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Viking Star Review

Editor Rating:  5.0
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Viking Star Ratings

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Why Choose Viking Star?
  • Pro: One of cruising's most beautiful small ships
  • Con: No casino and no amenities for families with young kids
  • Bottom Line: Terrific value for money on port-intensive cruises

Viking Star Overview

By Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief; updated by the Cruise Critic staff

How many cruise companies can build an entirely new line and style of ship, simply because loyal customers ask for it? That's the advantage Viking Ocean Cruises -- the sister line to the already established Viking River Cruises -- enjoyed when it developed Viking Star, its first oceangoing vessel, in 2015.

The result is a 930-passenger ship that carries some of the spirit of river cruising onto the high seas. As is the case with the line's river cruises, Viking Star is destination focused with port-intensive itineraries. Calls are longer than average, with frequent overnights. Cruisers receive a choice of included tours in every port; for-fee options are also available. Port talks are in-depth, focusing on sights and history as opposed to shopping opportunities.

Other inclusions lifted from river ships include complimentary wine and beer at lunch and dinner, transfers, and most specialty restaurants. Wi-Fi is free and unlimited, and it worked well in cabins and public areas. Perhaps the most stunning inclusion is the Nordic spa, which boasts a thalassotherapy pool, a steam room, a hot tub, a sauna, heated ceramic lounge chairs and a cold plunge pool, as well as the first "snow grotto" at sea.

This Nordic bent is felt throughout the ship. Viking owner (and native Norwegian) Torstein Hagen has put his own stamp on the line's ocean ships, with modern Scandinavian decor, luxe fabrics and leather furniture, a small historical display on Viking history and family recipes at Mamsen's, a delightful Norwegian-themed casual cafe. The attention to detail and artwork feel personal, even idiosyncratic, making the ship feel more like an intimate boutique hotel than a cruise ship.

Viking Star might not please all travelers, though. Because of the destination-intense itineraries, with few days at sea, the ship lacks some amenities to which cruisers might be accustomed. The ship has no casino and only a handful of organized activities scheduled throughout the day. Entertainment at night is inconsistent, ranging from lackluster to engaging.

Viking Oceans is unabashedly not oriented to families with young children. The minimum age to sail is 16, and no activities onboard are arranged for children.

Viking Star will be joined by the fleet's next new ship, the nearly identical Viking Sea, in spring 2016.

Viking Star Fellow Passengers

Viking Star is designed to appeal to well-traveled, curious and value-oriented travelers in the 50-plus age group (though it will also appeal to those younger). The Viking Ocean Cruises experience is not meant for families, fans of casino gambling (no casino onboard) or those seeking constant onboard entertainment.

Viking Star Dress Code

Resort casual is the prevailing dress code, with a slightly more relaxed feel during the day. The line's literature says that shorts, jeans and comfortable shoes are acceptable for daytime, but swimsuits and workout clothes should be restricted to the pool, gym and spa areas. There are no formal nights on Viking Star, but passengers do tend to dress up a bit in the evenings -- everything from slacks and blouses to dresses for women and khakis with button-downs to suits for men. Daytime dress is allowed at any time in the World Cafe buffet area.

Viking Star Gratuity

Onboard currency is the U.S. dollar. The recommended gratuity is $14 per person, per day, and it's automatically added to onboard bills. Passengers can make adjustments by visiting the customer service desk. Alcoholic beverage purchases levy an automatic 15 percent tip. Tips are not automatically added to spa services.

Next:  Viking Star Cabins

By Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief; updated by the Cruise Critic staff

1,053 Viking Star Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

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Member Since 2015
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Viking Star is absolutely lovely, all blond wood and Scandinavian decor. The public rooms are varied and many. Be it the Winter Gardens or any of the bars, the service was good and friendly. Our stateroom was well appointed but quite ... Read more
Member Since 2014
2 reviews
8 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Seeing Viking Cruise ads on tv constantly caused me to check them out. The majority of them looked wonderful so - how does one decide which one! Mentioned a potential cruise to a friend hoping she'd be game to try one out - what sold her ... Read more
James K
Member Since 2017
3 reviews
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
This is our first time on a Viking ocean cruise after an excellent experience on the Rhine river cruise. We were very impressed with the Viking Star (see cabin review below). The ship is very spacious for the number of passengers and ... Read more
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2,015 Professional Viking Star Photos

We spent almost a full week on board the Viking Star with multiple photographers and took 2,015 pictures of the ship.  When you visit our new photo galleries you can be assured that what you see is what you get!

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