Arrivals & Departures Cruising news: Ponant & Viking to add new ships

Photo of Gemma Nisbet

It's full steam ahead for the two cruise lines, which are set to add numerous new ships to their fleets over coming years.

Viking is continuing its push into the ocean cruising market, with news it has ordered an additional six ocean ships to be delivered between 2024 and 2027. 

The move will bring its ocean fleet to 16 ships by 2027, with a focus on what Viking chairman Torstein Hagen called "understated, elegant" ships rather than "gimmicks and waterslides".

Viking's fourth ocean ship, Viking Sun, was officially named in Shanghai recently, marking the first time one of the cruise line's ocean ships has visited China. 

The line will add two more ships in the next two years, starting with Viking Orion in June and Viking Jupiter in 2019. 

Meanwhile, luxury expedition cruise specialist Ponant, which marks its 30th anniversary this year, has placed an order for two additional ships in its Explorer series.

This means the French cruise line plans to grow to a fleet of 12 ships by 2021, with 2000 crew members and 460 departures to destinations ranging from Antarctica to the Amazon, the Kimberley, Papua New Guinea and the Arctic. 

The new order is for two ships scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2020: Le Bellot and Le Surville. 

Ponant has a total of six Explorer ships on the way, with the first due later this year. 

Each will have 92 staterooms and suites, along Blue Eye, an underwater lounge equipped with non-intrusive underwater lighting and hydrophones. 

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