Viking Ocean Cruises have entered into an agreement to build two expedition vessels from fellow Norwegian* company VARD. This will be in addition to the Italian built blue water ships of which they have 12 on order. The agreement calls for two ships with the option for an additional pair. The contact will be worth NOK4.5bn ($570m). The hulls will be built in Romania and then finished out in Norway. This is similar to the new Ponant newbuilds.

The two ships will be LNG powered which is a bit difficult for expedition ships as they rarely operate on fixed routes. As it stands now, LNG bunkering is difficult to impossible source in pretty much all ports.

*While VARD is still pretty much a Norwegian company, they are owned now by Fincantieri.