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

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
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
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
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

Find a Viking Orion Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click