Viking Ocean Cruises, a sister company of Woodland Hills based Viking River Cruises, recently announced an agreement with Fincantieri, to build two new luxury ocean cruise ships.

Fincantieri is a leading cruise ship builder based in Italty.

The memorandum of agreement between the two companies also calls for the option of a third vessel, Viking said.

The new ocean ships will be small by today’s standards and will host 998 passengers in 499 cabins. The first ship is scheduled for delivery in late 2014, the second one in late 2015.

The parties have reached an agreement on the financial and technical aspects of the deal and expect to sign the contract shortly, once the final documents and conditions are finalized. Terms were not disclosed.

“We started Viking River Cruises to offer great destination experiences, and we are excited to bring this same destination focus back to ocean cruising,” Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen said in a prepared statement.

Judy Temes