Norwegian Gulleik Svalastog has been appointed as the captain of Viking Ocean Cruises’ first ocean ship, the 930-passenger Viking Star.
Svalastog, who has more than 45 years of experience in the maritime industry, will command and oversee the operation, crew and safety of Viking Star during her maiden season in Scandinavia and the Baltic, as well as the Western and Eastern Mediterranean. Most recently Svalastog served as a captain in the Color Line fleet, and has held a variety of senior ship management positions in the past. This includes the role of superintendent for Norwegian Cruise Line and Crystal Cruises and lead auditor for Det Norske Veritas.
“We could not ask for a better captain for our first ocean ship,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. “Captain Svalastog brings an impeccable record that will undoubtedly guide Viking Star and her guests though a successful maiden season.”
Svalastog is currently a member of the team overseeing the final stage of outfitting and interior build-out for Viking Star, which was floated out from Fincantieri’s Marghera yard in June 2014 and will be delivered in March 2015.
The ship, which will be christened on 17 May 2015 by Bergen mayor Trude Drevland, is the first of three sister ships currently on order for the line. Construction work has already begun on her sister ships Viking Sky and Viking Sea, which are both scheduled for delivery in spring 2016.
Engineered to a small scale, the all-veranda ships will be able to directly access most ports, providing an easy and efficient embarkation and debarkation process. They all feature energy-efficient hybrid engines, hydro-dynamically optimised streamlined hulls and bows for maximum fuel efficiency. In addition, onboard solar panels and equipment that minimises exhaust pollution will enable the vessels to meet strict environmental regulations.
Featuring modern Scandinavian designs, the new ocean ships offer five stateroom categories – all with private verandas, king-size beds, large showers and LCD TVs – as well as 14 Explorer Suites, which have wrap-around private verandas. They also have a pool with a retractable dome roof; a glass-backed infinity pool, cantilevered off the ship’s stern; two-deck Explorers’ Lounge at the bow; the Wintergarden; and a spa with a sauna and a traditional ‘snow grotto’ where snowflakes descend from the ceiling through chilled air.
Each vessel offers multiple dining venues including The Restaurant and the World Café, which serve a variety of global cuisines and regional specialties, as well as The Chef’s Table, Italian Grill and The Kitchen Table. Passengers can enjoy a range of entertainment in the three-deck atrium, enrichment lectures in the Theater, an onboard cookery school and the Viking Piano Lounge.
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