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102 Norwegian Fjords Luxury Cruise Reviews

Seeing the Northern Lights was on our bucket list. This was the first cruise we noticed that offered that opportunity. We have sailed Viking before so we were aware of the restaurants, food, etc. so we snapped at the chance and signed up. ... Read More
Seeing the Northern Lights was on our bucket list. This was the first cruise we noticed that offered that opportunity. We have sailed Viking before so we were aware of the restaurants, food, etc. so we snapped at the chance and signed up. Obviously, sailing the north Atlantic in JANUARY is probably not the smartest thing to do if you get sea sick easily, and there are no guarantees that the northern lights will even be out. But, no "pain", no gain! The weather was not cooperating right out of the gate. We left Tilbury and headed to Stavenger in moderate seas. Leaving Stavenger, we were almost immediately notified that we would skip Bodo because of the heavy weather. We sailed the largest fjord in the area to pass time...…….it was gorgeous scenery. Further, the captain sailed inside passage routes as much as possible. After Narvik, we sailed to Bergen for a two night stay. However, the seas were very rough and we were very late into Bergen, like so late all excursions were cancelled\ in Bergen. Viking was very open in keeping us up on the (lack of) progress and was very quick to refund all cancelled excursion costs. So, if you take this cruise, do not be surprised if the weather causes problems and modifications to the schedule are made. As we were there for the lights, we took an optional excursion that went out and searched for the lights. Well, we saw them on the excursion but the lights were very unimpressive. We were also told that to take pictures of the lights you needed to take a 5-6 second exposure. So, the next night, while on board the ship, the announced that the lights were out and could be seen right from the ship, in port. We went out and WOW, were blown away by the display. I said that I was going to try and get a picture with my cell phone camera...…....easy to delete bad pictures so no real effort...……..but to my amazement, I got several really god pictures of the lights!!!!!!!!!!! We were tickled pink! (Just remember to turn off the flash on your cell phone). The first day we arrived, we ate at the World Café. We walked in and right in front of us were two staff members that remembered us from the last cruise. we remembered them also...……..it was an "ah-ha" moment. So, if you think you will never see crew and staff again, nor will they ever remember you name, you are wrong, at least on these Viking ships, We were greeted by them like it was old family day! I was impressed! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
(Sorry in advance for the long review.) My wife & I had not been on any significant cruises in the past decade because the trend to larger ships goes against most of what I want in a cruise. Things that are important to me are: lack ... Read More
(Sorry in advance for the long review.) My wife & I had not been on any significant cruises in the past decade because the trend to larger ships goes against most of what I want in a cruise. Things that are important to me are: lack of crowds, not feeling like each activity or announcement was a grab for more money, food properly prepared (does not need to be uber-high end, but it shouldn't taste like cafeteria/buffet food), opportunities for learning, flexibility of choices, happy crew that were allowed to show their personality, and pretty but not ostentatious decor. I don't care a lot about stage shows and performers. As I had heard about, embarkation and disembarkation were effortless and fast. The ship was beautiful and seemed to call out for relaxation. In virtually every area at all times, there were open places to sit or lounge. Not surprisingly on this cold-weather cruise, there was almost never anyone in either pool and rarely someone in the hot tubs. The thermal suite was a joy and we enjoyed hitting the steam room followed by the snow grotto (although my wife enjoyed that cold room more than I did), followed by some soaking in the warm pool. Whether because of the cold environment or the advanced age of a lot of the passengers, we found the ship interior a bit warm. I had been expecting to wear a sweater most of the time on the ship, but we found that was definitely not needed. Wifi speeds were adequate for our needs. I would occasionally watch videos on YouTube or download an app, and it was fine for that, and was definitely good enough for email. I liked the Chef's Table (fixed menu and wine pairings) almost as much as I enjoyed the Italian restaurant Manfredi's. We often got room service for breakfast and the quality and freshness was good there too. Surprising to me was that we used the World Cafe far more than we used The Restaurant -- quality in those two areas were good and fairly similar. Our cabin attendants, Olivera and Jackie, were amazing. Olivera in particular made us feel like old friends, quickly building up shared in-jokes and repartee. Even though we are not heavy drinkers, we loved the Silver Spirits drink package. Upgrading the wines with dinner was nice, but not worrying about the bill at the end of the trip made having a good time less stressful. And at $20/person/day, I enjoyed having it paid for in advance even if it might not have actually been cheaper. We did a couple of treatments at the spa, and it was great not having them try to sell us a bunch of products. The products were available if you wanted them, but there was no hard sell (or even soft sell). The fitness center was never full, and was only in the mornings was it somewhat busy. I liked that they had an area for non-machine activities (yoga, stretching, etc.). I cannot comment much on the Viking excursions -- we arranged for our own tours in most of the cities because we like private walking tours of city centers. And for Northern Lights spotting, I highly recommend Northern Soul Adventures in Tromso. We did a couple of activities with them and loved both. We had booked three separate tours to maximize our chances of seeing the Northern Lights. The first one turned out to be the best (see the photos from our Tromso tour). The next one was cancelled because it was very cloudy. And the last one, in Alta, had great conditions but dimmer lights, although they were multi-colored which was cool. And we saw them a couple of times from the ship. So we got quite lucky with respect to aurora sighting! One bit of advice: be ready for the ship's plans to change. You are sailing in the North Sea in January and the captain will not hesitate to do things for safety. On our trip, we did not stop in Bodo due to unacceptable seas in that area (we toured a fjord instead) and they had to slow down the ship a LOT during a storm so that we got into Bergen at 11:30 pm instead of 1:00 pm, effectively eliminating the opportunity to tour that city for people that did not do the 2-day add-on. If things like that will bother you a bunch, this may not be the cruise for you. The ship is sailing in an area with unpredictable weather and seas -- flexibility is a good thing to have. This was my first Viking cruise and I would not hesitate to recommend the line for people who are not looking for activities you can only get on a mega-ship. We will definitely be cruising with them again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We wanted to see a part of the world that is not easily accessible and also beautiful. The few days at sea allowed us a very good opportunity to explore and enjoy the various amenities provided on the ship. All the crew were tremendously ... Read More
We wanted to see a part of the world that is not easily accessible and also beautiful. The few days at sea allowed us a very good opportunity to explore and enjoy the various amenities provided on the ship. All the crew were tremendously friendly and helpful. I particularly enjoyed visiting the spa with the large heated jacuzzi, steam, sauna and snow grotto. The fitness center offered all the equipment needed for a good workout at any time. The food offerings were excellent - I needed to be a bit careful at the buffet to avoid occasional accidental bumps and spills. Shore excursions were mostly excellent and some offered great experiences to visit with the Sami and learn about their way of life. The entertainment on board was fun and well-suited for my taste in pop/soft rock music. Overall this Viking Ocean cruise was a pleasure and we are already looking ahead to future trips. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I hadn’t been to any of the destinations on this cruise but the destination I was really excited about was Eidfjord, and I wasn’t disappointed. We flew to Bergen and were met by Viking representatives at baggage reclaim. As soon ... Read More
I hadn’t been to any of the destinations on this cruise but the destination I was really excited about was Eidfjord, and I wasn’t disappointed. We flew to Bergen and were met by Viking representatives at baggage reclaim. As soon as our luggage appeared we were escorted to the waiting transfer minibus. As we arrived late afternoon we went straight up to our cabin after a very smooth check in and welcome glass of champagne. Our cases arrived a few minutes later with our cabin steward, who introduced himself and was very helpful and friendly throughout the cruise, as were all the ships company, from cleaners and maintenance engineers to the officers and entertainment team. Our cabin was a deluxe veranda, and very spacious and well equipped. The wardrobe was very roomy with extra hangers available from the cabin steward. All cabins have a balcony, which is not only great for early evening drinks, but also early morning sailing into port. We got up at 6 on the morning as we sailed into Stockholm, to see all the tiny islands. Spectacular! And it was wonderful in Eidfjord to be able to sit and relax with a drink in such a beautiful setting. There were several very gifted classical musicians on board who rotated around the public areas- pianist, guitarist and string duo. They provided a very pleasant atmosphere to relax in. A resident singing group performed in concerts in the theatre accompanied by the resident band , all excellent value. There are several restaurants which all provide a very high standard of service and a wide range of choices, with special menus to reflect the port being visited. I am vegetarian and there was always plenty of choice. Hygiene is very important on a ship, and there were wash basins and sanitisers at the entrance to the World Cafe, which is a buffet. The toilets around the ship were spotless and were checked very regularly. Handrails were also often cleaned during the day and I felt that the standard of cleanliness at all times, throughout the ship, was extremely high. The public areas of the ship never felt overcrowded- never any need to reserve a lounger in the pool area! Although most of the passengers were of an age, there was plenty to appeal to the younger end of the range including the gym, a wonderful spa and range of entertainment. We were very lucky to have such good weather throughout our cruise. It was only raining on the last couple of days, and even then we managed to dodge the showers on our shore excursions. As local guides were employed by Viking, it was fascinating to hear their personal experiences as well as learning so much about our destinations. We had a wonderful holiday and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in experiencing interesting places in an inspiring setting , and not to those expecting entertainment 24/7. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
this cruise is the BEST vacation I have taken to date. The ship was perfect. the ports and excursions were better then I could of hoped for. every port just got better and better. I highly recommend traveling Stockholm to Norway. the WOW ... Read More
this cruise is the BEST vacation I have taken to date. The ship was perfect. the ports and excursions were better then I could of hoped for. every port just got better and better. I highly recommend traveling Stockholm to Norway. the WOW factor of sailing into Norway is breathtaking. I tried to find something I would change and there was NOTHING. The crew was phenomenal the whole trip was! Food was excellent. once you take a Viking Cruise ship you will return . As much a we liked the river cruise, the Jupiter or Viking cruise line is the only way to go. Viking reputation stands tall with this ship and the ports it choice to visit. I truly cant say enough about this ship. my high light each day was having High tea in the garden room. The pool roof pulled back on sunny days was perfect. the spa was lovely. If I had to mark one thing down. the spa needed to keep an attendant in the spa area to show people the amenities. also for a luxury line, the amenities in the womens locker room was pretty scares. spa normally have brushes and combs. hair products. and not so much here. but was not bad enough to keep me away every day. There is NO add on fee to use the spa and a beautiful spa it WAS..... Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife chose this as many of her ancestors came from that part of Europe. We had a great experience. The staff and service was fantastic and were the friendliest group of people I have ever been around. This was a cruise that I was very ... Read More
My wife chose this as many of her ancestors came from that part of Europe. We had a great experience. The staff and service was fantastic and were the friendliest group of people I have ever been around. This was a cruise that I was very sad to see come to an end as we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in an elegant and relaxed atmosphere. Our daily excursions were very organized and very worthwhile. Every night as we returned to our cabin, the bed was turned down for us and we had our next day Viking News waiting for us. This publication was very well done and filled with valuable information. This staff is very professional, friendly, and organized. The entertainment and lectures were excellent and much preparation went into making it that way. When we left the ship for our excursions, the staff always wished us a good day and offered us a bottle of water. On our return, we were given a warm welcome home and offered a nice warm cloth to refresh ourselves. On our return from Berlin, the entire staff was outside the ship welcoming us home with warm welcomes and glasses of champagne. On our final night on the ship at the farewell reception given by the captain, there was not only entertainment and champagne, but the entire staff was present which I thought was fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Iceland’s Majestic Landscapes, August 13, 2019, Viking Ocean We chose this ship for chance to see Iceland up close. It made four stops in Iceland with two days in Reykjavik at the beginning. Most cruise lines stop at the capitol ... Read More
Iceland’s Majestic Landscapes, August 13, 2019, Viking Ocean We chose this ship for chance to see Iceland up close. It made four stops in Iceland with two days in Reykjavik at the beginning. Most cruise lines stop at the capitol for a day as they transit between the US and Europe. This was our first Viking Ocean cruise. If you are tired of the glitz, the constant sales pitches and wandering to find a quiet spot to read, this cruise line is for you. The ship had no casino and only two shops. Decks 1 and 2 which surround the 3 story atrium are open concept with contemporary Scandinavian décor in neutral tones– sofas, easy chairs & coffee tables with low bookcases to make them feel more intimate. Instead of a single room dedicated as the library, books are shelved at one end of Deck 1 with more books in other areas. Bars/snack areas are also spread throughout the open public areas. There were only two sea days. We found that our only choices for spare time were the port talks, lectures (excellent) and evening performance by the four ship’s singers. There are no dance/show productions. Trivia was held only on the sea days. Obviously the sports deck was not used with the cold and cloudy weather although the pool deck with its glass ceiling had wonderful nooks for reading, relaxing and looking at the ocean and also offered grilled food at lunch and sometimes at dinner. We used the buffet and pool grill for lunch each day and dinner varied between the dining room, Manressa’s Italian café and The World Café. The World Café offered one dedicated ethnic cuisine menu with paired wine included which changed every four days. We found that to be as much of a “show” as a dinner and portions were a bit small. The dining room and buffet food was well prepared and presented. It tended to have emphasis at times on Asian/Indian dishes which were interesting to taste made us wish to see a nice clam chowder, something less pretentious, ie. “down home food” by the last days of the cruise. As my husband put it, after traveling over three weeks, we had “hit the wall” as far as eating was concerned. The staff without exception was helpful and cheerful. Ports: Iceland is a small country with a population of less than 400,000. More than half live in Reykjavik. When our ship of 900 visited a port, Viking worked hard to gather good excursions and transportation. We were often delighted to find ourselves in a small group of less than 20. Viking offered one or more free excursions in each port. The majority were not just a short bus tour around the town. Some days we took both an included tour and a paid tour. Reykjavik We were exhausted when we boarded the ship. Many flights from the US are red-eye and our Icelandair business class seats did not recline more than a few degrees. I would recommend coming in a day early to acclimate. The most popular tour the day after boarding is The Golden Circle, an 8 ½ hour tour staring at 7 AM. We saw Iceland’s most famous waterfall,, Gullfoss, a geothermal area, lava fields and more. Isafjordur: A small group tour to Litlibaer, a tiny home from the early 1900s with stone walls and a turf roof. You will see many turf roofs throughout the country. We were served waffles and jam and our guide made butter in a churn. We were also served homemade chocolates at a photo stop and told about the home-grown enterprises to earn money in this sparsely populated country. Akureyki: We chose a private tour through Tripadvisor/Saga Travel to the Lake Mvatn area to see lava formations, bubbling geothermal areas, Godafoss, the “Waterfall of the Gods”, and learn a lot of local lore. We won the grand prize in our guide, Thor, who truly looked like his name. He had grown up in the area, entertained us with stories from his childhood and was also an extra in Game of Thrones. This was hands-down our best excursion. Seydisfjordur: The Wilderness Center is a unique hotel/tourist attraction far off the beaten path. The owner has created a museum of unique walk-through dioramas showing the life of early settlers and local lore plus a bed-and-breakfast hotel with some of the beds in a single room arranged in cubbies along two walls much like ancient Vikings built their homes, plus two outdoor geothermally heated soaking tubs, all of which the owner proudly showed us. We were served waffles and jam and given taste of lamb smoked on the premises. Thorshavn, Faroe Islands: The 22 small islands which comprise the Faroe Islands stand midway between Iceland and Norway. We visited a turf church, the remains of a 10th century Viking home, and saw fish ladders for salmon while driving through the scenic countryside. Geiranger, Norway: Easily the most scenic stop on the trip, the tiny narrow fjord ends at a tiny town where we chose to take a free tour up a road with 11 switchbacks to a viewpoint looking over the town to the mountains and reverse course and go up the other way to a viewpoint looking down over the town and fjord. This was nothing more than viewpoints and we ended a hotel for a “rest break” which was far too long with nothing to do. Alesund, Norway: Sunnmore Open Air Museum is a collection of homes, barns and other buildings from the past two centuries. Most are open so you can visit inside and the guide gave commentary as we walked along. The buildings are set on rolling land with gravel paths so this may not be suitable for anyone with difficulty walking. Flam, Norway: The small town of Flam set at the end of a fjord hosts up to six cruise ships a day. We were lucky to find only one other. The #1 tour is a 12-mile ride on the Flam railroad up the hillside and through the mountains with waterfalls in abundance. There is a 10 minute stop at a waterfall where the mythical witch appears singing her siren song. At the midway point, there is an hour stop to enjoy waffles and coffee in the hotel and spend a little time enjoying the view back down the valley before catching the next train back down. Viking reserves seats for its passengers. Check out the1-minute zip line ride from the viewpoint halfway down the valley to a farm you can barely see in the distance if a seat on the train back down is too tame! Bergen, Norway: Bergen is the 2nd largest town in Norway and iconic for its gathering of quaint historic merchant homes/warehouses from the days when the town was a trading powerhouse in the Baltic region. Our tour included visiting an old merchant building, a town tour and a funicular ride up Mt. Floien to enjoy the views, a gift shop, a child’s playground, some goats which keep the vegetation trimmed, and restaurant. It was possible to then wander the old wharf and Fish Market on our own afterward since the ship could be seen from the wharf and gauge if it was within a distance you could walk. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife and I had done a dozen or more ocean cruises and 2 Viking River cruises, but we'd not yet done a Viking Ocean cruise. We'd seen how they'd received Travel & Leisure magazines top ocean cruise line all four years ... Read More
My wife and I had done a dozen or more ocean cruises and 2 Viking River cruises, but we'd not yet done a Viking Ocean cruise. We'd seen how they'd received Travel & Leisure magazines top ocean cruise line all four years they'd been in existence, so we thought we should give it a try. The ship was just right. Not huge like many we'd been on, but with all the amenities we cared about. Nice dining rooms, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, showroom, bars & lounges, a gym and thermal spa, and countless places to sit and hang out. The food and drink in all of the eating areas (World Cafe, Restaurant, Manfredi's, & Chef's Table) were excellent. The staff were friendly and attentive. We had a Deluxe Veranda cabin and it was exceptionally spacious compared to what we're accustomed to. The entertainment staff were very talented and versatile. We made it a point to make every evening's show and were never disappointed. The included excursions were overall great and the extra excursions we chose were wonderful. The ports and surrounding areas we visited were tremendous. Every country on this trip (England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland, and Wales) was special in its own way. The Viking extension option we chose in Bergen had us in a hotel that was right in the heart of the 'happening' part of Bergen (Bryggen). Trip of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had taken Viking River cruises and decided to try the Viking Ocean. It did not disappoint. The ship is beautifully appointed and the staterooms are nicely done. Our stateroom was small but included everything we needed. The staff is ... Read More
We had taken Viking River cruises and decided to try the Viking Ocean. It did not disappoint. The ship is beautifully appointed and the staterooms are nicely done. Our stateroom was small but included everything we needed. The staff is very responsive and attentive. The entertainment includes singing and dancing and lectures by knowledgeable scholars. The food was excellent and includes two specialty restaurants that are not additionally priced and only need reservations. Wine and beer are included with lunch and dinner. You can also eat outside overlooking amazing scenery. There are two pools and two hot tubs. There is a gym and a spa center where you can go to use the steam or sauna as well as get treatments. The concierge desk was never crowded and had at least two people working at all times. For the most part our included excursions were good. There were a couple of itineraries that could use tweaking. The additional excursions (paid extra for) were very good. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
For those interested in a comparison, let's look at the differences between Oceania and Princess. We were on the 18-day Dublin-Copenhagen segment. This was our first cruise with Oceania. We are elite with Princess. We chose this ... Read More
For those interested in a comparison, let's look at the differences between Oceania and Princess. We were on the 18-day Dublin-Copenhagen segment. This was our first cruise with Oceania. We are elite with Princess. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary: Norway and northern Russian ports. Oceania has considerably less merchandising pressure. There is no crew of photographers. The crew seems under less pressure to sell extras. There are no "cruise ship art" events. Speciality coffees and sparkling water are available without extra charge. Speciality restaurants are available without extra charge. On the other hand, the cheapest bottle of wine on Oceania is about $10 a bottle more than on Princess. That generally put wine above what I was willing to pay. The ship felt less crowded and there was never a problem finding outdoor seating (although the Northern itinerary may have had something to do with that). 650 passengers instead of thousands does make for a different (and pleasant) experience. Oceania does live up to its reputation for good food. The dining room food was consistently a notch better than Princess. The buffet food was also very good. However, the buffet was typically more crowded than I'm used to on Princess. Our cabin (C1 ocean view) was equivalent to what we'd expect on Princess. Surprisingly, the cabin steward was good, but not as good as is typical on Princess. There were two ship lecturers. We only went to the lectures by one, but she was outstanding (https://cruisethroughhistory.com}. I liked the smaller venue for ship shows, although the noise level (at times 90db or more) was louder than I'd like. Passenger demographics: Oceania is a bit older and fellow passengers are on average wealthier. They also have a tendency to provide lots of details on their previous exotic Oceania cruises. At first that was useful, since we've not been on Oceania before, but enough was enough.... Shore excursions are overpriced. We generally don't book ship excursions, but we took their tours to make life easier for the three Russian ports, and we booked the bird safari at North Cape (a mistake). In Lerwick we hired a cab for the day. I tried to rent a car, but waited too long. I'd recommend planning ahead and getting a car. Even if you feel a bit uncomfortable driving in the UK, traffic on Shetland Island is thin. We walked around Bergen, a lovely port. Instead of the Oceania excursion to Mt. Floyen, we booked in advance on-line (https://www.floyen.no/en). Efficient and lots less money. In Kristiansund, there is a company that takes off from the cruise dock and heads up the local fjord for a lot less than Oceania. The Russian tours were fine, although private packages would have saved money. North Cape was a good tour — but we could have done it for less than half the Oceania price on our own. My advice is to rent a car (there is a company at the pier that will rent a car for 1500 NOK). That would allow both the bird safari and a drive up to North Cape, and save a whole lot of money. Thee is also a public bus, although an expensive one, from the pier to North Cape. The tourist office at the pier has the details. Although the cruise to Flam is spectacular, I can't say I'd recommend the railroad trip — but if you do take it, don't book with Oceania. You can either book on-line in advance or buy a ticket once you get there. Flam itself is a town of about 500 that absorbs thousands of cruise ship passengers, and is entirely uninteresting on its own. Cabs in Copenhagen (Uber withdrew from the city) are readily available at the cruise terminal and will set you back less than the Oceania transfer. In sum, Oceania is about twice the price (or more). If I had a choice between them I'd take Princess assuming identical itineraries. However, Oceania's smaller ships bring one to places Princess doesn't. I wouldn't hesitate to book Oceania again — but only if the itinerary was one that Princess could not match. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Not my first Viking ocean cruise but my first on the new Viking Jupiter. While we got off on a rocky start as our ship developed a propulsion system problem leaving out of Greenwich, we were delayed 2 days in the small English port of ... Read More
Not my first Viking ocean cruise but my first on the new Viking Jupiter. While we got off on a rocky start as our ship developed a propulsion system problem leaving out of Greenwich, we were delayed 2 days in the small English port of Tilbury. Viking worked to organize a few tours in the Tilbury area, gave some onboard credit to passengers, and in general worked very hard to keep passengers pacified. Good news was that the needed repair(s) were made and we were on our way again. Sadly the ports of the Orkney and Shetland Islands had to e eliminated to get the ship back on schedule. Now the great stuff! Food was varied, plentiful and high quality. On sea days the chef arranged for fun/location driven lunches near the pool. Plenty of complimentary wines and beers during lunch and dinner. I also enjoyed dining in The Restaurant for breakfast and dinners. The specialty restaurants, Chefs Table and my favorite, Manfredi’s were very good. Hubby and I made a few trips to Mamsen’s for the yummy waffle served with the brown goat cheese ( try it before you judge), fresh berries and syrup. The pea soup served 10- midnight is also good. I enjoyed the classical music performances and the variety of evening shows in the theatre. The onboard planetarium had three programs during the cruise that I thoroughly enjoyed. Very limited seating, so be sure you make reservations when you board. Most of the excursions were very good. The Spa was very comprehensive with an emphasis on Nordic bathing ritual, comfort and relaxation. We took this trip to see the Norwegian fjords, and that part did not disappoint. Beautiful, sailing close to observe when possible was awesome. We had beautiful warmish weather without rain ( we were told this was not normal, but we enjoyed it). The trip entitled Into The Midnight Sun, was just that...the sun was up nearly 24 hours a day. A very different experience. I really loved sailing into the Arctic Circle and going to the North Cape. Saw herds of reindeer roaming! On board there were lectures about culture, space travel and other interesting subjects. I do want to mention if you have difficulty with the volume on your in stateroom TV, ask your cabin steward to bring the wireless headset to you. Wonderful in lieu of no closed captioning on TV. The ship is new, built like the other Viking ocean ships and is beautiful. Very relaxing public areas that are conducive to meeting/ making friends. Viking’s style is not for everyone, but I sure love them. Primarily the passengers are 50’s to 80’s that are active, well educated and well traveled. The Cruise Director said most of us are “travelers” with only some being “tourists”. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Our third Crystal cruise did not disappoint. We went from Iceland to the fjord of Norway to Copenhagen, and I would highly recommend this route as it was spectacular in every way, and the Crystal Serenity was simply the best. Impeccable ... Read More
Our third Crystal cruise did not disappoint. We went from Iceland to the fjord of Norway to Copenhagen, and I would highly recommend this route as it was spectacular in every way, and the Crystal Serenity was simply the best. Impeccable service, cuisine, facilities, entertainment- there cannot be a better cruise line than this. I am a customer service expert, so I have high standards and Crystal surpassed every expectation. Every single item of cuisine at every single meal or snack was exceptional. They even had a wonderful variety of sugar-free and gluten-free treats which were most welcome for those of us with dietary restrictions. The staff handled all that with ease and a smile. Every single staff member from the gangplank to the crew to the waiters to the stewardesses were delightful and the best you will ever experience. Really marvelous service. The entertainment was way beyond what I was expecting, and there were informative lectures and movies, and so much more. They even had the astronaut who rescued the Hubble Space Telescope giving talks. Very impressive. They imported a number of special guests performers, and the in-house artists were all world class too. The excursions, while expensive, and extra, were ll top notch and absolutely beautiful. The fjords are astonishing and spectacular. The ship has been nicely refurbished and is spacious, bursting with every possible amenity, planet of space. There is so much to do, or not do, that every taste will be satisfied. The spa and fitness center were excellent and spacious. The cabin was ample and the double sink in its bathroom was a nice touch. the bathroom was sizable, and I could even stand up n the show and in 99% of the ship even though I am 6'-8"/203cm tall. We loved having a verandah and could have sat out there all day and never left and been very happy (thanks to the free and wonderful room service). Of course, there was some internet spottiness above the Arctic Circle and in the fjords, but it's still miraculous to even have internet on the high seas. It turned out to be a minor inconvenience, but was better than our last Crystal cruise on the Symphony, but that was before their remodel and internet upgrade. I would HIGHLY recommend Crystal Cruises for any route, and I would very much recommend Iceland and the Norwegian Fjords as destination- really exceptional and awesomely beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was the second cruise I booked, and there was no comparison between my first cruise and this one booked with Viking Ocean Cruises. From Bergen, Norway to Copenhagen, Denmark, this cruise surpassed my expectations. The ship was ... Read More
This was the second cruise I booked, and there was no comparison between my first cruise and this one booked with Viking Ocean Cruises. From Bergen, Norway to Copenhagen, Denmark, this cruise surpassed my expectations. The ship was beautiful and very comfortable. The size of the ship was perfect. I had the opportunity to meet a variety of people, but the ship did not feel crowded. The meals were excellent. The selections available daily in the World Cafe rivaled any 4 star restaurant. My party took advantage of the free excursions in most of the cities and felt that we were provided with an excellent overview of the area. The tour guides were informative and friendly. The cruise ship's staff treated our entire party like they were VIPs. We felt there wasn't anything they wouldn't do for us to fulfill our wishes. My favorite part of the cruise was the experts that presented enrichment sessions throughout the cruise. They were very knowledgeable and presented their material in a very interesting way. This sets Viking far apart from the competition for older, educated travelers. We were so happy with this cruise that we booked our next one before we left the ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this way to see Norway and Sweden. Denmark was a nice addition. We enjoyed the programmed trips but also made use of several additional on shore excursions. The trip didn't disappoint. With all the sightseeing came an ... Read More
We chose this way to see Norway and Sweden. Denmark was a nice addition. We enjoyed the programmed trips but also made use of several additional on shore excursions. The trip didn't disappoint. With all the sightseeing came an education by Viking about the places we would visit each day and the countries. This helped us determine where to go and what to see at each port that we entered. Besides the travel the ship had a variety of great entertainment and we made nightly visits to take part. The food was wonderful. Each day brought a variety of foods to sample, often in the form of local flavors and favorites. We liked to sit and listen to live performances of music before our dinner. Our cabin had great views and the attendant was absolutely great with service. He changed the beverages in our room to ones we personally enjoyed. Everything was smooth and easy form air to ship and departure. On arrival it was easy to know what to do because there were Viking workers everywhere to assure easy travel and boarding. There was lots of pre-trip information to help select the perfect trip. We are already booked for our next trip in 2020 because of how pleased we were with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our first ocean cruise but we had been on 3 river cruises.We had some concerns about how we would cope being on the sea rather than on a river. We chose this cruise because it was short, with only the first day at sea and then a ... Read More
This was our first ocean cruise but we had been on 3 river cruises.We had some concerns about how we would cope being on the sea rather than on a river. We chose this cruise because it was short, with only the first day at sea and then a different port stops for the remaining 6 days. It was very close to a river cruise Itinerary. When we saw the promotion for this Viking Shores and Fiord cruise we both said that’s for us let’s try it. The ship was incredible. Many different themed areas to sit and relax and never crowded, even though the cruise was full. The decor was just right not over the top or opulent, but pleasing to the eye, creating a very relaxing atmosphere. The service on board was excellent, but never pushy, just the right level of attention. There was a wide choice of places to eat so every day could be different. We ate breakfast in the World Cafe, which is an International Buffet restaurant. The daily choices were excellent and we had a different breakfast everyday. For lunch we used both the World Cafe and the Norwegian Cafe. The Norwegian Cafe served Scandinavian styled open sandwiches and incredible Waffles for an indulgent sweet. This Norwegian cafe is located on the top deck with extensive views over the ports where we were docked. For dinner we ate in the main restaurant. There was no set seating and the staff made sure everyone sat in a different location every night, making it a different experience. The menu choice was excellent and as you expect from Viking excellent. One night we ate in one of the speciality restaurants, which was available to everyone at no extra charge. We chose the Norwegian tasting evening. It was one of the best meals I have ever had and I have traveled around the world on business and never had anything better. The shore excursions were well organised and informative with excellent guides. Apart from in Flam we only took the included tours. In Flam we took an additional tour, which was a train ride up the valley up to the Bergen Oslo main line. Incredible scenery and the water fall station stop is out of this world. On the way back we took the additional option of disembarking half way down and cycling back to the ship. What a cycle ride. Down hill all the way, very easy anyone could do it. You could stop where you wanted to admire the incredible scenery and take photographs. We have never seen so many water falls plunging from the top of the mountains into the river in the valley. Scotland and the English Lake District just can’t compete. The included trip at Flam is to a view point overlooking the Fiord. You just have to go and see this view. The entertainment on board was very good, from smooth piano music in the atrium bar in the early evening to ABBA, Decades and Beatles tribute shows in the main theatre. The one person show by Vicky, the cruise director, was also excellent and humorous. There were also a series of excellent lectures. We regretted in the end that there were not more days at sea to go to more of them. Our cabin was a Penthouse Veranda. Very spacious comfortable bed and seating with excellent views. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We really lucked out and had fantastic weather for March. Northern lights were spectacular in Tromso. We took a private tour with indvidulltromoso and was better than the one Vikng offered. The weather was sun shine in Bergen also where it ... Read More
We really lucked out and had fantastic weather for March. Northern lights were spectacular in Tromso. We took a private tour with indvidulltromoso and was better than the one Vikng offered. The weather was sun shine in Bergen also where it usually rains 360 days a year. As far as the ship, it is beautiful. The few issues we had with service were quickly remedied by the guest service and restaurant managers. Entertainment was good quality, especially for a ship this size. Food was great. Every night in the buffet were crab legs, shrimp etc. Crab legs were split and easy to eat and delicious. We would definately sail with Viking again and again. Good value as you are not nickled andf dimed constantly. Room service was great for coffee and breakfast....Our cabin was good...floor in bathroom was heated and a little too much though. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. All in all, I would highly recommend. Enrichment lecturesd were also very good. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Having been all over the world with Saga on land based holidays , when we looked for a Cruise to celebrate my wife’s birthday we automatically looked to Saga having been entirely satisfied with our previous holidays with them. Well that ... Read More
Having been all over the world with Saga on land based holidays , when we looked for a Cruise to celebrate my wife’s birthday we automatically looked to Saga having been entirely satisfied with our previous holidays with them. Well that was the right decision, we fancied a winter Norwegian Cruise, and one which specifically aimed at experiencing the Northern Lights seemed an exciting prospect As ever every detail was taken care of, from being picked up at your front door with your luggage through a seemless boarding process at Dover all promised a wonderful holiday experience,which is exactly what we got An upgrade to deck 10 was an unexpected bonus,but all passengers got the same attentive service wherever their cabin was. The whole cruise was ammended to all inclusive which was another nice touch,and we opted for fixed dining which was a delight. The food on this ship is awesome, and the after dinner cheeseboard is the best we have ever experienced anywhere Evening shows were professional and Ancora joining the cruise for week two ensured some never to be forgotten performances, the whole entertainment package was outstanding for a relatively small ship Lectures from accomplished speakers about destinations and other related subjects were interesting and thought provoking, and the library would meet anyone’s taste, complete with librarian. This is proper cruising, no razzmatazz or gimmicks, just traditional formal nights, sumptuous food and well chosen wines and a feeling everyone simply wanted you to enjoy yourselves Saga Sapphire is an old ship, but she is immaculately kept and polished to within a inch of her life morning, noon and night. At every port a free shuttle bus service to the town is available unless the berth is literally in the town centre We were incredibly lucky to see the Northern Lights on three separate nights due to high levels of sunspot activity and on our official included trip to “hunt” the Lights in a dark sky area we were treated to an hour long display of the Northern Lights which were absolutely breathtaking Overall we had a wonderful cruise, seeing the Lights was the proverbial icing on the cake Let’s be clear, Saga isn’t the cheapest cruise provider, but the quality of their cruise experience is truly 5star and on an all inclusive cruise like this you genuinely don’t need to spend any money for the whole cruise unless of course you choose to go on optional excursions The real test is would we Cruise with Saga again; in our case the answer is definitely yes. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Viking does a nice job but did not think thru their excursion offerings of this cruise. First, it was mostly in the dark, which was to be expected on a cruise above the Arctic Circle in January. but, many of the museums, shops and ... Read More
Viking does a nice job but did not think thru their excursion offerings of this cruise. First, it was mostly in the dark, which was to be expected on a cruise above the Arctic Circle in January. but, many of the museums, shops and excursions sites were closed or inappropriate for January. We did an independent tour which stayed out at night for over 8 hours to see the lights and were given a meal, heavy snow suits, boots and head lamps and a fire. Then we did Viking’s tour in Alta. Vikings night tour offered a few fires, no heavy clothes, and brownies. The venue was too small for the over three bus loads of people. No way to keep warm so we gave up and went back to ship. Take your own warm clothes. Also, included excursions were many times lead by unqualified guides. Could not answer questions like, who is the king, what are the salaries, what is the education system. On the ship’s third floor, three shower drains froze and people were moved. The wait staff had to wear coats because the dembarking door was by the Atrium. Viking did not consider the environment when they took this ship to the Arctic in winter. If you are prepared, maybe this is the cruise for you. FYI, we did not see the Northern Lights. Way too cloudy and lots of snow. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We hoped to see the Northern Lights as well as visit the Norwegian coast. The cruise which was one of the first by Viking on this route had some difficulties with the excursions, but expect these will be corrected in the future. The ... Read More
We hoped to see the Northern Lights as well as visit the Norwegian coast. The cruise which was one of the first by Viking on this route had some difficulties with the excursions, but expect these will be corrected in the future. The Northern Lights were not very good during our trip, but that is not Viking's fault. The sky is only twilight from 9 to 3 in January, so it is important to plan your excursions carefully to maximize your opportunities while you can see. The buffet restaurants were excellent. The higher end restaurants for which you need reservations were good as well, but to be honest after six months I have forgotten about eating in them. The entertainment provided by Viking was absolutely first rate. We enjoyed every show. Because it is cold outside this is a great cruise to get the deck all to yourself. I enjoyed going out as the ship was sailing at night with no one else around and just letting the silence envelope me. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was the maiden voyage of the Northern Lights Cruise and it couldn’t have been more perfect. I highly recommend Viking cruises! The staff were friendly and knowledgeable, the ship was clean and well ordered. The food was awesome and ... Read More
This was the maiden voyage of the Northern Lights Cruise and it couldn’t have been more perfect. I highly recommend Viking cruises! The staff were friendly and knowledgeable, the ship was clean and well ordered. The food was awesome and Viking made our special request for vegan meals abundant and varied. Being the maiden voyage, there were only a couple of glitches but Viking made them right. The inland tours were mostly well ordered and the variety of excursions enabled us to have so many wonderful experiences. Spending time with the Samis’ was very special as well as spending the night in the “teepees” and watching the snow and blood moon. The onboard amenities were all top notch - the spas, the theater, the gym, and libraries. The decor is inspirational and gave us a great sense of the Viking era. Viking Cruise outdid theirselves and I cant wait to take another Viking Cruise! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My wife and I have done more than our share of Seabourn cruises. If you check my Cruise Critic history, you'll find a less than enthusiastic review of our last Seabourn cruise aboard the Odyssey last November. This cruise was ... Read More
My wife and I have done more than our share of Seabourn cruises. If you check my Cruise Critic history, you'll find a less than enthusiastic review of our last Seabourn cruise aboard the Odyssey last November. This cruise was entirely the opposite. Three years ago we chose a Norway cruise in late June. The weather was OK but we were a little tentative about heading that far north that late in the season (departure Sept. 1), but we decided to give it a go with the new Ovation. From the moment we arrived we realized that Seabourn had gotten things correct. The ship is brand new and service was excellent. We had not a single service exception whereas we experienced many last November aboard Odyssey. Our cabin was excellent. It was indistinguishable from the standard veranda suites on the older Odyssey class ships. We booked a V1 and ended up with a V5. There is absolutely no difference between the standard staterooms other than floor location, with the exception of the 5th deck rooms not having a full glass view below the railing on the veranda. I would never recommend paying for a different standard suite as they are all entirely the same with the curtains drawn. Seabourn will charge up to 2 to 4 thousand PP additional for a V6 vs a V1 on the average 2 week cruise. Clearly not worth it as it doesn't provide any additional benefits other than location. We found the food to be excellent. Jacques was great on all fronts, but we weren't left wanting more nights as other venues did such a good job. Up to this cruise (well over 100 nights) we had never dined in the Colonnade for dinner on any Seabourn ship. We tried that on several nights including one special Colonnade night where they featured Ribs by Thomas Keller. One word to the wise - reservations are required on the special evenings. We almost didn't get in as we didn't realize (our fault for not reading the instructions) that these occasional special evenings required it. Seabourn deserves credit for another new touch since our last cruise. On return from tours in Alesund, a large percentage of the crew, lead by the captain, were out to greet all returning passengers. The music played contemporary, upbeat music, and the crew applauded the returning passengers as they walked between lines of the crew. Champagne and hot chocolate toddys were available and every guest had a big smile from a special event that must be a real pain for the crew members to put on. Our captain was far more than a safety specialist and ship driver. He regularly interacted with passengers and was eager to hear about experiences. On that note, our staff captain recognized my wife and I as soon as we boarded., (staff captains, AKA 1st officer,) are not known for being passenger oriented, but Stefan sought us out and even invited us to dinner one night. Norway is an excellent location for a cruise. You are not greeted by hoards of locals trying to sell you a tour or a trinket. In my opinion, the scenery is better than Alaska, where I lived for 2 years. Several highlights stick out: Trollfjord is truly amazing. The ship enters a 1-2 mile fjord that looks way too small for the ship to fit into. It does fit and the entry is timed during cocktail hour providing an experience that is almost worth the price of the cruise. Weather towards the top of Norway was beyond Excellent. In Tromso, we experienced a chamber of commerce day with warm temperatures and blue skies. That night as, promised, the captain woke the ship around midnight to alert everyone of the presence of northern lights. We were forewarned of the coming announcement and we never heard a single complaint as everyone wanted to see the northern lights. In Honnisvagg (Nordcap) we had a clear day again. We were told that this was the first day in 3 weeks that they had seen the sun. We took an excursion to Nordcap which was great given the weather. Interestingly, Seabourn organized a crew excursion with several buses of crew. Crew members were obviously appreciative for their time out and many greeted us by name, even though they were on their own time. My guess is that this is how they get employees with positive attitudes. The rain did arrive by the time we got to southern Norway but we knew we had to pay the piper at some point. Seas were calm crossing the North Sea and arrival into Dover was uneventful. If I had to voice one complaint (obviously for corporate) it would be with the suite allocation of the new Encore class ships. My wife and I previously booked or upgraded to a Penthouse suite. The new ships have fewer of these larger rooms than do the smaller ships. At the same time they rose prices on the premium suites to an exorbitant level. On our cruise, the Penthouse, with 50% more square footage cost 3.5 times what we paid for our V1 (remember all V suites are essentially the same). These price increases had the net effect of driving us back downstairs as the standard suites are just fine with around 300 square feet. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We wanted a grand experience to celebrate our 50th wedding annivesary. Ponant certainly delivered on our wishes. Le Laperouse is a gorgeous ship, the crew and staff were professional while also warm and welcoming and the food was ... Read More
We wanted a grand experience to celebrate our 50th wedding annivesary. Ponant certainly delivered on our wishes. Le Laperouse is a gorgeous ship, the crew and staff were professional while also warm and welcoming and the food was outstanding. We had a deluxe suite stateroom which was very comfortable with a walk in closet/dressingroom, lots of storage and all the amenities of a 5 star hotel. Our cabin attendant, Precy, wonderfully attendant we lacked for no thing. The public spaces are beautifully designed with comfortable furnishings and a very airy feel to them. One of our favorites was the Panoramic Lounge on deck 6. Dean took very good care of the passengers and the views were spectacular. We mostly dined in the main diningroom, the food was exceptional. The chef stopped by tables to hear how things were and we were some of his biggest fans. All of the diningroom staff were attentive and again they were personable without being obtusive. The Fjords were why we chose this particular cruise and they are so stunningly beautiful. Our favorite day was spent in the 6th deck lounge watching the scenery pass by as we went deep into the Fjords. Norway is beautiful! We also enjoyed the climb to the Bryggen Glacier and the scenic journey to it. Ponant has made everything so easy and pleasant with the all inclusive pricing for the shipboard experience. We hope to sail with Ponant again soon. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose the cruise for the destinations and loved the small size. Food was delicious with good variety and beautiful presentation. We liked the choice of various small restaurants. Spa massages were excellent. The cabin was well ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the destinations and loved the small size. Food was delicious with good variety and beautiful presentation. We liked the choice of various small restaurants. Spa massages were excellent. The cabin was well appointed. Biggest problem was poor communication among staff in dining areas. All staff were eager to help with any request but it often took a while to fulfill it. Very smooth embarkation and disembarkation. We would sail again with Silver Sea. Ports were well chosen and the itinerary did not disappoint--beautiful views and lovely cities. Descriptoins from cruise director were accurate. Public spaces were attractive. Loved having the cafe with morning coffee and pastries as well as all day drinks and snacks. Really enjoyed the all inclusive beverages and reasonable corkage fee for wine we brought on board. Excellent ability to have internet access. Up to date movie list for viewing on TV with excellent choices. Ability to view shore excursions, menus and activities from the TV also good. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Firstly the good points: Super speedy embarkation , fantastic food on board, two spectacular stops in Flaam & Gerainger. Bergen was Ok but Haugesaund was dreary. We travelled for the first time with Cunard last Fall to the Canaries ... Read More
Firstly the good points: Super speedy embarkation , fantastic food on board, two spectacular stops in Flaam & Gerainger. Bergen was Ok but Haugesaund was dreary. We travelled for the first time with Cunard last Fall to the Canaries and it was wonderful, 10/10. (Queen Elizabeth). This time there didn’t seem to be the same number of staff around. Longer waits to be served with drinks seemed the norm. The food as before was excellent both in the Brittania and the Lido Buffett. The Oriental night and the Indian night in the Lido were exceptional. Drinks are in my opinion pretty reasonable on both the Q.V. & QE , around the same price as you would expect to pay in a London hotel. (And of course you get on board spend which dilutes the cost) To be honest we will look to travel on the QE again next time as this cruise was a slight let down. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Wanted to see the Fjords. Had nothing to do with Silver Seas. Our friends had a so-so experience on an exploration type cruise so wanted to give the more conventional cruise a chance with SS. The wait staff, especially the so called ... Read More
Wanted to see the Fjords. Had nothing to do with Silver Seas. Our friends had a so-so experience on an exploration type cruise so wanted to give the more conventional cruise a chance with SS. The wait staff, especially the so called head maitre d were terrible. Bepin, Norbert, and Samuel were great. In fact, we went to IndoChin the last 5 nights because the service was so bad elsewhere. E.g. I wanted two scoops of vanilla with chocolate sauce which was not on the menu. Waiter did not offer to get it for me. So, I left table, went up to the ice cream lady and got it myself, returned to the restaurant to stunned faces. On outside grill, had to go get a glass of wine downstairs because noone came by to check on us. At almost every meal, someone made me feel like I was imposing. Bepin and Norbert didn't play those games. Tours were ok. Train ride (not Flam) was a fiasco. We had fun, but who wants to feel like an imposition. Get rid of the tall short haired blond supposed maitre d...it's clear his staff was afraid of him. Never smiled and he's two faced--smile then shut it off as soon as guest left his presence. Jerk. Food was ok, but not outrageously good. Bepin did respond to my request to steak (gave me filet mignon, not sirloin) and lobster on the last night and another change up to the Indochin menu no questions asked. Wonderful. And the other thing was the language barrier for us Americans. I should say the pronunciation barrier for us America. The waitress did not understand the term blend, slush, and frozen for a margarita drink. It was repeated to her several times. No clue what we were talking about. We ran into this almost every day. And the 11th floor bar in the front of the boat had no breakfast or anything until 6PM. Coffee was only avaialble in the back of the boat. Very bad. We went the first night at 6PM or later for drinks and never again because the second night we didn't know it wasn't open at 5:00 PM for happy hour (duh!). Silly us. It takes two-three days to get the lay of the land. Again, the ship itself was ok for some things and uneven for others. I enjoyed my walks outside around the pool, but that had nothing to do with staff although Harvey, a waiter outside, was super nice and checked up on my step total. Most wheelchairs I've ever seen on a cruise. If I had trouble negotiating and/or locating my way around the ship, I can't imagine their plight. Embarkation and disembarkation were the best of our experience as cruisers. Super organized and done quickly, including even getting our pictures taken and all of that. Leaving on bus was very well done and we felt comfortable with that. Coming on board, they allowed our taxi to pull right up to the waiting group of staff members. Nice. You can't take the beauty of what we saw on the ship. SS had nothing to do with that. We did enjoy that part of it, but our experience with the staff was so uneven and weird (remember all four of us in our party felt the same thing, so it's not just the author) that we won't be back. If it wasn't for Bepin, Samuel, and Norbert, we might have settled for room service dinner. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018

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