360 Bergen Luxury Cruise Reviews

I hadn’t been to any of the destinations on this cruise but the destination I was really excited about was Eidfjord, and I wasn’t disappointed. We flew to Bergen and were met by Viking representatives at baggage reclaim. As soon ... Read More
I hadn’t been to any of the destinations on this cruise but the destination I was really excited about was Eidfjord, and I wasn’t disappointed. We flew to Bergen and were met by Viking representatives at baggage reclaim. As soon as our luggage appeared we were escorted to the waiting transfer minibus. As we arrived late afternoon we went straight up to our cabin after a very smooth check in and welcome glass of champagne. Our cases arrived a few minutes later with our cabin steward, who introduced himself and was very helpful and friendly throughout the cruise, as were all the ships company, from cleaners and maintenance engineers to the officers and entertainment team. Our cabin was a deluxe veranda, and very spacious and well equipped. The wardrobe was very roomy with extra hangers available from the cabin steward. All cabins have a balcony, which is not only great for early evening drinks, but also early morning sailing into port. We got up at 6 on the morning as we sailed into Stockholm, to see all the tiny islands. Spectacular! And it was wonderful in Eidfjord to be able to sit and relax with a drink in such a beautiful setting. There were several very gifted classical musicians on board who rotated around the public areas- pianist, guitarist and string duo. They provided a very pleasant atmosphere to relax in. A resident singing group performed in concerts in the theatre accompanied by the resident band , all excellent value. There are several restaurants which all provide a very high standard of service and a wide range of choices, with special menus to reflect the port being visited. I am vegetarian and there was always plenty of choice. Hygiene is very important on a ship, and there were wash basins and sanitisers at the entrance to the World Cafe, which is a buffet. The toilets around the ship were spotless and were checked very regularly. Handrails were also often cleaned during the day and I felt that the standard of cleanliness at all times, throughout the ship, was extremely high. The public areas of the ship never felt overcrowded- never any need to reserve a lounger in the pool area! Although most of the passengers were of an age, there was plenty to appeal to the younger end of the range including the gym, a wonderful spa and range of entertainment. We were very lucky to have such good weather throughout our cruise. It was only raining on the last couple of days, and even then we managed to dodge the showers on our shore excursions. As local guides were employed by Viking, it was fascinating to hear their personal experiences as well as learning so much about our destinations. We had a wonderful holiday and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in experiencing interesting places in an inspiring setting , and not to those expecting entertainment 24/7. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
With over 300 sea days on Holland America, we felt it was time for a change, and wanted to try out Viking Ocean. We could not have been more pleased with the overall experience. Check-in was swift and easy, with our documents awaiting ... Read More
With over 300 sea days on Holland America, we felt it was time for a change, and wanted to try out Viking Ocean. We could not have been more pleased with the overall experience. Check-in was swift and easy, with our documents awaiting us. We were also able to access our cabin earlier than promised. Our cabin was a Deluxe Verandah - nicely laid out, great bathroom with heated floors (also useful for drying wet clothes!), modern and clean. The TV systems are state of the art, and extremely useful - an example being the replay of lectures, etc. shortly after they are done live. It would be nice if the system had real-time data on navigation items such as course / speed / wind etc. Be aware that drawer space is somewhat limited, even with the extra ones in the closet on Sun, but the beds are high enough that even large suitcases are easy to store there, and can be used as additional storage. Our only cabin knock was the proximity of the closet to the bed - somewhat awkward to get at. Larger cabins don't have either of these two issues. Dining was excellent - the quality of food was high, and there are multiple choices. The open faced sandwiches in Mamsen's are exceptional - except for the calories, you could live on them! World café is good, with limited crowding, and would be excellent when the weather permits dining outside on the stern deck. The Restaurant is fully open seating, but we never waited more than a few minutes, even at peak times. The serving systems in the Restaurant seem to have multiple "handoffs" between the staff, and occasionally resulted in a missed request, but they were speedily corrected. Of the two specialty restaurants, we loved Manfredi's (Italian) - be sure to reserve as early as you can, as it's very popular. The Chef's Table was good, not great - some excellent dishes, some mediocre. We largely relied on the included shore excursions, as they tended to do an overview tour, and allow personal exploration afterwards. The two optional tours we used were well organized. Service levels throughout the ship were outstanding - even on a short cruise, the staff quickly learned to recognize us, and were always eager to assist. While we missed the chance to get to know our dining stewards as well as we have previously in a fixed-seating environment, we were able to make a few connections over the trip. Being so new, the ship is pristine and very stable and quiet. Maintenance is discreet, and not intrusive. And, the internet service put every other cruise line that we've been on to shame - a real leg up for staying in touch. Bottom line - we've booked two more voyages! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Great cruise line. Awesome ship and service. One of the best designed ships we have ever been on. Wraparound Promenade deck. Thermal spa outfitted with more different treatment areas (whirlpools, snow room, dry sauna, steam room, etc). ... Read More
Great cruise line. Awesome ship and service. One of the best designed ships we have ever been on. Wraparound Promenade deck. Thermal spa outfitted with more different treatment areas (whirlpools, snow room, dry sauna, steam room, etc). Great fitness room. Most rooms between the common areas on decks 1-2-7-8 limiting how many stairs to traverse to get between rooms and common areas. Ship had no feeling of crowding anywhere. Common services desks designed to address client needs. Ship was largely digital meaning that many things could be accomplished through television set in the stateroom. Service was exemplary in every way. Wait times throughout the ship were short or non-existent. Service was highly anticipatory. All administrative activities including embarkation and debarkation, as well as port visits were professionally and efficiently handled. Very good food, using fresh, high quality ingredients. Food was well prepared and tasty. Special requests were handled by the culinary staff with aplomb. World Cafe had most items of the Restaurant + some additional surprises. Mamsen's deli was okay, but the Pool Grill was outstanding. Both Manfredi's and Chef's Table were very good. Could have offered more traditional desserts. On-board activities, while not lacking, could have been more robust. Afternoon tea was great featuring more than 12 types of tea. Enrichment lectures were good also and were recorded for later viewing in the staterooms. No casino or bingo which was a plus. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is our first cruise with Viking and we are converts! We have cruised with most other lines and while we don't consider ourselves "cruise people", we do end up taking a fair amount of cruises. We really enjoyed the low ... Read More
This is our first cruise with Viking and we are converts! We have cruised with most other lines and while we don't consider ourselves "cruise people", we do end up taking a fair amount of cruises. We really enjoyed the low key luxury decor of the ship. I read an interview with the CEO of Viking and he described his line as "the thinking man's cruise rather than the drinking man's cruise." I think that this sums it up perfectly. The library on the ship was amazingly well thought out and the educational presentations were outstanding. We also were blown away by the thoughtful touches on the ship - like a free laundry room on each floor. A special shout out goes to all of the staff - they were so helpful and friendly. I never felt like they were chiseling for tips. Truly, Viking felt like a Four Seasons Hotel at sea. We will definitely be back. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
embarking was quick and easy. once we were on the ship at 3.30pm we were advised that the ship would be leaving that night instead of the original plan of the next evening due to weather which meant we missed the port of Bergen as it was ... Read More
embarking was quick and easy. once we were on the ship at 3.30pm we were advised that the ship would be leaving that night instead of the original plan of the next evening due to weather which meant we missed the port of Bergen as it was too late to do anything that day. Big seas means we also missed Shetland Islands and Faroe Islands. instead we made for Iceland and had 2 make up ports of Akureyri and Isafjordur. both tiny stops. We then had to forgo Nanortalik due to 'weather'. When we got to Dagueanay.....well it isn't it was the port town of La Baie, 20 kms from the main city. No shuttles were pour on. We had to find a local bus or taxi of we es bed to go into the city. We reached Quebec, the best port of all and we had to be back on board by 3.30? surely we could have stayed longer given the fact how much we had missed out on previously? into Montreal at 4am? that to me says we definitely could have had longer in Quebec. The included tours were ok. Need more for active people. Not everyone is over 75. The entertainment was average. The singer's were ok but only did 3 showed in 2 weeks. The magician was awesome. bring on more odd this stuff. Comedians etc Classical pianist? yuck. start catering for the 50 year olds. We are your future cruisers. The cabins are nice and clean but not enough storage in deluxe verandah. put more shelving in instead of so much hanging space. had to leave most of our stuff in our suitcase which was frustrating. Noise in the cabin is totally unacceptable. rattling and banging in the walls, creaking like we were on an old Spanish Galleon or on the first fleet to Australia. that is no exaggeration. I still couldn't sleep with earplugs and a pillow over my head. Who wants to be sleep deprived their whole holiday? It was brought to Guest Services attention the 2nd day and their response was" its the weather" not good enough. Even when the seas were calm it was the same. Everyone we spoke to said the same thing, their cabins creaked and rattled also. Italian ship builders obviously can't get that right. Staff were friendly enough but ask for anything out of the ordinary and it's like the biggest deal. Ask for small portion, can't do it. Ask for 2 scoops of icecream, can't be done. Communication was terrible. We never knew when the ship was getting into port or leaving until the night before. couldn't plan anything. when in Reykjavik we dashed back to the ship between ships tours to grab lunch and check the Tax refund process to be told the ship want leaving until 8pm so we would have plenty of time. We got back from our second tour to hear that the ship was leaving at 6 and no time for any last minute shopping at the terminal shops and that the VAT guy was leaving. Asked for assistance again from Guest Services to see if anyone could help us with a Garmin charger for our watches as ours had been left on the previous viking cruise we had gotten off to get on this cruise. never heard from them again. The food was quite good in quality and the head chef Paul was great. constantly checking the quality and his people. Took great pride in his food and his people. We have previously cruised mainly with Azamara. Hard not to compare the 2. I'd choose Azamara every time. We chose this cruise for the itinerary but at the end of the day it missed too many ports. Why not call it for what it is. Transatlantic repositioning cruise. Not one for the destinations. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Numb, as in unbelievable, Numb as in over whelming, Numb as in booked another cruise with Viking for next year. We had seen the TV documentary "Mighty Ships" showcasing the "Viking Sky" and a week later were booked ... Read More
Numb, as in unbelievable, Numb as in over whelming, Numb as in booked another cruise with Viking for next year. We had seen the TV documentary "Mighty Ships" showcasing the "Viking Sky" and a week later were booked for our cruise on the "Sea", I had Viking do all our bookings for our transportation to Oslo, as well as our Oslo and Bergen extensions. We were not disappointed, as everything went well, with ground transportation, the 2 hotels we stayed in, as well as the train trip between Oslo and Bergen. I beloved they saved us about $4,000 Cdn, (for 2 people) as I booked the airfare using a dummy account, and was well satisfied with the outcome, and that didn't include booking hotels or train trip. Upon our arrival at the cruise terminal, we were informed we would leave Bergen a day early (disappointed) and miss the Shetland and Faroe Islands (disappointed), but would have two extra ports in Iceland (Wow), due to stormy seas as the remainder of Hurricane Dorian hit the area. A few other changes were made due to rough seas, but Viking and the Captain made the changes ahead of time, allowing replacements and relocations so our cruise wasn't days at seas. This allowed us to cross the Arctic Circle, and spend extra time in Iceland, a place we might have never returned to, as well attended to the safety of the ship and passengers / crew aboard. I have mobility issues and use a walker. The tours we took, were OK for our limits, as we were allowed to wander at our own speed and were given a time and place to meet, which we adhered to. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze, except at Quebec City. I knew, as Viking stipulates in their "FAQ" area, you are responsible for getting yourself off and on without crew assistance, but at Quebec City no wanted to take my walker on or off, and it was a long stand waiting while the walker sat on the pier. The boarding ramp also in Quebec City was not handicap friendly due to the small steps (my ability of using steps, not the port or ship or anyone else's ability). All other ports, crew couldn't have been nicer or more obliging getting the walker on and off, and assisting on ramps and tenders. The ship was beautiful, simple lines but very elegant. We had so much space and a good choice of areas to sit, depending the mood and what we wanted to see or the hear the music provided by the onboard musicians. The "Living Room" was divided into smaller sitting rooms (about 8 to 10 seats), each with art work, a multitude of reading material, ornaments on tables and shelves and thro-blankets and cushions giving a very warm and at home feeling. The food overall, was very good, sometimes things weren't great or what we expected but that's standard wherever you go or even at home. The "Restaurant" had wonderful choices, with standard fare on the left side of the menu and seasonal / regional choices on the right side. We mostly ate from the right side, and enjoyed what we ordered. Service was professional, and the odd time things did get dis-jointed, but we always got what we wanted, and if something was forgotten, it was there in seconds. We never left hungry. "World Cafe" had a nice choice of foods, and they would prepare to order. We only had lunch there, as we preferred the "Restaurant" where portions are controlled, as we always filled our plates way to much, and hate to waste food. "Manfretti's" was wonderful, especially the rib-eye steak, but learned we can order or split portions if we choose. We were very pleased we could have 4 dinners there. We had one dinner at the "Chef's Table", which was Asian and wonderful, but we choose not to return for the Mexican themed dinner. At both specialty restaurants, the servers explained the menu to us in great detail, as well as the wines we ordered. We paid for the "Silver Spirits" package which included upgraded wines at meals, and any alcohol or soft drinks on board. The jury is still out, whether we would get it again. I kept of tally of what we ordered, and we broke even. The upgraded wines aren't a big deal for us, and we are not big drinkers, but ordered a few specialty drinks we wouldn't of had if we were paying for each drink. However, it was nice knowing you wouldn't get a large bill at the end. The crew were "amazing" and everyone on board made our holiday special, from their hellos in the hallways or greeting us by name in the food and bar service areas. They remembered our likes or dislikes or could predict whether we were having 2 black coffees or 2 Absolute and tonic. High Points: 1) no children 2) no up-selling 3) included internet (worked well most of the time) 4) no photography or photographers in your face 5) treated like responsible adults (not to many party people on board) 6) no pushing future cruises, it was made known you could book on ship (which we did because we wanted to, not because of pressure) There is much more to tell, bu the highlight was, Viking did us well, and we look forward to our next cruise in June 2020. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because we have always wanted to see Iceland and wanted to go back to Bergen. So this was the perfect cruise for us. This itinerary was perfect as we got to visit Greenland, Newfoundland and Canada. We have been to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have always wanted to see Iceland and wanted to go back to Bergen. So this was the perfect cruise for us. This itinerary was perfect as we got to visit Greenland, Newfoundland and Canada. We have been to Antarctica so this was our chance to go to the Artic Circle. The service from the staff was great especially our cabin stewards and Ronald our waiter at Dinner. Every night at dinner he would go over the menu and discuss each dish by telling us what was in the dish and how it was prepared. We especially enjoyed the talks given on the Human Planet. What beautiful pictures and very interesting about how the photography was done. The excursions were very interesting to visit some of the old Viking villages to see how they lived. Also got to see a replica of an old Viking ship. Couldn't image how the survived in those boats. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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
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
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
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
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 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 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
My wife and I have cruised many times in the past. we usually cruise with some friends who decided that we all should cruise the Baltic for our annual cruise in 2019. They chose Viking Ocean cruises, due in no small part to the excellent ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised many times in the past. we usually cruise with some friends who decided that we all should cruise the Baltic for our annual cruise in 2019. They chose Viking Ocean cruises, due in no small part to the excellent reputation of which they had read and the fact that what could be better than to take a Scandinavian ship to cruise the Baltic. At the outset, we were shocked to find that the entire cruise needed to be paid at least one year before the cruise. That has never been our experience in sailing with multiple lines and future patrons need to be aware of this requirement. The ship is beautiful.The public rooms are wonderful especially the Explorer Lounge. Our cabin was quite roomy and the bathrooms excellent. special kudos for a lovely shower without having to step over a tub.I found the heated floors in the bathroom to be a nice touch. The spa area is spectacular and if going to a spa with virtually everything-hot tub, small therapy pool, sauna and ice room is your thing, this is your ship The company touts its multiple channels of communication available to those who are scheduled, but that is primarily limited to receiving one way announcements from them, done well, but not to any dialogue or getting personal support for questions which arise and may not be answered in their stock announcements.Poor communication seems to be common on these cruises. For example,special meals opportunities, lobster tail and steak, special buffets, at the grill were never announced well and one learned to look for these each day by dropping by the grill itself or asking of the crew in a restaurant or bar. The ships plan is good but when the special meals take place in the grill area there is inadequate seating for the number of cruisers wishing to partake in the meal. The seating in the cinema is wholly inadequate for the number of passengers. Quite a few performances occurred with many passengers standing in the back to observe the show. The back two side areas were totally inadequate both for seeing the show and hearing it.The need to get to the venue 30 minutes before shows began was difficult for those of us who tended to to eat dinner at about 7 to 7:30. I was quite disappointed to discover that we did not receive services comparable to what we had received ion either Oceania or Azamara in spite of the fact that the per night per person cost to sail with Viking was considerably more than either of the other two. My concern with the cabin service is that when I wished ice, I had to go to housekeeping, when I wished lime I had to go to room service and when I wished to change my complimentary liquor and the amount of tonic I needed to speak to the drink steward.This in my view is rather poor considering the price of the cruise and the plaudits from other cruisers. Viking offers one free shore excursion at each port.The walking tours we took, 4, were excellent, but those in a bus were not worth the time spent at all. I was quite disappointed in the meals in the Restaurant ,in the Chef's special restaurant both times and at Manfredi both times. To be fair, one night the prime rib served at the restaurant was amongst the best I have ever had. The waffle at the Explorer Lounge was exceptional. On at least 4 occasions the cookies offered with the buffet were stale. the wines with meals were acceptable if unremarkable. One could upgrade wine selection and liquor for an extra daily per person charge. The speakers/lectures seemed excellent, for those we could make, but we missed the largest number as they were scheduled during dinner hour or just prior to dinner hour. Getting on, on the day of sailing from Bergen, and off the ship in Stockholm, with our luggage, were superbly handled even though we left the ship at 6 am to make our plane. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had done five weeks of Viking River and enjoyed it. Had to find out if their Ocean lived up to the hype. Very enjoyable time. Food was excellent and we managed to eat in their specialty restaurants most nights. We only had one ... Read More
We had done five weeks of Viking River and enjoyed it. Had to find out if their Ocean lived up to the hype. Very enjoyable time. Food was excellent and we managed to eat in their specialty restaurants most nights. We only had one "at sea" day and I will select my next itinerary where there are more - maybe a transitioning cruise. Still love my river cruises but this Homelands cruise was fantastic. We did a combination of included shore excursions and optional ones. I would have to say that the optional excursion to Flan was very disappointing. A bus ride, followed by two train rides, followed by another bus ride. You never got outside except when changing transportation. And it wasn't cheap!. Ship staff was great and very friendly. We never had any special needs or requests (except when our cabin door lock jammed). Even the deck hands that were painting greeted you with a word and a smile. Bar staff, especially in the Explorer lounge was fantastic. Always greeted me by name and started my drink. 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
The ship design was excellent in placement of public rooms, restaurants, entertainment, and inside/outside deck areas. We utilized every space. Highlights were port excursions with knowledge and polite local guides attentive to guest ... Read More
The ship design was excellent in placement of public rooms, restaurants, entertainment, and inside/outside deck areas. We utilized every space. Highlights were port excursions with knowledge and polite local guides attentive to guest needs and schedule. Port embark and disembark well organized staggered times, professional staff to assist, greet at all points. Evening entertainment by top notch performers, musicians and variety. Enjoyed fitness center (small for demand), large spa and pools. Food was highlight with various themed buffet meals on pool deck, in addition to main dining buffet that always offered extensive variety of gourmet food, expertly prepared and presented. Enjoyed other specialty restaurants equally high quality at no extra cost. We reserved the chef's table twice (Pan-Asian style) and were underwhelmed with food. The Italian was gourmet and enjoyed it 3 times. The launderettes great amenity to pack lighter. All staff captain, crew to wait staff exceedingly polite and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had received suggestions to try Viking and wanted to experience a cruise. The Baltic area seemed like a logical place to cruise rather than do a land trip. This particular one included the Norwegian fjords as well as St. Petersburg and ... Read More
We had received suggestions to try Viking and wanted to experience a cruise. The Baltic area seemed like a logical place to cruise rather than do a land trip. This particular one included the Norwegian fjords as well as St. Petersburg and those were two of our priorities. We totally loved the attitude, attention and caring that we received from every crew member. The small details from the special meals by the pool to the Star Theater entertainment were overall just extraordinary. The cleanliness and overall ambiance of the entire ship were remarkable. The included port excursions were well orchestrated and most of the time, very interesting and informative. If there was one suggestion for everyday itinerary, it would be to start the lounge entertainment earlier and perhaps have as polished entertainment there as the theater. We were not disappointed in our choice and didn’t want to embark at the end of two weeks. Thank you, Viking for our detailed and caring excursion. 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
My wife chose this as many of her ancestors came from that part of Europe. We had a great experience. The staff and service was fantastic and were the friendliest group of people I have ever been around. This was a cruise that I was very ... Read More
My wife chose this as many of her ancestors came from that part of Europe. We had a great experience. The staff and service was fantastic and were the friendliest group of people I have ever been around. This was a cruise that I was very sad to see come to an end as we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in an elegant and relaxed atmosphere. Our daily excursions were very organized and very worthwhile. Every night as we returned to our cabin, the bed was turned down for us and we had our next day Viking News waiting for us. This publication was very well done and filled with valuable information. This staff is very professional, friendly, and organized. The entertainment and lectures were excellent and much preparation went into making it that way. When we left the ship for our excursions, the staff always wished us a good day and offered us a bottle of water. On our return, we were given a warm welcome home and offered a nice warm cloth to refresh ourselves. On our return from Berlin, the entire staff was outside the ship welcoming us home with warm welcomes and glasses of champagne. On our final night on the ship at the farewell reception given by the captain, there was not only entertainment and champagne, but the entire staff was present which I thought was fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We always wanted to cruise the Baltic Sea with the timeframe and ports identified. Viking was highly rated for service and luxury which was proven by others and now by us. Everything was incredible including the food and entertainment ... Read More
We always wanted to cruise the Baltic Sea with the timeframe and ports identified. Viking was highly rated for service and luxury which was proven by others and now by us. Everything was incredible including the food and entertainment - we had so much fun and met so many people on this cruise. Some friendships will continue well after we have arrived home and unpacked . The staff was exceptional friendly and most courteous we absolutely enjoyed the entertainment in the Star Theatre and the classical music proved in the various areas of the atrium . In fact everything went smoothly ! We will plan to travel again with Viking and will not hesitate to do so. We were able to select additional excursions to add to our enhanced enjoyment. We especially enjoyed the Ultimate St. Petersburg experience with a very professional and first rate guide . Viking was exceptional providing everything in detail to make this a pleasant voyage . We will not hesitate to recommend this amazing trip to friends and our family. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was the best cruise we have ever been on! Our first experience with Viking was a horrible river cruise. We were very hesitant to go on another Viking cruise. However, this Viking ocean cruise was the best cruise ever! We have already ... Read More
This was the best cruise we have ever been on! Our first experience with Viking was a horrible river cruise. We were very hesitant to go on another Viking cruise. However, this Viking ocean cruise was the best cruise ever! We have already signed up for another one in 2020!! The ship was always spotless even with all the rain we encountered, every crew member was always extremely courteous and professional, the food was exceptional and wait staff were highly trained, every organizational skill was flawless from the docking procedures, evacuation drill, getting passengers to shore excursions, or even daily announcements. The Explorer desk people were very helpful and professional no matter what our inquiries were about. We had 2 days before the cruise, arranged by Viking. The arrangements were wonderful. A very enjoyable hotel, location, and accommodations. We can not say enough positive things about this Viking Jupiter and all of its crew! We are excited for our next Viking cruise in 2020! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because of the reputation of Viking cruise line and the itinerary. The Jupiter is a magnificent new ship, with soothing, understated, but beautiful Scandinavian decor. I actually liked the lack of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the reputation of Viking cruise line and the itinerary. The Jupiter is a magnificent new ship, with soothing, understated, but beautiful Scandinavian decor. I actually liked the lack of "glitzy" finishes. My favourite part of the ship was the Winter Garden, where tea is served every day at 4 p.m. I am not someone who goes to tea, but I chose to sit in there to read because of how beautiful this space is. We had a verandah stateroom on the 8th deck and it was beautifully and thoughtfully appointed. Our stateroom attendant, Precious was so conscientious and kept our stateroom immaculate. The food on the ship is good and sometimes excellent. We opted for the beverage package and were glad we did because we didn't think the wines offered with the basic cruise fare looked very appealing. The service from many of the restaurant staff was excellent overall, but we did experience inattentive service from time to time. While we are not focused generally on entertainment while onboard, we did see a number of the shows and thought they were superb and just the right length. More than anything, I was impressed with how efficiently the ship's crew dealt with everything from the mandatory emergency drill to getting everyone off and on the ship to and from excursions. I loved how the emphasis, stated at the beginning of the cruise, was not to be intrusive and, therefore, to limit announcements which reach the staterooms to those which are critical. We have been on another cruise line on which announcements were made constantly which reached the staterooms and it was beyond annoying. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019

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