On Friday morning, December 28, Viking Orion made her first visit to Tauranga (Rotorua, New Zealand). The 229-metre long newbuild (inaugurated in 2018) arrived from Napier at about 8:40 am carrying a total of 426 crew and 930 passengers.
Throughout 2018, the ship’s resident astronomer, Howard Parkin, has given lectures and pointed out constellations in Explorers’ Dome. The planetarium-like theatre was introduced to Orion, and is due to be added to the rest of Viking’s fleet.
Viking Orion is the line’s 5th ship in 3 years, and is similar to Viking’s 4 other ships. The maiden voyage included the Mediterranean, prior to heading to Asia and then to Australia and New Zealand.
Viking Cruises intend to have 16 ocean ships by 2027, all of which will feature similar layouts to Orion.
Viking Orion spent about 9 hours in Tauranga’s port and departed at 6 pm. The vessel is due back again in 4 days on January 1, 2019.