Viking River Cruises welcomes Viking Gymir and Viking Egdir, two hybrid-powered newbuilds to fleet
NEPTUN WERFT today (March 25th) delivered two river cruise ships to the shipping company Viking River Cruises (Basel). The ships, which will in future be known as Viking Gymir and Viking Egdir are the last two river cruise ships in the current order book.
For the time being, this marks the end of the long-standing and successful cooperation between NEPTUN WERFT and Viking River Cruises, which started in 2010 with the order for a single river cruise ship. With 65 ships, the Longships form the longest series of sister river cruise ships in the world and are thus a testament to the close partnership between NEPTUN WERFT and Viking River Cruises.
“More than a decade ago we launched this series of ships, which has been extremely successful and very popular with passengers. To conclude the series, we have once again built two great ships, Viking Gymir and Viking Egdir,” says Lars-Gunar Klasen, Operations Manager at NEPTUN WERFT.
The two ships are equipped with a hybrid propulsion system, i.e. a combination of diesel engines and batteries. In the past, a total of five engines for power generation were installed on the ships of the Viking series. These included an emergency and auxiliary diesel. These two engines have been replaced by batteries and will ensure emergency operation in the future. In addition, they can cover the energy required during peak loads. The engines thus run in the optimal range, consume less fuel and produce fewer exhaust gases.
The Corona pandemic and the current standstill of the river cruise fleet in Europe are currently causing significantly less demand for new ships. NEPTUN WERFT was one of the global market leaders in this segment for many years. In addition to river cruise ships, the engine room modules for the cruise ships of MEYER WERFT and MEYER TURKU are also built in Warnemünde.
“This means we will be missing a lot of work in the coming years. We therefore have to adapt to the new situation and adjust the shipyard as quickly as possible,” says Klasen. Negotiations are currently underway between the shipyard management, the works council and IG Metall to make NEPTUN WERFT strong for the future and to adjust the size of the workforce to the new market conditions. “We hope that we can continue the very successful partnership with Viking River Cruises when the market recovers. To this end, NEPTUN WERFT is already working intensively on new innovative concepts for low-emission and environmentally friendly river cruise ships of the future. This will enable the shipyard to deliver a new ship as quickly as possible when new orders come in,” says Thomas Weigend, Managing Director of NEPTUN WERFT.