The vessel, which has 465 cabins and can accommodate up to 930 passengers, is the ninth in its class.
Hydrogen fuel cell technology
Viking is using the small fuel cell as a test to determine how hydrogen fuel could be used at a larger scale in future newbuilds.
The line and Fincantieri continue to collaborate on developing applications based on hydrogen fuel cell technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Their work strengthened this year, going beyond joint research and development activity.
Viking and the shipyard first designed an enlarged vessel configuration that will be applied to the Viking ships being delivered after 2024, defining spaces and arrangements for accommodating the increased size of the hydrogen tank, the fuel cell systems and other relevant features.
Next step: 6-7 MW design
The second step will be the development of a hydrogen-based generation system with a total power of approximately 6-7 MW – described by Fincantieri as the largest size ever tested on board a cruise vessel – able to ensure emission-free operations at port, as well as navigation at a reduced speed.
These systems, once finalised, could be installed on Viking vessels under construction and ‘as far as possible, retrofitted on the vessels already delivered,’ according to Fincantieri.
Fincantieri handed over Viking Polaris at Vard Søviknes in Ålesund, Norway in September, the second of two expedition vessels created for the brand. The collaboration between Fincantieri and Viking spans 18 vessels.
Viking's 15th new vessel this year
Viking Neptune is the 15th vessel to join the fleet during this, Viking's 25th anniversary year.
Mediterranean then world cruise
Viking Neptune is scheduled to enter service next week and will spend its inaugural season in the Mediterranean before undertaking the line's 2022-23 world cruise in late December. The 138-day voyage begins at Fort Lauderdale and ends in London (Greenwich).