3 Top Viking News Tidbits! Vesta, New Extensions, 2026 Line-Up!

Viking is doing more than expanding its river fleet. The newest Viking ocean ship, Viking Vela, has floated out and will begin service this month. Photo by Viking.

For loyal past Viking guests or those considering a Viking river, ocean or expedition vacation, here’s the lastest and greatest. The Meandering Traveler presents three Top Viking News Tips!

  • First, Viking plans to name its next ocean vessel Viking Vesta. Joining the Viking fleet in July 2025, that 998-guest sister ship will spend an inaugural season sailing Mediterranean and Scandinavian itineraries.
  • Second, the line has opened up sales for 2026 ocean voyages. Many of Viking’s 2024 departures are already sold out and 2025 voyages are selling fast too. Strong demand from North American travelers led the line to release its voyage lineup early for 2026.
  • And third, Viking has unveiled six new pre- and post-cruise extensions for this year and in 2025. They’re open for booking now too.


“We have always done things a bit differently,” says Torstein Hagen, Viking’s chairman. “At Viking, we are contrarians. We design travel experiences for thinking people, with no children and no casinos.”

Hagen is pleased that the approach has resonated with so many. “And with the addition of the Viking Vesta to our ocean fleet, we look forward to introducing even more curious travelers to the Viking way of exploration,” he emphasizes.

(Shown in the photo atop this page is Viking Vela, expected to begin service in December 2024. Photo by Viking.)

Top Viking News: Viking Vesta!

Coming soon? The next ocean vessel to join Viking’s fleet is the new Viking Vela, set to debut in December 2024. But Viking also recently unveiled the name for its next ship beyond that — Viking Vesta.

Scheduled to debut in December 2025, the new, 53,400-gross-ton Viking Vesta will offer 499 staterooms and can host 998 guests.

Viking Vesta will join a robust ocean fleet of sister ships. They include Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Orion, Viking Jupiter, Viking Venus, Viking Mars, Viking Neptune, Viking Saturn and that soon-to-launch Viking Vela.

A Viking ocean ship's infinity pool. Photo by Viking.
(A Viking ocean ship’s infinity pool. Photo by Viking.)

Top Viking News: 2026 is Now for Sale!

To give readers a sense of some of the 2026 itineraries now open for sale, here are two sample, 10- to 11-night voyages. One will encompass many Mediterranean ports, the other will visit destinations within the West Indies.

Even lengthier voyage options are also available. That way, guests can board, settle in and start relaxing. They won’t think about getting off in just a few days — as they might on a seven-day voyage.

“Empires of the Mediterranean”

For example, Viking’s 10-day “Empires of the Mediterranean” voyage sails in 2026 between Venice (Chioggia), Italy, and Athens (Piraeus), Greece. Along the route, travelers will visit nine destinations within the Adriatic and Aegean seas.

A plus? The cruise fare includes eight tours. So, traveling on either the 930-passenger Viking Star or Viking Sea, guests can explore the ancient ruins of Olympia, Greece, and Athens’ Acropolis.

In Croatia, they can also head ashore in both Zadar and Dubrovnik. (Editor’s Hint: For medieval Old Town Dubrovnik, be sure to consider a walk atop the ramparts around town. That offers a whole new perspective of the old walled city and delivers great sea views too.)

A Viking ocean ship off the old city of Dubrovnik, Croatia. Photo by Viking.
(Top Viking news tips include the line’s early opening of its 2026 schedules. Above, a Viking ship is shown off the coast of Dubrovnik, Croatia. Photo by Viking.)

In the Greek Isles, the dramatic, volcanic beauty of Santorini also awaits. Nestled atop the cliffs, its whitewashed towns offer great perches for viewing ships — including Viking’s — in the island’s water-filled caldera below.

Also, guests on this voyage will visit beautiful Corfu, Greece, and also Koper, the gateway to other enticing spots in picturesque Slovenia.

West Indies Explorer

Why not set sail roundtrip from San Juan, Puerto Rico, on an 11-day “West Indies Explorer” voyage to explore the vibrant Caribbean? The beauty of starting your voyage in San Juan is avoiding sea days typically associated with many Caribbean cruises sailing roundtrip from Florida.

That means they’ll visit more ports and spend more time ashore. Guests will cruise on the 930-passenger Viking Sea from Tortola, B.V.I., and St. Lucia to Dominica, St. Martin and St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.

It’s an appealing mix of cultures — British, French, Dutch and Caribbean — within the Lesser Antilles. (Editor’s Hint: Dominica, in particular, is a bit of a “best kept secret.” It’s a lush, green isle with much eco-adventure.)

At press time, this 2026 voyage was priced from $3,299 per person, double occupancy. It’s offered on six different departure dates between February and December. One departure was already sold out at press time.

So, don’t wait if you’re interested. Contact your personal travel planner  today to ask questions, select accommodations and book this voyage.

Top Viking News: Pre- or Post-Cruise Extensions

Viking says that, increasingly, pre- and post-cruise extensions are popular with travelers. In fact, more than 45 percent of all Viking guests choose to add such extensions to their voyage.

So, the line has new, fully guided, three-night extensions in these iconic Mediterranean region and Northern European cities: Barcelona, Istanbul, London, Rome, Stockholm and Venice.

The Egyptian Bazaar, better known as the Spice Market, is a cornucopia of bright spices. Photo by Turkish Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Turkiye.
(On a new Viking pre- and post-cruise extension, guests might visit the Egyptian Bazaar, better known as the Spice Market. Photo by Turkish Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Turkiye.)

The extensions offer Viking’s Privileged Access to museums; local cuisine for lunches and dinners; and market visits and cooking classes. Plus, guests can personalize their journey with optional excursions. Here are two samples.

  • Best of Barcelona  Fully escorted by a Viking tour director, guests will explore Barcelona, Catalunya’s capital. They’ll admire the views from atop mountaintop Montserrat, just outside the city. They’ll revel in the spectacle of Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia (Gaudi’s architectural jewel, today a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and roam the storied Gothic Quarter. Pricing for this add-on starts at $1,999 per person, double occupancy, and includes three guided tours, three night’s hotel stay, three breakfasts, one lunch and all transfers.


  • Best of Istanbul  It’s easy to immerse one’s self in the history of the Ottoman Empire with visits to the Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Viking’s guests will also explore and bargain within the expansive Grand Bazaar and the adjacent spice market. They’ll also savor Turkish culinary delights at a Michelin Star restaurant and a farm-to-table experience as well. Pricing starts at $2,499 per person, double occupancy. The package includes three hotel nights, three breakfasts, two lunches, three guided tours, all transfers and the services of a Viking tour director.

Finding a Viking Expert

“Our personal travel planners at Pavlus Travel are Viking experts,” explains Shelby Steudle, president, Pavlus Travel. “We’re one of the top travel agency sellers of Viking across the globe.

“So, our professional advisors really know the Viking products inside and out,” she adds. “Give us a call or chat with us online to see how we can assist you in selecting the optimum Viking cruise for your vacation style, personality and preferred region of travel.” Just follow the contact information below.

Important Notes from Pavlus Travel

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