KfW IPEX-Bank has announced it is financing the construction of 10 river cruise vessels of the type Viking Longship Class for the Swiss shipping company Viking River Cruises (VRC) as Mandated Lead Arranger and Facility Agent together with UBS.

The financing with a term of 8 1/2 years adds up to some EUR 236 million, with 75% provided by KfW IPEX-Bank and 25 % by UBS. It is covered by an export credit guarantee of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Half of the vessels will be built at the Neptun Werft shipyard in Rostock/Warnemünde and the other half at the Meyer Werft shipyard, its sister company based in Papenburg. Neptun Werft, which is specialized in river cruise ships, hat already delivered 13 identical ships to VRC.

This follow-up order ensures that the shipyard can operate at full capacity for an additional year. In Papenburg the order will also help Meyer Werft to fill its available capacities.

By providing the financing, KfW IPEX-Bank said it is furthering its close, long-standing cooperation with VRC and the Meyer Group.

Two of the vessels will be delivered in January 2014, with the rest scheduled for delivery through the end of March 2014.

The ships are suitable for operation on various pan-European waterways such as the Rhine, Main, Mosel and Danube Rivers and also in Dutch waters. They will be approx. 135 m long and 11.45 m wide and have a draught of some 1.60 m. Each will accommodate 190 passengers in 95 outer cabins and be equipped with diesel-electric propulsion systems.

The vessels feature onboard herb gardens and solar cells that feed power into their electrical network.