Viking Ocean Cruisers offers voyages on smaller luxury cruise ships (with a capacity of 930 passengers) that take you to amazing destinations all over the globe, to many ports of call that larger ships can’t reach. If that’s not enough to impress, Viking Ocean Cruises features a handful of unique amenities and experiences that make the line stand out as a truly outstanding travel option.
The Viking Ocean Cruises fleet has six ships. Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sun and Viking Sky are on the waters; Viking Orion is launching later this year; and Viking Jupiter is due out in 2019. The cruise line has set a goal of 10 ocean ships for the rapidly growing fleet. Each of these ships is nearly identical, and they offer unique amenities and programs that make them stand out from the crowd among their cruising peers.
The LivNordic Spa – Once you wander into this traditional Nordic spa, complete with a snow room, cold-water plunge pool, steam rooms, saunas, rainfall shower, thalassotherapy pool and hot tub – you might not want to leave. It’s an amazingly serene space, perfect for relaxing on the comfy loungers. The best part: It’s included in your cruise fare!
The Wintergarden – This is a bright and airy lounge featuring modern Scandinavian design elements like carved wood lattice that sprouts from columns and climbs to accent the window-glass ceiling, creating the feel of a tree canopy. This is a peaceful and quiet place adjacent to the main pool area and is the gathering spot for daily afternoon tea, complete with a piano player and finger sandwiches, scones and other assorted pastries.
Free Wi-Fi — Internet access is among the top requirements for cruisers these days, and Viking offers free and unlimited Wi-Fi on its sailings. The strength of the signal varies depending on where in the world you are cruising, but I have been able to make Skype calls and stream videos when sailing in the Mediterranean, for example. And did I mention: It’s free!
No Kids — OK, maybe this aspect doesn’t elevate the cruise experience for some families. However, if you are seeking a voyage with a decidedly calm and adult feel, Viking Ocean Cruises is definitely the line to consider. You must be at least 18 to sail on Viking Ocean Cruises’ ships. Actually, minors are not technically prohibited, but the requirement is almost universally accepted as the ships do not have any facilities for kids or staterooms to accommodate more than two passengers.
Cheap Drinks Package — In one of the most cruiser-friendly deals offered on the high seas, Viking Ocean Cruises drinks packages ding passengers for just $19.95 a day (compared with the typical price of $50 or more for the same plans on other major cruise lines). The package includes sodas, wines, beers and cocktails. There are no restrictions except for Champagne. Also, passengers get complimentary beer and wine for lunch and dinner, regardless of whether they purchased a drinks package.
Infinity Pool — Located at the aft of the ship, Viking Ocean Cruises’ signature infinity pool is a pleasant place for a plunge as well as the most memorable photo ops of your trip. The glass wall at the back of the ship makes it look as if you are going to swim off into the horizon. This pool area also has a large hot tub and loungers set out during the day, as well as tables to enjoy alfresco meals from the nearby World Café restaurant.
Excursions Included – Just like its river cruise voyages, Viking Ocean Cruises offers daily excursions that come included in your cruise fare. This is a nice perk, though most of the tours lean toward historic city walking tours. The ships also feature a range of optional tours for an extra fee if you want something more intimate or physically challenging.
John Roberts is a freelance writer and operator of InTheLoopTravel.com. He writes about cruising and active travel, highlighting how people can connect with the world and other cultures through rewarding travel experiences.