1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
After 26 cruises this was our first on Viking; surely, not our last. I'll get over our one gripe first and move on to the positives. On the evening sail from Bergen, we visited the ship's apparel shop in search Viking's red ... Read More
After 26 cruises this was our first on Viking; surely, not our last. I'll get over our one gripe first and move on to the positives. On the evening sail from Bergen, we visited the ship's apparel shop in search Viking's red and white signature Dale of Norway sweater. My wife resisted buying other attractive sweaters in Bergen's shops with Viking's signature sweater in mind. The shop had no stock of size medium. The excuse was that they sold out on the last voyage. That is lame excuse since we just sailed from the cruise line's home port and the Dale of Norway production center. The salesman offered no recourse, eg. a special order that could be shipped home, and assumed a rather indignant, huffy attitude. The message. "Clients from the Bergen cruise origin aren't as worthy as those from the Greenwich start of the same cruise itinerary." That said, now to to the cruise. Despite scheduling 13 excursions in 11 ports over 13 days, we felt that this was one of our more relaxing cruises. The casual, unbustled on-board environment undoubtedly contributed to that feeling. We used Viking Air for flight arragements and arrived in Bergen around noon after a short connecting flight from Oslo. There were at least half a dozen Viking representatives at the airport to assist passengers and get us on the way to the ship. This exemplifies a typical pattern that we experienced on the whole cruise. Ample Viking staff are readily available where needed to assist customers. A seamless check-in at the port had us in our stateroom before the scheduled time. Our luggage had already been delivered, a first time experience on any cruise. The Atrium serves as the core public area from deck 1 to 3. Above The Viking Living Room on deck 1 with its nooks of lounge furniture, book collections and artwork, deck 2 has a perimeter balcony with lounge and table game areas and deck 3 features sitting areas along with exhibits of Norwegan traditional ceremonial dress; deck 2 has a nook with Viking cultural artifacts. My wife, a serious fiber spinner, delighted in the spinning artifacts. Stateroom corridors and public areas abound with artwork. Explanatory narratives are available through an on-board dedicated phone app. At the head of the grand staircase in The Atrium is a 2-deck electronic panel with changing images of Norwegan and Viking culture and the voyage's port areas. Beneath the staircase is a garden of multi-colored visual delights. At the deck 1 staricase base performance space features daily soothing classical performances on the Steinway by Olga, resident pianist, and the Viking classsical duo on violin and cello. Other performances included well chosen port-based ensembles providing local cultural programs and the ship's staff who shared diverse talents. Deck 7 offers other retreats at Mamsen's, where light fare is available, and in the Explorer's Lounge with its bow views and bar. A mezanine extension of the Explorer's Lounge on Deck 8 privised additional views and seating nooks. Midship on Deck 7 is The Wintergarden, a quiet retreat where most afternoons feature Afternoon Tea at 4:00 with the accompaniement of the ships classical artists. The pool area expands lounging and eating space, all or part of which can be covered by the retractable roof. Special buffets and entertainment are features. And for the always exposed to the elements, there is the infinity pool on the stern outside The World Cafe. And, back to deck 1 for Torshaven, a cozy club like venue for seminars and evening dancing from 9:00 to Midnight. The Star Theater's informal lounge atmosphere is a relaxing place for tour meet-up and for guest lecturer presentations. Sofa pillows with images of Norwegan performance and artistic celebraties on one side and the autograph on the other typify the Viking touch. Four lecturers on our voyage informed and entertained us. To celebrate the July 20, 1969, moon landing, retired USAF pilot and astronaut Karol Bobko shared experiences and related the technoogy of space exploration. He also gave presentations in the shipboard planetariumn on deck 8. Ship passengers celebrated the moon landing at 8:17pm on July 20th with pastries in the Atrium that included a chocolate replica of Apollo 11. William Thayer's lectures offered insight into the energy production technologies that are active in he North Sea. Other topics included the British pursuit and sinking of the Bismarck in WWII and the "Breaking if the Enigma Machine," a step in the development of today's digital computers. Dr.Michael Fuller combined archaeological artifacts with historical evidence in lectures about Viking and Northern European history. (Without historical documentation, archaelogy is speculation.) Particularly interesting was his presentation on the Hanseatic League. He met with passengers in nooks around the ship to pursue a variety of individual interests. Notable is Russell Lee, who synthasized complex topics from history and current events into connections that are often missed among the detail of events. He was literally up-to-date, including his visuals, with his Brexit presentation on the day that Boris Johnson became the UK's PM. Outstanding was Lee's presentation "Baa, Baa Black Sheep - How Wool Transformed Medieval Europe." He included his wife demonstating a centuries old spindle technique that persists today in spinning yarn. The only tidbit he omitted, according to my wife, was how the word "sabotage" became part of our vocabulary because of the industrialization of weaving. If you miss the lecture theater presentation, it's available 3 hours later on the ship's TV, not just an fuzzy video of the stage presentation, but with the presenter in a quarter panel and sharp graphics taking up the rest of the screen. Great Viking Jupiter production team! While on technology, kudos to the full-time internet service included in the cruise fare. Wi-fi access is throughout the ship, and there are desk top PCs located in a "nook" of The Living Room. Most passengers used their own devices. An on-board "trechie" can assist. Viking Jupiter's internet service is the fastest, most reliable that we have experienced on a cruise ship. Also, amenities include wine (red and white) and beer (light and dark). Menu beverages have a modest charge, eg., $7.50 (including gratuity) for a Manhattan. No charge for all the bottled water you want. And, no charge for the daily refrigerator set up of soft drings, snacks, and Toblerone chocolates. Spa facilities have no surcharge.. Unwind in a sauna, a cold tub, the Snow Room, a hot whirlpool or churning pool. An ample variety of standard fitness equipment is also available.Spa treatments are available at fees comparable to other cruise lines. While I was pleased with a massage, my wife was less so with her facial. She noted a harsh abrasive material used on the skin that she hasn't experienced before. And, after leaving the spa, she discovered unpleasant blotches of a greasy cream on her skin. And, let me not forget the included excellent self-serve laundry facilities on 4 of the 6 cabin decks (soap is included). So nice not to be nickeled and dimed. One can opt for individual paid launtry at reasonable rates. Repeat: So nice not to be nickeled and dimed. For us a genuine surprise was a bottle of sparkling wine and cake delivered to our stateroom. Viking graciously added to celebrating our 50 years of marriage. And, the on-board dining; overall - excellent. Several individual dishes were too salty (some chefs know only that "spice"). We didn't eat at Mamsens, noted for light fare, but enjoyed the no-surcharge specialty venues. First night out was The Chef's table featuring regional Nordic cuisine. International cuisines rotate avery few days. We chose the Nordic which was excellently prepared and plated for full enjoyment. We also enjoyed an evening in Manfredi's Italian Restaurant, where portions easily contribute to expected weight gain on a cruise. One can book as many meals in these restaurants as there is availability. The Restaurant is the main dinner venue with multiple sections that avoid the "heard feeling" on other cruise lines; one can actually enjoy conversation without straining. Overall excellent well plated dishes with reasonable portions served by attentive staff who remember us when we repeat at their tables. Thank you, Henry for your songs and attentive service. For a snack, on the pool deck, light fare is available, including what may be the best hamburger at sea. Vegans can also indulge. And, The World Cafe serves for a breakfast buffet as well as lunch and dinner. Customized omlets are worth the few minutes' wait. Sometimes staff were overwhelmed by passenger needs, but they were attentive and (with few exceptions) handle the demands well. Buffet food is among the best we have had. Do no pass on the ice cream and pastry selections. Seek out the daily pizza options that go well with a Viking beer at lunch. As related above, Viking clientele are learners. Each port includes one tour. Additional, paid tours are available. Most included tours are city drive throughs with a couple of stops. Our Dublin 3 hour city tour had an excellent guide. He related neighborhood histories along with those of major monuments. He summarized economic conditions in the city and country as well as the possible Brexit impacts. Included was a 45 minute stop at Jubilee Gardens. We were able to hop off the bus to explore Temple Bar on our own. On the Orkney Islands the included tour got out of the port of Kirkwall into the countryside, and included a too brief stop in the seaside village of Stromners. My bride found a shop with her favorite roving from the native North Ronaldsay sheep - a breed that cannot be exported elsewhere in the world because of its particular seaweed diet. Plenty of time was allowed for a stop at the neolithic Ring of Brodgar, a predecessor of Britian's more famous henge. Port Ulapool's included walking tour was perfect for getting a sense of a western Highlands Scottish seaside community, and included a pub stop with adult and bakery refreshments along with lively local music. We felt that the guide gave a reasonable overview of life in the community. Comments do not include all of out complimentary tours. Among the paid tours we enjoyed The Beatles Experience tour in Liverpool, except for the hot, stuffy museum at the end. Otherwise the ecellent guide and typically cramped bus seating are worth the effort for "Fab Four" fans. In Edinburgh the Rosslyn Chapel and Glenkinche Distillery tour were well done. One has to suffer an excessive crowd at the chapel. So, it takes effort to appreciate the complexity of the architectural gem. Do leave a few coins to support the chapel cat. The distillery tour with guide Willie was excellent; that's from a Kentucky resident bourbon enthusiast. Very disappointing for a train enthusiast was the Ffestiniog Railway and Lunch tour at the Holyhead port. We arrived at the train depot with barely enough time to board - no time for photos. Photo opps were "promised" at the terminus. By the time most of the photogs in our group got to the head of the train the engine was decoupled and on its way through the rail yard. Then, we had to rush to a bus to get to the next stop, lunch in a hotel in Betws-y-Coed with provided meal and time to wander the community that reminded me of Aspen, CO, without the opulence.We traveled through the Sodonia highlands, Wales slate producing region, distinct part of the UK. A positive with the Viking tours is that the limit seems to be around 25. So, one doesn't feel like part of ther herd. We took 7 included and 6 paid tours over the two weeks. So these comments offer only highlights. Preparing us for each port was a presentation by the cruise director and the shore excursion manager. Special kudos to Vicki, the cruise director. She was genuinely engaging and totally professional; and very unlike cruise directors on most prior non-Viking cruises, did not act like a clownish buffoon. I do fault the tour director, however, Javier, for a demonstrably lack of personal knowledge about some port tours. Debarkation, not a welcome 5:00am rise to be ready for our 6:15 group to end this Viking experience. In The Living Room we had fruit, breakfast pastry, and beverage options as we awaited our group call for airport transport. Friendly Viking staff were at every turn, literally as we left the ship. On the 90 minute bus ride to London-Heathrow Airport, a Viking representive gave us a guided narration through the London neighborhoods and assisted at our airport arrival. As my wife said, "This is one cruise that we return from without needing a vacation." Thanks Viking staff and Viking Jupiter crew. We'll be back! Lecturer quality is one reason for booking an Inside Passage Alaska cruise for 2020. It will be our fifth in the region. We look forward to the Viking difference. Finally, I have kept a spreadsheet for costs on prior 26 cruises and on this Viking cruise. For comparable 2 week cruises our Viking costs were only $300.00 more. I attribute this to the longer air distance to Norway. By comparison to US carriers, SAS to Norway and BA from London to the US provided FAR SUPERIOR comfort, food, service, and amenities in the same passenger class, Economy Comfort/Economy Plus or equivalent level. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because it was offered by Viking, was a smaller ship, stayed overnight in the beginning and ending ports and visited ports in Scandinavia while excluding Russia. We did not wish to fuel the Russian economy. We had ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was offered by Viking, was a smaller ship, stayed overnight in the beginning and ending ports and visited ports in Scandinavia while excluding Russia. We did not wish to fuel the Russian economy. We had been on one Viking River Cruise so were inclined toward Viking for our first ocean cruise. Our cruise was only 11 nights but apparently the cruise continued to other ports such as Stockholm and St. Petersberg. Three weeks would have been too long for us. I had researched the ports and believed guidebooks and Viking when they described how close the dock was to town. In some cases such as Bergen, Aalborg and Stavanger it really was easy to walk into town. In others we needed a shuttle which Viking sometimes provided or taxis. In 3 ports we were beat out of the prime dock location by another ship but only once did we need to use tenders. We were really on our own in Oslo, Viking should have had shuttles there. The included excursions in Eidfjord, Stavanger and Oslo were enjoyable as well as the optional tour we took of Copenhagen. We are experienced travelers and prefered to tour on our own when possible. Guides in Oslo and Copenhagen were excellent. Sailing the fjords and visiting Bergen & Oslo were the most enjoyable locations. The main reasons we chose a cruise for this region of Europe was ease of accessing the fjords, various ports and finding food someone with Celiac disease could safely eat. We had one lunch in Oslo in a restaurant I had researched from home and that offered gluten-free options. The restaurants on the Viking Sky seemed quite good, especially the food in Manfredi's however the Restaurant or main dining room was a beautiful and reliable choice for dinner. I appreciated that the only additional costs we encountered were laundry, a spa service and an additional tip for our room steward. We may take another cruise in future but I really enjoyed our Viking River Cruise more than the ocean cruise. If they had tables for 2 on the river that would be perfect. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We have not been to Scandinavia or the Baltic countries so we really enjoyed the cruise and the ports of call. We ate in the Restaurant most nights where they had a good selection of dishes including a featured destination selection. We ... Read More
We have not been to Scandinavia or the Baltic countries so we really enjoyed the cruise and the ports of call. We ate in the Restaurant most nights where they had a good selection of dishes including a featured destination selection. We also ate at Manfredi’s two nights and throughly enjoyed the experience. We did not spend a lot of time in our room, but found it to be very comfortable. My wife especially liked the heated floor in the bathroom. We found the staff to be especially competent and it was amazing how quickly they got to know you by name. The common areas were conducive to sitting and talking or playing a game and there was almost always some type of entertainment going on. The included excursions provided a good insight into the ports of call and there was a good selection of optional excursions if you wanted additional experiences. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We had wanted to visit the Baltics for quite a while and especially wanted to visit Russia. The ports we visited, the service we received on board, the tour guides, everything, on the whole, was all excellent! I recommend this cruise to ... Read More
We had wanted to visit the Baltics for quite a while and especially wanted to visit Russia. The ports we visited, the service we received on board, the tour guides, everything, on the whole, was all excellent! I recommend this cruise to anyone who enjoys visiting new lands and meeting friendly people. Our only disappointment was not being able to visit the Viking Village in Norway because of the limitsd number of people who are allowed to go. The highlight was visiting St. Peterburge. We took the canal cruise and visited two churches. The Church of the Spillex Blood is a work of art! Absolutely amazing! Another highlight was the Vassa Museum in Stockholm ! Well worth the visit. Even though the weather was a bit cool the first couple of days (while our hometown zweltdrec in oppressive heat) it was great for our excursions! When we asked Albert, our Stewart, about getting us some tea at night he accommodated us but making sure we had a pot of hot water and tea ever evening during the cruise. We should often sit out on the de k of our room, enjoy the sites as we sailed by amazing landscapes and enjoyed our hot tea before bedtime. Felicia, our housekeeper, and Albert were absolutely wonderful! They always welcomed us back with a warm smile and greeting when we returned from our excursions. Our Room was kept immaculately clean. Our bed was turned down every night with the tray of hot water, cups and tea ready for us to enjoyed. Thank you Viking for this trip of a lifetime. So many memories! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was given to me as a 70th birthday present because it involved the Norwegian coast, which I had always indicated I wanted to see. My wife also chose this cruise because it wasn't a typical one: it offered an Astronomy Voyage, ... Read More
This was given to me as a 70th birthday present because it involved the Norwegian coast, which I had always indicated I wanted to see. My wife also chose this cruise because it wasn't a typical one: it offered an Astronomy Voyage, with an expert lecturer on the Northern Lights and other night sky phenomena (Dr John Mason), and with other interesting talks, information points and excursions handled by the two-woman Expedition Team. The ship was obviously comfortable and well-appointed, but wasn't a great block of flats on a hull, like many modern cruise vessels, and it combined very good facilities for passengers with an element of working ship, delivering cargo at a lot of ports (34) along the way. Our cabin was small, but very comfortable and well-designed: it became a home from home! The organisation of the cruise from start to finish was absolutely faultless: e.g. embarking and disembarkation - including management of our luggage - were handled with the utmost efficiency and with no needless hanging around for passengers. Throughout the voyage, we were kept informed of what was happening through clear - and audible! - announcements. Two minor problems with cabin equipment were immediately remedied. Excursions were handled with the utmost efficiency by the Expedition Team and those ashore, making everything worry-free and enjoyable. The food was plentiful and tasty, without the ridiculous waste and excess which one gathers are the norm on some cruises. Breakfasts involved a good range of items, though the quality of a couple of them (eg scrambled eggs and porridge) could be a bit variable. The lunch buffets had an element of Norwegian comfort food about them, which we found agreeable. Evening meals involved a set 3-course menu, which some might find restrictive, but most of the dishes served were excellent with a lot of locally-sourced ingredients. Prices for drinks were high, especially for those with weakening sterling bank accounts! The scenery was simply breathtaking, with constantly changing vistas of snowy peaks coming down to the sea and of islands, many with small and picturesque settlements on them: it will live in our memories for ever. The experience of the late winter Norwegian coast, including settlements in the Arctic Circle, was simply magical. And we saw the lovely Northern Lights - with one amazing moment when the night sky filled with a burst of extraordinary light. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose a 12 day cruise that took us from Bergen up to the Russian border and back. Bad weather intervened on the return journey so we were stuck on board for most of the time and there's not much to do other than read, gaze out at ... Read More
We chose a 12 day cruise that took us from Bergen up to the Russian border and back. Bad weather intervened on the return journey so we were stuck on board for most of the time and there's not much to do other than read, gaze out at snowy mountains, doze and eat. We would choose a shorter trip next time and fly back from Kirkenes. Snowmobiling at Kirkenes was brilliant helped by glorious morning sunshine. Dog sledding was also worthwhile. Excursions are eye wateringly expensive but if you're only doing these things once..... The ship was fine and the crew were very good. It is a ferry however and it stops everywhere along the coast taking on board cargo and passengers who use the ship like a bus service. Don't expect the luxury of a cruise ship and grab a seat before the locals come on board otherwise you'll have to revert to your cabin. Food was excellent. Wine at a minimum of £53 a bottle is extortionate especially when compared to £15 a bottle on shore. Shame we were not offered a drinks package although unless the wine was heavily discounted I suspect we would have declined. Made for a tee-total holiday which was no bad thing. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We went on recommendation from a friend. The cruise is designed for the older person and not really suited for families, certainly not for teenagers. The ship is smaller than a traditional cruise ship but this leads to a more ... Read More
We went on recommendation from a friend. The cruise is designed for the older person and not really suited for families, certainly not for teenagers. The ship is smaller than a traditional cruise ship but this leads to a more personal and friendly atmosphere aboard the ship. There is no traditional entertainment, however the lectures and gatherings are brilliant, entertaining and informative. The ship is also a working ship calling at 34 ports, sometimes at night which can lead to some noise as cargo, cars and passengers may be embarked/ disembarked. Our cabin was on deck 5 on the starboard (right hand) side, which was ideal as all loading/ unloading was on the port (left) side so any noise did not disturb us. The ship had a well fitted exercise room, which we used, male and female saunas, and outdoor hot tubs. The restaurant was superb, with excellent choice of breakfast and lunch buffet and set, mainly traditional meals for dinner. Breakfast and lunch are sit anywhere whilst dinner is set times and tables. There were 6 sittings for dinner ranging from 6pm to 8.30pm, I would advise that you request early or late dinning when making a booking. However we were allocated an 8pm sitting which was far too late for my digestion but when asked for a change we were reallocated a 6.30pm slot sharing a table of 6 with charming company. We did get to see the northern lights on 3 nights although this is obviously dependant on climatic conditions. The excursions off ship that we did were great and well worth what on the face of it looks to be a lot of money. The pick was getting off the ship in the dark early evening and snowmobiling over the mountains, stopping to possibly seeing the northern lights and then continuing to pick up the ship in the next port. Alcoholic drinks on board are very expensive, however at most ports where you could get off the ship for a few hours there were bars or supermarkets where alcoholic drinks could be obtained. Although supposedly not permitted we had no problems taking some on board. In Norway you are allowed 1 litre of spirits and 3 litres of wine duty free, and as you pass through the duty free shops at the airport on the way in you can pick up some supplies to get you started. Overall a brilliant trip which was more an adventure than a holiday, with lots of downtime to relax and chill out and admire the passing scenery from the observation lounge. We are going back in the summer to see how it all looks in the midnight sun Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
The Itinerary is great and you will see spectacular scenery in Norway. Unfortunately, with any cruise you can't control the weather which is really important if you want to see the Northern Lights. We were glad we were able to see the ... Read More
The Itinerary is great and you will see spectacular scenery in Norway. Unfortunately, with any cruise you can't control the weather which is really important if you want to see the Northern Lights. We were glad we were able to see the Northern Lights but somewhat disappointed in the color and brightness due to most of the nights being cloudy. Also, cameras really pickup more color than the naked eye so having a camera that is capable of taking pictures of the Northern Lights is critical. Viking Sky does a good job of providing guest hints on how to take good pictures of the Northern Lights. We had a stress free embarkation in Bergen Norway. Very convenient location within walking distance of several hotels and attractions which made it nice since it was an overnight stay on the Ship in Bergen. The ship is gorgeous and mostly well maintained. They do a really good job of keeping the common areas clean. But be aware of the ice that can accumulate on the outside decks. It seems that Viking could have put a barrier around the ice which would have really improved the situation. This was mostly an issue at night when people would go to the decks and couldn't see the ice. I really like having the Self-service launderette. Our stateroom attendants were very friendly and did a great job taking care of our stateroom. The capability for Viking to notify guest, who wanted to be alerted no matter what time of the night, that Northern Lights were visible from the ship was fantastic. It did really add a special touch to the cruise. There were more movies and shows available on the TV then expected. The dining staff did a good job and were very friendly. I really like that the World Cafe for the most part served the same food that the Restaurant did so if guest didn't want to dress for dinner they had they same food options. Viking could expand some of the options such as bread and cookies so that each meal isn't the same the entire cruise. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of options but each lunch and dinner had the exact same bread everyday. I liked the availability of the specialty food buffets that were served on the pool deck that provided added flexibility and variety for dining options. We really enjoyed our dinners in The Chef's Table and Manfredi's. The included wine was mostly good except we really didn't enjoy the German red wine they had several meals. The included excursion for the most part were rather boring and didn't do much other than drive around and I think Viking could do a better job of describing the tours so guest will have a better idea of what to expect. For example, the tour in Bergen explanation of the excursion should reflect the actual excursion making it clear that it doesn't stop at the King Haakon’s Hall, the Rosenkrantz Tower or the Fish Market. We did really enjoy the included excursion in Tromso where we visited the Northern Light Planetarium. We enjoyed the warm drinks (especially the Baileys and Hot Chocolate) when returning to ship from our excursions. For the most part, Viking Sky did a good job of getting guest on and off the ship. The second day in Bergen was the only port that the line was extremely long when returning from our excursion. Disembarkation was extremely smooth. Do not expect taxi's to be readily available at the Tilbury port. Transportation should be planned prior to disembarkation. We rented a car from Enterprise which picked us up at the port. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We went to enjoy a voyage on the grand old lady (MS Lofoten) of the Hurtigruten again. The combination of the ship, crew, food, fellow passengers, weather, scenery, excursions, and overall ambience would have been great even without five ... Read More
We went to enjoy a voyage on the grand old lady (MS Lofoten) of the Hurtigruten again. The combination of the ship, crew, food, fellow passengers, weather, scenery, excursions, and overall ambience would have been great even without five mind-wowing nights with Northern Lights displays. The breakfast and lunch buffets were both full of different varieties of fish - at least seven different varieties of fish at virtually every meal! There were also some very interesting vegetarian options, which I ate out of preference rather than conviction. Even without going on any excursions, one could have a fascinating time. The constantly changing scenery kept ones interest. And in the many ports of call, there was always something of interest in the deck cargo. I loved the Salky (racing chariot) which was carried for about a day, only to be replaced by a speedboat. And the fellow passengers were great! But the icing on the cake came with some of the excursions. Riding on the seashore, in the dark except for the northern lights playing above, with only the sound of the waves and the horses in the snow, was absolutely magical. Just one of many fantastic excursions. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Just returned from a 11 day Northern Lights voyage along the Norwegian coast to Kirkenes and back to Bergen - and it was mind blowing. I've returned relaxed, pampered and looking to book another cruise - with Hurtigurten. Never ... Read More
Just returned from a 11 day Northern Lights voyage along the Norwegian coast to Kirkenes and back to Bergen - and it was mind blowing. I've returned relaxed, pampered and looking to book another cruise - with Hurtigurten. Never will I grace Royal Caribbean, or Princess again No casinos, no spas, no entertainment crews - it was education, relaxing and no hard sell. Cabins were basic, clean and well thought out, Bathrooms small and efficient. Staff were incredibly professional and charming Its a working ship, and the dress code was refreshingly casual..no dressing up for dinner. We loved every minute of it and the food was amazing. Fresh, locally sourced, not a french fry, burger, hot dog, pizza or hot dog in site. Excursions were expensive, but worth every penny - and no more expensive than the private ones which you can arrange independently Yes, alcohol is expensive, but this is Norway, and the prices on the ship were cheaper than the mid range hotels in Bergen. Embarkment and disembarkation were incredibly fast - we were in our hotel in less than an hour of leaving our deck - straight into a taxi. Tips - bring a kettle if you don't buy the premium package - learn how to use your camera for photographing the northern lights ( we had 6 nights of this spectacular) - bring a pair of slippers, good books, knitting/craft/watercolours - something to do when you are sailing along do at least 3 expeditions ( we did dog sledging, the ice hotel and the marble mines. All were incredible) Ignore the moaning minnie reviews. There are hundreds of thousand of people who have done this voyage. final words, don't hesitate book it! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We enjoyed our cruise very much. It was very good for the liver as alcohol prices were so high we hardly touched a drop, and given the Norwegian economy, the same can be said for all the excursions. However, having said that, we had ... Read More
We enjoyed our cruise very much. It was very good for the liver as alcohol prices were so high we hardly touched a drop, and given the Norwegian economy, the same can be said for all the excursions. However, having said that, we had wonderful R&R, saw the Northern Lights in all their glory, saw a bit of local life and enjoyed the fabulous scenery. Of the ship itself, the food was amazing, the crew wonderful and overall, it was very comfortable. In particular, we would like to commend the 'reception captain' who was particularly helpful in resolving issues about our cabin. On this issue, we feel that 'polar exterior' cabins with a view of a lifeboat, should be marketed at a separate price. There were also some very entertaining on board lectures etc We have a few (hopefully helpful) comments to make. 1 We did think that the quay side reception was poor.. 2 receptionists took a long time to process at least 3 coachloads of passengers who stood in a queue for up to (in some cases) an hour. Further, in the reception 'lounge' (after check in), there was no water available we heard. 2 The night visit to Trollffyord was very disappointing. A great deal was made of the fact that the ship would shine its lights down the fiord, but in the event, it was deemed that the moon was so good that this was unnecessary. HOWEVER, NO-ONE TOLD THE PASSENGERS!!! Those of us who were waiting on the beam of the ship (very limited space up front) saw absolutely nothing. It would have been nice if the ship had manoeuvred to allow everyone to see, but the most important thing was that there needed to be a commentary by the (otherwise) excellent on board entertainments' team. Bit of a waste of time from our point of view. 3 We found the food delicious but somewhat over salted. One can add but you can not take away! 4 Would like to see better lighting in top lounges Deck 7 (for reading at night). I'm all for dimmed (romantic?) lighting, but it does not suit everyone 5 The so called 'Captain's Dinner' on the penultimate evening (for which some, especially ladies, dressed up) was a bit of a farce. It consisted of 4 officers saying 'Lovely to see you - "cheers" and a quick 'march' round the dining room 'waving' (and no more) at all the tables. To make that occasion in any way worthwhile, we feel the officers should have stopped at individual tables for a few moments' chat. If you bill this sort of event in this way, it needs to be more of an occasion - or not do it. However, the latter would be a great pity. The crew were fun and it would have been nice to have SOME social time with them. 6 It would be good to be able to buy the tea and coffee package on board. 7 I would have liked to have used the Jacuzzi but could not access it as the approach was too icy and there was nowhere to change. 8 It would be nice if the top deck 'cafe' could sell one flavour of sugar free ice cream. We repeat, we enjoyed the trip and felt it was good value for money. We hope the above is helpful. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
It is important to point out that this is not a cruise, but a working ferry that runs Daily from Bergen to Kirkenes, visiting some port in the early hours. If you are a light sleeper, you may find you awake several times in the night, ... Read More
It is important to point out that this is not a cruise, but a working ferry that runs Daily from Bergen to Kirkenes, visiting some port in the early hours. If you are a light sleeper, you may find you awake several times in the night, especially when the side thrusters vibrate going into each dock. This ship had just been refurbished, so the decor was great with a lot of new technology, but had not been finished on time, so we had workman on board through to Christmas Eve, The outside cabins are small, so although expensive, we were so pleased we upgraded to a suite, which are fantastic, with large windows, TV, settee, chairs, fridge & blinds. No safe in the rooms, but you can borrow a hair drier from the reception. The first suite we were given had problems with the lights and after the 4th blackout, we insisted we were moved. I must emphasis that the staff on board this ship could not have been more obliging & helpful, despite suffering huge problems on a daily basis. Although a wine drinker, I must admit I went 12 days without a drop, because I refused to pay £50 for a bottle of wine. Excursions are also expensive, but well organised and easy to book on board. Some of the excursions have to be planned around sailing times, so you may start at one port but taken back on the ship a another port further down. The food on board was excellent and plenty of choice when served as a buffet. Some of the evening meals were served as a fixed menu, where you sat at a specific table with no choice of alternatives. I was a vegetarian, but knew that with such an abundance of fish . meat, my choices would be limited. I made sure I filled up during the breakfast & lunch periods. One evening, my meal was a bit of salad with a tomato. followed by a bowl of soup as my main course and a small bowl of ice cream for desert. If I had to highlight what was best, I would say the "Expedition Team of 3". They worked so hard, in such a friendly way to make sure we were informed, knew what was available & shared with us so much knowledge about Norway, Food, Culture & much much more. They spoke fluently in English, German & Norwegion. They were fun and it was like a big happy family event. I could moan about some issues, but all the staff did their best to make you happy. The country is beautiful, even with the limited light hours. I was amazed that if you came up to a road, the local drivers would always stop & let you cross. Shops were not crowded, you never saw any drunks (even at Christmas), no traffic jams, no homeless and Oh - no Northern Lights. Despite information about this ship, they did have two hot tubs at the back of the ship (deck 4). There is no evening entertainment, but they did bring on a pianist on board and although she could play the piano, her singing switched octaves on a regular basis and although she asked us to sing along with her, the words shoe sand was different to everyone else. They have a fitness room on board, but walking is limited ashore, especially on the southern journey back. You can walk around the ship (deck 5), but when you are on the open sea, it is very difficult to walk around the bow end, for fear of being blown along the deck. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
One of the most exhilarating experiences in my life, this cruise was our perfect honeymoon gift to each other. We didn't get the time to explore Bergen, but had no issues with embarkation & disembarkation. We were thoroughly ... Read More
One of the most exhilarating experiences in my life, this cruise was our perfect honeymoon gift to each other. We didn't get the time to explore Bergen, but had no issues with embarkation & disembarkation. We were thoroughly impressed by the courteous staff, who gave us a free upgrade, & also took care of my wife when she felt sea sick during mild rolling. The spread of food during all the meals was impressive. Even the shop on board had a nice variety of souvenirs for us to bring back. Our shore excursion to Trondheim was a memorable one. We were also fortunate enough to sight the Aurora Borealis from the observation deck. Although I was denied a visit to the Engine Room by the Chief Engineer despite me being a marine engineer by profession, I would definitely go again, after a few years, if I get a good discounted deal. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Highly rated on other review sites. Looked unusual and good value at around £100 a day. (2018 prices). Turned out better than expected. All flights and transfers were included. Where else could you stop 66 times in 12 days? The ... Read More
Highly rated on other review sites. Looked unusual and good value at around £100 a day. (2018 prices). Turned out better than expected. All flights and transfers were included. Where else could you stop 66 times in 12 days? The Hutingruten is a working ferry so this allowed us to get a real flavour of Norwegian coastal activities. Several major stops were over 3 hours and since Norwegian towns are not too large it was possible to see all major points on interest by just wandering around. Thanks to some forethought, maps were provided at major stopping points. Extensive organised trips were available and those who went on them gave glowing reports. No problem with the language as all the crew speak English. This ship carried special crew members called an Expedition Team who lead some of the more adventurous trips. Extremely attractive , very knowledgable, and competent in at least 4 languages between them. Lectures, information films and expedition briefings were held throughout the trip - even the Captain explaining the aids to navigation through the many islands (23,000) along the coast. The dress code is very casual, no dressing up at all although you might change for dinner if you would like. No pressure! No caberet (thank goodness) - bring your cards, play games, read books, or talk with other people on the trip. Ladies or gents - bring your knitting or crochet or contribute to the ship's blanket, by making granny squares. Or just sit and admire the ever changing view. Try this trip if food is your thing as much of it is loaded on board freshly every day and reflects the local cuisine in the main evening meal. Buffet breakfast and lunch cater for a wide range of tastes and as much as you can eat. Every meal has been superb. The service cannot be faulted. Most people go teetotal for the trip as alcohol in Norway costs twice as much as in the UK. Mobile phones work without any extra charge; internet access is available on various reasonably priced packages. We saw the Northern Lights! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We are only now on our 4th day on cruise and everyday a wonderful experience!! Excursions very good! Boat wonderful, clean, modern and with every facility needed. The staff excellent especially the expedition team! Food is ... Read More
We are only now on our 4th day on cruise and everyday a wonderful experience!! Excursions very good! Boat wonderful, clean, modern and with every facility needed. The staff excellent especially the expedition team! Food is outstanding! You definitely don’t need to upgrade to a-la-cartevoption! Every dinner different and food from area served with wonderful descriptions of dinner options on menu. Most beautiful views outside everyday!!! You sail by the most beautiful little towns, villages, mountains and through fjords. You are warned well on advance when you will be in open sea passages and with stabilisers on the boat the rough seas are handled very well. The crossing of the arctic circle this morning was a joyious occassion and the ceremony thereafter very good. The only complaint is passsengers who is selfish when it comes to seating in explorer lounge.... the staff requested not to reserve seats. Suggestion would be that passengers should be told not to sit and sleep on chairs... only to use it if they are watching and filming the views. The boat is beautiful and the explorer lounge lovely! I will highly recommend the cruise! Well done Hurtigruten!!! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
All values are excellent combined into very high rate of “VALUELITY”. Good shore excursions included in each of the port plus some free time for self exploration. We do not require ourself much regarding the cabin, but it was roomier ... Read More
All values are excellent combined into very high rate of “VALUELITY”. Good shore excursions included in each of the port plus some free time for self exploration. We do not require ourself much regarding the cabin, but it was roomier than we need since we spent most of the time in and about. Food was unbelievable, especially at the specialty restaurants, and most surprisingly was from the GRILL. The experience talks onboard were somewhat not in our interests as the topics were not current. The entertainments were good and suitable to the level of audience and age. We had turned in several suggestions regarding more visual (such as videos) for us to compare the OPTIONAL excursions, about more channels choice on television (such as US news and sport channels) as well as the option for close-caption. We also suggested the use of phone notification to remind us the times for excursions and for entertainment shows. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Done this voyage before, couldn't wait to do it again, not disappointed. If you want beautiful scenery, calm and relaxing voyage, no glitzy entertainment, TV or radio, mostly mature and intelligent fellow passengers, ie they're ... Read More
Done this voyage before, couldn't wait to do it again, not disappointed. If you want beautiful scenery, calm and relaxing voyage, no glitzy entertainment, TV or radio, mostly mature and intelligent fellow passengers, ie they're there for the same reason as you, then this is the trip for you. No need to 'dress' for dinner, just dress for comfort and the weather. Take a good camera, binoculars, plenty of layers for the different weather from north to south, plenty of Krone for adhoc purchases. Choose your excursions wisely and don't try to cram in too much, but the North Cape and Taste of Vesteralen are a 'must'. Don't forget the seasick tablets in case of choppy weather. Hop on and off at all the little stops, even it just for 5 minutes, you'll be amazed at what you see. Amazing gallery and museum where the ship stops for the North Cape excursion, visit if you have the time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We have travelled the world extensively but never been to Scandinavia or Russia so this looked like a good way to do a first experience in that part of the world. When we looked at the various options it seemed like Viking was the best for ... Read More
We have travelled the world extensively but never been to Scandinavia or Russia so this looked like a good way to do a first experience in that part of the world. When we looked at the various options it seemed like Viking was the best for many reasons. First among those reasons was that it was a smaller ship which meant that everything was not so crowded with only 930 guests. All cabins were outside with balconies and from the internet pictures looked very comfortable and well appointed which they were. One of the features that particularly attracted us was the list of what they did not do or have since we were more interested in an expedition type cruise rather than a floating party. For example, they have no casinos and big entertainment. No passengers under 18. No umbrella drinks. No photographers. No nickel and dime treatment. No extra charge for different dining venues. No charge for wifi and the list goes on. The shore excursions were interesting and varied as well as being included for at least one in every port with other options which cost extra. They were all very well organized with smaller groups. Prior to any shore excursion there was a comprehensive briefing to supplement the hand-out information in their booklets. The crew were very accommodating, the entertainment good without being too elaborate and every aspect of the service was first class. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
In the Wake of the Vikings - Ocean Cruise (Sep 2018) Sep 01 - SAN DIEGO - FRANKFURT * Flew on Lufthansa First Class (excellent service) * Arrived in Frankfurt and was met at the plane with a wheel chair for Glenn and full ... Read More
In the Wake of the Vikings - Ocean Cruise (Sep 2018) Sep 01 - SAN DIEGO - FRANKFURT * Flew on Lufthansa First Class (excellent service) * Arrived in Frankfurt and was met at the plane with a wheel chair for Glenn and full assistance transporting us to our departure gate. (Excellent service) Had a couple of hours layover in Frankfurt. Ate lunch at airport. Sep 02 - FRANKFURT - OSLO * Flew to Oslo, Norway (short flight) * Our arrival was late afternoon. * Transfer from Airport to Hotel - provided by Viking - Private Mercedes Benz Limo. * Joe Christian was our driver. (Exceptional service) * Hotel was excellent. * Due to our arrival in the early evening our visit to Oslo was limited. Sep 03 - OSLO - BERGEN * Breakfast at hotel (Food was delicious, procedure for seating in dining room was chaotic) * Transfer from Hotel to Train Station via included Bus tour of Oslo - (Tour Guide was very good) * Train to Bergen - There was confusion regarding the seating on the train. * (The arrangement for lunch on board was unexpected, but the boxed food was hot and good) * Transfer from Train Station to Hotel did not go well. (Guide was late, unapologetic and very unprepared. * Bus driver and passengers were kept waiting with no explanation from the Guide). * Hotel was excellent. We had dinner in the bar as the dining room was full. Sep 04 - BERGEN * Breakfast at hotel (excellent) * Transfer to from Hotel to Ship via included Bus Tour of Bergen did not go well. * Tour Guide was not organized, very difficult to understand. * We literally drove in circles and passed the same locations two and three times. As a result we were not able to spend sufficient time at the Gamle Bergen Open Air Museum * Tour Guide did not clearly point out the difficulty of negotiating the open air museum to our physically challenged passengers. * This included tour has the potential to be so much better. Sep 05 - BERGEN * Breakfast on Ship * We chose to walk on our own from Ship to Funicular in the morning * Strolled through town back to ship seeing some sites along the way * Set sail in the evening for Lerwick, Shetland Islands (UK) Sep 06 - LERWICK - SHETLAND ISLANDS * We chose to skip the tours and took a shuttle bus from the dock to Downtown Lerwick. * We strolled the streets and enjoyed our visit. Sep 07 - TORSHAVN - FAROE ISLANDS ALTERNATE PORT - KOLLAFJORDUR * Our cruise hit a major snag here. After the Captain docked, he was informed by the port authority that we could not dock there. Apparently the dock was double booked and our ship eventually (after 2 hours of discussions) had to relocate to another port on the island. * After relocating we were finally able to disembark and take a two hour bus tour of the area. OK but nothing to write home about. Captain to be commended for his handling of the situation. * Sad thing was the town of Torshavn lost out on our visit entirely. And some of the tours had to be cancelled. * The alternate port was nothing more than a dock and no village. * Very disappointed that none of us were able to visit Torshavn due to the dispute with the port. Sep 08 - AT SEA Sep 09 - REYKJAVIK, ICELAND * We docked without incident at this port. * Glenn took a bus tour of the city. * Pat went to the Blue Lagoon. Very well done with one exception - we were told to bring a towel with us to the lagoon. However when we arrived at the lagoon we were informed that towels were provided as part of our tour package. * This was the only port of call where some of us encountered rain. Sep 10 - AT SEA Sep 11 - NANORTALIK, GREENLAND (aborted) ALTERNATIVELY - AT SEA * Due to bad weather conditions in the area it was decided to skip this port and continue to Qaqortoq, Greenland. * As a result we had an extra day at sea. * Because we had the time the captain took us through a couple of magnificent fiords on the way. Sep 12 - QAQORTOQ - GREENLAND * We woke up this morning in this charming village community. * We tendered in. * We opted out of any tours and wandered around the village on our own. * Viking did an excellent job of greeting us on shore. * The weather was picture perfect. Sep 13 - AT SEA Sep 14 - L’ANSE AUX MEADOWS, NEWFOUNDLAND (aborted) ALTERNATE PORT - SAINT ANTHONY, NEWFOUNDLAND * Due to dangerous weather conditions in the area we continued to an alternate port, St. Anthony, which proved to be a delightful and very friendly community. * Glenn stayed on board the ship. * I took a tender into town and did a lot of walking, exploring and hiking. * Another picture perfect day for weather. * This port should be on the itinerary Sep 15 - AT SEA Sep 16 - SAGUENAY, QUEBEC, CANADA * The scenery as we left the Seaway and went up the river to Saguenay was beautiful. * We arrived in the morning to great fanfare. Several of the town folk came to the dock to greet us with dancing and music. * Upon arrival we were taken in busses to a very large auditorium for a major theatrical production. Excellent. * The port provided wheel chair and electric cart service for the physically challenged from and to the ship. * The transfer from ship to theater and back to dock was a bit chaotic, but short. * Back on board we freshened up, had lunch and then did some walking along the harbor. * Our ship had the best docking location. * There were three other ships in port at the same time and they all had to tender in. * Crew and Staff were on shore to welcome us back to ship with music and champagne! * Another picture perfect day for weather. Sep 17 - QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC, CANADA * Pat toured the town on his own including a trip on the funicular and coffee and sandwich at Starbucks. * Glenn took a guided bus tour of the city. Excellent Tour and Tour Guide. * We did not get the ideal docking position but there was a shuttle that transferred us between ship and the city. * We felt that an overnight with an extra day in Quebec City would have been preferred. * Another picture perfect day for weather. Sep 18 - MONTREAL * Arrived in Montreal. Disembarkation went very well. Viking Staff there to help and give directions inside the Terminal. * Short Transfer to Hotel via a large van. * Settled into the Westin hotel and began our explorations on our own. * No included tours here. * We had lunch and dinner at the hotel. * The Hotel and Dining Room was excellent. Sep 19 - MONTREAL - Extended stay * Enjoyed our included breakfast at the Hotel. * We set out on our own and toured the city including a visit to the Bank of Montreal and Notre Dame Basilica. * As suggested by the Hotel concierge we had an excellent lunch at the Portus 360 revolving restaurant with commanding views of the city. * We then continued exploring the city on foot, including a visit to St. Patrick’s Basilica and the Olympic Monument. * We attended the night show AURA at Notre Dame Basilica followed by a delicious dinner back at the hotel. This should be highly recommended to all clients in advance so as to get a seat. Very popular. Reservations should be made well in advance. We purchased our tickets on line from home before the trip. Sep 20 - MONTREAL - PHILADELPHIA - SAN DIEGO * Enjoyed our included breakfast at the Hotel. * After breakfast Pat took one last walk through Montreal Old Town * We had a private included transfer from Hotel to Airport in the afternoon * Flight was late leaving Montreal - no one at the airport kept us informed * Arrived in Philadelphia and was met at the plane with a wheel chair for Glenn and full assistance transporting us to our departure gate. (Excellent service) * Arrived in San Diego late at night and took cab home. The ship - Viking Sea * It is important to note that there was a serious problem on board this ship. Based on our own personal experience and conversations with some of the passengers - there is a noise problem that needs to be addressed. * Our cabin, 4084, was so noisy we could not sleep at night. * We invited engineering into 4084 so they could hear the noise as well and they did. Not at all clear what the cause was but it was intermittent and even occurred when the ship was not moving. It was a very loud booming sound and vibrated one wall in the cabin. * After two nights in that cabin - Viking relocated us to cabin 5026 which was identical to 4084 except without any noise. * The staff was excellent. The public areas were comfortable. * Attention to detail could be better. Example: the tile floor in the World Cafe is chipped and cracked in places and the grouting appears dirty. Food Service & Entertainment * Food on board the ship in the main dining room and the World Cafe was creative and delicious. The food was not often hot and only mildly warm. Warm plates were offered as an alternative to the cold plates under the counters at the buffet. This needs attention and better notice. * For one of the meals in the main Dining Room Glenn had to ask the waiter for a replacement of the main course as the one delivered was barely warm. * Meals were creative, excellent presentation and flavorful. * Eric, the maitre’d, was outstanding. He was attentive and helpful. Prior to the cruise we were not able to get an earlier seating in the Chefs Table and Manfredi’s restaurants. Eric took care of that and we were able to dine earlier. * The Pool Grill provided nice simple options for meals. * The waffles in Mamsen’s were outstanding. * Both Alternative Dining Rooms were excellent. Service excellent and food excellent. * Wintergarden Afternoon Tea very well done. * The Afternoon Brunch in the Wintergarden was outstanding. They did run out of some of the items too soon. * Table 131 in the main Restaurant is a very bad table to sit at. There are glaring fluorescent lights from the kitchen area visible in parts of the dining area. Recommend a modification so the light is not visible to guests. * Entertainment on board was good. Drew, the Cruise Director, was amazing. His ability to sing, play musical instruments and his knowledge of the ports we visited - incredible. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
There were so many interesting locations to view and visit while enjoying luxurious service, dining and comfort. Viking spoils their passengers. Service is impeccable and wonderful selection of restaurants onboard. Cabin service is ... Read More
There were so many interesting locations to view and visit while enjoying luxurious service, dining and comfort. Viking spoils their passengers. Service is impeccable and wonderful selection of restaurants onboard. Cabin service is excellent, from cleanliness to accommodation. This was my fourth trip with Viking River and Ocean cruise and I’m now planning my fifth. Viking makes traveling so easy for you by collecting you at the airport and retuning for your flight home. It’s obvious Viking takes the time to properly train their employees. I actually walked into my once and found someone cleaning under my bed. You’ll find from the stewards, bartenders, servers will help you with anything you ask. The concierge will go out of their way to grant any request you have. Viking has wonderful entertainment. From dancing, singing, comedy etc. to a large current selection of movie and tv programs. After a day of fascinatingly excursions it’s nice to have dinner in or out of your room and then relax with a movie. Again, I’ll say Viking absolutely spoils their guests. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
How nice to have the whole trip so relaxing, including not having to take a dinner jacket. Loved the whole ambiance. Our ship had been recently refurbished so was quite modern and clean. The cabin was just fine, except didn't like ... Read More
How nice to have the whole trip so relaxing, including not having to take a dinner jacket. Loved the whole ambiance. Our ship had been recently refurbished so was quite modern and clean. The cabin was just fine, except didn't like being on level 5 with the walk way going past us - people can't resist looking in!! The food was excellent & staff were great and very friendly. The excersion staff were brilliant. We went on 7 excursions and aeven though expensive, all worthwhile and unmissable. Highlights: Crabbing safari, breakfast at North Cape, The atlantic bridges trip and Trollfjord. Enjoyed the fact that people wereon and off at different ports including delivering goods to local people. Meant we met alot of different people all the time. Only down side: maybe 80% German travellers, who weren't too friendly Glad we had the coffee package as any extras were very expensive, but that's Noway, so to be expected. Overall a lovely break and of course the scenery was stunning. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We have really enjoyed two river cruises and wanted to try an ocean cruise. We had not visited Northern Europe so thought the Viking Homelands cruise would be perfect. It gave us a chance to experience lots of different countries and ... Read More
We have really enjoyed two river cruises and wanted to try an ocean cruise. We had not visited Northern Europe so thought the Viking Homelands cruise would be perfect. It gave us a chance to experience lots of different countries and cities. We also wanted to be able to spend some time in St. Petersburg. Our cabin was very comfortable. We enjoyed the food options - especially being able to have meals in various locations. The public areas were numerous and extremely comfortable. The entertainment in the evenings was varied and very professional. We also enjoyed the various lectures by the historians on board that gave us historical perspectives of each of our destinations as we were approaching those destinations. The service on board the ship was outstanding, including the staff when we were boarding and disembarking; the meals; the loungesand the housekeeping personnel. We also felt that each of our guides on each of our excursions in the various ports were professional and interesting and entertaining. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
This was an area of the world that we have always thought of visiting. To say the least, we had an outstanding cruise! Having a day in the originating and departing port was a bonus and exactly what we wanted. Checking into the ship was a ... Read More
This was an area of the world that we have always thought of visiting. To say the least, we had an outstanding cruise! Having a day in the originating and departing port was a bonus and exactly what we wanted. Checking into the ship was a breeze, no line and greeted warmly. There were more excursions than we could ever take on one journey so maybe we’ll have to do this again? Since we didn’t think we would ever do this again, it was hard to decide on just one a day! Our excursions were outstanding, the coaches were new, air conditioned, comfortable and never crowded. Our drivers were amazing and our tour guides were very knowledgeable and personable. There were excursions for every ability level and the transportation accommodated our needs for part of the family needing additional assistance. One of our excursions was scheduled for the building opening time so we were the very first group in the church and there were at least 2000 people outside waiting. Viking books their excursions well. The dining was always just right, from the specialty restaurants, to the main dining room to the buffet. We utilized room service each morning so we could sleep in just a bit longer before heading out on our excursions. This was wonderfully convenient and the food was hot and tasty. The common areas were impeccably clean and inviting. The staff in these areas were there to take care of you but not a nuisance. Every staff member on this ship is there to make you happy and they did. We chose Viking because pretty much everything is included and that included one excursion per port per day. There was no nickel and dimeing you on this cruise line and everything was top notch service oriented. I will only sail with Viking for any of my future adventures. Thank you to the Captain and Crew of the Viking Sea for a wonderful Family Adventure 2018! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
The route and expected subject matter of the lectures and shore excursions were what we were looking for. We found the Viking Sea trip appropriate for our age and physical limitations and we always found helpful the understanding staff ... Read More
The route and expected subject matter of the lectures and shore excursions were what we were looking for. We found the Viking Sea trip appropriate for our age and physical limitations and we always found helpful the understanding staff and their listening to our concerns and goals. The eating options were very fine with outstanding healthy food and good choices. The classical music and entertainment in the Star Theatre was top notch and we had a good time with others. We would recommend this route and Viking highly, especially for those with historical ties and appreciation of Northern European culture and history and art. I felt that several of the excursions were overpriced and not clearly explained as to difficulty of walking required. I think it would be an improvement to offer more ideas how travelers could explore the ports on their own. Panorama bus tours are not very satisfying especially if the guide talks too much and doesn't listen more to the participants. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Came on board to accompany a friend and to see the beautiful landscape of Norway. Get ready for many non smiling passengers. The staff can be found doing multiple job assignments. Your room can be attended to by the wait staff. I ... Read More
Came on board to accompany a friend and to see the beautiful landscape of Norway. Get ready for many non smiling passengers. The staff can be found doing multiple job assignments. Your room can be attended to by the wait staff. I was happy that our server was attentive to special dietary restrictions. Most speak English fairly well and one guide spoke 6 languages. He seemed like the most kindhearted individual. Turned off by a hostess who felt like she needed to admonish an infraction in dining policy. Needs training in customer service. What was a fairly pleasant boring but beautiful cruise was tainted by her caustic approach in addressing us. Best thing on the ship was the salmon. If your looking to be entertained, this is not for you. The weather was cold and rained a lot. Darken the windows when sleeping since it was light for 23 hours. Bring warm clothes and a good water repellent jacket. Dress is very casual. Water is a premium. Need to bring water from restaurant if you want it in your cabin. Coffee is only served in morning at breakfast, but available on deck 8 with purchase or package. Ice is a commodity. Had to get my own ice daily for my water from the bar. Norway is not cheap. Everything is expensive. Cashed in US dollars for Krones at reception and was shorted each time. Asked if there was a fee and replied no, but get ready to pay a hidden rate(not the true exchange rate at time). There is a laundry facility available, but clothes take a long time to dry. Can’t beat the remarkable views traveling by water. Salmon the best, staff mostly helpful. Passengers- depressing. Sorry Norway, land of my ancestors. You need to lighten up. Read Less

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