Cruisers got a glimpse of Viking’s first ocean ship this week, as 930-passenger Viking Star floated out of the shipyard in Venice, Italy.

The ship will be the river cruise line’s first foray into ocean cruising when she launches early next year. She is the first of three vessels under construction, with Viking Sea and Viking Sky scheduled to debut in 2016.

Viking Cruises chairman Torstein Hagen said the line is ready to enter a new era and has already received positive feedback.

Viking Star’s maiden season was sold out before she even touched water, which just demonstrates how enthusiastic our Guests are for destination-focused ocean cruises,” he said at a ‘float out’ ceremony in Italy.

Viking says it designed the ship to be smaller than most ocean cruise ship to allow direct access into most ports.

Inside, the ship has two types of rooms – veranda staterooms and explorer suites; two pools; a spa; an Explorers’ Lounge and Wintergarden – public spaces for socialising with other guests; and multiple dining venues including a World Café and Italian Grill.

Viking Star will also have a three-deck atrium for classical music concerts and a Star Theatre where lectures will be held.

Onboard cooking classes will also be available before heading to the Viking Piano Lounge to meet other passengers.

The ship’s maiden voyages will be made in Scandinavia and the Baltic as well as Western and Eastern Mediterranean.