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Viking’s first foray into ocean cruising is hitting the sea head-on. Fresh off the christening of the first ship in the Viking Ocean Cruises fleet – the 930-passenger Viking Star – the brand has announced four exciting new itineraries offering more time in port and “enriching, cultural experiences”.

“We made a commitment to reinvent ocean cruising, and we are well on our way,” says Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking Cruises.

The proof that the company is heading in the right direction is in the fares; all prices listed below are for the Veranda stateroom, the ship’s most basic accommodation that still includes a balcony, king-size bed, flat-screen television and 24-hour room service.

Covering the Mediterranean and Holy Land, the itineraries include:

Ancient Empires & Holy Lands (15 days)

From Rome to Istanbul, you’ll journey into the heart of the Holy Lands, spending three days in Israel. Nine guided tours include visits to the ruins of empire in Rome, the riches of kings in Naples and the origin of civilisation in Greece. Priced from $6549 for a Veranda stateroom, the ship’s most basic accommodation that still includes a balcony, a king-size bed and 24-hour room service.

Bergen to the Bosphorus (15 days)

Beginning in the Bergen, the ship will cruise south to the Mediterranean, stopping in Paris and Lisbon along the way. Then it’s off to medieval Malta and ancient Athens before ending the trip in Istanbul. Priced from $5799.

Secrets of the Southern Mediterranean (8 days)

En route from Rome to Barcelona, you’ll visit Valetta, the historic capital of Malta (and a UNESCO World Heritage site), be dazzled by North Africa’s most beautiful cities and end up in the cosmopolitan centre of Spain – Barcelona. Priced from $3249.

Barcelona, the Baltic & Beyond (22 days)

Traversing the waterways of Western Europe and the Baltic, this cruise takes in Barcelona, Lisbon, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, St Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm.

The Viking Star offers a wealth of high-class experiences onboard, including a Scandinavian-inspired spa, an infinity pool, a sauna and even a chilly snow grotto.