On Oct. 4, 2017, Viking Sun will set sail on her maiden voyage, sailing from Venice through the Adriatic and Ionian seas. In early November, Viking Sun will cross the Atlantic to sail fall itineraries. On Dec. 15, the ship will embark on Viking’s first-ever word cruise. Over the course of 141 days, Viking Sun will journey around the world, visiting 35 countries and 66 ports, before the itinerary ends in London on May 5, 2018. In 2019, Viking Sun will continue to sail the globe on a recently announced second world cruise, which spans 128-days, five continents, 21 countries and 44 ports with 10 port overnights.
Viking ocean ships a favorite of readers
Viking’s four ocean ships are nearly identical. They each have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, with 465 staterooms that can accommodate 930 guests. Classified by Cruise Critic as a small ship and by Cruiseable as a medium-size ship, the all-veranda Viking Sun is the newest addition to Viking’s award-winning ocean fleet, which also includes Viking Star, Viking Sea and Viking Sky.
In its first two years of operation, Viking has been rated the No. 1 ocean cruise line in Travel + Leisure’s 2016 and 2017 “World’s Best” Awards. Viking will welcome two more sister ships in the next two years, and by 2019 it will be the largest small ship ocean cruise line. Two additional ships are also on order for delivery in 2021 and 2022. Viking’s ocean fleet features modern Scandinavian design with elegant touches, intimate spaces and attention to detail.
- All Veranda Staterooms: Guests can choose from five stateroom categories, starting from 270 sq. ft. Veranda Staterooms, all with private verandas, sweeping views of the destination and premium amenities that include king-size beds with luxury linens, generously proportioned closets, large interactive flat-screen LCD TVs with movies-on-demand, unlimited complimentary Wi-Fi and award-winning bathrooms with large showers, premium Freyja® bath products developed exclusively for Viking and heated floors.
- Explorer Suites: The ships feature 14 Explorer Suites, which are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,163 sq. ft. that offer expansive views from wrap-around private verandas as well as the most amenities and privileges of any category on board.
- Two pool choices: In addition to the Main Pool with a retractable roof permitting any-season swimming, the ships feature a first-of-its-kind glass-backed Infinity Pool cantilevered off the stern, allowing guests to swim surrounded by their destination.
- LivNordic Spa: In keeping with Viking’s Nordic heritage, The Spa on board is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind — from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a Snow Grotto where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air. Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 named it one of the “5 best cruise ship spas.”
- Explorers’ Lounge and Mamsen’s: Share a cocktail with friends. Linger over a Norwegian breakfast and a nautical history book. The Explorers’ Lounge and Mamsen’s gourmet deli are thoughtful spaces located at the bow of the ship and designed to represent the Scandinavian spirit for complete relaxation and for marveling at sweeping views through double-height windows.
- The Wintergarden: Guests looking for serenity will find it in the Wintergarden. In this elegant space under a canopy of Scandinavian trellised wood, guests can indulge in afternoon tea service.
- Dining choices: Viking’s ships offer eight dining options, all with no additional charge or fee — from fine dining in The Restaurant, which serves three full meals and a variety of culinary options, and the World Café, which features international fare and regional specialties including a sushi and seafood cold bar —to intimate alternative dining experiences at The Chef’s Table, which offers a multi-course tasting menu with wine pairings, and Manfredi’s, which features freshly prepared pastas and Italian favorites. The Pool Grill specializes in gourmet burgers, while afternoon tea and scones are available in the Wintergarden. Mamsen’s serves Norwegian deli-style fare, and complimentary 24-hour room service allows all guests to enjoy many signature dishes in the comfort of their stateroom. Furthermore, with multiple choices for outdoor seating during meals, Viking’s ocean ships offer the most al fresco dining at sea.
- Cultural enrichment: Viking experiences from ship to shore are designed for unparalleled access and cultural enrichment. Viking resident historians deliver high-level historical and cultural education specific to the journey, offering invaluable insight into the rich history of the destination. Guest lecturers who are experts in their fields shed light on the destination’s art, architecture, music, geopolitics, natural world and more. Destination performances represent the most iconic cultural performing arts of the region — whether it be Italian opera or Portuguese fado. Resident Classical Musicians — pianists, guitarists, violinists and flautists — perform classical compositions throughout the ships. And Culinary Classes in The Kitchen Table, Viking’s onboard cooking school, focus on regional cuisine.
- Nordic inspiration: Even the smallest details take their inspiration from the exploratory spirit of the original Vikings, reflecting deeply held Nordic traditions. Light wood grains, touches of slate and teak, Swedish limestone and fragrant juniper appear throughout the public spaces and Spa. The Clinker-built design of the Viking Bar mirrors the construction style of the original Viking Longships. A Viking Heritage Center provides history and context from the Viking Age. And characters from Norse Mythology are subtly incorporated into the design, providing curious guests with inspiration to further explore Viking’s Nordic heritage.
- Sustainable features: Designed to be environmentally friendly, Viking’s ships feature energy-efficient hybrid engines, hydro-dynamically optimized streamlined hull and bow for maximum fuel efficiency and equipment that reduces exhaust pollution and meets the strictest worldwide environmental regulations.
The Viking difference
Designed for discerning travelers with interests in history, art, music and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests “the thinking person’s cruise” as an alternative to mainstream cruises. Ships are small to get guests closer to their destination, with more time in port and more overnights. On board, guests find serene Scandinavian spaces, where every room is both beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light. With the most al fresco dining opportunities at sea, featuring regional cuisines and always-available American classics, Viking’s guests can truly dine in their destination. A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences ashore and on board. And only The Viking Way of Exploration provides guests with itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences.
In addition, Viking offers the best value at sea, with each cruise fare including much more than what competitors offer — an included value of more than $200 per person per day for an average cruise. Every cruise fare includes an exterior stateroom, a complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard 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; alternative restaurant dining; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service.
From now through Saturday (Sept. 31, 2017), Viking is offering U.S. residents 2-for-1 cruise fares on select 2018 river itineraries and 2017 through 2019 ocean itineraries, plus up to free air on select sailings. For additional booking details, contact a Cruiseable travel expert at 1-877-322-3773.
— From Cruiseable news services