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733 Bergen to Baltic Sea Cruise Reviews

Our first cruise on Viking Ocean and the Viking Star did not disappoint. A beautiful ship and the staff was excellent. BRINSLEY as cruise director did a great job and was very organized. The guest lecturers were very good and We enjoyed ... Read More
Our first cruise on Viking Ocean and the Viking Star did not disappoint. A beautiful ship and the staff was excellent. BRINSLEY as cruise director did a great job and was very organized. The guest lecturers were very good and We enjoyed the fact that if we missed the real time lecture, we could view it later in our room. All the public areas were beautifully decorated and cozy. Loved tea at 4:00 although personally I would have preferred it earlier. We saw the Northern lights on at least 4 different days both in Alra and Tromso and from the ship. Didnt realize that to the naked eye you can't always see the colors. You see them on your camera but to your naked eye they may appear as a hazy white mist. They were still beautiful to see on your camera. Make sure you bring warm clothing and hand and feet warmers as it was minus 22 degrees Farenheit! And fleeced lined thermal underwear! We also brought bib snow pants and it was still cold. Definitely recommend it though. The extra excursions were so much fun, dogsledding, snowmobiling, sami huts and going to the ice hotel to see the sculptures. I think the overnight stay in the ice hotel isnt worth doing...no inside restrooms and very basic accommodations. We did private light tours and I would highly recommend the one we did in Tromso with Enjoy the Artic tour, only 8 of us and he was very helpful with cameras and settings. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Seeing the Northern Lights has long been on our wish list for travel. After having a wonderful experience with Viking on a Danube River cruise a couple of years ago, we started looking at this cruise up the coast of Norway t see the ... Read More
Seeing the Northern Lights has long been on our wish list for travel. After having a wonderful experience with Viking on a Danube River cruise a couple of years ago, we started looking at this cruise up the coast of Norway t see the Aurora Borealis. This was a wonderful cruise to a truly beautiful part of the world. Norway is a lovely country and Norwegians are most hospitable. Traveling above the Artic Circle in January was surreal, and a once in a lifetime experience. We were most fortunate to see the Aurora on several occasions on this trip - I believe that it was spotted on 5 nights overall. This was a memorable experience. The Viking Star is a very comfortable ship and the Viking crew provided wonderful service. We had a terrific time, and I would recommend this trip to anyone who is not afraid of the cold and interested in expedition travel. A word of advice - if you take this cruise in the winter, be sure to take clothing, boots and gloves that are suitable for the Artic. That will make a great difference in your ability to really enjoy the numerous onshore excursions that Viking offers. We experienced temperatures of -10 Fahrenheit on our trip, and were just fine because we had the right clothes. Also, if you want to take decent photos of the Aurora, a good SLR camera that allows you to control the exposure length and aperture, and a tripod, are essential. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
A friend had the Northern Lights on her Bucket List and I gladly accepted the offer to join her on this cruise. It all started out great until our first night at sea. The ocean wasn’t that rough, but the ship was rolling and rocking a ... Read More
A friend had the Northern Lights on her Bucket List and I gladly accepted the offer to join her on this cruise. It all started out great until our first night at sea. The ocean wasn’t that rough, but the ship was rolling and rocking a bit. This was when we discovered our cabin, #6054 had a serious noise problem. It sounded like Thor was banging his hammer on a huge metal pipe under our cabin’s floor. The vibrations from this clanging even appeared to break the floor tiles in the bathroom of our cabin. We asked our Room Steward to see if he could relay a message to maintenance to find the source of the noise. We also asked guest services about it. No one could explain why there was a noise like we were experiencing and never once did we get an apology from Viking during the remainder of the cruise. The noise only happened when the seas were a little to very rough and was loud up enough to interrupt sleep even while wearing ear plugs. On the bright side, we did see the northern lights in Alta, Tromsø and while passing by the port of Bodø (which was cancelled because of high winds). Norway is beautiful, the food on board the ship was acceptable, the entertainment and activities on board good, the cabin was beautifully appointed and excursions interesting. But the absence of any apology or explanation for the noise was unacceptable behavior by the staff and crew of the Viking Star. I most likely won’t be traveling with them on an ocean cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our first ocean cruise with Viking (we'd done a river cruise previously) and were very impressed with just about all aspects of the trip. Viking's air routing was a little strange, however - we went from Baltimore to ... Read More
This was our first ocean cruise with Viking (we'd done a river cruise previously) and were very impressed with just about all aspects of the trip. Viking's air routing was a little strange, however - we went from Baltimore to Detroit to Amsterdam to Bergen, which is not a very logical route, but I suspect was less expensive for Viking than other choices. Embarkation went very smoothly and quickly. The Viking Star itself is a very nice ship - modern, clean, well laid-out and easy to navigate. The elevators in particular were impressive - quiet and fast. Our cabin was very nice. Since this was winter in the far north, we didn't make much use of the veranda. The staff was a true highlight of the trip. They were attentive, responsive, helpful, and consistently cheerful. I cannot imagine better. Dining on board was wonderful. The specialty restaurants (the Chef's Table and Manfredi's) provided superb food. The chefs are truly world-class. The main Restaurant and the World Cafe also offered excellent and varied food choices. The shore excursions were well-run, informative, and enjoyable. Of course, finding the Northern Lights is at least partially guess-work, but they did as good a job as could be done under the circumstances. The port cities were all interesting places to wonder around in. We would like to have seen more of Bergen, but we were too exhausted on our day of arrival to take advantage. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We had done a Viking River Cruise and wanted to try the ocean cruise and see the Northern Lights. The ship was outstanding; the decor was very nice and not overdone. There were plenty of activities for all. The ports in Norway were all ... Read More
We had done a Viking River Cruise and wanted to try the ocean cruise and see the Northern Lights. The ship was outstanding; the decor was very nice and not overdone. There were plenty of activities for all. The ports in Norway were all very interesting especially Tromso, Alta, and Stavanger. In Tromso, the visit to the Planetarium was exceptional; the movies of teh Northern Lights and the description of the science behind them was exceptional. The food choices and quality in all the restaurants were excellent. The sandwiches in the Pool Grill were outstanding. All employees were cheerful, competent, and friendly. Ann at "The restaurant" was a superb hostess. Roman and Ogi were assistant waiters, but outperformed several of the more experienced waiters. They should be seriously considered for promotion. The service in all areas of the ship were outstanding; people were very helpful, courteous, and fun. Our cabin steward Madi was excellent. He was unobtrusive, but very efficient and friendly. Terrance Murtagh's lectures were the highlight of our onboard experience. He was extremely knowledgeable and informative. I got some good pictures of the Northern Lights as a result of his suggestions. We plan to do another Viking Ocean cruise. We were disappointed that we missed the port call in Bodo Norway because there was something there that we wanted to visit. We respected the Captain's emphasis on safety and appreciate him avoiding the dangerous weather in Bodo. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Only supposed to be 1 night at sea but due to weather we had 2 consecutive days and could not go outside. Ship could not visit Gdańsk. Been with Viking river cruises before And delighted with professionalism of the staff. Visited ... Read More
Only supposed to be 1 night at sea but due to weather we had 2 consecutive days and could not go outside. Ship could not visit Gdańsk. Been with Viking river cruises before And delighted with professionalism of the staff. Visited places we wanted Togo Outstanding staff and food with a variety of restaurants to choose from. Our favourite was the world cafe. No rigid seating in any restaurant and plenty of tables for two.the drinks flowed at dinner and lunch too. Beautiful floating palaces. The evening entertainment was of a high standard and varied.matthew singing during the evening in the explorer lounge was excellent too. The enhancement programme was rather high brow for our tastes, however. Excursions were well arranged with no queuing to get on and off. Included excursions were orientation tours of each city. There was a large variety of additional excursions but we considered these expensive and only did ones in St Petersburg. Viking is an outstanding company but you do need to be aware that customers are predominantly Americans. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We picked this cruise because it visited the fjords of Norway as well as St. Petersburg. The ship was outstanding. It was full with 930 passengers and yet it never was crowded. The staterooms are spacious. The food venues were first ... Read More
We picked this cruise because it visited the fjords of Norway as well as St. Petersburg. The ship was outstanding. It was full with 930 passengers and yet it never was crowded. The staterooms are spacious. The food venues were first class. There was no need to go to the specialty restaurants given the quality and service at the main restaurant. The staff throughout the ship could not have been finer. Heather, the cruise director, set the standard. She could not have been better. I do not know how Viking selects its staff but they do a suburb job in hiring and keeping them. The ports speak for themselves. It was nice having included excursions at each port. We took advantage of a number of them and also booked some private tours on our own. Entertainment was very good except for the magician. The singers and dancers were excellent. I have been on a number of different cruise lines, but Viking was clearly the best. If our voyage is typical of Viking, one cannot go wrong with sailing with them, Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose Viking, because of the ships being smaller and less passengers. It makes it easier to run into guest that you’ve made friends over the course of the trip, also no long line ups for the restaurants or for the shore excursions. ... Read More
We chose Viking, because of the ships being smaller and less passengers. It makes it easier to run into guest that you’ve made friends over the course of the trip, also no long line ups for the restaurants or for the shore excursions. They offer all types of shore excursions to meet all expectations of the passengers, from ones that need easy access to those that are there to see as much as possible. The staff are vary friendly and are constantly asking what they can do to help in making the cruise more comfortable. Our cabin staff where always asking what else we needed and kept the room spotless and when ever they passed in the hallway, they always stopped to talk. The maintenance staff are constantly cleaning and maintaining the ship inside and out, so they are obviously proud of their ship. Dining was superb, with options that will satisfy any body’s taste. I would definitely choose Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Viking came highly recommended by several friends and I now know why! From the ship to the service level, everything was first class!!! Viking is now our cruising choice!!!!!! They far exceeded our expectations and offer a far superior ... Read More
Viking came highly recommended by several friends and I now know why! From the ship to the service level, everything was first class!!! Viking is now our cruising choice!!!!!! They far exceeded our expectations and offer a far superior cruising experience than what we found with other cruise lines. The educational programs were exceptional! The food was amazing and we loved how they aligned menu items with the ports of call. The entertainment was fantastic! Typically the embarkation and disembarkation are the worst part of the trip! Viking has this down to a science and managing getting on and off the ship was a breeze! We appreciate the attention to detail each and every staff member showed. We loved our Viking experience and highly recommend it to all!!!! We are already looking our plans for next year and you can be sure a Viking trip is tops on the list! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We did the Baltic cruise and it was wonderful. We extended at the beginning of the trip in Stockholm. In the past, with extensions there were some planned city excursions; however, we were pretty much on our own here. There were Viking ... Read More
We did the Baltic cruise and it was wonderful. We extended at the beginning of the trip in Stockholm. In the past, with extensions there were some planned city excursions; however, we were pretty much on our own here. There were Viking people available to help with any questions and/or suggestions of things to do. Once aboard the ship, it was like coming home again! Everyone was so welcoming and from the housekeeping to the Captain-everyone is treated first class. The seas weren’t too rough at all and we made good time into our ports of call. The cabin ,we always get one with a balcony , was waiting clean and ready for us with our luggage in the room. Daily housekeeping staff, we always right on top of making sure everything was perfect. We especially enjoyed the food in the World Cafe and the sandwiches from the deck restaurant. Food is always good and you can find something to suit your appetite. We took advantage of seeing parts of Russia, Norway, Sweden and Poland. One of our favorite excursions was to Tallinn. We also took the day trip to Berlin. Well worth the time. We traveled by train. When we got back, it seemed the whole staff was out to greet us!! The shows produced were a great addition especially the Beatles tribute and ABBA! All of our transfers were handled with ease and made us feel very secure and confident that we would be where we needed to be when we needed to be there! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Travel agent suggested Viking. Not disappointed at all. Great time with cabin steward, Jaya, to waiters and kitchen staff, and bar staff. Anything we needed or asked was delivered or answered right away. We got to know some of the ... Read More
Travel agent suggested Viking. Not disappointed at all. Great time with cabin steward, Jaya, to waiters and kitchen staff, and bar staff. Anything we needed or asked was delivered or answered right away. We got to know some of the waiters - great sense of humour and great memories! Tour guides were very knowledgeable. Highlights for me were the Russian ballet - Swan Lake - and a kayaking tour. The Port Talks were great as arranged by Heather Clancy and Javier, then Tiago. So much information was given. The Quiet Vox headsets were an asset when they were working! I missed half of two tour talks when they quit - one on a tour with a local guide who had no way to zap it. We went to several lectures with excellent speakers - one was the history of Faberge eggs, another was about the Romanovs. Music nights were very well done - Beatle songs, Abba. Great entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Just returned 2 weeks ago from 'Viking Homelands' cruise on Jupiter. Beautiful ship, WONDERFUL STAFF, very enjoyable cruise! My first cruise with Viking and won't be my last! The activities on board were WAY better than ... Read More
Just returned 2 weeks ago from 'Viking Homelands' cruise on Jupiter. Beautiful ship, WONDERFUL STAFF, very enjoyable cruise! My first cruise with Viking and won't be my last! The activities on board were WAY better than anything I've experienced on a cruise in the past. Tour guides were overall really good and tours were educational and informative. Alborg, Denmark was hands down my favorite place. A last minute excursion swap the night before we docked allowed me to go to three wonderful Viking sites, including a Viking burial location that I had so wanted to see, but didn't realize was part of one of the available excursions. Highlight of the entire trip! Flam, Norway was such a beautiful, peaceful place. I would LOVE to go back someday for a vacation just in this tiny village! Would have liked more time in nearby Aurland, as I would have very much liked to have visited a store with the Aurland loafers to find myself a pair....maybe on that next visit to the area! :) An excursion that included the Aurland shoe factory tour would be a nice addition in my humble opinion, and there seemed to have been ample free time to allow this if well planned. It was nice to be able to see so many countries and I loved that Viking themed much of the food each day to our location. It was nice being able to try foods on the ship, which were by and far EXCELLENT, from the various countries. The experience at The Chef's Table (we went 4 times and had 4 different meals) was AWESOME! Manfredi's in contrast was a let down, but Italian has limited options IMHO, and my swordfish was raw the first time we went..only went back to give it a second chance, but wouldn't bother booking it again in the future as there is little option there my nutritionist would approve! However, there are TONS of other options in The Chef's Table and the World Cafe. The Restaurant was a refreshing option at break fast as World Cafe's breakfast is the same every day, so while I don't usually eat breakfast per se, this had more options. People's opinions prior to my cruise were varied on the offerings at the Dome theater, but I saw all three presentations and found them largely education and informative. Of course, having now seen them, I'm not sure how often they change, so not sure if my cruise booked for 2021 will have new offerings or still be the same 3 seen recently. Hopefully by then it will be something new. With the exception of the resident Viking history speaker, who I found overly monotonous in his speech style, the speakers and presentations offered where really good and enjoyable and I feel like I came away with new information about countries I'd never visited before and likely would never have except for this cruise offering. So THANK YOU Viking for that!@ :) Would like to see trivia become a nightly event as it is a short (timewise) event, but a LOT of fun! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Desire to visit the Northern Europe countries. We have visited many parts of the world but never the Northern Europe area. Being older the cruise was an excellent way to travel. Do not have to constantly pack and repack your belonging ... Read More
Desire to visit the Northern Europe countries. We have visited many parts of the world but never the Northern Europe area. Being older the cruise was an excellent way to travel. Do not have to constantly pack and repack your belonging as you move from site to site. The excursions at each of the ports gave you the opportunity to see many different sites. The local guides were very good and gave you all kinds of local information. The service on the ship was outstanding. Variation of food was very good and the multiple restaurants gave you the opportunity to choose what you wanted to eat. Only problem encountered was the airplane return trip. United Airlines had a 5 hour delay at the Amsterdam airport switch that was handled extremely poorly. It will be a long time before I ever choose to fly with United Airlines. All other services and problems were handled very well by Viking Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We wanted to start with an ocean cruise that brought us to countries we had not been too before. Norway was amazing and the stops we made along the start of this trip were truly memorable.We did do some of the "optional" tours ... Read More
We wanted to start with an ocean cruise that brought us to countries we had not been too before. Norway was amazing and the stops we made along the start of this trip were truly memorable.We did do some of the "optional" tours along the way and some of the "included" tours were also quite good! The restaurant experiences (food, seating, service, etc) were quite an experience, as everyone seemed to want two help and be a part of our experience! The Fitness Center was perfect, never too crowded and my wife's facial and both our massages were among the best ever! Our room was very comfortable and the staff (Clark and Ameline) were great as far as extra water, coffee, etc. Enjoyed the Explorers Lounge as it was close to our room and got us out and relaxing a bit! There was only one thing that I would not do again...the Malmouse Castle was boring (Baron ?) and we unfortunately had a couple from New York, who seemed to know more than the "Baron" and constantly interrupted his long-winded description of the "castle". The soup was not that great and the organic beer was less than enjoyable! Now, overall, this experience did nothing to dampen the great time we had as we enjoyed everything else on our trip and have booked the Ageatic Cruise for next year and have no qualms about going and enjoying! Thank you! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have been on a river cruise before and thoroughly enjoyed it, so we looked forward to taking other Viking cruises. The itinerary was exactly what we were looking for and we were not disappointed. Viking does such an amazing job from ... Read More
We have been on a river cruise before and thoroughly enjoyed it, so we looked forward to taking other Viking cruises. The itinerary was exactly what we were looking for and we were not disappointed. Viking does such an amazing job from start to finish we thoroughly enjoyed the size of this ship. Our luggage was delayed for 3 days and Viking made our pain bearable. The gave us toiletries, washed our clothes every night( they were finished by 7 am each day. They also were vigilant about tracking our bags. The food was outstanding. We enjoyed several nights in the speciality restaurants and found the staff in all so very nice and welcoming. The excursions were informative and the educational enrichment lectures brought to life the cultures we were about to experience. We did use the spa but not the massage options. So nice to have These options to use without a fee. We would highly recommend Viking Cruise lines Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had always wanted to see the Winter and Summer palaces in Saint Petersburg and we love Scandinavia. It was the perfect vacation. Our cabin was an upgrade and was better than most 5 star hotels. There were only 2 excursions we did not ... Read More
We had always wanted to see the Winter and Summer palaces in Saint Petersburg and we love Scandinavia. It was the perfect vacation. Our cabin was an upgrade and was better than most 5 star hotels. There were only 2 excursions we did not enjoy. At Helsinki we took the Porvoo and Malmgard Castle, quite a lot of driving and not a great deal to see. The castle was a large manor house!! At Eidfjord Norway, the Flam Railway was a great disappointment. It was vert difficult to see the views. The waterfalls were beautiful but a very long way to travel to see them. We enjoyed the Chef's table, wonderful food and service. Mamsens was delightful. Service in the main dining room was rather slow on occasions, we even gave up waiting for dessert on one occasion!! The cafeteria was beautifully furnished, plenty of room and good food. The departure from Stockholm was very enjoyable. The staff were attentive and always willing to help. Service in the Explorers Lounge was excellent, and so were the cocktails. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We choose this cruise as it was going to all the ports we have been longing to visit for years. We were able to enjoy all the Scandinavian countries, Russia, Germany, and other countries along the Baltic Sea. The embarkation and ... Read More
We choose this cruise as it was going to all the ports we have been longing to visit for years. We were able to enjoy all the Scandinavian countries, Russia, Germany, and other countries along the Baltic Sea. The embarkation and disembarkation were easier than ever. There were plenty of associates to assist us with checking in and to answer any questions we had. The ship exceeded our expectations. It was well appointed and easy to maneuver about. Our cabin was absolutely beautiful and the housekeeping staff cared for our every need. They called us by name every time we bumped into them and were very helpful, courteous and hospitable. The food was five-star dining daily, with lots of selections to accommodate every type of diet. The specialty restaurants were outstanding and the selections in the World Cafe were incredible. Service was beyond my wildest dreams, and I had high expectations in the beginning, as it is, after all, a VIKING CRUISE. There was plenty to do on the ship, such as lectures, excursion briefings, lots of games and puzzles, nightly entertainment in several areas of the ship, and good ole relaxing after a day ashore. Excursions were enjoyable and informative and the tour guides were very personable, knowledgeable, humorous, and full of historical facts about their country. Can't wait to plan our next cruise. There is a whole world out there waiting to be explored. VIking is the absolute best way to do it all. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our friends invited us to go with them. We weren’t sure exactly what to expect but our niece had gone on a Viking river cruise and absolutely loved it. We were so pleased with every aspect of the cruise. Our room was outstanding. It was ... Read More
Our friends invited us to go with them. We weren’t sure exactly what to expect but our niece had gone on a Viking river cruise and absolutely loved it. We were so pleased with every aspect of the cruise. Our room was outstanding. It was so cozy and clean and super comfortable! Everything was so organized and the staff were so professional and friendly and cheerful. There was such a variety of food and it was very, very good. It was fun to eat at the different restaurants! We loved the entertainment and thought it was just the right amount. The theatre was very nice and had comfortable seating. We enjoyed the lectures and loved all of the shore excursions we went on. It was wonderful the night in St. Petersburg when the two professional Russian opera singers came on board to entertain us! It was lovely. We also loved the gift shop. Such quality items. Although the cruise was expensive, if you divide the price by the number of days we were on the ship and the excellent service and everything that was included it actually was quite reasonable. We hope someday we will be able to go on another Viking cruise! P.S. The tour guides were all good.We especially loved the ones in Aalborg, Estonia and Finland. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Countries we never visited. Friends encouraged us to join them. So glad we did! Staff was amazing in every restaurant, cabin people Ferry and Barry the nicest people and the entertainment led by Beven was great! Our first time ever and ... Read More
Countries we never visited. Friends encouraged us to join them. So glad we did! Staff was amazing in every restaurant, cabin people Ferry and Barry the nicest people and the entertainment led by Beven was great! Our first time ever and now we want to go again! Loved sitting on our little balcony and sail in and out of all these different ports. So much to see, so much to do but also plenty of time to enjoy a high tea or go to the sauna. Food was excellent The walking tours in every city were fun and very informative. Sometimes not enough time to do some shopping and the train to Berlin was quite an adventure . Maybe time to charter a better more modern version with airco and WiFi? The Russian folk dancing was a highlight and so was the Hermitage museum. The Viking camp in Aalborg was very fun too!!! Definitely one of the better days. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The cruise happened at the right time and place. We always wanted to go on a Baltic Cruise and had heard so much about Viking Cruises so we thought we would give it a try. Needless to say we weren't disappointed in the least. ... Read More
The cruise happened at the right time and place. We always wanted to go on a Baltic Cruise and had heard so much about Viking Cruises so we thought we would give it a try. Needless to say we weren't disappointed in the least. Included shore excursions were good and enjoyable and we used them as much as possible. We signed up for the mix and mingle and to our surprise Viking cruise provided a spacious room for our meeting that included wonderful snacks, drinks and introduced us to some of the senior crew and chefs. This was a perfect touch to begin our cruise. Thank you Viking Cruise line and the staff aboard the Viking Sky. The food and restaurant provided a wide variety of choices and we didn't feel overly "stuffed" at the end of our meal. We thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment, specifically tributes to the Beatles, Frankie Valley etc. that got us singing along. Thanks for a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The Viking Homelands cruise was selceted based upon the itinerary and especially the end point of the cruise-Stockholm. This cruise was perfect perfect in all respects and everything went like clock work. Embarkation was quick and most ... Read More
The Viking Homelands cruise was selceted based upon the itinerary and especially the end point of the cruise-Stockholm. This cruise was perfect perfect in all respects and everything went like clock work. Embarkation was quick and most efficient. The ship was immaculate in all respects.- minimalist in design and very Scandinavian decor. Ample space on this vessel for a place to seek out a quite place to enjoy the cruise. Sure nice NOT to have children, casinos and bingos. As for the food-plenty of choices and the 3 speciality restaurants. Really enjoyed The Chef's Table with their speciality themed menus. As for the food served on board-we were very astounded with the selections, and quality of the food. Far beyond our expections. Staff always made sure everyone was very pleased. Granted the entertainment on board was not your broadway show productions, however, Viking has very talented musicians on staff and they provided very enjoyable programs. Shore excursions always went off without issues. Viking provides excursions that will appeal to almost everyone and we were not disappointed. All in all, this was a most famous cruise and would sail with Viking Ocean again. The only question is which cruise to select. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose to go with Viking based the recommendations from friends. We are not typically cruiseship people; however, the limited number of passengers (900) appealed to us. We were not disappointed. The Viking Sun is a floating ... Read More
We chose to go with Viking based the recommendations from friends. We are not typically cruiseship people; however, the limited number of passengers (900) appealed to us. We were not disappointed. The Viking Sun is a floating masterpiece of design and function. We booked a Penthouse Veranda Suite on Deck 6. I would book the same type of room on a lower level as the rough seas one whole day made it difficult to maneuver in the room. We had exceptional housekeepers. Both women were friendly and helpful for the entire experience. No need to twist a towel into an animal shape. The bar on the bow of the ship on the 7th Floor was wonderful. The view was always peaceful. The service was exceptional. We would also say that prices for alcoholic drinks were more than reasonable. We heard many people talking about other cruise lines and their exorbitant prices for drinks. We ate most of our meals in the buffet. The food was delicious, creative, gourmet worthy. We enjoyed having so many choices at each meal. We ate twice at Manifred's which was excellent. We dined once at the Chef's Table. We think that the space should feature a specific cuisine and not the "strange" combination of items that we experienced one evening. As for the excursions, I would concur with other Viking passengers: some of the excursions were merely large tour buses driving around congested streets. One glaring problem is that the excursions are NOT handicap accessible. There are no accommodations for getting off the ship and into a tour bus or van. In one instance, a gentleman in a wheelchair was lifted into the bus by the guide as NO Viking personnel were on hand to help him on or off the bus. The disembarkation ramps or steps were sometimes difficult for able bodied passengers. In addition, there are some very long treks from the ship to ground transportation. All of this information should be clear to people before they book the cruise. We felt that the paid excursions offered a much better experience than the included ones. With the price of a Viking cruise, we had hoped that some of the included excursions would be more interesting. We did not partake of any of the entertainment venues. We did listen to the guitar player in the upper level bar. We were bored out of our minds by the 10th day with his limited repertoire. We listened to the two-piece ensemble and were not impressed. We also did not use the spa or the "outdoor" pool. Well, no one used the outdoor pool; however, we did have 2 days of good weather and an open ceiling. We were surprised by the limited shopping on the ship, especially the Nordic store. I never saw anyone in the jewelry store except for our one day at sea. As for the library, that is a humorous label for the collection of books on the ship. Don't expect to find anything in a logical order by title, author or genre. Transportation to and from the airports was handled brilliantly on both ends. We will most likely do another Viking cruise in the near future. We truly had an elegant time in a casual atmosphere. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our first cruise experience and we definitely feel we made the best choice with Viking. We couldn’t identify one thing about our cruise (and pre and post land tours) that wasn’t top rate. Every detail was perfect from the ... Read More
This was our first cruise experience and we definitely feel we made the best choice with Viking. We couldn’t identify one thing about our cruise (and pre and post land tours) that wasn’t top rate. Every detail was perfect from the service, transfers, food, cabin and amenities. We were met at the airport by our Viking contact and taken immediately to our hotel in Oslo for a two day tour. We were then escorted on our train connection to Bergen to board the ship. After the cruise we stayed in London for a five day tour focusing on the life of Winston Churchill, which was great. Our hotel was centrally located and we were able to wash to all the sites in London- we even were able to check out the Brexit demonstrations. There were so many comfortable spaces on the ship, it felt like we were on our own personal cruise. There was never a line for any of the restaurants, the service was excellent and very friendly and personal- and the food was delicious and beautifully prepared. We enjoyed a variety of entertainment venues as well as taking advantage of the gym and spa- one of the best massages I’ve ever had. Every staff member on the ship from the top down was friendly and professional- many of the waiters knew our names from the first day. We enjoyed the included shore excursions in every port. There was plenty of time to explore on your own as well. We were so impressed that have already booked two more Viking cruises! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We just returned from our latest Viking Cruise – The Viking Homelands aboard the Viking Sea. I’m just going to hit the highlights if anyone has specific questions please contact me and I will do my best to answer…. If I know the ... Read More
We just returned from our latest Viking Cruise – The Viking Homelands aboard the Viking Sea. I’m just going to hit the highlights if anyone has specific questions please contact me and I will do my best to answer…. If I know the answer of course! If you want to read no further then here is the short of it…. This was the best overall cruise experience we have yet experienced on the cleanest, most comfortable (overall) and well run ship we have sailed upon. There! I said it! Now if you want the “long of it” please carry on :-) The Itinerary Our trip started with a two day extension in Oslo Norway before taking the Oslo to Bergen train and joining our cruise in Bergen Norway. Our ship, the Viking Sea was in Bergen overnight and was slated to leave Bergen at 6:00PM the next day. The full Itinerary looked like this; August 13th – Oslo, Norway August 14th – Oslo, Norway August 15th – Bergen, Norway August 16th – Bergen, Norway August 17th – Eidfjord, Norway August 18th – Stavanger, Norway August 19th – Alborg, Denmark August 20th – Copenhagen, Denmark August 21st – Warnemunde (Berlin), Germany August 22nd – Gdansk, Poland August 23rd – At Sea August 24th – Tallinn, Estonia August 25th – Saint Petersburg, Russia August 26th – Saint Petersburg, Russia August 27th – Helsinki, Finland August 28th – Stockholm, Sweden August 29th – Stockholm Sweden All ports were entered on time and all departures were on time. Purchase and Payment This was not our first Viking Cruise so I just called the “Cruise Consultant” we had used previously and all of the purchase and payment details were handled flawlessly. Pre-Cruise Extension – Oslo, Norway We did the Pre-Cruise Extension in Oslo Norway just to insure a little safety buffer between arrival in Norway and embarkation to the ship. Since this was booked thru Viking airport pickup and transfer to the hotel was handled by Viking with “No Muss… No Fuss”. The hotel was the Thon Opera Hotel very conveniently located across from the Oslo Opera House and next door to the Oslo Central Train Station. The hotel itself was nice enough. It was clean and tidy…. and while the hotel public areas were modern and spacious the rooms were tiny. Our tiny room had almost zero closet space and little storage space. But, it was spotlessly clean and was certainly adequate for the two days we would be there living out of our suitcases. One thing to note if you are planning a stay at the Hotel Thon Opera for more than a day (and if you are US based) is to NOT FORGET YOUR VOLTAGE ADAPTER PLUGS. Knowing that the ship would have both US and Euro style plugs I didn’t really think of bringing my goodie bag of various adapters. Well… I should have! Luckily the front desk had a spare adapter that I could borrow to charge my arsenal of devices! Once topped off I returned the adapter and all was again right in the world. The first night we were on our own so we just wandered about Oslo and the area. The next day there was a very nice included (but optional) tour of Oslo that included the Vigeland sculpture park (Hey! Look Martha, all them there statues are Neked!”) and the Viking Ship Museum as the highlights of the tour. The afternoon was on our own and we enjoyed a great walk around the Oslo Opera House area, the Central Train Station and the shopping area beyond. The next morning we walked to the train station and boarded our train bound for Bergen, Norway. The train ride was very pleasant in a First Class car. A nice scenic ride and seven hours later we were in Bergen and being bussed to the Viking Sea. Embarkation Embarkation was painless and quick. Our room was ready and we took our time to explore the ship a little before heading to dinner followed by checking out some of the entertainment options. A bit about the Viking Sea Overall, we were both impressed with the “fit and function” of the Viking Sea. It is a beautifully appointed ship decorated in a lovely understated, elegant Scandinavian style. Never cluttered and always comfortable we never felt confined or that there was “nothing to do”. Built in 2016 the ship is by no means one of the new generation of “Mega-Ships” (and that’s perfect for me!!), Weighing in at 47,800 tons (gross tonnage) and holding right at 930 passengers in 465 cabins and 500 crew it is a very comfortable size…. Not too big…. Not too small… but just right! It’s length is 745 feet and the beam is 94.5 feet and it is spread out over 14 total decks of which there are nine (Kind of anyway) full access passenger decks. The passenger cabins are on decks 3, 4, 5 and 6 for the most part with a small number of the deluxe suites on decks 7 and 8. We requested and were given a nice Bridge tour hosted by one of the Second Officers, Sigund. The bridge is spotlessly clean and organized and certainly inspires confidence! There are no inside passenger cabins and all cabins are “Veranda” cabins, or suites. The ships passenger decks are numbered one through nine and are either staterooms or public access. The infirmary is located on “A” deck forward below deck one. Otherwise there are no public area areas on the “A” deck other than exit/entrances sometimes utilized for shore excursions. The public areas, restaurants, lounges and entertainment areas were well designed, always inviting and comfortable. And were on decks 1, 2, 3 (Living Room and Atrium), 7, 8 and 9 (Sports Deck). The main public area that includes reception and guest services is called the “Living Room” (Deck 1) by Viking. It’s deceptively big and spread across three decks and houses the central “Atrium” Decks 1, 2, and 3) and grand staircase. There is a full service bar and usually entertainment that ranges from a solo pianist, to a classical string duo, to a solo acoustic guitar. All of these performers rotate around the various venues of the ship. Other nicely appointed public gathering areas are the Wintergarden amidships (Deck 7), and the Explorers’ Observation Lounge on decks 7 and 8. Afternoon Tea in the Wintergarden was always well attended. The items served were somewhat lackluster and we quickly ditched Afternoon Tea for treats at Mamsen’s Deli in the Explorers’ Lounge. The Suksessterte (Success Cake) and the Epleterte (Apple Cake) were the stars and I found that if I wasn’t careful I would overload on just the Success Cake and eat myself into a food coma spoiling the wife’s dinner plans :-). The Explorers’ Observation Lounge, besides containing the best deserts in the world, is a two story affair with a 180 degree view over the bow and sides of the ship. It’s not only spacious but very neatly and comfortably furnished. With hundreds of books, plenty of “things” to peruse, and lots of interesting seating options for just chilling it’s a very classy hangout. On the second level along with the books are plenty of artsy models and knick-knacks to enjoy. There is a full service bar and in the afternoons and evenings there is light entertainment from the resident pianist, guitarist, or the classical string duo. Nighttime features cool lighting effects like constellations around the lounge area. The Explorers’ Lounge is also where you can get fresh-squeezed orange juice every morning (Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone else!) There are two pools, both with hot tubs attached, on the Viking Sea. The main pool is on deck 7 midships and is flanked by the Wintergarden and the Explorers’ Lounge forward and the World Café Restaurant aft. There is a Pool Bar and the casual Pool Grille eating venue at the main pool and the aft infinity pool has direct access to the World Café Bar and eatery.. The main pool area uniquely has a retractable roof that can pull back almost the entire area over the pool. During our time on the Viking sea the roof was never fully opened but was rolled back by ten-twenty feet several times. The second pool is aft on the Aquavit Terrace and is an infinity pool overlooking the ocean. Neither pool area was ever crowded and are well stocked with plenty of deck chairs and clean towels. Interestingly, the ship itself is the Library and there many books in the wings around the pool and in the main pool area itself. And while I didn’t count them…. There are easily a thousand or more books scattered around the entire ship! The other entertainment areas on the ship from the main venue, The Theater, to the Torshavn Night Club (Both on deck 2) were comfortable and well appointed. The Theater is the main entertainment venue and featured the enrichment lectures and the nightly shows as well as being the gathering point for many shore excursions. The much more intimate Torshavn Night Club featured musical entertainment in the evening only and is the “Late Night” venue for the ship. A note about the Viking Cruises idea of “Inclusiveness”… Wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner. Any other time in on your dime. There is a “Beverage Package” available for purchase. Just be aware that every adult in the same cabin must buy the same package. Tips are NOT INCLUDED and are automatically added to your trip at the end of the cruise. If you have a real beef with the amount of the tips, or just want to add more, simply go to Guest Services and let them know how much you do want to leave in tips. All food is covered in all restaurants. While allowed a limited number of reservations in the “specialty” restaurants prior to sailing you are welcome to make more reservations at your favorites once onboard for no additional charge. There is at least one free shore excursion in each port. Stateroom Our 270 square foot (including Veranda) cabin was a “Deluxe Veranda Stateroom”. The “Deluxe Veranda” is basically the same as the “Veranda Stateroom” just better positioned and with a couple of more “Perks”. Other cabins range from the 270 sq ft Veranda and Deluxe Veranda to the 338 sq ft Penthouse Veranda all the way up to the 1448 sq ft Owner’s Suite (the likes of which I’m sure I will never see :-) It was spotless, well appointed, and fairly spacious. The King-Sized bed was comfortable with the high-quality linens fresh smelling and clean. Two chairs and a coffee table with a desk/vanity area opposite completed the cabins small sitting area. The closet and storage around the cabin was adequate for our two week voyage. The bathroom was fine, if a bit cramped, with a good shower, single vanity sink and plenty of room for all of our toiletries. There were adequate AC outlets in both US and Euro styles with a few extra USB charging outlets in the small desk area. The 42” TV was of a decent size but with very limited volume. The small, teak floored, veranda contained two chairs (not loungers) and a small table and was of a comfortable size. We were introduced to our steward who made us feel right at home explaining the features of the stateroom before moving on to his next guests. For cleanliness and thoughtfulness of design our cabin gets an “A+” with spaciousness coming in at a solid “B”. Entertainment I spoke briefly earlier about the entertainment venues around the ship and what follows are my impressions about the various onboard entertainers and how they fit in the different venues they performed in. But first a few notes on the Venues themselves. The Theater (Deck 2) is the largest venue on the ship. All of the big talks, lectures, and shows are performed there. Many shore excursions also gather and leave from there. Seating is comfortable chairs and couches with small cocktail tables to handle your drinks. The sound system is very good over the main theater floor. Not so good in the two “Wings” that serve as small movie theaters during the day and can be opened (via a sliding curtain wall and raising the screen) to serve as additional seating in the evenings for the main shows. We made the mistake of sitting in that area one night and the sound was terrible, thin and dis-jointed. Stage lighting and effects were excellent across the board. There is a full service bar just outside The Theater that also serves light snacks. The Livingroom (Deck 1 with the Atrium stretching it to Decks 2 and 3) is the central gathering spot that is open to the Atrium. Entertainment in The Livingroom included the resident pianist, solo guitarist and the classical duo. Located in the open space at the foot of the stairs is a Grand Piano where the performers would gather and perform. Acoustics were good for this type of area! The entertainment is very low key and not meant to interrupt conversations. The Wintergarden (Deck 7) is included as an entertainment venue because there was always something during the Afternoon Tea. The pianist playing amplified electronic keyboard , or the solo guitarist, also amplified, or the string classical duo (not amplified). The acoustics in the Wintergarden sucked as the room was all hard surfaces of glass and decking. Coupled with the loud chatter of the passengers the addition of the music, especially the amplified music, was irritating at best and unpleasant at its worst! The Explorer’s Lounge (Deck 7) featured low key entertainment in the afternoons and evenings by the Classical String Duo, Solo Guitarist, or the resident pianist. The Explorer’s Lounge also featured a interesting light show at night that consisted of constellations and star fields projected onto the ceiling and walls at night… Kind of cool! Acoustics were good in this space. The Lounge contains a full service bar almost always open and for those late night snacks Mamsen’s Deli reopens after ten! Torshaven Night Club (Deck 2) was a nice intimate space with comfortable seating and a small dance floor that usually featured the Viking Band sometimes with the two singers Sammy and Annalynn. Occasionally that would be changed up a bit featuring the solo guitarist Choi. Lighting was appropriately “Night Club-ish” (dark) with decent stage lighting. The sound system was small but adequate for the space and the acoustics were good for the performers that played there. Complete with a full service bar and wait service. The Acts were all centered around music, at least on this cruise. No ventriloquists, comedians or jugglers for Viking! Special acts on this voyage included a vocalist Helen Wilding of whom I heard was fabulous but missed both of her performances because of dinner reservations :-(, A violinist Jaran Apold who was very good and a special performance by the new Assistant Cruise Director Michael Restaino which we gave a miss. All of these folks performed in the main venue, The Theater. The Viking Sea house performers in no particular order; The Classical String Duo – A cellist and a violinist that performed regularly in the Livingroom, The Wintergarden and the Explorer’s Lounge. Two talented young ladies that played beautifully! The Explorer’s lounge and the Livingroom were the best venues for the Classical Duo. Occasionally the Violinist would team with guitar player Choi to good effect. Tetiana – Solo Pianist – Playing all of the venues excepting The Theater, Tetiana was a very good pianist that played everything from pop to classical wonderfully. Normally playing one of the grand pianos in the Livingroom or the Explorer’s Lounge she would occasionally play afternoon Tea in the Wintergarden on an electric keyboard that was amplified. She was the only musical act that could overcome the crappy acoustics (and the passenger chatter that those acoustics amplified) of the Wintergarden by simply turning it up! The Viking Band – These guys were everywhere! They played every venue including Torshaven Night Club sometimes with vocalists…. Sometimes without. The band was competent and always sounded good whether as the featured act or as the backing band for the Viking Singers or soloists. A five piece band that sounded bigger than it was! Sonny and Annalyn - House Vocalists – Sonny and Annalynn were purportedly a brother and sister who were the house vocalists and performed with the Viking Band most often in Torshaven. They did perform with variable results in some of the big multi-variety shows in The Theater. We heard them in the welcome production and they were very good. We herd them in the farewell production and they were terrible…. Very pitchy and all over the place. It could have just been they just couldn’t hear themselves through the monitors but it went bad in a hurry and stayed there. They were much more consistent in the smaller Torshaven Night Club. Choi – Solo Guitarist – A very good guitarist that played mostly pop and light rock selections along with a smattering of country. He performed on both Acoustic and Electric Guitar to good effect… and as a welcome extra he had very pleasant, and solid, vocal chops as well! Choi performed in all venues on the ship at different times with the only stinker being the Wintergarden because of the piss poor acoustics. He did a very nice job in Torshaven as a solo act in a venue where that might been hard for some to pull off. The Viking Singers – The Viking Singers were four young people who performed the main stage at The Theater most evenings. We noticed they also worked for Cruise Director Arron (also a singer with a passable baritone suited to show tunes :-) when not on stage. These four were very good performers with great vocal abilities and good dance skills. Each of their shows were well choreographed and well sung. Nice, tight, harmonies and great phrasing were the highlights. While I didn’t care for every selection performed they did a very nice Beatles night, songs from ABBA and even some Bee Gee’s and (Gasp!) a Styx number! All-in-all the entertainment was of a high caliber with great performers and high production values. There was, of course, other entertainment options such as the obligatory shuffleboard and mini-putting greens. Tennis (Pickle-Ball?) on deck 9 and other activities organized by Cruise Director Arron. The ship also had plenty of quiet corners to enjoy a book from the library that was shattered all throughout the ship. Two movie theaters and occasional film “under the stars” at the pool as well as a very large selection of movies on the stateroom TV. Shore Excursions – Viking supplies at least one free/included shore excursion in every port. These are usually walking tours preceded by a bus trip if required. One thing to note is the sometimes included “Panoramic” bus tours can be a bit superficial. Think being in a bus going 30 miles per hour and the local guide telling you “Look right at this building, look left at that building, if the weather or traffic had cooperated you would be seeing this building or that building….” Well, you get the picture. Viking also offers excursions at extra cost that are much better curated and meaningful. These excursions range from $50 per person to several hundred dollars per person. It easy to strike a good balance between the included and the extra cost excursions. The FOOD! Well here it is… the part most of you have been waiting for! The FOOD! I will mention here that Viking cruises are “partly inclusive” serving complementary red/white wine and beer selections at both dinner and lunch. The complementary selections also include soft drinks if wanted. We found that the nightly selections were usually fine for our rather unrefined palates. There is a much wider beer selection available for the asking. If you are a wine connoisseur or a cocktail/liquor fan then there is a drink package available at extra cost that offers you a much wider selection at any time you would care to indulge. To enjoy the benefits of this package everyone in your stateroom must purchase the drink package… whether they drink or not. Viking Sea, as all of the Viking ocean ships, has a few different dining options. I’m save a lot of time by just saying they were all worth a visit and had consistently great food. In fact , unlike my last cruise (not on Viking), I had NO BAD MEALS for the entire voyage. There might have been a couple plates that were less than stellar… but in no way were they a bad meal! What follows is a very short (for me anyway) review of the dining venues… The Restaurant (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner), located on deck 2 Aft, is the main dining room for the ship. The Restaurant is open seating and no reservation is required. It is dressed out in a very pleasant Scandinavian style both simple and elegant at the same time. Very comfortable and spacious it can seat 200+ at any given time. Wait staff were wonderful, helpful and always courteous. The menu changed nightly with a standard selection remaining always available. Every meal we experience in The Restaurant was consistently well prepared and tasty. Steak or other meats that were ordered with a specific temperature were always spot on! Fish were also cooked correctly and never over cooked as is sometimes the case in large kitchens. The Pool Grille (Lunch, Dinner, Snacks), located on Deck 7 amidships near the main pool is the “Come as you are” restaurant on board. Casual buffet service and seating around the pool area specializing in burgers and hotdogs for the most part they would occasionally add some BBQ and had a massive “seafood buffet” night as well that spilled out in the seating area with additional serving stations. A great lunch casual alternative! The World Café (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner), deck 7 aft, was the large well appointed buffet service on the ship. There was alfresco dining available on the connected Aquavit Terrace. It was our choice for breakfast each morning because of the very nice variety of breakfast goodies. The World Café also became our most frequented lunch stop and we enjoyed several evening dinners there as well. The evening choices added Pizza and Sushi to the extensive buffet offerings. How can you go wrong there! The servers were always wonderful keeping your wine glass filled or bringing a cold beer at the asking (Hi Rosie! Thanks!) There is another full service bar located aft along with the Aquavit Terrace alongside the Infinity Pool. Mamsen’s (Early Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Snacks, Late Night Snacks), Deck 7 forward in the Explorer’s Lounge area. Named for Viking’s CEO’s mom this unusual eatery held the most delicious treat imaginable…. Suksessterte, or Norwegian Success Cake! Oh my! I ate way more than my fair share of this buttery, creamy, masterpiece once we discovered it! In any event Mamsen’s, named so in honor of Viking CEO, Thorstein Hagen’s mother was open for early breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea (usually) and late night snacks (10pm-12am) serving light breakfast waffles, sandwiches, salads and desserts! Did I mention the Suksessterte? ** this is the only place on the ship to find fresh squeezed orange juice in the morning :-) The Chef’s Table (Dinner Only), located on Deck1 Aft (port), is one of the two by reservation specialty restaurants on board. It is a beautifully simple space very comfortable and charming. The wait staff were well informed and helpful. The restaurant serves a menu that rotates throughout the voyage. We experienced the “Erling’s Scandinavian Bistro” Menu. It was a three course meal with an included wine pairing. A premium wine pairing was available for those that wanted it and were willing to pay an upcharge, or those that had the beverage package. Salmon for the first course and Lamb for the second. Both were done to perfection. The Salmon was poached to perfection and had a wonderful flavor and a marvelous creamy soft texture. I ordered my lamb at medium-rare and that is how I got it and my wife ordered at medium-well (criminal :-) and that is exactly how she got it. The wine parings were all suitable and very good with each dish. Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant (Dinner Only), located Deck 1 Aft (starboard) is the second by reservation specialty restaurant on the Viking Sea. Serving Italian fare it is decorated in a style reminiscent of the great New York and Chicago Italian family eateries. A wonderful, comfortable venue to enjoy a meal in. We enjoyed two meals at Manfredi’s during our voyage. Both were excellent! One very minor slip was my Rib Eye. I had ordered it Medium-Rare but it was served just north of Medium. A minor infraction and I enjoyed it all the same :-) All other meals and service was impeccable. Note: In the specialty restaurants, at least in our class of cabin, you are initially allowed one booking per voyage in each. But once on board you can use your in-stateroom interactive TV to book as many reservations as you would like and are available…. EZ-Peasy and done! There is one more Specially restaurant on board called The Kitchen Table. It is a teaching restaurant where you go shopping for your own ingredients in port and are taught by one of the ship’s chefs how to prepare a complete meal. We did not indulge in this option. Coffee available several places around the ship including the Livingroom Bar which also had a few snacks and pastries available. Spa – Deck 1 Forward One more cool area to report on before closing and that is the Spa. Normally I’m not much of a spa kind of guy but this was a treat. While I never availed myself of the spa services I did use the thermal suite that is complimentary to all passengers and the spacious, well-equipped fitness center. The thermal suite on the Viking ships is open to all passengers 8:00 am to 8 pm. No reservations are necessary. The Thermal Suite consists of a large Thermal Resistance Pool, large jacuzzi pool, a dry sauna, a steam sauna, a purported cold plunge pool which we never discovered, a therapeutic multi-head power shower and a cold (really cold) water bucket that dumps one big shot of cold water over the head kind of shower device. There is a very unique “Snow Grotto” that pumps snow in to the room and maintains a nice brisk, bracing temperature. You can even scoop up handfuls of the “snow” and rub it on yourself…. I tried it and while I’m all about a little self-flagellation some might consider it extreme. It was… “Bracing to say the least! The fitness center is well equipped with several bikes, treadmills and elliptical trainers and several resistance style weight machines along with a good selection of free weights. There is a separate room to practice yoga or dancercise if into that sort of thing. Many classes were available from Spa personnel. There is a full service beauty salon with Beauty Therapists (?)… I mean, I didn’t know there was such a thing! I spoke to a couple of people who did go in for a massage or whatever and they claimed the process was well performed in a very comfortable environment. You are welcome to walk the ship in your bathrobe or use the separate Men’s and Women’s locker rooms complete with robes and sandals when preparing for a treatment or using the Thermal Suite. Debarkation Purchased the airport transfer onboard. Everything was by the numbers and no problems. Just hung out in the Livingroom until our bus color/number was called. Dwon the gangplank and onto a bus to the airport. Summary As said previously… this was the best overall cruise experience we have yet had. Was it perfect? No, but very few things stretching over 17 days ever are. What is was, was well organized, clean and lovely trip. Educational, mind expanding and in some ways a revelation on different levels. All of this happening on the best run, cleanest ship, with an understated elegance and some of the nicest crew you could ever expect to sail with. Simply Wonderful! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Wanted to visit countries we hadn’t previously visited. Also wanted to travel to cooler summer weather. Viking did an outstanding job and attention to detail is the way they do it. We have traveled on other lines and we will always use ... Read More
Wanted to visit countries we hadn’t previously visited. Also wanted to travel to cooler summer weather. Viking did an outstanding job and attention to detail is the way they do it. We have traveled on other lines and we will always use Viking. Traveled with friends that we had met on a prior Viking cruise. Probably will do a river cruise in 2021 as we like to travel every other year on cruises. The dining options were all outstanding. Great variety and always a special selection based upon the itinerary to give you a feel for local cuisine. No reason to eat anywhere than on the ship. The SPA was much more than I expected. Rivals a nice Spa in any luxury resort. I would do another Ocean cruise just for the Spa. The entertainment was also great. Viking has a knack for training their employees to top standards and I can’t imagine any better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019

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