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Jun 12, 2017 4:28 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Montauk's Viking Fleet Introduces A New Boat For Short Cruises

The Viking Classic, the newest member of Montauk's Viking Fleet. JON WINKLER
Jun 12, 2017 4:33 PM

Visitors to Montauk this summer will have a chance to tour the coast while on the water, in addition to stopping for a swim, pulling up lobster traps, or sipping cocktails as the sun sets.

The Viking Fleet, which has a flotilla of five recreational fishing vessels and ferries, launches cruises aboard a new boat, called the Viking Classic, this weekend to offer more of what the company calls its “fun cruises.”

Patrons can join the crew of the 58-foot vessel, which can hold as many as 49 passengers, any one of three times each day. Morning expeditions will focus on swimming in Fort Pond Bay near the shore of Navy Road, afternoons will offer kids and their families a chance to pull lobster traps and cruise past the Montauk Point Lighthouse for photo opportunities, and evenings will be devoted to sunset trips to Fort Pond Bay for those 21 and over.

According to Captain Sarah Broadwell of the Viking Fleet, the Classic was a fishing boat for many years before the fleet’s owners purchased it two years ago and took it to Tarpon Springs, Florida, to have almost the entire body remodeled. The original vessel was designed in the 1960s by Captain Carl Forsberg, the father of the current Viking Fleet owner Captain Paul Forsberg.

While the wheelhouse remains the same, the stern features a newly built bar and an open upper deck for passengers to look out at the water as they’re on a cruise.

“I still have the connection with people that are seeing this for the first time and it’s really new and interesting to them. If you can get people interested in this from an early age, they’re going to want to protect it,” Capt. Broadwell said. “We’ve got to invest in our oceans.”

Capt. Broadwell said there was a market for shorter trips like those aboard the Viking Classic, which last two hours.

“There are a lot of families and children who come out, and right now the shortest trip offered is four hours, for fluke fishing, and, normally with children, their attention span lasts for about two hours,” she said. “This is a shorter trip made for kids and families. So they’re free to walk around the boat and there won’t be any fishing gear or hooks. It’s optimal, with the shorter time, for people who just want to go on a boat ride or just be out on the water. There’s not really much like that out here.”

The pricing per passenger has not been established yet, though similar Viking cruises have ticket prices ranging from $49 to $60 for adults and $25 to $40 for children from 5 to 12.

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