Viking has exercised options for Fincantieri to build two ocean ships to be delivered in 2026 and 2027.
The deal is part of a six-ship option Viking announced in 2018 — the ships are the third and fourth vessels in the agreement. Unlike the first two ships, they will be equipped with hydrogen fuel cells to produce power.
A Fincantieri news release did not detail how Viking would use hydrogen power.
In July, Fincantieri announced a deal with Explora Journeys, saying ships due in 2027 and 2028 will each have a six-megawatt fuel cell, producing emissions-free power for the ships’ hotel operations. The fuel cells would enable Explora’s ships to emit zero emissions in port with the engines turned off.
Viking and Fincantieri also have signed the contract for the fifth and sixth ships in the option, but both are pending access to financing. Those ships are due in 2028.
The ships will be built similarly to Viking’s other oceangoing vessels, although upgraded with the latest technology, including the hydrogen fuel cells.
This deal brings to 18 the number of Viking ships under development with Fincantieri since 2012. The company took delivery of the Viking Mars in May.
Viking had two expedition ships built by Fincantieri’s subsidiary, Vard. The Viking Octantis was delivered late last year and has been sailing Great Lakes cruises this summer, and the Viking Polaris is due out this month.
A naming ceremony for both expedition ships will take place in Amsterdam on Sept. 30. A ceremony for the Octantis had been scheduled for April 2022 in New York, but it was postponed because of the Ukraine war.
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