Viking Cruises is creating a training programme to educate the trade on its new ocean sailings.

The line, which has previously focused solely on river cruising, will launch its first ocean ship, Viking Star (pictured), in April, with another two set to follow next year.

Neil Barclay, head of sales, said a new training course would help agents understand Viking’s proposition, which he said was “extremely different” from anything else in the market.

“We have our river training and we are looking to develop an interactive training programme for the ocean side of the business,” he said.

“Our ocean proposition is extremely different from what other cruise lines offer. We have different inclusions and we want to get across what kind of experience a customer will have with us.

We want to offer agents a training programme that is a little different and more interactive – not just a run-of-the-mill course.”

Barclay said it was unlikely the course would be ready before April 1 because he wanted to make sure everything was right.

He added that 930-berth Viking Star’s sailings this year were sold out with the exception of a couple of cruises in December.

To help the trade learn more about its ocean vessels, the company will host day trips to visit Viking Star while it is in port in Barcelona, Bergen and Stockholm.

Barclay, who claimed 50% of the company’s bookings were through agents, said similar events had worked well for river cruises, with day events suiting agents who don’t want to be away from their workplace for too long.