Sail Date: April 2018
Primarily chose this cruise because of family Scandinavian background, previous travels in eastern and inland Norway, desire to see St. Petersburg and outstanding previous experiences with Viking river and ocean cruises. Embarkation and ... Read More
Primarily chose this cruise because of family Scandinavian background, previous travels in eastern and inland Norway, desire to see St. Petersburg and outstanding previous experiences with Viking river and ocean cruises. Embarkation and disembarkation were handled very smoothly, the ship is beautifully designed and equipped with a relaxed and roomy feel. Specialty restaurant dining is at no extra charge and very good, although the main dining room and World Cafe buffet dining and service are also excellent. Ports of call and shore excursions were all interesting and the excursions all handled very well. We also very much enjoyed the enrichment activities, particularly the excellent Viking era and Russian imperial historical reviews presented by excellent speakers. Our Penthouse Veranda category cabin was very comfortable and we especially appreciated the complementary self-serve launderette on each deck on this two week cruise. We have enjoyed the Viking ocean cruises and have already booked a 2020 Australia/New Zealand cruise on Viking Orion. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I always wanted to go on this cruise and finally booked it as there was no surcharge for a single cabin. In the beginning, I was a bit disappointed as the weather was rather cloudy and rainy with limited visibility. Fortunately, the ... Read More
I always wanted to go on this cruise and finally booked it as there was no surcharge for a single cabin. In the beginning, I was a bit disappointed as the weather was rather cloudy and rainy with limited visibility. Fortunately, the weather changed on day 3 and the trip became one of the best I ever did. Great landscape, nice excursions (Northern Cape, Husky sleigh tour and midnight concert in Trondheim), a variety of people to spend time with, very interesting presentations on various aspects of Norway and first-class delicious food! I appreciated the easy-going atmosphere (no fashion shows at diner). Food was delicious and deserves 5 stars. The cabin was as expected, not too big, but with everything you need. My cabin was with restricted view, means there was a rescue boat in front of the window. I made an excursion to the Northern cape, a Husky adventure in Kirkenes where we also visited the Snow Hotel and the Midnight concert in Trondheim. Organisation was good and I enjoyed them all. There is lots more on offer, however they are all quite expensive for Non-Norwegians. The staff was very friendly and helpful. I particularly liked the expedition team as they were giving regular presentations on various subjects on Norway - very informative and interesting. Overall, it was an impressive experience with Hurtigruten and I will most probably go again to experience a different time of the year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Excellent trip, all staff were friendly, chatty and ready to answer any question anytime. The food was excellent with great variety. I am Coeliac and my needs were met excellently. The expedition team of Elizabeth and Marie definitely ... Read More
Excellent trip, all staff were friendly, chatty and ready to answer any question anytime. The food was excellent with great variety. I am Coeliac and my needs were met excellently. The expedition team of Elizabeth and Marie definitely added to my enjoyment of trip. They were great always bubbly when dealing with guests. I opted for an upgrade on day one and felt I got good value there. Only downside of trip was the dirty windows in the Explorer bar as it was designed to take in the wonderful panorama of the fjords. Nobody wants photos with streaks of dirt. The captain announced when the Northern lights were visible this was great as it was in the night so guests could go out to see them. Overall I would highly recommend this trip to young and old and there were a variety of each on board. I hope to travel this same route again in a different season. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
The journey with Hurtigruten on the MS Finnmarken was the most wonderful I ever made. The norwegian fjords are fantastic and this fresh arctic air makes you stay on the upper deck all day, you get addicted to it. Most comfortable ... Read More
The journey with Hurtigruten on the MS Finnmarken was the most wonderful I ever made. The norwegian fjords are fantastic and this fresh arctic air makes you stay on the upper deck all day, you get addicted to it. Most comfortable thing was the sauna and the two jaccuzis on the rear deck - it is too lovely to sit in the hot tub and see the ship leaving Kristiansund or Tromso or whatever!! LOVELY. The interior in an Art Déco-style is nice and they even had a piano in the salon. Best thing for those, who doesn't want to go outside, is the panorama-salon on deck 8, watching the scenery passing by slowly is the best way to travel. The only thing, that was really bad for me: I am an allergic person and the food i got was ridiculous! For breaktfast they just got me two slices of glutenfree toast, nothing else (for the rest I had to check the buffet - which didn't provide much for me). And dinner (when there was no buffet). was just terrible. Mostly it looked like the leftovers of the lunchbuffet, smashed into the pan with some old beetroot. And always styrofoam chickpeas. Or Potatoesoup with no taste. Considering, that the others got a five star menu and that the chefs are actually professionals the dishes for allergic people were a shame! That was the only complaint, but a major one. Still the journey was so beautiful, that I am gonna do it again next year summer. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
A wonderful way to see the Norwegian coast in comfort. It would be a completely different experience in summer - many people were on their 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th trip. It is essential to do the full Bergen to Kirkenes and return voyage to ... Read More
A wonderful way to see the Norwegian coast in comfort. It would be a completely different experience in summer - many people were on their 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th trip. It is essential to do the full Bergen to Kirkenes and return voyage to make the best of it. Remember this is not a cruise, it is a working boat stopping frequently. Make sure you are on one of the newer boats and that it has an expedition team. They organise trips, lectures, daily programmes and are generally very helpful. All announcements were in Norwegian, English, German and French. If you leave the intercom on in your cabin you will be told when the Northern Lights are to be seen. Cabins are small and basic, but comfortable. Outside cabin essential. Food is old-fashioned and wholesome, a little heavy on salt, perhaps that comes from centuries of eating salt fish. Plenty of choice at the breakfast and lunch buffets, lots of fish, good soups. Set menu and time for waiter service dinner, 3 courses with no choice but show casing good local products. Alcohol so expensive (wine £10-30 a glass) it is better to stick to the free table water. There are a few activities, films, lectures, story-telling and some notable sights are pointed out. Talks about the next days sights are helpful. Excursions are ridiculously expensive (£100-300), you really must be sure it's something you want to do. We went on a bus trip across the islands which was spectacular with a good guide. At any of the stops of an hour or more you can get off and walk around, the boat is usually moored in the centre of town. Taxis are also available to save time to go to sights in larger towns, e.g. the cathedrals in Tromso and Trondheim. In winter streets are not cleared of snow and ice so boots and care are needed. Crew all helpful and efficient. If booking a package from the UK with flights from local airports beware. The Germania charter flight and transfers from Leeds/Bradford were one of the worst travel experiences. An uncomfortable plane full, of mostly elderly, people who had to stand for far too long at every check-in. At Bergen the luggage took over an hour to arrive (no seats), then at the terminal there were only 2 people to check in 3 buses arriving at the same time. On return we were dropped at Bergen airport 4 hours before the flight and told that check-in would not start for 2 hours, there were 30 seats for 150 people. Fortunately the Hurtigruten rep managed to get check-in open, although it took over an hour to check-in with many people standing all the time. Then at Leeds/Bradford (surely one of the worst airports) escalator to baggage collection not working, and luggage took almost an hour to arrive. When asked why the people on the flight which arrived after ours had collected their luggage and left, the staff said that they had less than 4 hours notice that our flight was arriving and no staff were available to unload. On trying to leave through customs the exit doors/gates repeatedly stuck with people trapped inside. A waiting onlooker said it had been going on all evening. Then a stressful car park experience with no signs to the exit and a gate system which did not recognise our number plate ("because it is not in the centre of the car") or the code on our booking. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We have just returned from a South to North trip. Some of the experiences were great, the ship was comfortable and the crew friendly but we will not be going again in the late spring for the wildlife as we'd originally intended. ... Read More
We have just returned from a South to North trip. Some of the experiences were great, the ship was comfortable and the crew friendly but we will not be going again in the late spring for the wildlife as we'd originally intended. From the UK everything is very, very expensive. More than we'd anticipated. £10 for a lager, £40+ for a run of the mill Pinot Grigio, £80-£100 for a 2 hour sightseeing tour, etc. And many of the excursions are a rip off because either they are too time limited due to the ships schedule or take place in the dark. Eg, at Trondheim our guided bus tour of the town (including a viewpoint lookout) was in the dark. It could have been run an hour later. At Saltstraumen, the tide was hardly running, so no 'maelstrom', and worst of all the 'Sailing in the Polar Night' aka 'Silent Whale Watching' (they changed the title as there were no whales), supposedly under an electric engine and maybe sail, is a farce. The captain confirmed they never raised the sail on that trip, most of the time we were under noisy diesel power, no whales are the norm this year as the herring have gone further north, and, of course, after the first half hour it was in the dark so the wonderful scenery we were told of was invisible. When the excursion sheet says the trip is say 3.5 hours for the dog sledding, you have to allow for time getting to and from the venue by coach and kitting up, safety talk and making a fuss of the dogs so this only a half to three quarter hour actually out. I didn't do this trip as I have mobility problems and thought it would be too long. It wasn't. Mobility wise on the ship there is a lift between floors, the outside doors have automatic button opening and there are shallow stairs with a rail and then a ramp for embarkation. Do as much homework as you possibly can before you go. There are maps provided for each port where there is time ashore and if you are of average fitness I would recommend using these and on-line information and doing your own excursion. Many did and saw so much more than we did on the organised trips. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Once we made the south bounded tour from Kirkenes to Bergen, in summer. Now we wanted to make the north tour in winter especially because of the polar light, but also to see the coast in winter, e.g North pole. Of course we made a ... Read More
Once we made the south bounded tour from Kirkenes to Bergen, in summer. Now we wanted to make the north tour in winter especially because of the polar light, but also to see the coast in winter, e.g North pole. Of course we made a sight seeing trip throuh Bergen, although it was raining. The embarkation and disembarkation was smooth, and without hectic. In both situations the luggage was satisfactory brought into and out of the ship, so we didn't have to handle it myself. We used as long two ships, MS Nordnorge and MS Nordlys. Both were very well equiped, enough space to relaxe and to see the surrounding. The cabin was only used for sleeping and dressing, therefor it was o.k. The dining was excellent, especially in accordance to the local region. The activities were excellent, the expedition team was the best team we ever have seen. The service was also out of discussion, excellent. Because of the expedition teams te excursions were very good prepared. The evening before you became information, all questions were answered, pictures were shown, he work shop about making photos of polar light was excellent. We had no children with us, but perhaps when our grandchilds are elder. Of course we will repeat travelling with Hurtigruten. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
From the on-line booking process to the end of the trip, a great experience. Hurtigruten is a working supply/postal vessel which carry's passengers also, so it goes where other cruise lines cannot get. No theatre's, no shows, ... Read More
From the on-line booking process to the end of the trip, a great experience. Hurtigruten is a working supply/postal vessel which carry's passengers also, so it goes where other cruise lines cannot get. No theatre's, no shows, no live music, except what you make yourselves. A great choice of excursions to suit all tastes and levels of fitness and obviously interest, with very experienced and knowledgeable staff. Great food regardless of buffet style or fixed menu. Great staff, very friendly and accommodating. We did the round voyage Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen and we enjoyed the trip tremendously even if we did experience hurricane force winds and the associated rough seas, all a part of the experience. Obviously I can only speak of our experience on-board MS Nordlys,between 5 January and 16 January 2018, but if the entire fleet has the same quality of staff and food I will not worry too much about which ship I book my next trip on. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We choose this cruise due to its itinerary and it being a working ship. The experience is therefore different, there are several stops every day and it's an interesting way to get to know more about the local culture. We thoroughly ... Read More
We choose this cruise due to its itinerary and it being a working ship. The experience is therefore different, there are several stops every day and it's an interesting way to get to know more about the local culture. We thoroughly enjoyed this trip, visiting so many different cities and seeing the Northern Lights on the last day. The crew was excellent, very professional and friendly. The food was outstanding, even very thoughtful for the evening meals. This was our first cruise and for that we have enjoyed it very much. Our cruise was one way from Bergen to Kirkenes. This included New Year's Eve on the boat, which again was thought well through to provide entertainment and the right atmosphere on boat. There are plenty of excursions to choose from, which we recommend that you do some of these, they are well planned and give a good insight. The Point of Interest Activities on the outside Deck are definitely worthwhile. The only word of warning is to choose your cabin wisely. We just booked a basic Polar Outside and were on Deck 3. Although it says the MS Nordkapp has been refurbished in 2016, so it's overall in excellent and modern conditions, the same doesn't apply for Deck 3. Our cabin was still old school. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I have often thought about a Norwegian cruise, how pretty it would be. Friends went in September and I was completely smitten by their photographs and their experience. I perused Hurtigruten's web site and booked a date covering ... Read More
I have often thought about a Norwegian cruise, how pretty it would be. Friends went in September and I was completely smitten by their photographs and their experience. I perused Hurtigruten's web site and booked a date covering both Christmas and New Year, and a class of cabin in my price range. I was not disappointed in my choice. The service on board was excellent from all members of staff. The MS Nordlys has the bonus of an on-board Expedition Team so as well as the Hurtigruten excursions, there were also walks or hikes with the Expedition Team, generally where the tours didn't go. On board there was a daily talk by the Expedition Team on topics such as The Sami People, Polar Expeditions, Folklore and Fairytales, along with general information about the next port of call and things to see and do. I didn't think the excursions were particularly good value for money but that could be because nothing in Norway is cheap. They were, however, very good. Those I went on were, with the exception of a nature and history walk with the on-board Expedition Team, Hurtigruten excursions. Sadly there is only time to do one excursion or expedition at stops en route so if doing both the northbound and southbound voyages its good to read the timings thoroughly before booking anything in case you miss out. For example, if you go dog-sledding in Tromso on the northbound voyage then you miss the city tour because on the southbound journey the stop at Tromso only has a midnight concert. So take the city tour northbound and do the dog sledding at Kirkenes! I didn't find it necessary to pre-book any excursions, they were all bookable on board but perhaps they get more booked out during different seasons. On the dates I travelled (25 December-5th January) the age range of Coastal Voyage passengers was mixed - one or two children, under 30's, over 30's and on to middle aged and older. Some travellers had a physical disability but they were all looked after whenever they needed help. Some locations were difficult for disembarking but their needs were well catered for, including using the car loading bay when the passenger ramp was too steep for them. Don't be deterred if you're disabled! Mealtimes are open seating with the exception of most dinners where you are allocated a dining time and a table at the outset of your Voyage. Most single travellers were put together, generally in groups of same language speakers - English, German etc spread out among the different sittings. Further down this review you will see that I have said I've done 2-5 cruises: my first was moving to Australia in 1971, the second and third were from Australia to New Zealand and from New Zealand to the UK. These were on large impersonal cruise liners. The Hurtigruten Coastal Voyage is not only an experience for travellers but is a working ferry for local people wanting to get from place to place easily and there is no comparison between the first 3 'cruises' and that which I have just taken with Hurtigruten. Without doubt the Hurtigruten Coastal Voyage is the most memorable and the most enjoyable for me - its casual and fun without too many frills, smart casual for dinner rather than stuffy "dress for dinner" or "dine with the captain". If you want posh, then you may find another company suits you better. I will definitely book more trips with Hurtigruten in the future and will definitely revisit the coastal voyage during another season. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This is the worst cruise in my cruising life. Paid for a suite and get as the prisoner meal, eat it or go to deck 7 paid for your favorite meal.that was not people who paid for expensive room and get the hopeless meal. Don't ... Read More
This is the worst cruise in my cruising life. Paid for a suite and get as the prisoner meal, eat it or go to deck 7 paid for your favorite meal.that was not people who paid for expensive room and get the hopeless meal. Don't expect live entertainment in other luxury cruise. You will get bore after 3 days. Tour desk officer are very rude, junior promise multi excursion get discount, she can overwrite it and said no discount. Ports and shore excursions, it is a delivery ship or just like ferry cruising.you will pay for expensive and not worth while excursion.norwegian monopoly these sector for northern light and yet, you won't get the best northern light photo.reason: cruise is moving and tilting, even you have tripod, your northern light pictures is not as sharp as land tour for northern lights. We have joined land tour in jan 2017 in tromso as what we have compare the image.if you want good northern light, fly to tromso and join the northern light chase from the side lane of radisson blu hotel. Stay away don't get regret like us. WE JOINED WE LOOSE You listen to my advice you win. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
I chose this cruise, as I had always wanted to go on a cruise, but also wanted to see the Northern Lights, this cruise fitted both criteria. I loved the cruising, and also the ship not being very oversized, made it friendly and people very ... Read More
I chose this cruise, as I had always wanted to go on a cruise, but also wanted to see the Northern Lights, this cruise fitted both criteria. I loved the cruising, and also the ship not being very oversized, made it friendly and people very relaxed. The food was excellent, buffets for breakfast and lunch and twice in the evening, evening otherwise was served. The meals served were outstanding, tasty and varied, portions not oversized, which is another thing I really loved. Drinks were expensive, but are dear in Norway, not a problem for me, drank water most of the time. I did have free tea and coffee all day, which I enjoyed. The excursions were wonderful, all the guides were very knowledgeable and I learned a lot about the history of Norway over the time. The only thing I will asked the next time I go, I would have like a kettle in my room, as I always drink tea, before I get up. I will do a similar cruise again, and definitely book with Hurtigruten. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Everything was OK with the boat, food, cabin (we would have liked one double bed instead of 2 beds apart!) and services on board. Just one thing to complain about: We were booked on the Dog sledding in Kirkenes. Some others were ... Read More
Everything was OK with the boat, food, cabin (we would have liked one double bed instead of 2 beds apart!) and services on board. Just one thing to complain about: We were booked on the Dog sledding in Kirkenes. Some others were supposed to do it in Tromsoe. The Dog sledding planned in Tromsoe was canceled due to lack of snow, therefore, they added the people to the one planned in Kirkenes. This resulted in too many persons at the same time and consequently, the tour was shortened significantly to allow everyone to go within the same time frame of the shore stop. The tour looked nice but ended up to be expensive for such a short time spent on the sled!! We decided to do the full tour of the boat but one way would be good enough: The stops were sometimes to short to spend some time on the shore and especially on the return but we booked the flights to Norway on our own and did not find a flight from Kirkenes. I think it would have been much better to stay one day there and do the Dog Sledding on our own. Much easier to say after than before!! The midnight concert was really fabulous, the acoustic of the cathedral is amazing! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
I choose the cruise after watched Hurtigruten advertisement about the trip. Yes we have quite high expectation about the trip. The best about this trip that we are able to see a very beautiful aurora somewhere after Tromsø and ... Read More
I choose the cruise after watched Hurtigruten advertisement about the trip. Yes we have quite high expectation about the trip. The best about this trip that we are able to see a very beautiful aurora somewhere after Tromsø and still able to get some beautiful view of Norway. Before voyage I received all the information I needed and the booking of the trip worked well too. I'm not satisfied with the service on board because : 01 Excursion The Silent Whale Exploring (Tromso) Excursion Code H-TOS5K 16 November 2017 and paid each of us NOK 2198.99 (total NOK 4397.98 . One day before Expedition Manager personally informed to us that we may not be able to see the Humpback whale because the Herring fish not yet around but he assured us that we will be able to see some Orca (smaller whale). Surprisingly on the day of the excursion, once after we arrived on the boat, the guide told us that we won't see anything because it's not yet the season for Humpback whale nor Orca because the herring not yet arrived (Poor Herring everybody blamed "the Herrring"). I think this is very unprofessional and I felt being cheated. If it's not yet the Herring's season you can actually cancel the excursion. I'm very dissapointed. 02. Food Breakfast, lunch and dinner all almost similar for 7 days. More food variation needed as you have international passengers from different nations. 03. Unhappy staff Except one gentleman in the dining room (reception/waiters) who always greet us warmly, the rest always looked unhappy. I will definitely come back to Norway but my next trip won't be in the cruise anymore. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
The Trip was wonderful. This is not a "typical" cruise, is a postship.This is really important to know! The cruise is for nature and relaxing. The programm onboard is not too much, is only 1-3 per day. But the points of Interest ... Read More
The Trip was wonderful. This is not a "typical" cruise, is a postship.This is really important to know! The cruise is for nature and relaxing. The programm onboard is not too much, is only 1-3 per day. But the points of Interest are perfect for information. On a Hurtigruten cruise you must know your self and your own entertainment. The service was perfect, everybody was nice. The speak english and german, of course norwegian. The breakfeast had a good selection of bread, cereals and more. The dining was delicious. My absolut favorite excursion was the visit to the huskys. They are so friendly and you can cuddle them all. The stops are partially short, is not everywhere time to see the city or the village. But this is a postship, not a typical cruise. We think it was a nice experience and not too much chichi. We met great people and see a beutiful landscape. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
The Hurtigruten trip with MS Spitsbergen was definitely one of the best holidays we ever had! Besides the beautiful landscape of the Norwegian coast, the size of the ship was perfect (small), the interior was modern, the food was very ... Read More
The Hurtigruten trip with MS Spitsbergen was definitely one of the best holidays we ever had! Besides the beautiful landscape of the Norwegian coast, the size of the ship was perfect (small), the interior was modern, the food was very delicious, the daily information of the upcoming stops and tours were helpful, the littele events, presentations and gimmick were funny and exciting, and, most important, the crew was always friendly and open for a small chat! The variety of vegetarian food could have been a little bigger (it sometimes was only the usual side dishes). We did the following excursions: - Art Nouveau walk in Ålesund: was informative but a bit rushed - Husky farm in Tromsø: very nice and cute, with puppies, background information, cake and coffee - Nordkapp: impressive landscape, extra stop at Sami and Reindeer, good stories from guide - Russion Border at Kirkenes: with Shelter and view point; ok but not a must-see - Midnight concert in Tromsø: amazing - Evening hiking on Lofoten: was ok but a near road was noisy all the time; 1.5 h car drive for 2 h hike was ineffective; you should be fit to join. Weather was great, 20°C and sunny in the start, later around 5-10° and very windy. Many nights with northern lights. The ship was quite shakey during the open sea passages. We had two extra nights in Bergen before an one after the cruise. The embarkation and welcome on board was without problems. The disembarkation took a little longer dur to low battery of the fork lift. :-) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Love Viking & loved the itinerary! Many of the ports we had not visited before. Also loved the idea of a few sea days as this ship is so comfortable. We were just ready to enjoy all that Viking had to offer on this remarkable ship...as ... Read More
Love Viking & loved the itinerary! Many of the ports we had not visited before. Also loved the idea of a few sea days as this ship is so comfortable. We were just ready to enjoy all that Viking had to offer on this remarkable ship...as we had been on it just a year ago. However this was our 4th Viking cruise. I recommend Viking to everyone. We love the richly rewarding historic lectures on the culture of the areas we are visiting! No Casinos and picture pressure! Truly a relaxing adventure. The entire trip was so very enjoyable, from Bergen Norway to Barcelona Spain! Viking does everything to ensure your comfort & safety. We did have to forego our Falmouth England port because of weather but thanks Captain for thinking of our safety first! The employees/crew are so friendly and will go out of their way to help in any way. Need more hangers for your clothes, pillows...how many?...done! On other cruise ship I have had to pack extra hangers or layer everything! Food was for the most part outstanding! In each dining room we were treated like royalty! We didn't enjoy the Chef's Table so much and I heard the same from many other people, we were still hungry after 4 courses. The included wines served daily with meals were plentiful, excellent quality & variety. Also appreciated the plentiful water whether on ship or off! Entertainment & lectures were simply outstanding! Viking only fell short on the included tours in a couple ports. River included tours are handled much better & make provision for a "leisure" tour selection for folks who have walking issues. The free time in Knokke, Belgium was a waste, very little open, prices no one could afford in very exclusive shops that were! Couldn't wait to board the bus! I never heard a positive comment. Wish we could have just explored the historical little town of Damme, I think it was, that we drove though. Other tours were exceptional! Guess you can't win them all but I think Viking needs to re examine this aspect. These included tours makes Viking unique in the the cruise industry but that could change quickly. Also our last day in Barcelona lacked communication on the optional "An Evening of Flamenco" ( not worth the $139 pp) as we had to switch docks late in the afternoon and that caused all types of confusion. They combined our included city tour with it as we had to change the time 2 1/2 hours and we wouldn't have known this if we hadn't have ask! Thus our city tour ended up in the dark, with very low visibility, right before our dinner. Hated to disembark and head for the USA...Looking forward to cruise #5 soon! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Great value for an itinerary that covered several areas that we had not visited before. The offer of two guests for one fare with free air was too great a temptation. The trip was excellent except for somewhat rough seas for a couple of ... Read More
Great value for an itinerary that covered several areas that we had not visited before. The offer of two guests for one fare with free air was too great a temptation. The trip was excellent except for somewhat rough seas for a couple of days. It could have been a lot worse! The excursions were well planned, and for the most part were interesting and informative. The service on the ship was excellent. Our cabin was kept spotless and the dining was always good. Most of the dishes were very good, but other options for special order were also available. One evening I ordered a New York strip steak that was as good as any I have ever had--even at some very expensive restaurants. The entertainment was also excellent, as were the informative talks about European history and environmental issues. We especially enjoyed the entertainers. The three young female vocalists were especially talented and performed in a most professional manner. The string trio also was an elegant touch to the trip. We have been on a number of ocean and river cruises, but the cruise director on this one was the best I have ever seen. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We have travel on many Viking Cruises both river and ocean. This was an itinerary that my wife and I thought was very interesting and it was that. Viking cruises gave always been exceptional in every way possible, room comfort, food , ... Read More
We have travel on many Viking Cruises both river and ocean. This was an itinerary that my wife and I thought was very interesting and it was that. Viking cruises gave always been exceptional in every way possible, room comfort, food , excursions and cultural entertainment. We have found that Viking has the comfort of their guests foremost in their operation and this was displayed by the change in the itinerary due to hurricane that was heading to the same area of England as the ship. During this cruise I was struck by an attack of Bells Palsy. The ships doctor and staff were very good and arranged for me and my wife to be picked up at our next stop for transport to a local hospital and after treatment there brought back to the ship. We can not say enough good things about the crew and their concern for passengers.. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary. Let me start off by saying the ship is beautiful, clean, well kept. The crew from Captain through to cabin steward were amazing. Always looking to please and helping with any problems that ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary. Let me start off by saying the ship is beautiful, clean, well kept. The crew from Captain through to cabin steward were amazing. Always looking to please and helping with any problems that may occur. Can't say enough about the crew. Now for the negatives. I am a 75 year old senior citizen as is my travel companion. We are very active individuals and have taken over 20 previous cruises (Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian plus two river cruise on Avalon ). First of all, when the booklet for the shore excursions was sent to us, we immediately went on line to sign up for the excursions we wanted to take. To our surprise the chosen excursions were already filled. Upon speaking to a Viking Shore Excursion Rep. we were told the shore excursion choices were given to the passengers who had cabins that cost more (then ours) were given priority so by the time it reached us the ones we choose were already filled up. This rule also applies to signing up for the different restaurants on board (Manfredies, cheif's table, etc). This is discrimination pure and simple. Viking advertises on their commercials “Enriching shore Excursion” mmmm if you’re able to secure said excursions……. As far as the onboard activities, trivia once a day at 12:00 noon only on sea days. That's it nothing else unless one wanted to go to a lecture. Surely the cruise director could come up with more fun and stimulating activities throughout the day. Now on to the cruise director. She kept telling us (the passengers) how sick she was all week. Well she was in full form to give us a presentation of her operatic arias (which, I might add, was wonderful). Other then that her appearance was absent all through the voyage, I take it she was in her cabin recuperating from her performance. Perhaps she might want to contact the cruise directors of other lines to get some ideas for stimulating activities to keep passengers interested, instead of sitting around with nothing to do for most of the voyage (on sea days). Of all the cruises we have taken we have never, never been so bored. We have never watched a movie in our stateroom until this voyage. One night they had "The Liar's Club" It was very well attended, that should tell the cruise director something. (Also I might add the trivia was also so well attended there were no seats available). I understand Viking appeals and caters to adult and senior cruisers. Great, but give us more stimulating activities during sea days, we may be a little slower of step but we're not dead. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Itinerary. The ship was new, well laid out for onboard activities and entertainment. The cabin was spacious and the cabin steward the best. We loved the atrium on the ship that encompassed three levels where one could enjoy the ... Read More
Itinerary. The ship was new, well laid out for onboard activities and entertainment. The cabin was spacious and the cabin steward the best. We loved the atrium on the ship that encompassed three levels where one could enjoy the entertainment and a cocktail. The food was very good and beer and wine included with lunch and dinner. The ports and shore excursions were exceptional- many excursions included. Internet was included and easy to get online. The cruise director - Heather - was exceptional and coordinated all of the daily activities throughout the cruise. The ships senior officers were visible and interacted with the passengers. There was , in fact, an informal chat scheduled with the senior officers- to include the captain -that was very informative. The disembarkation was very well coordinated and we opted for airport transportation provided by Viking. We are looking to book another cruise with Viking in the near future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
The Bergen combination of Viking's apparent lack of awareness of a major bicycle race that had been scheduled for three years resulted in shore tours being cancelled and the ship having to berth in an industrial area away from the ... Read More
The Bergen combination of Viking's apparent lack of awareness of a major bicycle race that had been scheduled for three years resulted in shore tours being cancelled and the ship having to berth in an industrial area away from the downtown made for a rough start. The area boat tour that was arranged to substitute for the planned included tour was a fair recovery, but not a complete one. We had to find our own way to Bergen's stave church, only to discover that it had closed for the season two days earlier. We had to be helped by friendly Norwegians when the tram system didn't take cash, a point we could have been warned about. One of the highlights of any Viking cruise is the opportunity to visit a local residence. The Inuit hostess in Qaqortoq, Greenland, was wonderful, but the local guide was poor. The girl took off up a very steep hill at a pace that overwhelmed the 60-and-70-year olds that made up the group. One older couple arrived - apparently without having been missed - 20 minutes after the rest. Recognizing the difficulty of finding English speakers in such a remote location, the local guide was quite unable to translate our questions to the hostess and her answers to us. Then the girl took off to let us find our own way back to the ship. It was unfortunate that Nanortalik had to be bypassed, but the captain's decision was, I believe, well taken. Aside from these points of criticism, the rest of the cruise was wonderful. The menu choices in the restaurant were plentiful, well prepared and very professionally presented. That Viking could find so many high quality servers, especially the Macedonian contingent, was quite amazing. Not to be forgotten are the crews of the tenders; that nobody went overboard or got hurt while getting on and off the boats in rough seas was highly commendable. The performers and musicians who made up the entertainment team were absolutely superior. Great shows night after night with super special effects! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This trip it was up to my S.O. to chose the cruise line since I had in the past. Our last experience had been disappointing so he starting doing research with a vengeance. What he found were the Viking Ocean Cruises scoring the best and ... Read More
This trip it was up to my S.O. to chose the cruise line since I had in the past. Our last experience had been disappointing so he starting doing research with a vengeance. What he found were the Viking Ocean Cruises scoring the best and that the ships were brand new. We already knew of the itinerary we wanted and the approximate dates so once we put those 3 details together, we found our ship. We sailed the Baltic and did go to Oslo, Norway, a couple of days early, then took a train to Bergen where we boarded the ship. The embarkation was a piece of cake. We basically turned over the luggage and walked on-board, were allowed to go straight to our stateroom. We thought the meals were very good, not always the best except for the 2 specialty restaurants which were a cut above the dining room. Overall, no complaints about the food and we had many choices. The entertainment was a big surprise in that it was really great. The company who performed in the theatre was small but talented and the production numbers imaginative. There was also a pianist, guitarist and string trio who played in the atrium area where we also enjoyed music. Our cabin was big enough but the bathroom was a bit small, especially the shower and I could never get the shower head to co-operate with where I wanted it aimed. Nice touches were the heated floor which felt good on the cool mornings and the non-fog mirror. Materials used were all sleek and designed well to maximize the space. The veranda was quite small but there were few days with weather nice enough to actually go out and enjoy so it was ok. This was the first time that our excursions came at no extra charge if we wanted to avail ourselves. I have never been a fan of bus travel but it worked out and the employees who coordinated the excursions were extremely efficient. Several times we paid for an excursion that was more than the bus tour. We were super impressed with the staff. Everyone seemed to genuinely be enjoying themselves and the guests. We got to know a few who became our favorites because they went above and beyond expectations. I guess by the fact that we have signed up for a Viking River Cruise and another Ocean cruise it meant we were very happy with our total experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, but 5 of 9 ports were skipped (2) or significantly delayed. Shore excursions were just ok, even the ones we purchased were just ok. Most of the staff and crew were excellent, friendly, and bent ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, but 5 of 9 ports were skipped (2) or significantly delayed. Shore excursions were just ok, even the ones we purchased were just ok. Most of the staff and crew were excellent, friendly, and bent over backwards to please. Public areas were overcrowded at events or activities. Food was very good to excellent in main restaurant and especially Manfredis. World Cafe , pool grill, and Chefs Table just ok. Cabin was roomy enough but very limited drawer space in Deluxe Veranda. Bathroom was nice. A lot of people like the stark Scandinavian decor, but we found that the abundance of hard surfaces and minimal softening features made the restaurants and public areas very noisy. We chose the post cruise Montreal stay (Westin) and are very disappointed with the hotel. Waited 5 hours for room to be ready. Room looks into windows of adjacent building, have to keep drapes closed all the time. They refused to change the room. The flight Viking booked leaves at 8:30 am but the transfer leaves at 4 am. Airport is only 30 minutes away. Just adds to the misery of the Montreal experience. By contrast, the pre cruise in Oslo and Bergen were wonderful. We tried to book business class but Viking said they only have economy for this cruise. We found out later this was not true. We are too old for the discomforts of economy flights ( even though we managed to upgrade to premium economy through the airline) all the way from the west coast. It's definitely a deal breaker on any future cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Viking Sky – Bergen to Montreal – September 9-23, 2017 Why this cruise? There were two major reasons for selecting this cruise. First, we wanted to experience this new class of ships which had received such stellar reviews. Then ... Read More
Viking Sky – Bergen to Montreal – September 9-23, 2017 Why this cruise? There were two major reasons for selecting this cruise. First, we wanted to experience this new class of ships which had received such stellar reviews. Then there was the itinerary, especially Lerwick in the Shetland Islands, where we had never been and which I especially wanted to visit. Unfortunately the stop in Lerwick was canceled due to bad weather, so we had a failure on one aspect. With respect to the rest of our cruise and the ship itself we can report a goodly number of high marks, coupled with some minor, but annoying lapses on the part of Viking. The Ship. By any standard, Viking Sky is a beautiful ship. At 48,000 gross tons, with 8 full decks and a length of 745 feet, it is perfectly balanced, sleek and looking like what an ocean cruiser should be – a ship and not a hotel in the water. With only 930 passengers, the space ratio is 51.6 – very high and distinctly at the luxury level. The furniture and furnishings are eclectic Scandinavian, running to mostly light woods, with a few pleasantly contrasting dark brown pieces, and a variety of surfaces. One could move about easily, with no sense of crowding during the day, and with many seating areas. The overall concept is “light and bright”. It was interesting to note that there is no hotel style “front desk” for guest services. Instead there is a pleasant area off the atrium on Deck 1, with three office desks with facing arm chairs, and two to three guest service people at these desks. Similarly, the excursion booking center had two desks, also off the same atrium area. The complete absence of a casino was appreciated by one and all, I believe. The atrium is marked by a wide staircase leading up to Deck 2, and above the landing a huge “screen”, about 20 feet high by 15 feet across was used for an extraordinary variety of showings, from scenic photos to blow-ups of works by the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. The Explorer’s Lounge on Decks 7 and 8 has two levels facing forward, although the upper level is smaller and without a bar. The Wintergarden room, just forward of the main pool on Deck 7, is delightful, with a glass ceiling providing nice light. It was used every day for tea, accompanied by music provided on a rotating basis by the classical trio, the pianist and the guitarist. The pool itself was covered during most of this cruise, only being opened on the last two days when warm weather made it suitable. It still did not get much use. The “Infinity” pool aft of the buffet on the Aquavit Terrace was never used, and the terrace itself was rarely used on this chilly cruise. Deck 1 also provided the site for many daily musical recitals by the trio, the pianist and the guitarist. Our cabin. Our cabin was number 6069, labeled as a “Deluxe Verandah”; and was the most common cabin on board. At 270 square feet, including the verandah, it was a reasonable size, and while attractive, did have some design issues. Our principal complaint was the lack of drawer space. The “desk” with a lift up vanity mirror was not much use, and the refrigerator was also useless for us. There were two armchairs and a small table, but the set-up would not have worked out well for in room dining. The closet was next to the bed, which made for some inconvenience when dressing. The bathroom was spacious with plenty of room, but the shower head kept swiveling to one side, despite requests to fix it. We did appreciate the fact that the bathroom floor was heated, and that the mirrors did not fog up. The lighting system was very good, with nice reading lamps over the bed. There was a large TV-Information screen opposite the bed which provided a good deal of data about the ship location, weather, one’s booked excursions and specialty dining reservations, port talks, reprises of the enrichment lectures, movies, TV shows, one’s shipboard account and live television. This last was somewhat erratic, since it was dependent on the ship’s location, and many of the stations were in the UK. While the “map” of the ship’s location was very sketchy, the rest of the information was useful and entertaining. There was one area which was confusing and not helpful. The telephone did not connect with the Guest Services front desk. Using the “Guest Services” button brought up a menu which was not helpful, focusing on services we did not need. Using the “Housekeeping” button often resulted in an unanswered ringing. Dining Food is always a center of any cruise, both as to cuisine and the dining environment. In both these respects, Viking Sky scores very well. The décor, table settings, space and atmosphere of the main dining room, and the two specialty restaurants, Chef’s Table and Manfredi’s were all one could expect. The World Café buffet was also quite nice, but, as is not uncommon on all cruise ships, was crowded on occasion. Mamsen’s is a small purveyor of Norwegian specialties near the Explorer’s Lounge, and also was a very attractive venue. There is also a small pool grill with buffet offerings. The quality of the food was generally quite high, with some lapses. For example, when we opted to eat dinner at the buffet one night, the veal roast I tried was not only tough, but cold. In fact, the purported “hot dishes” often were merely tepid. And on prior cruises we had become used to more than one soup offering in the buffet for lunch. The breakfast selections were all one could ask for as to selection and taste. As is the case on every cruise ship, the machine for toasting bread, English muffins and bagels was slow, and required two efforts to produce real toasting. Every cruise ship seems to use the same less than efficient toasting machines. Oh well! The service in all aspects was quite good and friendly. Viking uses a unique system in its dining rooms. The waiters use small cell phones to send the orders to the kitchen, apparently in order to speed things up so that they do not have to go back and forth as much. It does seem to move things along, which we appreciated. Overall we would rate the total food experience at 93-94 out of 100, a tad below both Crystal and Oceania Marina. The Crew Overall the crew experience was very good, friendly and reasonably efficient. The Cruise Director, Aaron was very pleasant and usually informative as to events and happenings. He also has a very professional singing voice, having appeared on the Broadway musical stage. The sailing experience and excursions left something to be desired. While the weather was not under anyone’s control, we felt that the management of the sailing time, which resulted in several port delays, left a lot to be desired. We were told that Canadian authorities insisted on slower sailing time in the St. Lawrence estuary due to whales, but we think Viking should have been aware of that and compensated accordingly. There also was considerable confusion concerning some of the excursion debarkation procedures. The entertainment By and large, this was quite good. The six singers and two dancers did a nice job. The classical trio, consisting of a cello, flute and violin played very well, and the piano and guitar soloists also were good. There were five “enrichment” lecturers, all of whom had some excellent presentations. There was a comedian who we did not see. The excursions. We lost two excursions due to bad weather. The first was a private trip with two other couples on the Shetland Islands, and the other a ship’s short tour on Nanortalik, Greenland. The ship’s tour on the Faroe Islands was quite good, but the short stay in Qaqortoq was pretty much a bust. At L’Anse aux Meadows we opted for a whale watching trip that was somewhat cold, but did give us good views of the whales. At Saguenay we again chose a special inland tour which was quite good; but delayed. So we were late for the included excursion. This was a live stage show, which was late in getting started and did not end until after 7:00 P.M. It was pretty bad. We returned to the ship in time for dinner at Manfredi’s. In Quebec we both did an included short morning tour around town. I then did an afternoon tour of a Huron Indian Village and follow up tour of Quebec, both of which were nice. Conclusion. This was a largely excellent cruise, on a beautiful small ship, with quite decent accommodations, fine food, very good entertainment and enrichment lectures, and an overall fine cruising experience. The weather could have been better, but that was not Viking’s fault. Overall we would definitely recommend the Viking Star series of ships for memorable cruising. Read Less

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