Viking Ocean Cruises has announced that Captain Gulleik Svalastog will be at the helm of its first ocean ship – the 930-passenger Viking Star – which will sail its first cruise in April 2015.
Svalastog brings 45 years of sailing experience to Viking. He has held a variety of senior ship management positions and has worked as superintendent for Norwegian Cruise Line and Crystal Cruises and as a lead auditor for Det Norske Veritas. His most recent position held was captain of Color Line.
Svalastog is currently a member of the team overseeing the final stage of outfitting and interior build-out of the Star, which touched water for the first time in June 2014 at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard and will be christened in May 2015.
With three sister ships now on order, Viking said it has developed its ocean cruises by leveraging extensive feedback and input from its Viking River Cruise operations and passengers, and with experienced travelers in mind. Itineraries are designed for maximum time in port, often with late evenings or overnights, so guests can experience local nightlife or evening performances. Ports include both cosmopolitan cities and “collector ports,” and appeal to those with an interest in history, art and culture.
In addition, the company said, its Viking Inclusive Cruising concept provides value—with every cruise fare including a veranda stateroom, shore excursions in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including: beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry and 24-hour room service—a value of more than $2,400 per couple for an average cruise, according to Viking.