Viking Glory soon to cross the ocean to Turku
The handover of Viking Glory, the eagerly awaited new ship to the Baltic Sea, is approaching at the shipyard of Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry in China. “It’s great to be able to sail all the way from China to Finland”, says Stig Pernell, Passenger Service Director of Viking Glory. For him it means one of the peaks of his career.
Lotta Lindroos, Development & Launch Manager of the ship, says that Viking Glory’s second sea trial will take place in mid-October, and e.g. the vessel’s tolerance and stamina can then be tested in genuine conditions.
”Sea Trial II means important system testing. How quickly the vessel stops, when it is turned at full force, technical tests, and seafaring safety tests”, adds Stig Pernell, Passenger Service Director of Viking Glory.
Interior decoration work and technical tests are currently being performed. Those present overseeing the final touches at the shipyard in China include e.g. the ships technical department, First Mate, Chief Engineer, Electro-technical Officers, and Captains.
Mr Pernell also answers the questions in China. A trip to the shipyard involves a quarantine of a total of three weeks alone in a hotel room, which calls for good provisions and mental capacity. The building of Viking Glory will be remembered vividly by many people.
Finish line on sight
Before the vessel starts its homeward voyage, safety training will be arranged for the crew that will bring Viking Glory to Turku. The principal route for the four-week sea voyage to Europe is mostly set. Bunkering and loading of provisions along the route still need to be planned with the agents.
The voyage of the ship from China to Finland is unusual for Viking Line as a company. There may be storms and otherwise dangerous waters on the way: e.g. more watches are required.
Many Finnish and Scandinavian companies contributed to the design of Viking Glory, but were unable to access the Xiamen shipyard due to the coronavirus pandemic. When the vessel arrives in Turku, finishing touches will be given there over a period of four weeks.
Viking Glory’s key personnel, officers, have already been chosen.
”We have started recruitment of the crew for Glory. Recruitments will last until the turn of October and November”, Ms Lindroos says.
Tens of thousands of bookings at the first moments
The booking for cruises starting on 1 March 2022 was opened in Finland and Sweden in September. Tens of thousands of bookings were made right away.
”There was regular hustle and bustle, and people even contacted us telling that they had stayed up till midnight to be among the first to book a trip. We have received requests from around Europe about when the official first voyage will be made. It is a positive signal that the best cabins and suites are already sold out. People are eager to travel”, Ms Lindroos says.
Although the name of the ship is already known, Viking Glory will be christened before the first voyage. Ms Lindroos is guessing that the ship will start its maiden voyage in Turku.
Text Sini Silvan
Photos: Viking Line
New beauty arrives in the Baltic Sea
Sailing under the Finnish flag, Viking Glory’s total value comes to around 194 million euros. The ship is introducing new, climate-smart technology, such as Wärtsilä’s engines with record-low fuel consumption. And the waste heat of the engines can now be converted into electricity. The waste cold of the fuel, liquefied natural gas (LNG), cooled to -162 degrees, is utilised in the refrigeration equipment.
Lotta Lindroos tells that as a ship, Viking Glory’s hull design differs from Viking Line’s older vessels. It is more energy-efficient, flows more smoothly through water, and uses less fuel. Wave formation is smaller, which is important in the archipelago. The dynamic air-conditioning connected to the booking system means that ventilation and lights can be adjusted in the empty cabins. The Azipod propulsion system saves time and fuel, and rotates 360 degrees around its axis. It makes the ship more nimble. According to Stig Pernell, it means the best sleep at night in the Baltic Sea, as there is no vibration.
The interior decoration makes the most of the maritime environment with large panorama windows.
”I hope that our conference passengers will again take conferences on board. The panorama windows in the conference facilities offer gorgeous views to the archipelago”, Mr Pernell says.
There will also be a great SPA and a new kind of furnishing in tax-free shops where you can easily spend a little longer time.
”I can proudly say that our sun deck will be absolutely superior”, he says. On the rooftop terrace it is possible to open the windows or extend the summer season with infrared heaters.