23 Auckland to Australia & New Zealand Viking Ocean Viking Orion Cruise Reviews

Viking is noted for being an above average cruise line. Unfortunately this particular cruise started out substandard for Viking. I made comments early on in our cruise and was really pleased with the quick feedback and attention to my ... Read More
Viking is noted for being an above average cruise line. Unfortunately this particular cruise started out substandard for Viking. I made comments early on in our cruise and was really pleased with the quick feedback and attention to my comments made by Viking staff. The staff on the ship were all exceptionally friendly and attentive. The food was very good-especially in Manfredi's-my favorite. Did not care for the Chef's table but that is more related to what was on the menu for the evenings I attended. The educational talks were excellent and it was great to be able to watch them on my own schedule, in my own cabin, on my own TV. The cabin was beautiful and comfortable with the best shower I have ever experienced (so much pressure). The amount of storage in the cabin was excellent--we did not even fill up all the drawers. The nightly entertainment was very good. The cruise director, Brian Rodriguiz was amazing--what a talent. For me I would have liked more options for shore excursions. I would have liked more hiking options-or other active excursions. I was disappointed in some of the included tours and found it unfair that on certain days I had to choose between included tours and optional tours rather than being able to do them both. This was due to scheduling overlap. This did not occur on the Viking River cruises we have taken. I was not happy with the arrival at the airport or the departure. This was disorganized. The post trip in Port Douglas was nice. The hotel was excellent. The ship is beautiful. I loved the itinerary and highly recommend it be added to everyone's bucket list. I do recommend Viking and the Orion is a beautiful ship. Love that no children are on Viking cruises. Love that everything is included on Viking cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Auckland to Sydney. The only disappointment was the final day in Sydney being too short, and apparent confusion amongst Viking staff about water shuttles from wharf to attractions. Arrived Sydney at 1PM, and cruise ended next morning ... Read More
Auckland to Sydney. The only disappointment was the final day in Sydney being too short, and apparent confusion amongst Viking staff about water shuttles from wharf to attractions. Arrived Sydney at 1PM, and cruise ended next morning .. only half a day for this great city. Directions we received from Viking shore team sent us as pedestrians thru an active working dock area to a non-existent shuttle. Wound up taking taxis at $60 to access Australian Maritime Museum, one wharf away from the ship. Otherwise, everything aboard ship, and all the organized shore excursions and enrichment sessions exceeded expectations. Food in all dining venues was excellent. Even had a special cake for 50th anniversary in Chefs Table. The Viking label Aquavit ( aged aboard a Viking ship on a round the world cruise) only available on Viking ships, was excellent ... much better than any other Aquavit aboard. Be sure to ask specifically for it, as they tuck away the bottle in the back of the bar fridge. Participated in the Kitchen Table experience with the Orion Executive Chef on a trip to the market in Melbourne, and dinner prepared by him that evening. Excellent commentary as we shopped in the market, and an enjoyable meal. A couple participants were disappointed that they did not experience hands-on slicing and dicing food preparation, as they were led to believe from the event description, but we, personally, were not disappointed ... who could top the preparation by the Viking kitchen? Also went on the Best of Australia extension to the outback. Terrific experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Clean ship, great staff, great tours (included and extra) never disappointed with anything! Food was outstanding, entertainment top notch! Well organized activities. Although a non stop 15+ hour flight I would do it again. Viking phone ... Read More
Clean ship, great staff, great tours (included and extra) never disappointed with anything! Food was outstanding, entertainment top notch! Well organized activities. Although a non stop 15+ hour flight I would do it again. Viking phone support staff very helpful leading up to the trip. JUST WOW!! Viking Orion was fun we always felt welcome and were treated with utmost respect, from the Captain to the people who cleaned our rooms. They are very happy people who love their jobs and they show it with warm smiles and conversations. The Cruise Director, Brian R. was multi talented and it was a joy to hear him and his wonderful team of entertainers sing. Back to cleanliness, ever minute I was on the ship everywhere we went the staff was cleaning and I must say I felt very safe onboard. All ports were great and we did the included and also an additional tour each port. This cruise was so good we booked another Viking cruise next year!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Visiting New Zealand was on my bucket list. The trip was a way to celebrate my retirement. I was impressed by the beauty and cleanliness of the ship. Every room had an outside balcony. The food was made from fresh ingredients and ... Read More
Visiting New Zealand was on my bucket list. The trip was a way to celebrate my retirement. I was impressed by the beauty and cleanliness of the ship. Every room had an outside balcony. The food was made from fresh ingredients and beautifully prepared! I went to the spa often and felt renewed each time. The staff were friendly, competent, and available. I enjoyed the presentations from the historians and the beautiful music from the musicians. Even though the Orion was at capacity, the ship never felt crowded. There were lots of cozy places to relax and visit. I participated in the Kitchen Table experience, meeting a chef and preparing a delicious meal. I loved both the included and extra excursions that I participated in. Handing out water to us each time we left the ship was helpful . As a nurse, I also appreciated the emphasis on washing hands when entering the restaurants. A fabulous experience!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our second Viking Cruise. Loved it the first time we cruised with Viking Sea; all went according to what we paid for and what we got. Our Penthouse Junior Suite (PJS 8007) was what we asked for and that was exactly what we got. ... Read More
This was our second Viking Cruise. Loved it the first time we cruised with Viking Sea; all went according to what we paid for and what we got. Our Penthouse Junior Suite (PJS 8007) was what we asked for and that was exactly what we got. Based upon this positive experience, we booked a second cruise to New Zealand and Australia. We elected to add a pre-cruise extension in Auckland and love the vitality of the city. The hotel assignment offered comfortable rooms conveniently located to the city's highlights. The cruise lasted about 3 weeks and made all stops as per the itinerary. The ship handled very rough seas fairly well, and the ship's common areas were as advertised on the website. There were many "at sea" days. Meals in the dining venues allowed for decent variety. The restaurants are the same ones on all the ocean ships and, at Manfredi's, we saw the same things on the menu as we'd seen on the Viking Sun. Breakfast in the World Cafe offered a good variety. We saw one or two shows while on board. The Aboriginal show the last night was quite good. Some of the lecturers were outstanding and it was nice to be able to watch them in our room when we were not able to attend the lectures. The crew were helpful and performed their jobs well. There was not enough time in ports to really enjoy the areas. We would have liked more free time. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The Viking Orion is identical to any of the other Viking Ocean ships which made the entire experience very predictable. Our room was horrible. Our Viking Agent concealed from us that we were assigned one of the two "handicapped' rooms (room 6020) and we only learned about our room assignment until the day before departure. This handicapped room is grossly misrepresented as a Penthouse Junior Suite room. Viking's website contains not so much as one photo for this inadequate room (there are only 2 handicapped cabins on the entire ship). If someone needs wheelchair access, then 6020 or 6021 are the rooms to book. Otherwise, the access to the cabin's deck posed a serious tripping hazard. Furthermore, the room configuration further reduces any usable interior space. Our room had no sitting room (like every other room on the entire ship besides room 6021) and we needed to sit on the bed to watch TV. We needed to bring in the table from the deck whereas all other rooms actually had a coffee table, etc. Viking advertises this "handicapped room" (rooms 6020 and 6021) as consisting of 405 sf. but it is not. We measured the suite and deck; our suite 6020 fell so far short of 405 sq as to make this a case for a serious misrepresentation. The General Manager of our cruise wrote to Viking's head office telling them "we have had complaints with this room in the past" (so Viking had already known about previous problems with these rooms) when we told him about our concerns. He told us Viking would only deal with us when we returned home. Which they did. Just as an aside (and a heads-up), unhappy travelers who decide to settle their claims with Viking are required, by Viking, to sign a non-disclosure agreement with Viking that prohibits us travelers from saying anything negative about Viking or talking about our experiences. Ever. Go through a travel agent. Protect yourself and your investment. Your own personal travel agent is interested in having "you" return as a future customer to whom they will sell future travel business. We also have an official BBB claim in progress against Viking (with photos). Variety is the spice of life. There is little or no variety here. And the more ships Viking adds, the greater is the impact on quality control. One of the two main elevators did not function for the entire duration of our cruise. The main oven in the restaurant did not operate properly one night and the raw fish for dinner was apologized for with free bottles of wine sent to rooms of all those who dined there. The room greatly impacted our ability to enjoy the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Viking helped make this bucket list trip both easy and enjoyable! There were plenty of opportunities for experiences in Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand involving indigenous animals, native peoples and spectacular scenery. Onboard ... Read More
Viking helped make this bucket list trip both easy and enjoyable! There were plenty of opportunities for experiences in Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand involving indigenous animals, native peoples and spectacular scenery. Onboard activities were also plentiful, both during the day and at night. These included fascinating educational talks and videos; unique shopping events; the use of a wonderful spa and pool; wine tasting and cocktail parties; various shows and musical groups and even an observatory! There were also several wonderful restaurants with varied menus and types of seating. Among our favorite excursions were the Sydney Opera House; an animal reserve outside Hobart, Tasmania; the Australian Open in Melbourne; and numerous cultural experiences with the Maori people in New Zealand. The scenery itself was also breathtaking, particularly in both the small ports and mountainous areas of New Zealand. We went with a group of friends and enjoyed an incredible trip, complete with delicious meals, well planned onboard entertainment and impeccable service. My brother and sister in law are actually taking the same trip this month! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We enjoyed New Zealand as well as Australia. It was a lovely time to travel and the scenery was fantastic! I was worried that the Ocean cruise would seem so large and unfriendly but the restaurants and the location of them made it seem ... Read More
We enjoyed New Zealand as well as Australia. It was a lovely time to travel and the scenery was fantastic! I was worried that the Ocean cruise would seem so large and unfriendly but the restaurants and the location of them made it seem like a very small and intimate ship in the end. The food was excellent with so many items being made right on the ship. The specialty restaurants especially the Italian restaurant was a favorite of ours. We also enjoyed going to the small Norwegian breakfast restaurant on the top deck. We actually felt like we were in an intimate dining room for breakfast. Like Grandma's house. The only difficult part was embarking and disembarking could take a little time and I feel they may be about to do that in a better manner in the future. The entertainment was professional and very enjoyable. We would recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Our previous experience with Viking was the Midnight Sun. We were pleased with the quality of services and ship. We arrived 3 days early in New Zealand and stayed an extra 4 days in Sydney. Time allowed by Viking would not have done ... Read More
Our previous experience with Viking was the Midnight Sun. We were pleased with the quality of services and ship. We arrived 3 days early in New Zealand and stayed an extra 4 days in Sydney. Time allowed by Viking would not have done justice to these cities. We planned our own package with the help of our TA. We were very happy with the ports visited. Shore excursions need a little work - you almost have to book paid excursions to see what you want. Tours overlap so you must choose; you might take two if timing was better. Christchurch is still recovering from the earthquake. Many of their monuments will never be rebuilt. We appreciated seeing what they have accomplished. The tram ride and botanic gardens were very good. Even included a surprise tea in the trolley. We found all guides to be very friendly. Some were more informative than others. Tour times/departures were well organized. All were walk-off - no tenders! We especially enjoyed Napier (Art Deco-car ride) and Dunedin (Taieri Rail Trip). Our first trip to this area of the world. Would definitely consider again if it weren’t so far!! Viking should do a better job at getting detailed information to passengers BEFORE the online booking date. The online experience is tedious and requires that you print your own info. We did receive a detailed list, but too close to our departure. Tours should also include meals and snacks when offered. We had several tours that included a meal (large snack) ther we weren’t expecting. A tour that left at eleven a.m. required you to purchase a meal. Better if we know ahead what will be provided Room service was excellent. Juan Carlos deck 4 - did a great job. Moved the coffee machine to a higher cabinet as we don’t use the machine in the room. Dining room staff still seems to be learning their way. The automated ordering system seems to have some slip ups. Bar and lounge service was great. We are husband and wife traveling with 2 friends. Manfredi’s-dined there twice. Found the food to be good quality both times. Second service was a little sloppy. One in our party received his pasta as a separate course-the rest had theirs included with the main course. I think this is a problem with the way the menu appears on the ordering app. Chef’s Table-also dined there twice. Xiang and Asian Panorama. Both meals were good; wine pairings well-suited. Portions were not huge, but gave a good idea of flavors. Was a full meal. The Restaurant-we found a good selection of food. Meats were excellent. What is missing is any local seafood. Now that Viking is around the world, the need to offer seafood beyond the waters of Norway. Ship needs to fix the dinner in the second to the last night. Two shows plus the Captain’s Farwell meant that almost no one could eat in The Restaurant after the first show. World Cafe - we found a good variety of selections for each meal. Varied offerings for many cultures; you could always find something to eat. Nice to add in special grill offerings every few days - chicken schnitzel, lobster, etc. Back by the pool area. Entertainment /Activities - good variety in entertainment for us. Varied from night to night. Lectures available if you wanted and a good selection in your cabin if you missed a port talk. Sea day activities sufficient for us. There were 8-9 activities scheduled - we did expect Viking to be more in the quiet side. Embarkation/disembarkation-very smooth for us. Arrived 15 min. prior to scheduled time and were let right on. Less than 10 people waiting. Short wait in the ship-sipping champagne-and our room was ready. Luggage all delivered within 30 min. Same for leaving the ship. We were independent travelers. Had breakfast and left the ship by 8:30a.m. Taxis readily available and we were at our hotel in 20 minutes. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My travel partner and I had New Zealand and Australia on our must-do list. Previous Viking experiences in China and Germany led us to choose this cruise when it first became available. The food was extremely disappointing and NOT up to ... Read More
My travel partner and I had New Zealand and Australia on our must-do list. Previous Viking experiences in China and Germany led us to choose this cruise when it first became available. The food was extremely disappointing and NOT up to Viking standards. The breakfast buffet was the exact same many every day and lacked creative specialty dishes. Same for lunch. There were many days when we opted for pizza and ice cream because of the heaviness of the lunch choices. Restaurants were OK but often not prepared well and there seemed to be a serious shortage of waiting staff as there were long waits between courses, making us miss out on evening entertainment. The public areas were fabulous. There was so much available space that we felt we could have a private area of the ship to lounge. This was especially nice during the 4 days at sea. This itinerary had too many days at sea for my liking. One or two is OK, but we ran out of things to do after that. Booking the shore excursions was based on priority of how much you paid for your cabin. Sadly that left all the interesting excursions completely unavailable to us and there was no attempt to book additional groups for sold-out excursions. That was the most frustrating, since we came all the way to New Zealand and could not get to the things we really wanted to see and do. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We have been on a Viking River cruise and really liked it. Have always had Australia/New Zealand on our list, so decided to try their ocean cruise. It was a great trip. It did not have the high budget shows, or casino or big parties, ... Read More
We have been on a Viking River cruise and really liked it. Have always had Australia/New Zealand on our list, so decided to try their ocean cruise. It was a great trip. It did not have the high budget shows, or casino or big parties, but had the level of entertainment and activities suited to what we like. They had a wonderful pianist, creative guitarist, violin/cello duo and fun singing group, all who entertained every day somewhere on the ship. We took all the included tours, which are mostly city tours, which are all considered easy, and fit our walking ability. Mostly ate on the 7th floor buffet so we could look out at the cities. Got really lucky and started in Auckland on their anniversary day which was celebrated on the pier next to the ship. Lots of music and fireworks. Learned a lot about New Zealand on the trip, which was our main objective. Watched the Super Bowl in the middle of the Tasman Sea, which was technologically cool. The one suggestion we would make to Viking would be to have scheduled seating times in the Restaurant, and assigned seating with other couples. We have done that on a number of cruises and found it a great way to get to know other people. The best part of our trip was the post cruise extension, Best of Australia, where we want out to Uluru-kata tjuta National park and Alice Springs. Had a great tour guide and lots of interesting sites to see. Learned so much about Aboriginal culture and history, as well as geology. Overall a very relaxed, enjoyable trip. We liked the smaller ship and hope to take more Viking River and Ocean cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Overall I enjoyed our cruise on Viking Orion. My husband and I booked with Viking because we were tired of large ships with no private space and we didn't want to be nickled and dimed. We wanted an adult experience without casinos, ... Read More
Overall I enjoyed our cruise on Viking Orion. My husband and I booked with Viking because we were tired of large ships with no private space and we didn't want to be nickled and dimed. We wanted an adult experience without casinos, dress up nights or photos. We also chose Viking because we liked the itinerary, shore excursions were allegedly included and the ship spent longer in each port. We were also tired of fighting crowds on larger ships. Our stateroom was lovely and the service was excellent, except for some minor issues in the dining room. Two serious difficulties arose during the voyage. First, Viking eliminated a port call in New Zealand called Roatua. Viking did provide $500.00 in a ship board credit for both my husband and me as compensation. I used this credit to book shore excursions. There was a serious problem with booking the included shore excursions. The excursions could only be booked 65 days in advance of the cruise on line. However, the included cruises were immediately sold out. So, if you were in a lower category cabin, there was often no included excursion available. The optional excursions were far more interesting than the included ones. The included excursions often conflicted with the included ones. It was frustrating, especially since I had to book several private tours. Some of the included city tours were less than impressive. I did enjoy several of the excursions....notably the Gannet Safari, the Taleri Gorge Train Ride and the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. I also enjoyed the resident historian, the shore talks and the enrichment activities on board. I found plenty to do on sea days. I would have liked extra time in Hobart and an extra day in Melbourne. The sail into Sydney Harbour was lovely. The entertainment on board was good. The cruise director was an Australian child star (now an adult) who did an excellent job. He did a terrific performance. The four singers on board did a credible job. I wasn't expecting the large Broadway shows performed on larger ships so I wasn't disappointed. I liked the free Wi-Fi, the included wine with dinner, not having to contend with noisy children, the enrichment activities and the lovely quiet spaces on the ship. I never felt crowded and I could always find a quiet place to read and relax. I didn't like the elimination of a port, slow service in the dining room or the issue with booking shore excursions. I felt that Viking engaged in false advertising with stating that a shore excursion was included I every port. For the reasons stated above, the included excursions could not be booked. I enjoyed the cruise but I am still trying to decide whether or not it was worth the additional amount of money that we spent above what we would have spent on Princess......I think we will likely book a Viking River Cruise but I am not sure about another ocean cruise. Again, I will have to use a cost benefit analysis......overall pleasant, upscale experience with helpful, friendly staff. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
After sailing with Viking twice previously, we chose Viking to fulfill a long held ambition of visiting NZ and Australia on the same holiday. We were not disappointed, the itinerary was perfect for sampling these two countries, much loved ... Read More
After sailing with Viking twice previously, we chose Viking to fulfill a long held ambition of visiting NZ and Australia on the same holiday. We were not disappointed, the itinerary was perfect for sampling these two countries, much loved by our fellow countrymen. Viking give a range of excursion options for destinations and we frequently choose the included option and find them to be excellent in providing a good overview in the limited time available. The onboard lectures and tv accessed channels allow for extensive prior briefing of your destination to really maximise the cultural experience of your visit and Viking should be complimented on this service. Ironically, we chose to pay for a trip to the southern alps in New Zealand and unfortunately this was disappointing largely because we drove into wet and misty conditions that sadly ruined any spectacular scenery views.( not Viking’s fault, the luck of the draw!) The ship was quite new at the time of our cruise ( Jan 2019) and was immaculate. We had a Penthouse Veranda cabin and found it to be comfortable and well appointed. The cabin was generous in size and tastefully fitted with the “Skandi cool” decor and furniture in theme with all common areas of the ship. With only some 930 max passengers ( only 36 of us Brits at the time) the ship never feels crowded and there are many quiet areas to enjoy the sailing whilst at sea. My wife has given a full report on the ship’s services and staff, etc and should be read in conjunction with my comments! All good! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our third Viking ocean cruise - we chose Viking for the more intimate ship capacity, lack of casino & similar entertainment, excellent dining choices, well appointed & spacious cabins, attentive staff and excellent choice ... Read More
This was our third Viking ocean cruise - we chose Viking for the more intimate ship capacity, lack of casino & similar entertainment, excellent dining choices, well appointed & spacious cabins, attentive staff and excellent choice of included shore visits. We particularly enjoy eating in Chef’s Table,choosing to eat there at each menu change, and have not been disappointed. The premium wine pairings are well chosen and to our taste. We enjoy eating in Manfredi’s, preferring this venue to the main restaurant which, for us, is a little too large and has a less personal atmosphere. The World Cafe offers an excellent choice every evening & we look for their ‘specials’ evenings when you can sample, for instance, a range of fresh fish or an Italian theme with chef cooking fresh pasta to order. I was particularly impressed on the Orion since I have a small dietary requirement which had not been listed - a restaurant manager in the World Cafe pursued this on my behalf & by day 2 of the cruise, whilst in port,was able to supply what I required. Thank you to Ariel who exemplified what is so good about all the Viking staff. We always enjoy a pre dinner drink in the Explorer lounge, often with some live, quiet background music, and have been impressed with the ability of the staff to remember not just you but your preferred drink - and on this occasion even from a previous ship & voyage! We booked an extension to our cruise in Sydney & were satisfied with the transfer, ship to hotel, which involved a large number of people. We were given a succinct presentation at the hotel of services available & were able to leave our bags safely there while we explored this lovely city. Our room was available at the appointed time & our bags promptly followed. Breakfast provided for Viking guests in a separate dining area was very good and the staff attentive & helpful. Our airport transfer was well handled - our only disappointment that our wonderful holiday was ending. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I liked the original itinerary on Viking and that's why I chose it. After I had booked it, they eliminated Rotorua, New Zealand which was the stop I was looking forward to the most. They did give us a $500 per person credit, but I ... Read More
I liked the original itinerary on Viking and that's why I chose it. After I had booked it, they eliminated Rotorua, New Zealand which was the stop I was looking forward to the most. They did give us a $500 per person credit, but I wouldn't have booked it if I had known. The included shore excursions, with the exception of Aukland, were terrible. Poor choices of what to see, boring details, and lasted far too long. I booked $1,000 worth of extra excursions and I enjoyed them. Also, I have cruised on both Crystal and Oceania and the food on both is excellent. Some meals on Viking were good, but most were only ok. The evening entertainment was also a disappointment compared to Crystal. The room I was in was noisy during sea days and nights. We were above a life boat and I believe that contributed to the noise. It may not have been fastened down securely and it was creaking. I did book a deep tissue massage and it was fantastic. Even though I wouldn't recommend Viking, everyone working on the ship was outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We booked this cruise because of our previous experiences with Viking River and to join some friends. The process pre-cruise with booking excursions was horrible as most of the tours were listed as sold-out by the time they were opened to ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of our previous experiences with Viking River and to join some friends. The process pre-cruise with booking excursions was horrible as most of the tours were listed as sold-out by the time they were opened to us (and we were not in the last group!). The boarding process was very smooth and our cabin steward was very nice and capable. Once on board we found out that a number of the tours we had hoped for were now listed as available so we were able to get on some we were hoping for. The first night in the dining room was terrible. It took forever to get our meal and I had to send mine back twice because the meat was so under-cooked! The second and third nights were not much better but then they got into a rhythm and it seemed okay. However for the final several nights, I think they had new staff on board and the service dropped again. Most of the menus were not very exciting and somewhat repetitive. We went to most of the shows they offered. This was the first cruise for the Viking Vocalists quartet and their first shows were just okay. They improved but I think the choreography lacked pizzazz. The special entertainment that they had come on board was lacking. The Argentine tango duo danced well but they had too much narrative to their show. The guitarist played well but had no stage presence and little to interact with the audience. The Gertrude Opera was good but, again, the narrative distracted from the performance. The final guest performance, by the aboriginal dance theater, was excellent! We enjoyed the trivia times and the musical name that tune. I didn't think the guest lecturers were very good but did hear some positives from other guests. The excursions that we did were good. I heard some complaints about the Southern Alps trip and the Kangaroos and Koalas trip, neither of which we were on. The Healesville Sanctuary trip was an add-on excursion which we took and thoroughly enjoyed! Zealandia was a good one, also. The Napier tour by Classic Car was fun. Debarkation was simple and very easy. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Australia and New Zealand were places we've never been before and it was a winter cruise with warm weather. We love the restaurants especially the Chef's Table, Manfredi's and The Restaurant. Also enjoy Mamsons and the ... Read More
Australia and New Zealand were places we've never been before and it was a winter cruise with warm weather. We love the restaurants especially the Chef's Table, Manfredi's and The Restaurant. Also enjoy Mamsons and the poolside restaurant. Not a big fan of the World Cafe (buffet) except when in a hurry. Ate some Asian sushi there that didn't agree with me. Wonderful, fun entertainment and shows. Talented crew did Abba, Elvis and Broadway. Enjoyed some of the cultural lectures, the planetarium, and port talks were always informative. Enjoyed the excursions except for one - we paid $520 (2) for the Southern Alps excursion and it rained. A lot of money for 8 hours on the bus, a not very good lunch and a 20 minute stop in the rain where The Lord of the Rings was filmed. Loved our other wildlife excursions - Napier (gannets), a cruise from Dunedin to Otago Harbor (albatross, seals, etc), Bonorong in Tasmania (Kangaroos) Healsville in Melbourne (kangaroos, koalas, etc). Enjoyed learning about the Maori culture in Auckland and the Aboriginal cultural of Australia. The four day extension in Sydney was a highlight. Toured the Opera House and spent a day-long trip on a hop-off harbor excursion. Taronga Zoo is worth a visit. Marriott Hotel was convenient for walking to sights. Love viking! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I picked Viking For my ocean cruise because they did such a wonderful job on my river cruise in Europe. Unfortunately they are beginners on the ocean. The cruise was disappointing On many levels to the point of me feeling I had wasted my ... Read More
I picked Viking For my ocean cruise because they did such a wonderful job on my river cruise in Europe. Unfortunately they are beginners on the ocean. The cruise was disappointing On many levels to the point of me feeling I had wasted my money. Unlike the river cruise which was leisurely with a pampered and elegant feel, the ocean cruise was hurried And low budget. We missed several ports of call because passengers got seasick and there was too much wind? Unlike other cruises that pass out nausea medication prior to hitting open sea, Viking waited until passengers got sick and then rationed seasick pills. Some bought them in the pharmacy. There were barf bags On every floor. I saw one passenger vomit in the dining room. I didn’t see any wind. I do get seasick without medication but the water looked fine to me.There were rumors that the crew Lacked Ability to get into the harbors. The staff were all very pleasant and agreeable but lacked real comprehension of English. I was told my laundry was included in my cabin but was charged for it. A communication misunderstanding. I qualified for a free pressing but not for free washing.At dinner the waiters explanation of the meal described a casserole but it was just a piece of roasted chicken. The gentleman who gave the daily slideshow presentation had such a thick accent that we understood little of what he said. We were stuck for several days On board with Little to do Unless you play bridge or drank all day.Even our TV didn’t work. It took four calls for maintenance for them to replace the remote Which we said was the problem during the first Maintenance call. Unlike my river cruise where my gluten-free meals were arranged daily by one wonderful staff member, there was no coordination of meals On this cruise. I had to ask at every meal for gluten-free options. Sometime I got a stare. Often I got a cold roll after I had finished all of my meal. One time I was told to go stand in line at another location, ask for the bread and then come back to get the rest of my meal. I was told at times that there wasn’t a gluten-free option. I got daily letters at my cabin addressed to Mr. But I am a woman not a man. They never did fix it. Considering how many thousands of dollars I paid for the trip you would think they could at least know that much about me. My brother got food poisoning after eating mussels in the restaurant. My sister made several trips to the infirmary From riding in the wheel well Of a Jeep during A long day excursion. They missed several day excursions and Viking would not refund what they paid for them. I wrote a detailed letter to Viking when I returned home listing all of the above problems and more because there were more. All I got was a voucher toward another cruise which expired in 12 months. Absolutely insulting! After a cruise like that who would want to repeat it ? Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My wife and I go on a cruise almost every year. We have cruised with Crystal, Regent, Ocena, Princess, Cunard, Holland America over the years. Crystal has always been our preferred cruise line. We chose this cruise for three main reasons: ... Read More
My wife and I go on a cruise almost every year. We have cruised with Crystal, Regent, Ocena, Princess, Cunard, Holland America over the years. Crystal has always been our preferred cruise line. We chose this cruise for three main reasons: (1) I badly wanted to visit my mother's grave in Hobart (Tasmania) and this cruise included Hobart in its itinerary; (2) we wanted to go to Australian Open tennis tournament after the cruise; and (3) we wanted to see the main cities of New Zealand and Australia. Additional considerations for us included the newness of Viking Orion, good reviews of Viking ocean cruises, being only for adults and no requirement for formal attire. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The ship was beautiful; eveything on the ship had been tastefully designed. Our cabin was on deck 6 and classified as deluxe veranda; its size was perfectly satisfactory, the bed was very comfortable and the bathroom was fine. There was an excellent fridge in the room and the WiFi signal was acceptable. In commen areas WiFi worked very well about 80% of the time (10-15 Mbps), which is excellent considering the remote areas we were sailing at. Dining: There were two specialty dining venues in addition to the main dining room and the "world cafe" where food was served buffet style. There were also three other locations where one can have open sandwiches, hamburgers etc. Entertainment: Compared to other cruises there was minimal entertainment of relatively low quality. Since we didn't much care about the generally low quality stage performances on cruise ships this was not an issue for us. The lectures were fine. Now, why do I give this cruise only 2 stars: The captain decided not to go to Christchurch and more importantly Hobart for weather related reasons. In his announcements he repeated that "our safety was his main priority" and provided only scant reasons for his decisions, which didn't satify anybody because weather, as far as we could determine, was not particularly bad at either port. That is two ports of call out of seven. I was very disappointed and angry as I wondered when will I ever have another chance to go to Hobart. So we ended up spending two extra days at sea and one extra day in Melbourne, which meant nothing to us because we were going to be in Melbourne for Australian Open anyway. The food was prepared by non-specialist cooks and the quality was in general quite poor. Our first dinner on board was just awful and I knew right at the outset we were going to have problems with food quality. Dinner on December 31st, New Year's Eve, was nothing special. They made no effort whatsoever to celebrate the arrival of the new year in the dining room. The variety of the food items included in the menus of the main dining room and the World Cafe became absolutely monotonous and boring. Fruit selection consisted of melon, watermelon, pineapple, apples, and strawberries all of which were tasteless. There was plently of meat but very little edible seafood. They even managed to cook salmon welldone! Shellfish was also plenty but tasteless. Imagine, you are travelling in the middle of summer in places that are well known for their vegetables and fruits (e.g. kiwi fruit, mangos, peaches, grapes) and none of them made an appearance at our dinner table. Same for seafood. The fish served were all of European origin and frozen - that's probably why they always cooked the fish until it was compeletly dry. Barista coffee was bad - we were told by one of the coffee baristas that the machines, not the coffee beans, were to blame. The staff clearly needed more training and better language skills. Often they did not understand what we asked for. Poorly selected music (rock, country etc.) played loudly on deck 7 where everyone congregated most of the time. The cover over Deck 7 would often be closed when the weather was hot with no wind making the place like a sauna and open when it was windy and cool. I mentioned this to staff and got no response. The included shore excursions were good. We received an email from Viking offering us $250 credit towards a future Viking cruise for missing out on two ports of call. I also received a phone call from a Viking representative after we returned home who tried to sell me another Viking cruise by offering "additional (to $250) cruise credit as further compensation". That is not an acceptable service recovery in my book. I will not go on another Viking Cruise and my wife feels the same. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose Viking Ocean for several reasons. First we were tired of the large crowds of people on the other cruise lines we have sailed. We were tired of the photographers, casino, and poor excursions. We were happy to pay a little more for ... Read More
We chose Viking Ocean for several reasons. First we were tired of the large crowds of people on the other cruise lines we have sailed. We were tired of the photographers, casino, and poor excursions. We were happy to pay a little more for better excursions (as advertised on air) and to have wine and beer at lunch and dinner, coffee all day without being nickled and dimed to death. We thought Viking would be a great way to see New Zealand and Australia. It wasn't. First what was good about the cruise, the ship was beautiful. Its new, launched in June 2018. The stateroom Deluxe Veranda was comfortable and the bathroom was roomy, especially the shower. The food was good to excellent and the service was spot on, everyone was attentive. What was wrong? It started with booking excursions. We had to book excursions based on cabin level, so we could not book anything until 65 days prior to departure. It turns out we we were closed out of all the excursions we wanted to take. You also had to book your included excursions by choosing the time you wanted. So if you were trying to book an early one in order to get a later extra one, forget it wasn't going to happen. Once on board we found out that we were in the majority with regard to issues with booking excursions. Many people were up at 3:30 am EST in order to get the jump on booking on line. Many had gone and booked private tours with other tour groups in port. Image spending all this money and still going through this expense. The included excursions were not great, Auckland was terrible and the rest not much better. Just driving around in a bus seeing the city. The bus driver was the tour guide. Nothing like the excursions seen in the ads. Most passengers had traveled Viking before on river cruises and all were surprised at the poor quality of the ocean cruise excursions, nothing like the river cruise. We lost 2 ports due to poor weather. The sun was shining, but it was windy and the captain chose, for safety reasons, not to enter the port for Christchurch NZ. The sea was rough, so he slowed down to try to minimize the rocking and we could not make Hobart Tasmania on time. So it was cut out. They gave us an extra day in Melbourne and set up more excursions for the extra day. By 8 am the following day, all extra excursions were full. Surprise!!! Days at sea were BORING!!! No fun games, nothing. Just a bunch of passengers sitting around in all the reading nook areas reading. Pool was empty, sun deck too windy to play games, too rocky for bocce. Evening entertainment was so-so, 2 off ship performers were good but the last night in Sydney with the aborigine tribe was pathetic. It all sounded and looked the same from song to song. The planetarium show was a joke. A grade C- movie about a launch to Mars. All made up with the worst acting ever!! Overall for an ocean cruise, I could have stayed with Princess, cheaper, endured the crowds and gotten the same poor shore experience. We traveled so far and saw so little. SAD. They gave us vouchers towards our next booking to make up for the inconvenience. I called to complain on the amount and they increased it but it still does not make up for my loss. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I’ve had New Zealand and Australia on my bucket list for a long time. With such great reviews of Viking Ocean cruises and having been very pleased with Viking River, why not. It was a mix of good and bad. In the good side was the ... Read More
I’ve had New Zealand and Australia on my bucket list for a long time. With such great reviews of Viking Ocean cruises and having been very pleased with Viking River, why not. It was a mix of good and bad. In the good side was the ship, service, food, entertainment gym and spa, especially the Nordic experience of steam, ice, etc. However, you take a cruise for the above but especially to see things. We were extremely underwhelmed with the excisions. Non descript ports and tours. The combined driver/guides were also boring. We did not see the picturesque New Zealand you hear about. In addition, we missed two ports, Christchurch and Tasmania due to rough seas in the Tasmin Sea. I absolutely get safety and and won’t question it but their compensation for missing two ports was a $250 credit to a future cruise. $500 off I’m a $20K cruise excluding air; INSULTING. I question is I ever take Biking Ocean again. I also understand that this was a maiden voyage from NZ to Australia. I think they were learning along the way on our nickel. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Before we departed on our trip, excursions were cancelled by Viking. So we arranged independent tours only to have to cancel these excursions because Viking cancelled 2 ports during our cruise. Imagine being on board and having to call ... Read More
Before we departed on our trip, excursions were cancelled by Viking. So we arranged independent tours only to have to cancel these excursions because Viking cancelled 2 ports during our cruise. Imagine being on board and having to call tour companies and tell them our port was cancelled and can we get our money back within a 24 hour notice of cancellation. This was a nightmare. Christ Church and Hobart, Tasmania were cancelled during our cruise. These cancellations caused disappointments for every person on board. Viking said they would give us a credit. You won’t believe what they offered us. A $250 voucher to use on another cruise. Seriously this was a very expensive trip and we missed seeing Mt Cook and Tasmania. Also our room was wrong. The photo on the Viking website was not the room we were assigned. Viking has corrected the photo our incident. This photo has been wrong for several of their ships. And the pricing was wrong too. I can’t tell you the number of calls to Viking that it took for us to get our refund. This is not our first trip on Viking. And there have been problems on every trip. This first Viking River Cruise we were stuck at a horrible port for 2 nights in Passau, Germany. We were given a voucher to use on another trip. That’s why we took another Viking cruise and only to spend more money with Viking. We have refused the Australian- New Zealand voucher because I refuse to give Viking anymore money. And if we accepted the voucher they wanted us to sign a non-disclosure letter. We decided to not accept the voucher so that we could share our disappointing experiences with Viking Yes the ship is gorgeous, but the customer service is horrible and you can not believe that what you buy from Viking will actually happen. Viking has no problems in cancelling excursions, cancelling ports and docking in crummy ports. And they will not refund you your money. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose the Viking Orion cruise because we had wanted to see Australia. We left on December 30 out of Auckland. As mentioned above the communication prior to leaving was inaccurate and insufficient. I really don't think the people ... Read More
We chose the Viking Orion cruise because we had wanted to see Australia. We left on December 30 out of Auckland. As mentioned above the communication prior to leaving was inaccurate and insufficient. I really don't think the people organizing this cruise were prepared. We continually got the impression that they would meet somewhere and decide what to do next. The food on the cruise was good, but not great. There were not enough salads and they only knew how to cook steaks 2 ways: well done or rare! The 2 speciallity restaurants were not really special. Manfredi's had Italian food that was only slighly better than the Olive Garden. The atmosphere was not at all elegant as you would expect for a "speciality" restaurant. There were plastic placemats and the lighting and overall atmosphere was just not good. The Chef's Table was bad. It was presented as a "groumet" restaurant, but it was hardly that. It had 4 courses. We went on Mexican night and the 1 st course was a single round corn chip with a small teaspoon of chopped octopus on it! The rest of the potions were equally small and not at all good. They arrived barely warm and were very small portions. The main course was short ribs. It consisted of a 2 inch square of molded meat that was the size of a brownie. It was cold and tasted like it was made last week! This restaurant used the same plastic placemats - not the white table cloths you would expect! We had another reservation that we canceled. Then, there were the Excursions! The included excursions consisted of sitting on a bus with the drive rattling off things to look at out the window. This was poorly done and usually we could not see what he was describing before we drove past. The worst excursion was one one we paid $129 for. This was the Otaga Wildlife cruise. For this cruise we boarded a boat that was probably 50 years old! It had no comfortable seats and was enclosed with cloudy plastic zip windows. They passed out binoculars to everyone. We ride was really rough and the boat driver narrated a script and pointed out a few birds (hardly the expected wildlife) that we could observe flying by as the boat swayed back and forth and bumped along at a fairly fast clip. Most of us could not focus on anything and maintain our balance on the boat. It was awful! A few people felt sick! I don't think the person who planned this actually went on this trip. I am furious that we paid for this! This trip was really rough! We spent a total of 5 days on very rough seas! As we walked along the halls, we would sway from one side to the other holding on to the rails! It was difficult to maintain your balance. There were many people who were sick! We missed the stops at Christ church and Hobart and Tasmania because of the rough seas! I don't anyone quite understood what we missed Tasmania because the communication was poor, as usual. Anyway, missing this stop caused us to spend an additional day on the very rough seas. Because we missed Tasmania, we had an extra day in Melbourne. We were promised 2 things: added excursions and compensation when we got back home. First of all, there were added excursions, but they had only a few places, so most of the passengers were left in Melbourne on there own. There was almost no help or guidance from the crew of things to see and how to get there. People go on tours and cruises, so people can guide them in sight seeing, Viking failed to do this or us! When we got home we were offered a $250.00 voucher to use on another cruise. This is a pathetic offer for compensation for missing Tasmania which is one of the major attractions on this cruise! I have only one more thing to mention. During the "At sea days", there were very few activities planned. There were lectures and a bean bag toss, but little else. Luckily, we brought a deck of cards. Oh and I almost forgot the mention that the cruise director was part of the evening entertainment. He was not a very good singer. I think his time would have been better spent on planning and organizing the cruise activities! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Having cruised all major shipping lines over the past 30 years, I was thrilled to find Viking Orion cruising from Australia 30th December, 2018. Having heard the standard of this ship was equal to the best I had travelled on previously, ... Read More
Having cruised all major shipping lines over the past 30 years, I was thrilled to find Viking Orion cruising from Australia 30th December, 2018. Having heard the standard of this ship was equal to the best I had travelled on previously, I booked & paid top price for our accommodation onboard. By the end of the cruise, I was so disappointed with so many aspects of the cruise, I actually cancelled another booking I had for later in the next year. My biggest disappointment was that, because it was a New Years Eve cruise, a date I cruise every year, to celebrate, I couldn't believe how little was offered on the night. There was a countdown clock on the outside deck pool screen showing the time & then the wording Happy New Year displayed - & that was it. No balloons, no party hats, no whistles, no deck food etc - all the little things that go into making it a great night. The worst NYE I have ever experienced onboard a cruise ship. No flowers, fruit, chocolates on pillow in stateroom. Buffets with so little choice, it was difficult to find something worth eating. 2 ports of call were missed out due to "bad weather". I feel so sorry for people who had travelled halfway around the world to see Australia & New Zealand & ended up mainly having sea days. Why, when we couldn't get into Lyttleton (for Christchurch) didn't we go to the safe harbour of Akaroa near by - as did one of the larger Princess cruise ships on the same day. Viking, you have a great reputation with River Cruises - perhaps you should stick to them. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Viking Orion Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.7
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.4
Family N/A 4.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 5.0 4.3
Service 4.5 4.6
Value For Money 5.0 4.1

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