Viking Ocrean Cruises is a newcomer to the ocean cruising sector, after cementing its reputation for luxury and destination immersion in the river cruising space, Cruise Arabia & Africa looks at what it brings to the table.
The ocean going arm of Viking is designed for discerning travellers. Viking offers guests what it rather pretentiously calls “the thinking person’s cruise” as an alternative to mainstream cruises, so don’t expect rowdy sail away parties and raucous lounge games aboard these ships.
Instead, Viking Ocean Cruises wants to bring guests closer to the cultures of the world through what it calls the ‘Viking Difference’. This includes smaller ships to get guests closer to their destination, with more time in port, more overnights and fewer days at sea.
A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences onshore and on-board. ‘The Viking Way’ brings guests itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences.
Onboard, guests find well-lit, spacious Scandinavian design, where every room is beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light.
All-veranda ships mean that guests experience every day with a new, expansive vista and much like the region from which the cruise line takes its name, the experience on-board is regulated with the same near-perfect attention to detail as Swedish politics.
Viking Ocean Cruises boats more al fresco dining at sea than any other line, with menus that feature regional cuisines and always-available American classics. In what it calls ‘Viking Inclusive Value’, the line also offers a small ship experience at a big ship value—with every cruise fare including a veranda stateroom, shore excursions in each port of call, all on-board meals, and all port charges and government taxes.
Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including: beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; premium dining reservations; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service—an included value of more than $200 per person, per day for an average cruise.
When it comes to shore excursions, Viking Ocean Cruises have put a lot of effort into setting themselves apart. For a start, the cruise fare includes an excursions in each port, but an optional excursion program has also been designed to provide guests with enriching experiences that go beyond the iconic and the expected.
Some examples of this include:
- The Hermitage Behind Closed Doors, St. Petersburg, Russia – Offered on the 15-day Viking Homelands itinerary, guests receive a Privileged Access view of the vaults of one of the world’s greatest art collections at the magnificent Hermitage Museum.
- Vistas, Vikings & The Village Woodturner, Torshavn, Faroe Islands – Available on the 15-day In the Wake of the Vikings itinerary, guests can gain insight into daily village life and the rich Viking heritage as they explore the village of Kvivik, site of a 10th-century Viking settlement.
- A Taste of Provence, Toulon, France – Guests on the 17-day Catalonia to Greece itinerary can enjoy a private cooking lesson at a magnificent 19th-century house in the scenic Provençal countryside from Michelin-star rated Master Chef of France, Monsieur Bérard.
- Nazareth & The Sea of Galilee, Haifa, Israel – Offered on the 15-day Cities of Antiquity & the Holy Land itinerary, guests can choose to visit some of the most important places in the life of Jesus on this fascinating excursion through Canaan, Nazareth, Cana, Capernaum and Tabgha.
- King Crab Safari, Honningsvåg, Norway – Available on the 15-day Into the Midnight Sun itinerary, guests can set off in a deep-sea raft into the pristine waters of Sarnesfjorden to catch their own king crab in this thrilling excursion.
- Evening Concert on the Island of Our Lady of the Rocks, Kotor, Montenegro – On the 10-day Empires of the Mediterranean itinerary, guests can embark on a boat for the island of Gospa od Škrpjela, or Our Lady of the Rocks, to enjoy an exclusive and intimate guitar recital by two eminent Montenegrin musicians, Darko Nikcevic and Srdjan Bultaovic.