Because Viking Venus is destination focused, you won't find too many organized activities during port days. Many people sign up for a morning and an afternoon tour, or one that takes the entire day. When you do come back to the ship, it's usually enough just to have a late lunch, go to the pool or spa or nap.
Sea days have more organized activities, such as trivia or showings of a TED talk in the theater. There are also occasional wine or Armagnac tastings that carry an extra fee.
While nightlife options aren't extensive on Viking Venus, there are still things to do after dinner. This is not a late-night ship, however, other than a small group of die-hards staying up at Torshavn's, people are generally tucked away by midnight. Keeping to Tor Hagen's likes and dislikes, Viking Venus does not have a casino.
There's a performance of some kind every evening in Viking Venus's theater. Every cruise will likely feature a musical revue show with the ship's singers and dancers centered around ABBA and the Beatles.
The ship's enrichment programs by the guest historian and other special speakers are also held here. Expect programming to be on the highbrow side -- this is the second Viking ocean ship we've been on that featured a simulcast of the Metropolitan Opera, for example. Usually the guest historians theme their lectures to the destinations -- our trip featured a lecture on the Knights of Malta and Balkan history. The guest lecturers -- different from the historians -- usually have other specialties.
Viking Bar. Great for specialty coffees and pastries in the morning, in the evening this bar anchoring the Living Room atrium turns into a gathering spot for pre-dinner drinks. Musicians play classical music from early evening on, creating a classy atmosphere.
Explorer's Lounge. We love the look and feel of this two-story Scando-fab lounge at the front of the ship. It's perfect for scenic sailing, as we discovered on the approach to Montenegro. It's quiet if you want to get work done in the afternoon or simply take in the view and read. And it's a great place for an after-dinner drink or a quiet gathering with friends. Note: Unlike predecessors Viking Orion and Viking Jupiter, Viking Venus does not have a planetarium.
Torshavn. If any partying is happening on Viking Venus, it's going to happen here. Musicians play live during the night, and there's almost always a small but energetic group that wants to get up and dance. The bar has an impressive collection of Armagnacs to try, and will really do any cocktail you request.
Viking Venus has two fantastic pools if you're sailing in warm weather climates. The main pool has a sliding retractable roof so it can be used even in poor weather (we were lucky on our Med cruise to have perfect days). It's a pretty space, with a water fountain feature, an adjacent hot tub and plenty of comfy lounge chairs. Bar service is provided by the Pool Grill and is refreshingly prompt.
But on a really nice day, it's hard to beat the more intimate atmosphere at the aft infinity pool. The smaller space, coupled with proximity to the open Aquavit Terrace, gives this area more of a yacht feel; we could have spent time here all day if there weren't so many interesting things to see on shore. Servers not only bring you drinks, they drop by with refreshing cool towels and coffee granitas. Heavenly.
If you venture up to Deck 8, you'll find a lot more privacy and lounge chairs, as well as the smoking section. For those who want to be somewhat active, there's a putting green, a Ping Pong table, shuffleboard and a bocce court (although usage is minimal, even on nice days).
Spa It's been six years since Viking Ocean debuted its fantastic Nordic thermal spa on its ships -- and we still love them and consider them among the best at sea. Viking Venus continues the tradition, with a complex of steam rooms, saunas and plunge pools. Best of all, it's all included in your fare.
Make like a Scandinavian and set aside time to do the entire circuit. The main thermal area has a warm thalassotherapy pool, a hot tub, a steam room, heated ceramic lounges, a cold water dump bucket and a snow room. But wait, there's more -- go into the locker rooms and you'll find a dry sauna and an achingly cold plunge pool.
The LivNordic spa has an edited list of Scandinavian-influenced treatments, all aimed at cleansing and relaxing; you won't find any medi-spa services like Botox and fillers here. There are also no upsells and all the products are organic. Prices are what you'd expect from a major city spa -- high, but hey, you're on vacation. Indulge.
Viking Venus also has a small salon for blowouts, haircuts, beard trimming, mani-pedis and makeup. This isn't a formal ship, though, so there's really no need to impress. Go if you want to feel special, not for any extra-fancy evening out.
Viking Venus has a spacious and well-equipped gym; it's also underused, so no need to worry about crowds. You'll find cardio equipment -- treadmills, stationary bikes and ellipticals -- as well as weight machines and free weights. There are even TRX straps for stretching, yoga and Pilates.
The ship does not have a jogging track but there's a full promenade on Deck 2 where people can walk, even on rainy days.
Tip: If the gym is full or the weather is great check out the workout equipment outside on Deck 9.
Viking Venus has an age requirement of 18 so there are no facilities onboard for families with young children or teens.