Italy-based shipbuilder Fincantieri will build a further four ships for Viking, a Swiss cruise line, in a deal valued at around €1.7bn.

As part of an agreement signed in March 2018 for six vessels, Fincantieri and Viking have now actioned the contracts for the construction of the third and fourth ships.

The companies also announced the signing of a contract for the fifth and sixth vessels to be built subject to access to finances.

Fincantieri plans to deliver the third and fourth ships in 2026 and 2027, respectively, with the other two units planned for delivery in 2028.

Fincantieri and Viking have developed the project for the six vessels in partnership, with features of previous ships, upgrades and the latest technologies being integrated.

Featuring modern safety systems, the new Viking ships will be built according to the latest navigation regulations.

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The new ships will also be developed with the option to operate on hydrogen fuel cells.

So far, the companies have collaborated on 18 vessels, including two purpose-built expedition vessels from Fincantieri’s subsidiary Vard.

In a separate move, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS), a unit of Fincantieri Marine Group, broke ground on a new machine shop at its Sturgeon Bay location in Wisconsin, US.

Intended to be used for FBS’ repair business, the new 19,000ft² machine shop will help shipbuilders access two overhead cranes that will be able to lift 5t and 30t, respectively.

The other end of the 300ft-long building will feature offices, restrooms, a lunchroom and a tool room.

As a subsidiary of Fincantieri, Fincantieri Marine Group serves commercial and government customers in the US.