence in St. Maarten and in turn we must do everything we can to ensure a great experience for cruise visitors. We are looking forward to welcoming the Viking Sea.”
Viking Cruises, is considered the leader in river and small ship ocean cruising, offers destination-focused itineraries designed for experienced travelers who have an interest in geography, culture and history.
In its first year of operation, Viking Ocean Cruises was rated the #1 ocean cruise line in Travel + Leisure’s 2016 “World’s Best” Awards, which came on the heels of being rated the highest of all cruise lines in the 2015 “World’s Best” Awards.
Viking currently operates a fleet of 61 vessels, offering scenic cruising along the rivers and oceans of the Americas, Europe, Russia, Egypt, China, and Southeast Asia. By 2019 the company will operate six 930-passenger ocean cruise ships and will sail itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic, the Western and Eastern Mediterranean, Asia, Australia, North America and the Caribbean.
The cruise vessel Viking Sea that will be calling at Port St. Maarten on December 4 was built in 2016 and has a length of 745 feet and a beam of 94.5 feet; and carries 930 guests.
Viking was founded in 1997 with the purchase of four ships in Russia. In 2000, the company purchased Europe’s KD River Cruises in order to grow its fleet, to leverage 40 years of river cruising experience and to acquire rights to prime docking locations in key European cities.
The company expanded into the American market in 2000, establishing US headquarters in Los Angeles, California. Through rapid expansion, the company has grown to be The World’s Leading River Cruise Line, with double-digit growth in recent years. And with the launch of its ocean fleet in 2015, the company has also become the leader in small ship ocean cruising.
With operational headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, Viking provides destination-focused itineraries designed for experienced travelers.
In 2015, Viking introduced its first ocean ship with the christening of the 930-guest all-veranda Viking Star. One year later, Viking launched its second ocean ship, Viking Sea, which was joined in 2017 by sister ships Viking Sky and Viking Sun. In 2018, the fleet welcomes Viking Orion and an additional sister ship in 2019, making Viking the largest small ship ocean cruise line. Two more yet-to-be-named ships are scheduled to launch by 2022.
The company’s award-winning ships are engineered at a size that allows direct access into most ports, so guests have easy and efficient embarkation and disembarkation. Each ship boasts a private veranda in every stateroom, a choice of restaurants offering a variety of fine dining options, the most al fresco dining at sea, an infinity pool, a Nordic-inspired spa, panoramic Explorers’ Lounge and thoughtfully curated book collections throughout the ship, and more—all designed in understated elegance.