SINGAPORE (Apr 4): Vard Holdings has signed a letter of intent (LoI) to design and construct two environmentally-friendly cruise vessels for Viking, a Swiss cruise line which currently operates a fleet of more than 60 vessels, for a potential contract value of NOK 4.5 billion ($750 million).

Both parties mutually intend to enter into a final contract by mid-2018.

The two vessels are to be developed by Vard Design in Norway while the hulls will be built by Vard in Romania.

Their deliveries are scheduled for the second quarters of 2021 and 2022, respectively.

In a Wednesday filing, the Norwegian shipbuilder says it will be developing the vessels in close co-operation with its client as part of Viking’s planned series of cruise vessels, which will be designed to be “among the most environmentally-friendly ships”.

High industry demand for the most environmentally-friendly and safe operations will be a key driver in the concept development process, adds Vard.

“[Viking] is well known for its expansion in River Cruises and Ocean Cruises, and they are now looking to Norway for the design and construction of its new cruise fleet. We are honoured to be chosen as their partner in this exciting project, and look forward to continuing the excellent cooperation with the Viking team,” says Roy Reite, CEO and Executive Director of Vard.

Shares in Vard closed flat at 25 cents on Wednesday.