12 Harwich Luxury Cruise Reviews

Beautiful ship, a work of Art. Excellent food and breathtaking scenery with wonderful excursions at each port. We managed to get a cancellation and our stateroom was marvellous. All the public areas of the ship are beautiful. The service ... Read More
Beautiful ship, a work of Art. Excellent food and breathtaking scenery with wonderful excursions at each port. We managed to get a cancellation and our stateroom was marvellous. All the public areas of the ship are beautiful. The service from the wonderfully friendly staff could not be faulted. The dining options were varied and we enjoyed the speciality restaurants although our preference was to eat on deck informally as the weather was excellent and the views were the best you could get. The entertainment was a bit too American although we enjoyed the Beatles, ABBA and Rat pack nights. Similarly the enrichment lectures were really only of interest to Americans as it was difficult to see the relevance of lectures about Ronald Reagan. The talks on the destinations and culture and history were informative. All in all an excellent cruise which could not really be faulted. We will definitely book another Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
After three days in London we transferred to Harwich Port to the new Viking Sea. Embarkation was flawless and quick, we boarded and found our stateroom to be excellent. The ship is all veranda staterooms, the bathroom floor and mirrors ... Read More
After three days in London we transferred to Harwich Port to the new Viking Sea. Embarkation was flawless and quick, we boarded and found our stateroom to be excellent. The ship is all veranda staterooms, the bathroom floor and mirrors are heated. Plenty of drawer, shelf and hanging space for two weeks. We required extra hangers which were provided in a flash. Wine and beer are provided with all meals, so we opted out of the "Silver Spirits package" and bought an occasional cocktail. Meals were excellent, open seating in the main self service dining area, reservations recommended for the Restaurant, plus two specialty restaurants with limited reservations depending on your stateroom class. The menu in the Restaurant was usually reflected in the self service dining as well as multiple extra choices. Local selections from whatever port we were in were featured, which meant great seafood, duck, lamb, beef...... On-board lectures covering Viking and Norse history and architecture as well as Scotland and The Isle of Mann were additions to the Port talks for every port. Multiple shows performed by the excellent cast were very entertaining. Each port has an included tour as well as multiple specialty extra cost tours. Frequently the entertainers join with some crew personnel on the tours, giving us insight into the very friendly relationship between crew and passengers and even the owners. The Captain was everywhere and very open and personable, frequently joining random tables to share a meal. The itinerary was well planned and of course the scenery was spectacular. Especially the side, unscheduled trip into the Trollfjord, only 30 meters clearance on each side, then a turnaround. All in all an excellent experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
It was our goal to see Scandinavia and the Baltic. We were not disappointed! We had been on Viking River Cruises on the Yangtze and the Danube, and we were keen to try out the ocean going vessel. The four weeks were filled with so ... Read More
It was our goal to see Scandinavia and the Baltic. We were not disappointed! We had been on Viking River Cruises on the Yangtze and the Danube, and we were keen to try out the ocean going vessel. The four weeks were filled with so much to do, both on board and in the excursions. We were delighted with the quality of the lectures offered on board, and we appreciated having the opportunity to watch them again (or in case we missed out) on our stateroom television. The libraries of books available were a treat! The staff were exceptional, the food selections were superb, and the views from the Explorers Lounge were breathtaking. The arrangements for the excursions were expertly handled. The atmosphere on board was so civilized and intellectual. Our experience with the Spa was wonderful, and we were so glad to have booked massages for the day after embarkation to help get rid of the TransAtlantic flight stiffness. It was the trip of a lifetime for us, and our loyalty to Viking is strong. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose this cruise because we had had a very good experience with Viking on two of their river cruises and we wanted to visit Scotland. Before the trip I was disappointed that we would be spending so much time in Norway and not more in ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had had a very good experience with Viking on two of their river cruises and we wanted to visit Scotland. Before the trip I was disappointed that we would be spending so much time in Norway and not more in Scotland and England. After the trip I can honestly say Norway was amazing although I would give up a couple of days to see a bit more of England. As for the ship and crew, Viking exceeded my expectations. The ship was large enough to have a smooth ride, most of the time, but small enough for that personal touch your river cruises are known for. It was also nice to have a choice of restaurants and areas to spend quiet time outside of the room. I also appeciated the fact there where only two at "at sea" days. Our trips are planned more around places new places to see and experience with the ship being our mobile luxury hotel. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Everything was exceptional. The food selection was excellent and the presentation was as you would get in the finest restaurant. Accommodations very comfortable and the many enrichments lectures were a fantastic bonus. The public rooms ... Read More
Everything was exceptional. The food selection was excellent and the presentation was as you would get in the finest restaurant. Accommodations very comfortable and the many enrichments lectures were a fantastic bonus. The public rooms were quite nice, the entertainment way above what you would expect in a ship of this size, and the spa was fantastic. The cruise to the North Cape was gorgeous and we loved being able to see scenery most of the way. We added the pre-cruise package the Iceland and the post-cruise to Oslo, and so glad we did. We were apprehensive at first about the midnight sun, but what a bonus to have eight days with the son not setting. Also, we were pleasantly surprised that the weather north of the Arctic typically does not get too cold, due to the trade winds, and didn't need all the heavy jackets we brought. Can't wait to go on another Viking Ocean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary, the midnight sun and the baltics (Two cruises were combined into one). We were not disappointed. Scotland and Norway (the first half of our cruise) were natural wonders. Beautiful scenery ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary, the midnight sun and the baltics (Two cruises were combined into one). We were not disappointed. Scotland and Norway (the first half of our cruise) were natural wonders. Beautiful scenery and photography. The second half (the baltics) was more citified but also wonderful. The food on the Viking Sea was first rate. The restaurant has dedicated staff to serve you and the food was varied but the seafood deserves special mention. It was top notch. Manfredi's again delivered great service and great food. Waiters always greeted you with a smile and remembered your special requests. The ship is beautiful, with spaces where you could get away if you wanted to or mingle with other guests. The common areas are light and airy and easy to relax in. Lectures were informational on many different topics of interest. Entertainment was varied from great shows, to more intimate venues where music and song were performed in the atrium. Our cabin was lovely and our cabin stewardess was one of the best we have ever had. Looked out for us like family and always had a smile. The ports were varied, the excursions good but somewhat large in size especially the included tours. Optional tours were somewhat smaller and mostly good. There were a wide range of interest in the tours from hiking, to kayaking, to visiting monuments to bus tours. From active to sedate. The gym was great, the pools relaxing, There was something for almost every taste especially their gelato (a perfect 10). A few hiccups here and there but overall wonderful Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Heard about Viking starting Ocean cruising when on a Viking River Cruise 2 years earlier and thought we'd try it. The embarkation went very smoothly as we were taken from Heathrow to Harwich by taxi with another couple. The Viking ... Read More
Heard about Viking starting Ocean cruising when on a Viking River Cruise 2 years earlier and thought we'd try it. The embarkation went very smoothly as we were taken from Heathrow to Harwich by taxi with another couple. The Viking Sea was brand new and had state-of-the-art technology. Cabins were roomy as were the bathrooms which had underfloor heating. The food was excellent and so was the entertainment. Staff were extremely friendly and learned our names by heart very quickly. Best thing was that we didn't have to spend a penny extra as everything was included and, as we don't drink much alchohol, the included wine and soft drinks at mealtimes was sufficient. The included shore excursions were excellent. We were most impressed by the sliding roof over the main pool area and by the many seating areas and lounges on board. We would like to go on one of these new Viking ships again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose a month-long cruise that focused on the Norwegian fjords and the Baltic -- it was a combination itinerary that satisfied my desire to cruise the fjords and my husband's to visit the ports of the Baltic. It was the Viking ... Read More
We chose a month-long cruise that focused on the Norwegian fjords and the Baltic -- it was a combination itinerary that satisfied my desire to cruise the fjords and my husband's to visit the ports of the Baltic. It was the Viking Sea's second voyage -- and it was fantastic. The ship was beautiful; the crew were friendly and helpful; the shore sightseeing options were plentiful and the staff very helpful in making arrangements. Every stateroom had a balcony, and the ship had many quiet, lovely places to sit and read or gather with friends for a friendly game of cards or Scrabble. We loved the quiet, serene atmosphere. The food was excellent, with a choice of two specialty restaurants, a Scandinavian deli, a cafeteria and a casual pool deck grill in addition to the main restaurant. The menu changed depending on where we were with local food highlighted at every port. The entertainment was fine -- a classical trio, a pianist, a guitar player and a small band of singer/dancers handled most of the shows, but special artists were brought on as well. There were interesting lectures and good port talks to get you ready for your next adventure. The on-board spa was wonderful, and we both got good haircuts at the beauty salon. From beginning to end we felt like royalty -- and Viking provided the smoothest embarkation and debarkation experience we have every had on a cruise. We cannot prais them highly enough. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was a great cruise. The ship is a masterpiece of mid-century modern Scandinavian design. The food was excellent throughout the ship and there was never a crush for service. The excursions were were well organized and the staff were ... Read More
This was a great cruise. The ship is a masterpiece of mid-century modern Scandinavian design. The food was excellent throughout the ship and there was never a crush for service. The excursions were were well organized and the staff were both pleasant and helpful. From our first hour on the ship we were impressed by the thought that had gone into its design and execution. Starting with the original art on the walls and continuing through the decor in all the public spaces, everything was beautifully coordinated. We chose this cruise for the chance to travel the whole coast of Norway on an upscale cruise ship and were not disappointed. The scenery was eye opening from the forested fjords do the south to the barren islands near the North Cape. The opportunity to take several bus rides into the interior to experience the mountain roads, waterfalls, valley overlooks and glaciers was also added to the experience. We look forward to travelling on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We wanted a luxury cruise to that area. Having experienced Viking River cruises we know we could be assured of excellence in every respect. We were certainly not disappointed. It met every one of our expectations. Our Suite was large ... Read More
We wanted a luxury cruise to that area. Having experienced Viking River cruises we know we could be assured of excellence in every respect. We were certainly not disappointed. It met every one of our expectations. Our Suite was large and well equipped with every comfort. The public areas are elegant and very comfortable. The spa area is a delight and the variety of pools, saunas and snow-room excell. The restaurants meet every need from informal buffet to specialist restaurants. The Italiam restaurant was for us was an example of excellent cuisine with an enormous variety of choice. The buffet restaurant serves an outstanding sushi menu every evening with the food prepared as you select it. The wines served at all meals are complimentary, and although not outstanding are delightful easy drinking wines that you can drink with confidence. In short, this cruise was luxury from floor to ceiling wall to wall and suites to public areas. We have rebooked for 2017! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Everything was perfect beginning to end. We have been on several Viking cruises and find that they pay attention to details. Our choices for food and restaurants were varied and the quality was excellent. The staff were very friendly and ... Read More
Everything was perfect beginning to end. We have been on several Viking cruises and find that they pay attention to details. Our choices for food and restaurants were varied and the quality was excellent. The staff were very friendly and efficient and genuinely cared about your experience while on " their" ship. I would recommend Viking to anyone looking for a wonderful cruise experience. The ship is small for a ocean cruise ship but this adds to the charm as you get a more personal feel. This was our first cruise of this length and we were concerned that it would be too long. Viking has so many excursions and enrichment lectures that we were in our final days before we knew it. If you choose this cruise make sure you spend time planning your excursions in advance as many ( even the included tours) are booked well in advance of the sail date. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Soon after our cruise, 5 passengers ( with wives) asked me to communicate our concerns to Mr. Andre Norseth, Vp of Operations at Silversea . A fellow passenger used their booking agent to also contact Director of National Accounts. We have ... Read More
Soon after our cruise, 5 passengers ( with wives) asked me to communicate our concerns to Mr. Andre Norseth, Vp of Operations at Silversea . A fellow passenger used their booking agent to also contact Director of National Accounts. We have not heard from either party, and regretfully we must now resort to a very public forum to express our concerns. Reviews are by nature subjective and suspect because you can't calibrate your experiences and tastes with those of the reviewer. In our case we came from 4 countries ( US, Germany, Australia and New Zealand) and in my case, I was once a part owner of a Relais&Chateaux property in Switzerland. My experience does not make me an expert, but I am acutely aware of what it takes to achieve and maintain quality in service and food in a Relais&Chateaux property.My letter to Mr. Norseth explained in detail how Silversea had not met basic standards, and the comments to follow are redacted from my letter to him. In essence, Silversea has undertaken a subtle but relentless quest to reduce costs, and in the process, has produced a homogenized product, devoid of any character. Fortunately, this initiative has not affected service. It continues to be outstanding and should be a model for hotels around the world. The homogenized product starts with the new La Terrazza menu and food. Beginning in London, the restaurant had changed from a trattoria with daily ( fresh) specials, to a " continental food" dining room. The menu did include a swath of Italian antipasti, and the ridiculous invention of "pasta corta" and "pasta lunga", but there were only 3 entrees to choose from, none of which were remotely related to basic Italian cuisine. Furthermore, this menu was fixed for eternity, which for the uninitiated in the food business, is not only boring but the best way to reduce food costs. What I tried to impress Mr. Norseth is that the moment you abandon your roots as an Italian cruise line and try to get away with run- of- the mill Italian-sounding dishes, you risk your reputation with passengers who know better. The Main Restaurant was much better most of the time, but from time to time there were some horrific meals. One of the features of the menus were dishes originating from the Manoir de Lan-Kerellec, a Relais& Chateax in Brittany. Everytime I chose that option I was very disappointed. It may have been copied faithfully, but it was invariably bland and without the "caresse" which good French food imparts. Fussy perhaps, but if Silversea wants to carry the Relais&Chateaux emblem, they had better learn what it takes to make an exceptional dish. My fellow passengers had other observations. For example, never once did we have fresh fish ( always defrosted) despite having called on 6 ports where a great variety of fish was available. In fact, no meal highlighted the specialties of the regions we visited ( salmon from Scotland, Angus beef from the Orkney's etc.) and as a result, the food was acceptable but never good enough to meet Relais&Chateaux standards. From my experience, the food was the product of standardization of menus. The longer you get stuck in the cycle the worse the food gets. Image plays an important role in the value that passengers perceive they are getting, and this is particularly true with wines and spirits. The spirits ( liquor) were top shelf, but the wine ( the more expensive part of the equation) was definitely bottom shelf. On previous Silversea cruises, Italian wines were proudly highlighted, and they were invariably good to very good. On this cruise, they decided to go global with their tastes, and the result was a disaster. Everything from syrahs from South Africa to cheap maltecs from Argentina ( I lived there in the 80's) added up to a wine selection which was selected by an accountant rather than a person who enjoys to share good wine with his patrons. And the final proof is their decision to replace Pommery with Drappier Champagne. Drappier is Euro 10 cheaper per bottle in France, and you can taste it! My fellow passengers also asked me to point out deficiencies in the excursions, even though my wife and I were not impacted. The highlight of our itinerary was Greenland. Beginning in London, there was a wait list for visiting glaciers in small boats. Despite knowing the demand for the excursion well in advance, no effort was made to find more excursion boats. The result was that there were more than 100 passengers who were relegated to seeing Greenland from a tiny cafe next to an airport. The lesson being that if Silversea cannot accomodate the great majority of its passengers in a given port, why go there? My intent with this review is to tell Silversea that if they are serious about quality in food, wine and basic logistics, they have work to do. You can squeeze costs up to a point, but if the choice is between sacrificing margins versus quality, the answer is obvious. Silversea is a wonderful cruise line, and the reason of many good memories of its passengers, and I sincerely hope that they return to their knitting of uncompromising quality. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009

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