Neptun Werft Fills Orderbook with Hybrid River Cruise Ships for Viking

river cruise ship construction
Neptun Werft booked orders for 10 more river cruise ships for Viking of the popular Longships series (Neptun Werft)

Published Dec 6, 2023 8:39 PM by The Maritime Executive


Meyer’s Neptun Werft yard in Rockstock-Warnemuende, Germany booked a new order from Viking for nine additional river cruise ships which is helping the shipyard to fill out its orderbook for the next two and a half years. Neptun has been the primary builder for Viking’s river cruises for more than a decade having already completed 65 of Viking’s Longships.

The order expands on a new design developed for Viking that incorporates a hybrid propulsion system into the river ships. Meyer introduced the system on four vessels delivered in 2020 and launched by Viking in 2022. The system includes batteries that permit the vessels to avoid peak loads and as a result lower emissions. In addition, Viking added solar panels on the top deck of the vessels. Further refinements for the newest ships also include a compact system for wastewater treatment. The vessels will also be able to use shore power while docked. Neptun highlights that the hybrid systems will permit the vessels to comply with the strictest exhaust gas regulations of the European Union.

The new order expands the total number of river cruise ships on order to ten, with five scheduled for delivery in 2025 and the remainder in 2026. Viking had placed an order in February 2023 for a single river cruise ship and has now expanded the order with nine additional hulls.

Neptun builds two classes of river cruise ships for Viking. The single vessel ordered earlier this year as well as one of the additional vessels will be a shorter class of ship specifically designed for the Seine. With a length of 125 meters (410 feet), the vessels can reach the heart of Paris. One of the Seine ships will be delivered in 2025 and the second one in 2026 and each will accommodate 168 passengers.

The second class is the longer Longship at 135 meters (443 feet) which Viking employs on the Rhine, Main, and Danube. These ships accommodate up to 190 passengers and the deliveries will be evenly split between 2025 and 2026.

Viking patented the design of the Longships with elements such as an offset center corridor, a variety of accommodations, and private balconies for some staterooms. The ships feature Scandinavian décor and elements including large windows and an indoor-outlook terrace.

These new vessels will be the first additions to Viking’s European river cruises since the introduction of eight Longships in March 2022. That included four of the shorter ships for the Seine and four others for the Rhine, Main, and Danube. Viking continues to build ships for its ocean cruises as well as river ships for cruises in Egypt and on the Mekong River in Southeast Asia.

For Neptun Werft, the new order provides what Meyer describes as a “well-filled” orderbook. The yard is also building two naval fuel supply vessels and parts for the new German research vessel Meteor IV. The yard recently also announced the launch of a new business targeting offshore converter platforms and emerging opportunities in offshore wind.