The growing luxury cruise market in Australia is to be joined by award-winning Viking Ocean Cruises, which will  be sending a new ship to Asia and Australia.

Company chairman Torstein Hagen said the line would be deploying its fifth ship, the Viking Spirit to Asia and Australia for the summer season in 2018 and then move the ship to Alaska for the Northern Hemisphere summer in 2019.

In Asia and Australia, Hagen said the Viking Spirit will cruise between Bangkok and Hong Kong and between Sydney and Auckland in New Zealand. Passengers will then be able to book a 93-day repositioning cruise from Auckland to Vancouver.

“In the old days people used to call this a Circle Pacific cruise. Many of our guests like long cruises and to get away from bad weather, particularly in the Northeast, is not a bad thing,” said Mr Hagen.

The Viking Star, the first of six identical ocean ships to be build for the line is on its way to San Juan to begin the line’s first cruises in the Caribbean while its second ship, the Viking Sea will remain in Europe for Mediterranean cruises during the fall, winter and spring.

Mr Hagen said he preferred to offer Med cruises in the off-season rather than in summer.

“If you have a choice between being in Rome in July and being in Rome in January, I pick January. There are fewer tourists, less temperature, less crowds. And our guests have had enough sun in their lives,” he said.

Viking’s third ship, the Viking Sky is due in February 2017 and the Viking Sun is due for October 2017.