Viking Cruises will launch two more ocean cruising vessels, bringing its seafaring fleet up to three ships, the company announced Friday.
The Woodland Hills company said its Viking Sky and Viking Sea will debut in 2016 and sail in Scandinavia and the Baltic, the Mediterranean and the British Isles.
Viking River Cruises, which offer river cruises in Europe, Asia and elsewhere, said its inaugural ship, the 930-passenger Viking Star, is under construction and will set sail next year.
Viking’s Chief Executive Torstein Hagen said the new ocean cruise ships provide an “alternative to the mega-liners dominating the world’s ports” that hold thousands of passengers.
“It is our view that in the race to build enormous ships, some cruise lines have lost sight of the destinations to which they sail,” he said in a statement. “Based on the incredible response we have received, it is clear that our guests want a new experience to truly explore their destinations.”
According to the company, the Viking Star’s sales are reaching about 70 percent of capacity, and sales for 2016 are already underway.
Last year, after first announcing its foray into ocean cruising, the company said it might ultimately launch a fleet of up to six ships.
Cruise consultant Rod McLeod of McLeod Applebaum & Partners Inc. in Longwood, Fla. told the Business Journal last year the 47,000-ton ocean cruise vessels could cost upwards of $350 to $400 million each.
The company has a fleet of 64 river cruise ships that are substantially smaller.