The construction of Viking Line’s new passenger cruise ship has commenced at Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry (XSI) shipyard in China.

The 63,000t vessel will be designed to accommodate 2,800 passengers and around 200 crew persons.

Featuring a length of 218m, the ship will have a cargo capacity of 1,500 lane metres and include 922 cabins.

The Ice class 1 A Super ship will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and will be equipped with large panoramic windows to provide open views of the archipelago to its passengers.

Scheduled to be delivered by 2020, the ship is expected to begin its inaugural operation connecting Finland’s Turku and Åland Islands with Stockholm, Sweden, by early 2021.

The vessel will also be bigger than Viking Line’s existing LNG-powered passenger ship, Viking Grace. However, the ship is estimated to consume up to 10% less fuel.

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“Tomorrow’s passenger experiences will incorporate an emphasis on environmental factors and comfort.”

Viking Line president and CEO Jan Hanses said: “We want to provide our guests with unprecedented views of the archipelago. Our company’s roots are in the archipelago, and we wish this fact to be reflected in our activities.

“On the new ship, the views are unobstructed, and one can experience the overall presence of the sea. To protect our unique marine environment, we utilise innovative technologies.

“Tomorrow’s passenger experiences will incorporate an emphasis on environmental factors and comfort.”

Sweden-based architectural firm Koncept Stockholm has created the interior design of the new vessel.

Apart from Koncept Stockholm, Wärtsilä, ABB Marine, Kone, Deltamarin, and Almaco are involved in the shipbuilding project.