Sail Date: May 2019
We recently did the 12 day cruise from Norway to Iceland on the Viking Sky. We usually cruise with Regent so we curious to see how the Viking Ocean Cruises compared to Regent. Everything about this cruise exceeded our expectations and in ... Read More
We recently did the 12 day cruise from Norway to Iceland on the Viking Sky. We usually cruise with Regent so we curious to see how the Viking Ocean Cruises compared to Regent. Everything about this cruise exceeded our expectations and in fact, we booked another Viking cruise while on the ship. Ship - Everything is clean from the decor to the housekeeping. Everything sparkles! Service - Beyond incredible. Everyone from the housekeeping staff (who always remembered our names from day 1) to the restaurant staff and coffee bar. There was never more than 30 seconds in the buffet, when someone did not ask if we needed anything or were cleaning up dishes. They all had a smile on their faces and really seemed like they enjoyed their jobs. Food - Buffet - first, we usually avoid buffets, but after eating at the Viking Sky's buffet the first time, we were regulars for breakfast and the occasional dinner. The food was amazing. Fresh and hot...always. Restaurant - Again, outstanding food. Wish they had a little more poultry options, but still great. Manifredi's Italian - Not sure how we will ever eat Italian at home again. This was by far the best Italian food that we have ever had. The bread is delicious. We did not try the other restaurants. Room - We stayed in 4104 which was just towards the aft. We loved the location of our room. It was quiet and always one of the first to be made up. Everything was perfect in the room, though a bit tight. Two people cannot pass each other around the bed. The bathroom was perfection, especially the no fog mirrors and heated floor. The bed was very comfortable. The storage space was perfect for a 12 day cruise. We had plenty of room to store all of our things in the room and bathroom. Entertainment - We loved it. Cute shows with great singers. We were never bored. Over and above - this is where we were most impressed. - Our flight home was very late in the day. Viking did not kick us off the ship. Instead, they arranged for a late departure from the ship and then transported us to the city center. They arranged for our luggage to be stored while they provided us with a nice lunch at the opera house and time to walk around the city. Then they transported us to the airport. It didn't stop there. They escorted us into the airport with our luggage until we checked in! Wow! We cannot wait for our next Viking cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Viking does it right. We had a wonderful cruise sailing the Baltic Sea! Even on a full sailing the ship never felt very crowded. EMBARKATION- Super smooth. Rep at Stockholm airport and they put us in a private transfer to ship. About ... Read More
Viking does it right. We had a wonderful cruise sailing the Baltic Sea! Even on a full sailing the ship never felt very crowded. EMBARKATION- Super smooth. Rep at Stockholm airport and they put us in a private transfer to ship. About 45 minute ride. On ship in a minute after arrival Stockholm- Took included tour. Bus tour around city with quick photo stop at city hall. We then went to Vasa Museum on our own which is highly recommended. Viking provided a complimentary shuttle back to the ship every half hour from in front of the opera house. QUICK TIP: If departing from Stockholm in the morning, get up for the sail away. We left at 5:00am and the first couple hours of cruising we just idyllic St. Petersburg- We did the included bus tour with short stops at Church of Spilled Blood and St. Isaacs Cathedral. We also did the Canal Cruise which was a little disappointing. We really enjoyed the actual canal cruising but that only lasted 1 hour of a 5 hour shore excursion. The rest of the time was spent inside the 2 aforementioned churches. For $100 a person we would have enjoyed more time cruising the rivers QUICK TIP: BE VERY CAREFUL with your passport. If you lose passport you have to drive to Moscow to get a new one. Thousands of dollars and a missed cruise later you may have a story to tell but not one you want to have to tell Tallinn- This was actually our favorite port on the cruise. Such a well preserved Old Town really transports you back in time. The included tour is mostly walking with a short bus ride. We stayed on our own in the Old town area before catching the complimentary shuttle back to the ship Visby- A really surprising delightful island. About a 2 hour walking tour through the town. Loved seeing all the ruins. Highly recommended QUICK TIP: It is really windy outside the town walls. Once you get inside the walls it is more bearable Bornholm- Bus tour through the countryside with two 30 minute stops along the way in small fishing towns. We didn't particularly love this tour, although the countryside is really pretty there isn't much to see in the towns. There were amazing fields of yellow flowers in bloom. Copenhagen- 3 hour walking tour. Walk alongside the harbor to Little Mermaid statue, through Kastellet grounds, Amelienborg Palace and ending in Nyhaven area. This tour is pretty demanding and we were exhausted by the end of it. In reality you could just see these sights on your own at your own pace and with only one day in Copenhagen if I were to do it again that's what I would do. Shuttle service all day from near Nyhaven street. In the afternoon we went back into city and rented bikes. The city bikes (bycyclen white bikes) are a great way to see the city. Bike paths are everywhere so it feels pretty safe. Also they have electric engine assist which made it very easy to ride. About $3 per 30 mintues and there are stations throughout city to drop the bikes off- Highly recommended DISEMBARK- Smooth and helpful with staff everywhere assisting. The main downside is they transfer you to airport SOOO early. We arrived at CPH at 9:30am for a 1:30pm flight. The checkin counter didn't even open until 11:30am. Just be aware if you book transfers with Viking you will get there way too early, but I guess its better than the alternative. Dining- We thought the food was excellent overall. We ate most meals in world café because we enjoy the convenience of picking a little of everything. We did have 5 meals in the specialty restaurants and each was a very special experience. Manfredis was probably our favorite venue but beware portions are huge and room is loud. Chefs table is a much quieter environment with 4 course food/wine pairings. Don't miss Mamsens waffles in Explorers Lounge! The only item that was disappointing throughout the ship was the brewed coffee. It was awful. We ended up getting lattes and cappuccinos from the Viking Living room bar on Deck 1 each morning. Those were very tasty. Entertainment- Don't expect large productions but there was some performance each night. Our favorites were the Russian dancers who came onboard as well as two opera singers in Russia as well. If you don't make it out in St. Petersburg to see a ballet or other show its nice that Viking brings that local entertainment to you. Also Cruise director Bevin had a performance one night which was outstanding. The 4 piece singing group was just ok. Production was a little bit cheesy at times. Ship- Perfect size ship. Never felt crowded. Weather was nice so we enjoyed some meals outside on pool deck. Also be sure to go to Spa for steam room and ice room. Work out those sore muscles. Hope this review helps those considering this itinerary. You really cant go wrong with Viking and we keep coming back to this cruise line for the amazing food, attentive service, long times in port, no screaming kids and plenty of space onboard to relax and enjoy family and friends Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We booked our flights through Viking and 2 days before departure, we were informed by Viking that our flights had changed from SAS to Lufthansa. (SAS gave us the same information 1 DAY before departure!) Times were very similar, we arrived ... Read More
We booked our flights through Viking and 2 days before departure, we were informed by Viking that our flights had changed from SAS to Lufthansa. (SAS gave us the same information 1 DAY before departure!) Times were very similar, we arrived :15 later than the SAS flight. The reason for the last minute change was due to an SAS strike. I mention this because when I tried to contact LF to select my seat, the airline said I had to do it at the airport. It was a bit stressful. I called Viking Air. They immediately jumped into action and got all our seats together! We were a party of 4. Great service by the Viking Air staff! When we arrived at the airport in Copenhagen, there we Viking Staff available throughout baggage claim to help direct us to the busses. At the Pier, we checked in relatively quickly and our rooms where available right away. Our bags were in our room within an hour of our arrival! We made reservations for Manfredi's and The Chef's Table on line before sailing. During the 11 days, we were able to get into both restaurants a couple more times! We were not interested the the evening shows, so I can't really comment on them, however we did like Matthew, the guitarist who played :45 sets around the ship. Included shore excursions were OK. I think it was hit and miss with the tour guides and they tended to be larger groups than the optional excursions. The best optional tour we took was the Soviet Flashback in Estonia. Although I have to add that if you are more interested in visiting the old part of the city, you should do this tour in the AM instead of the afternoon. I would have liked more time in Estonia. We used Alla Tours for our 3 day St Petersburg tours. I can't say enough about them! Svletlania was a great guide for our 3 days! I would use them again and again! The service on the ship was wonderful. It was our first Viking cruise. We have cruised other large ships and have not received the same service as we did this last 11 days. Great job by all! Vlad, Alex, Vickie, Shelia. All FANTASTIC! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We booked this cruise to see the Northern Lights. We did see the lights several times. Unfortunately our cruise was cut short due to losing engine power in the middle of a storm. We were evacuated by helicopter. All in all, Viking, the ... Read More
We booked this cruise to see the Northern Lights. We did see the lights several times. Unfortunately our cruise was cut short due to losing engine power in the middle of a storm. We were evacuated by helicopter. All in all, Viking, the crew, helicopter rescue crew, the Norwegian Red Cross, the support personnel, and the people of Molde were excellent in responding to assist us. Viking tried to minimize the unfortunate situation, looking after us physically and financially from start to finish. While on the cruise, we found the dining, service, and cabin to be excellent. The ship was very well laid out, and the wifi worked well. The entertainment, although limited was very good. It was supplemented with a number of seminars which were very informative. We have now taken a number of Viking Cruises, both river and ocean, and would definitely recommend them. The included shore excursions were mostly city type tours, but informative. The optional excursions for the ones we took were very good. A thing to remember is to make sure you book your excursions shortly after you are permitted by your booking. We had several people who could not get on the tours they wanted because they were already booked. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This beautiful ship with a great service crew FAILED TERRIBLY ON MULTIPLE LEVELS at sea during a storm we should never have been in. Prior to the mayday we noticed several things that we found “sloppy” or unusual for a top cruise ... Read More
This beautiful ship with a great service crew FAILED TERRIBLY ON MULTIPLE LEVELS at sea during a storm we should never have been in. Prior to the mayday we noticed several things that we found “sloppy” or unusual for a top cruise ship. The lights on the ship continually flickered and a huge banging sound continued for 30’hours prior to the engine failure. The crew was amazing, but handicap auto doors were not functioning, dining room doors slid open on their own during the storm and waves blew a door open to the dining room injuring multiple people. Prior to the engine and power failure, we noticed sloppy things that we have never seen on Disney, Cunard or Pinang - on the top level promenade stairs the crew had a makeshift and dangerously messy “fix” for slick stairs by using random carpet strips taped and towed to the stairs with twine. The makeshift stair pads were dangerous to step on and moved with every strep. Also, after refueling in Tromsø, we walked deck hours later and no one had bothered to take down the refueling signs and ropes blocking the promenade. There were also dangerous design issues in our three cabins - especially the heavy, finger-smashing closet doors that became uncontrollable during the storm, slamming to and forth with every move of the ship - eventually breaking from their track on the bottom. We were also told the ship did not have as many safety signs as other ships because management didn’t like the look of the signs. That being said, their lack of normal foresight to read the weather and reroute the ship, asking with their tragic mistake of having too little oil on the engines for high seas is unforgivable. We all love luxury, we all love great service, but we should hold cruise lines accountable for their critical decision making and putting the lives and safety of their passengers and crew first. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The itinerary looked really interesting. We've looked at Northern Lights trips before, but this one was too intriguing to pass up, especially having never been to Norway or on Viking. I must agree with what was said about the carpet ... Read More
The itinerary looked really interesting. We've looked at Northern Lights trips before, but this one was too intriguing to pass up, especially having never been to Norway or on Viking. I must agree with what was said about the carpet squares in another review, and most certainly a BIG, more like HUGE question arises as to whether or not we should have been sailing on 3/23 when a few other ships elected to stay in port - this is for the investigating authorities to decide. And, of course, the helicopter airlift terrified us. BUT, all that being said, I believe that once in the emergency situation - whether or not we should have wound up in one - the crew did all they could to keep the passengers comfortable during such an extremely difficult situation. I do question this whole thing about the low-level oil sensors and believe that some sort of revised set-up should probably be considered that would allow for greater degree of roll and pitch prior to initiating auto engine shutdown, but, again, I'm just being an 'armchair engineer' I suppose without having all the facts at my disposal. Up to the 23rd, this was an amazing trip. The pre-cruise extension in Oslo was great. Our hotel, the Thon Opera, was conveniently located and very nice. The transfer to Bergen went smoothly, and the Sky - once we adjusted to a room with relatively little drawer space (especially on a trip where everyone had lots of heavier clothing) - was most enjoyable and beautifully appointed. We loved the quiet, relaxed atmosphere. Mezzanine level of the lounge is a truly beautiful space. Love the constellation decor up there too. Enjoyed the food (expected a bit better at times but overall quite good) - especially Mamson's waffles! The entertainment certainly can't be compared with the lavish production shows on other larger ships, but I thought it was nice how they brought on entertainers who presented music that reflected the Norwegian culture. And having the onboard guitar and piano player was nice as well (except next time please don't start playing "my heart will go on' during lunch if the really big waves and wind come along.) Visiting Narvik, Alta and Tromsø was indescribable! All three ports, as well as the entire journey northward through the fjords and sometimes narrow passages, was so picturesque and offered magnificent scenery. And what a thrill to be so far above the arctic circle! Excursions were awesome, especially dog and reindeer sledding. And, best of all, is that we DID get to see the Northern Lights several times. Mission accomplished in terms of the main objective of the cruise. The spa looked great but unfortunately never got to try it - planned to do so the afternoon of the 23rd. Loved the "heritage" area and the displays there. Love the infinity pool but never got to try that either (perhaps on a warmer weather trip!). Our DV2 room was very comfortable as well. Enjoyed the heated bathroom floor. All the enrichment lecturers were excellent. Michael and Corey, especially, presented such interesting and captivating, as well as entertaining programs. We were airlifted - which was truly scary - but the aftermath was just astounding in terms of how well we were taken care of by the Norwegian authorities, volunteers, red cross, police, hotel staff, shop keepers, on and on. Of course, ALL praise to the pilots and crews of the CHC. What a daring yet successful rescue effort of over half the passengers. We very possibly would not be here but for their bravery and expertise. Can't wait to sail with Viking again. Chairman Hagen has done all he can to try and make amends for a situation that is unprecedented in modern times. It truly saddened us to have to leave the ship the way we did and to witness firsthand the damage that was being done to her during that terrible bomb cyclone. While that Saturday was a life-changing experience that will likely haunt me at times for the rest of my life, I would go on the Sky for another cruise without hesitation. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Neophytes to Cruising, this was our first ocean cruise since way back in the mid-70s to the Caribbean. Our first experience with Viking Cruises was a few years back on the Châteaux, Rivers & Wine cruise from Bordeaux. At the time, the ... Read More
Neophytes to Cruising, this was our first ocean cruise since way back in the mid-70s to the Caribbean. Our first experience with Viking Cruises was a few years back on the Châteaux, Rivers & Wine cruise from Bordeaux. At the time, the ocean ships were still being constructed. Once launched, we were determined to take a voyage … and what better excuse than a cruise that began on my birthday! A caveat as I write this: Our cruise was the fifth of six on this itinerary, immediately preceding the last unfortunate voyage. My heart aches for the passengers and crew who experienced the terrifying breakdown in rough seas and our prayers extended to them in their recovery process. Embarking and disembarking was remarkably quick and efficient! Everyone was friendly, helpful and welcoming. We stepped onboard to smiling crew offering glasses of sparkling wine and promptly escorted to the elevators to the seventh deck World Café for lunch, our choice of wine flowing freely. We did opt for the Silver Spirits Beverage Package … good value for us as the packages includes a wide range of liquors, cocktails, wines and all specialty coffees. The décor of the Viking ships is beautiful and peaceful, the design incorporating many cozy areas – nothing feels crowded or noisy, even alongside the three-story atrium. The crew was amazing…always friendly, engaging, smiling and pleasant. From our first visit to the Explorers’ Lounge, Cecilia attended graciously welcomed us and answered any question we might have. Chris is another favorite, as is Ravi in the Dining Room. Their service was impeccable…we miss them greatly! Matthew, the guitarist, is outstanding! We were even lucky to have a fellow passenger accompany him on the harmonica. There is so much to do on the ship…read the Viking Daily carefully or you may miss something delightful. My husband, a retired chef, thoroughly enjoyed the presentations by one of the chefs. The port and excursion previews were very helpful as we were visiting lesser-known ports in the winter. Enrichment lectures abound. Staterooms repeat the tasteful and peaceful décor. Ours was a Deluxe Veranda on Deck 4 not too far from the elevators. The room was very quiet; we never heard anything from adjacent rooms. There was ample storage room, coffee service, king-size comfortable bed, two lounge chairs, table, desk, and a spacious bathroom with heated floors (so nice!). The mini-bar was replenished daily and water pitcher refilled twice a day (tap water was absolutely fine to drink as well). Bottled water was offered every time we left the ship and returned, as well as a form of mulled wine (so nice when it was SO cold). Everything is kept spotlessly clean; the stewards are friendly, efficient and professional. Food was exceptional, beautifully presented and delicious; there was always a server close by ready to top off water and wine. We ate at The Chef’s Table twice – Asian & Chinese – four-course offerings accompanied by premium selected wines (again part of the Silver Spirits package). The first night onboard was my birthday … a bottle of sparkling wine and greetings from crew in the room upon arrival and a wonderful layer cake at The Chef’s Table that night, in addition to the trio of desserts featured in the menu. We only ate a third that night; the next day, the rest of it was delivered to our stateroom. We did have a disappointing experience at the specialty restaurant Manfredi’s. Granted, we are spoiled for fine Italian cuisine in the North End of Boston. We both ordered the lamb chops medium rare; they came quite well done on the outside. The manager of the venue was at our side immediately. We then requested rare; the inside was medium rare; I couldn’t even cut through the outside. I gave up; he took it back; and I ordered the carbonara—very cream-heavy. I never, ever send anything back. My gratitude to the manager for being so patient. Many of our crew said we should have had the bistecca, that it is delicious. The Dining Room never disappointed, lunch or dinner. The Norwegian specialties at Mamsen’s were also delicious. The itinerary was awe-inspiring! The Captain steered away from Bodø as it’s directly on the sea and winds were too heavy for safe docking. The ship took us to places we would have not otherwise gone. The weather was wonderful and the crew did remark it was the best of all the cruises to date. Even Bergen was bright and sunny. Tromsø was beautiful, topped off the first night by an outstanding display of the Northern Lights. We watched the shimmering waves for close to 30 minutes, right from our veranda. We all became trained like Pavlov dogs as there were so many announcements of sightings – everyone scrambling to the best viewing points. We did a limited number of ship excursions, choosing to enjoy ports on our own, use a local guide, or enjoy the ship’s many offerings. A delightful young guide, Tor, from a local company, ‘Tromsø Individuelle,’ took us on a superb private tour of the many fjords in the area and out to Sommorøy Island. The best ship excursion we took was the Ofoten Railway to Riksgränsen Resort in Sweden where I was immediately caught up in all the eager huskies' lines and thrilled by their enthusiastic ride around a frozen lake! Everything on and off the ship was well organized and seamless. We highly recommend this adventure!!! We opted for early March as we hoped it would not be as cold as January, and it wasn’t. Winter temperatures in Boston were quite similar to what we experienced on the cruise. In fact, we were even over-prepared for the cold. We experienced a couple days with rough seas, always pre-warned by the Captain…something I expected for winter on the North and Norwegian Seas. As it turns out, the Sky encountered difficulties on the last trip as the equipment was too highly efficient – engines shutting down as perceptive oil levels were thrown off by high seas. We thoroughly enjoyed this voyage and consider it a trip of a lifetime! While our next cruise is a Viking river cruise in France, we definitely will return for another ocean adventure. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Always wanted to see the Northern Lights thought this would be a great way to do it. We have been on both the Sky and Star before and in Norway two other times. We love the area, the people and the natural landscape and were not ... Read More
Always wanted to see the Northern Lights thought this would be a great way to do it. We have been on both the Sky and Star before and in Norway two other times. We love the area, the people and the natural landscape and were not disappointed this time. We were lucky enough to see a great light show in Tromso and took a ship tour to a remote, dark place which allowed for some great photography. We walked down a hill through heavy snow, past a small stream to set up the tripod but it was well worth it. Never saw anything like these lights and it far exceeded our expectations. Our guide was attentive without being annoying and gave everyone ample time to do their pictures, We also saw the Lights in Alta also on a Viking tour at a great "camp", wonderful facilities, great helpful guides. Answered any and all questions about photography always checking to see if everyone was having a good time. Unfortunately the Lights were not as bright as in Tromso but that is not in Viking's control Also took a trip to the Polar Park in Narvik also a Ship offered tour and it was wonderful. Great photography of animals in the wild. Lots of snow but lots of opportunity for fun. Also did dog sledding and snowmobiling and we had a blast on those excursions also. Only disappointment was we could not stop at Bode because of high seas but respected the captain for putting our safety first. Overall the trip was great, a few hiccups with service in the World Cafe at the begnning of the cruise and with our reservations at Manfred's but our concerns were taken care of once reported in a prompt and professional way. Our cabin was clean and tasteful (we have actually booked the same cabin on all of our six Viking Ocean cruises), and our cabin personnel were awesome. I use the gym daily and it was clean and the personnel always friendly even early in the morning. Towels were always placed on the machines with fresh water bottles. Embarkation was faster than normal and we were on the ship within a few minutes.Overall a fantastic experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We are seasoned cruisers having cruised 30+ times on 8 different lines. However, this was our first cruise on Viking and certainly not our last. The ship was AMAZING and the crew was GREAT. I don’t know what the ratio of passengers to ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers having cruised 30+ times on 8 different lines. However, this was our first cruise on Viking and certainly not our last. The ship was AMAZING and the crew was GREAT. I don’t know what the ratio of passengers to crew is but I do know you couldn’t put your water glass down without someone filling it, or more importantly your wine glass. We are small ship prone and this ship only has 920 passengers So it lacks the pool slides and all the huge amenities but also all the crowds that come with that. All of the public areas were great. A great pool side venue, afternoon tea, snacks etc., you name it they had it! As I mentioned the service was great and personable. For example even though our cabin stewards have 13+ rooms to care for they took the time to remember out names and were flexible in cleaning our cabin. Regarding the ship we were on, the Viking Sky, it was without a doubt one of the best ship cabins if not the best ship cabin we have ever been in. It is all the small things that made this cabin special. For example, they have drawers in the bathroom, a huge convenience. They have a full-length mirror for dressing. The bathroom floors are heated and they have 110 volt plugs at the bed headboard. They have a make up mirror and storage area in the desk. A great improvement for my spouse. In addition, the storage, i.e. closets, drawers etc. was exceptional! Another small item was they have a door to the veranda vs. a sliding glass door which makes the space more useable and gives a tighter fit to the closure. From a food standpoint it was all wonderful. In addition to great meals for dinner their luncheon menus were wonderful. How about King Crab and Roast Beef for lunch? Dinners whether at the specialty restaurant or the regular restaurant were excellent. A great variety of foods and excellent preparation and again the service was wonderful. The ship comes with beer and wine included at lunch and dinner which is a nice touch. However, as a wine snob I prefer a step up in wines and was pleasantly surprised to find not only a couple of bottles of my favorite wines but they were more than fairly priced, not ripping you off like most other lines. Further, the waiters were happy to cork the wines and brought them to us for the next night. Finally, our trip home. We were booked on KLM and unbeknown to us they cancelled our flight, never told us and didn’t bother to book us on another flight. We found out when we got to the airport! We had booked this flight directly with the airline and even though they didn’t have anything to do with the flights a Viking agent spent 2+ hours on the phone getting us booked for the following day. A Viking representative even helped get our luggage to the hotel for the overnight stay. Talk about customer service. I just can say enough about how great the staff and the line it self is. Clearly we are going on this line whenever we have a choice! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this trip to once again hopefully experience the northern lights and to have the luxury of this beautiful ship. The itinerary looked good with overnight stops at Tromso and Alta. Embarkation was seamless, withing 15 minutes of ... Read More
We chose this trip to once again hopefully experience the northern lights and to have the luxury of this beautiful ship. The itinerary looked good with overnight stops at Tromso and Alta. Embarkation was seamless, withing 15 minutes of arriving at Tilbury we were having lunch in the World Cafe and our holiday had started. Very impressed. Our stateroom was ready early and we were given a guided tour of the facilities in the cabin. On my mentioning that I did not drink coffee (there is a coffee maker in the cabin) the steward straight away fetched me a kettle and kept the teabags topped up - he kept the cabin spotless for the cruise and chatted and laughed with us every day, making the experience a bit more personal. We ate mostly in the World Cafe as it was very relaxed and the food was tasty and plentiful. We tried the pool grill and the afternoon tea which were both great and Manifredis italian had great service and great food, The service in every bar and lounge and dining was second to none, Very impressed. There were plenty of interesting lectures to attend, and we enjoyed sitting in the Explorers lounge watching the fjords go by with a tasty waffle and fresh fruit. We relaxed in our cabin most evenings and watched a film on the TV so cannot comment on the evening entertainment. The included excursions were informative and gave us an oversight into each port. The highlight of the trip was 'Chasing the lights' at Tromso where we were treated to a spectacular display of the Aurora about an hour or so outside the town, so many photos ........ On the way home we had the honour of a glimse of 2 Killer whale from our balcony,,,another hightlight. a quick photo and they were gone. March is certainly a good time to take this cruise. The weather was great, even a sunny day in Bergen !! Disembarkation was fairly uneventfull although there was no rep at Oslo to help out. All in all a fantastic holiday and thank you to all the ships staff for a great trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
The Itinerary is great and you will see spectacular scenery in Norway. Unfortunately, with any cruise you can't control the weather which is really important if you want to see the Northern Lights. We were glad we were able to see the ... Read More
The Itinerary is great and you will see spectacular scenery in Norway. Unfortunately, with any cruise you can't control the weather which is really important if you want to see the Northern Lights. We were glad we were able to see the Northern Lights but somewhat disappointed in the color and brightness due to most of the nights being cloudy. Also, cameras really pickup more color than the naked eye so having a camera that is capable of taking pictures of the Northern Lights is critical. Viking Sky does a good job of providing guest hints on how to take good pictures of the Northern Lights. We had a stress free embarkation in Bergen Norway. Very convenient location within walking distance of several hotels and attractions which made it nice since it was an overnight stay on the Ship in Bergen. The ship is gorgeous and mostly well maintained. They do a really good job of keeping the common areas clean. But be aware of the ice that can accumulate on the outside decks. It seems that Viking could have put a barrier around the ice which would have really improved the situation. This was mostly an issue at night when people would go to the decks and couldn't see the ice. I really like having the Self-service launderette. Our stateroom attendants were very friendly and did a great job taking care of our stateroom. The capability for Viking to notify guest, who wanted to be alerted no matter what time of the night, that Northern Lights were visible from the ship was fantastic. It did really add a special touch to the cruise. There were more movies and shows available on the TV then expected. The dining staff did a good job and were very friendly. I really like that the World Cafe for the most part served the same food that the Restaurant did so if guest didn't want to dress for dinner they had they same food options. Viking could expand some of the options such as bread and cookies so that each meal isn't the same the entire cruise. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of options but each lunch and dinner had the exact same bread everyday. I liked the availability of the specialty food buffets that were served on the pool deck that provided added flexibility and variety for dining options. We really enjoyed our dinners in The Chef's Table and Manfredi's. The included wine was mostly good except we really didn't enjoy the German red wine they had several meals. The included excursion for the most part were rather boring and didn't do much other than drive around and I think Viking could do a better job of describing the tours so guest will have a better idea of what to expect. For example, the tour in Bergen explanation of the excursion should reflect the actual excursion making it clear that it doesn't stop at the King Haakon’s Hall, the Rosenkrantz Tower or the Fish Market. We did really enjoy the included excursion in Tromso where we visited the Northern Light Planetarium. We enjoyed the warm drinks (especially the Baileys and Hot Chocolate) when returning to ship from our excursions. For the most part, Viking Sky did a good job of getting guest on and off the ship. The second day in Bergen was the only port that the line was extremely long when returning from our excursion. Disembarkation was extremely smooth. Do not expect taxi's to be readily available at the Tilbury port. Transportation should be planned prior to disembarkation. We rented a car from Enterprise which picked us up at the port. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Our cruise was beyond our expectations. The ship beautiful, the food outstanding and the staff couldn't have been more attentive. Be sure to try the specialty restaurants. The Chef's Table which had a different menu every ... Read More
Our cruise was beyond our expectations. The ship beautiful, the food outstanding and the staff couldn't have been more attentive. Be sure to try the specialty restaurants. The Chef's Table which had a different menu every night and Manfredi's which had an extensive menu. Both were amazing! The other more casual restaurants had a huge selection of food with different selections added every day. Everything was delicious! We took advantage of High Tea every afternoon at 4 pm. The scones were the best I've ever had. There's a covered pool that allows you to swim in the coldest climates and a snow cave to enjoy after the sauna. Our stateroom was comfortable and had a beautiful bathroom with radiant heat. The TV had a huge selection of movies, TV series, and documentaries. If you leave the webcam on at night and there is a northern lights sighting, they will announce it in your cabin. We ran out on the deck at 3 am to catch a glimpse! There were many activities to keep you busy and there was entertainment in the evening along with music in the atrium. The excursions were informative and fun. We went to a Sami Camp, learned about their culture, went reindeer sleigh riding and had dinner in their teepee. I would definitely take another Viking Cruise and encourage everyone to do the same! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was a really enjoyable different kind of itinerary and our first experience with Viking. We came in with high expectations for the ship and crew and it was met in every way. Also, we really enjoy this size ship. We never felt ... Read More
This was a really enjoyable different kind of itinerary and our first experience with Viking. We came in with high expectations for the ship and crew and it was met in every way. Also, we really enjoy this size ship. We never felt crowded or experienced lines. Our cabin was modern, comfortable and provided ample storage space. The bathroom was great with a heated floor, plenty of counter space and a very comfortable shower. The TV entertainment system was great and comprehensive including tons of free movies and TV shows, enrichment programs, music and even TED talks (I can get behind a company smart enough to feature TED talks). There was also a good variety of live channels inc,using several US news stations. At times the live TV was unavailable. The free internet was limited to one device at a time per passenger which is frustrating but a smart policy. It did not work so well in some locations but was generally fine for email and reading news. Our cabin was cleaned twice a day and our room steward managed to do so without us ever hardly seeing him. The service level was as good or better then any of the dozen or so cruises I have previously taken with both mass market and luxury lines. The food ranged from very good to great. I really appreciated the fact that Viking provides an experience that is mostly inclusive and enjoyed that pretty much everything was part of the base experience. The ports we visited were all pretty interesting. We really loved our starting port, Bergen, and we recommend spending at least a few days in Oslo, where we flew into, which is not part of the cruise itinerary. If you do go to Oslo, the 7 hour train ride from there to Bergen was very enjoyable. My one complaint regarding the ports is the time in Stavanger was just 7 hours which seemed very short. We took all the included Panoramic tours and found them all worthwhile. The one optional Viking tour we took was in Alta and including snowmobiling and the Igloo Hotel. This was very well organized and was a highlight of our trip. Finally, I must note the embarkation and disembarkation. They were incredibly smooth and there was none of the usual chaos getting off the ship. I never felt crowded at all. We used Viking to transfer to the airport for our departure flights and it was great. We were not too lucky with weather or the the Northern Lights, but this did not lessen our enjoyment of this cruise. We loved it! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We wanted to see the Northern Lights and love to cruise on smaller ships (Oceania is our 'go to'). The overcast skies during most of the cruise were a disappointment for seeing the Northern Lights (we had one clear night near ... Read More
We wanted to see the Northern Lights and love to cruise on smaller ships (Oceania is our 'go to'). The overcast skies during most of the cruise were a disappointment for seeing the Northern Lights (we had one clear night near Narvik that allowed about 15 minutes of viewing during the 12 days on board). The temperatures were also warmer than expected which resulted in melting snow and rain north of the Arctic Circle in February. Cruising the Norwegian coast and the train from Oslo to Bergen (we spent two days in Oslo before boarding the ship) were the trip's scenic highlights. The ship is very nice and we enjoyed our time aboard with a few exceptions. The main pros were the very friendly staff, the excellent bathroom (see below), a reliable internet connection, and the omission of a casino..Our main disappointments were the Restaurant (inattentive and slow service, high noise level due to lack of sound absorbing surfaces such as curtains and carpets, OK but not great food) and the limited variations in daily salad and vegetable options (lots of rice, potatoes, steam vegetables, and green salad, but not much else). We enjoyed Chef's Table and Manfredi's were OK but not great. We ate most of our meals in the Café but eating 2-3 meals a day in the same place for 12 days got repetitious. We were surprised that most of the food in the Café was self service which raised concerns about spreading bugs such as norovirus, but I'm not aware of anyone getting sick. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise and would go on Viking Ocean again if the itinerary was interesting, but Oceania remains our top choice. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We wanted to see the Northern Lights and rather than take the Hurtegruten route which is heavily promoted in the UK, thought we would take a more luxurious option with Viking. We are both season travellers with over 10 cruises in ... Read More
We wanted to see the Northern Lights and rather than take the Hurtegruten route which is heavily promoted in the UK, thought we would take a more luxurious option with Viking. We are both season travellers with over 10 cruises in various parts of the globe. Things did not start well with our arrival in Bergen and depositing our three bags at the terminal, for just two of them to arrive at our stateroom some 2 hours later and the third bag finally arrived 6 hours later!! Having chased guest services there was a very laisser afire attitude which seemed to set the tone for the rest of the trip. We have numerous issues with our cabin including excessive squeaking from the French doors when at sea ( whilst they admitted there was a problem we were offered ear plugs!) A shower that didn't seem to be regulated and periodically ran with scalding water, our toilet broke and it took three phone calls to get a plumber. We ordered room service and early morning tea on a few occasions and every time had to wait ages and there was always something wrong with the order. I felt that the staff were poorly trainef. I overhead waiters discussing their grievances on more than one occasion in the dining room which was incredibly unprofessional. The bar service was shocking and in both The Living Room and Explorer Lounge the waiters would swan around with trays clearing classes and NEVER asking if we would like a drink! We had two of our pre paid trips cancelled, one was cancelled well in advance of departure and we were told we could be credited on the card used to pay for the excursion. This now seems to be a total lie as this did not happen and we were given credit on our shipboard account. The settlement of such credits to UK passengers is by cheque within 60 days! What a joke and there is no reason why credit cards can it be refunded. We had considered a Viking River cruise but having experienced their level of service would not touch them with a barge pole! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Chose this cruise with the main intention to see the Northern Lights. Viking handled all the arrangements for us. Our flight schedule from our home in Tennessee to the ship in England was smooth and very prompt. We only had a couple hours ... Read More
Chose this cruise with the main intention to see the Northern Lights. Viking handled all the arrangements for us. Our flight schedule from our home in Tennessee to the ship in England was smooth and very prompt. We only had a couple hours between stops and the transfer from the airport to the ship was quick and smooth. There was always someone there to direct us and get us to the right place. Tip! The ship store has ice cleats for $10 a pair and trecking poles for $17 each. And I advise you to get a pole. Cleats not so much. Included tours: We went on every included trip and enjoyed them all. Note: The crew does a great job of getting everyone on and off the ship and buses but it is cold and dark sometimes so react accordingly. Also the days are short this time of year so you need to be on the early tours for the excursions except the Lights hunting then later is better. Remember the crew can't change the weather! We went on the 'In search of Northern Lights' trips in Tromso and Alta and were lucky to see the lights at both locations. I must say to everyone remember you are at the mercy of the weather on this trip so be patient and remember the crew cant change the weather. I heard many say the trips we not that good but if the weather had cooperated things would have been much different. Tip: Take hand warmers if you plan on taking pictures. Tip: Take a face mask! Many people had the cold weather gear but few had face covers and when you are outside in a 10 mph wind at -6 Degrees Celsius your face will get extremely cold! Big Tip: Your cell phone will not work to take pictures of the Northern Lights! I know there are apps out there that say the will help but trust me they do not work! If you want to take pictures of the lights that look like what you see on tv then get you a good camera and a tripod. Here is another Big Big tip: Learn how to use the camera and the cell phone BEFORE YOU GET THERE! Standing in the cold and dark with your flashlight on ruining everyone's night vision while you are trying to figure out how to set your camera will not win you many friends! Tip: There are several private companies in Tromso and Alta that have trips to find the Northern Lights so check those out also. You actually have a better chance of seeing the lights on a private tour because they have smaller vehicles and can move around easier and quicker than the buses. Entertainment: this is not a Disney cruise or a booze cruise! You will find interesting passengers and crew. The shows are fun but it's not Vegas style. The talks are informative and interesting but not for everyone. The pool is cold as is the weather. We were never bored on the trip as there was always something to do or interesting people to talk to or beautiful scenery to watch. We had an excellent time on this cruise! The ship is beautiful and the food is excellent. The crew is one of the best we have been around. The excursions are a little pricey but if you remember where you are and the problems presented by the weather and the locations then they are really priced very fair. And Remember::::: The crew can't change the weather! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this ship and this cruise because seeing the Northern Lights has been number one on our bucket list. It still is because despite six nights above the Arctic Circle we did not see the Lights. But more of that later The Ship gets ... Read More
We chose this ship and this cruise because seeing the Northern Lights has been number one on our bucket list. It still is because despite six nights above the Arctic Circle we did not see the Lights. But more of that later The Ship gets 10 out of 10. Viking Sky is only two years old and has been kept in top condition. Everywhere you go there are staff polishing handrails, keeping things ship shape.etc There is a lot of public space with the Horizon Lounge, Wintergarden etc On both sides of the atrium and on Level one in the atrium there are ample spaces to sit and relax. On days at sea there were times when you wondered where everyone had got to. The furnishings are comfortable and typically Scandic. Be careful when sitting on a couch draped in reindeer hide, as the reindeer hair tends to stick to clothes. We experienced some rough weather which was to be expected given where we were cruising and the season. The ship handled the weather with ease. The Officers and Crew get 10 out of 10! The Captain is extremely personable and was around the ship all the time talking to his passengers and staff and so too the officers.This meant for a very happy ship with all crew being cheerful and helpful The Cabin. Was spacious at 270 square feet. Nicely furnished The bed was very comfortable.The stateroom was very quiet. the bathroom was the best we have experienced having cruised with Princess, Ponant, Cunard, Crystal, and Oceania. The shower had a proper box, loads of hot water and pressure. The heated floor was great. The balcony got little use given the outside temperatures. We had the lowest category of cabin so did not have a coffee machine. That did not matter as there was an excellent barista service only two levels down. Unlike other lines there is no charge for espresso. Nor was there any charge for the internet which provided good service. Nor was there any charge for using the laundry It is important when comparing cruise lines to factor in the “freebies” Food and Wine. We bought the liquor package at US$20 per day each. Much cheaper than packages offered by other lines. The choice of wine is excellent. I like a grappa to end the evening and there was a choice of 5 or 6. Oceania prides itself on the quality of food which is very good. Viking was equally good. The wine package on Oceania is much more expensive, they ran out of both chardonnays on offer and did not have even one grappa Having the lowest category cabin meant we could not book the specialty restaurants until we boarded. We went to Manfredis the excellent ItaliIan restaurant on three nights and the Chefs Table once. There is no extra charge for the speciality restaurants and all are anytime dining. Dress is smart casual and most of the time men did not wear a jacket ( Cunard take note) Entertainment. The theatre is comfortable and has very good sight lines. The ships band was good and the four young singers tried really hard and were enjoyable with ABBA and Beatles nights. There were good classical instrumentalists, and a very good resident pianist. The guitarist was excellent. The cruise Director Drew and his assistant Courtney were both extremely personable and had good voices which gave some variety. Their musical quizzes were fun. If you want Broadway show standard ,pick another cruise, we didn’t and were happy with what there was There were some excellent lecturers, the lady historian in particular The Excursions, The arrangements on and off the ship were very good. An advantage in being on a smaller ship. Some of the excursions fell well below the standard of the rest of the cruise. At Stavanger the introduction to the Vikings was poor. The museum had limited exhibits and the rest of the tour was really filling in time. Stavanger was a charming town and those who wandered on their own enjoyed that. At Bodø we drove for two hours to stand astride the Arctic Circle. That was a bit of fun. Standing in the snow, in the dark for half an hour while two young Sami women tried unsuccessfully to get their reindeer to be nice was not. Nor was the visit to the art gallery that followed At Tromsø we had an excellent guide, an interesting museum and a trip in the cable car for a wonderful view over the city. The central city is picturesque and had good shopping.The following day there was another long bus ride to a Sami camp. The hosts were hospitable and interesting. The ride in the reindeer sled led by a Sami was okay, the reindeer looked a bit sad.Some people had organised private tours overnight and their guide literally chased the Lights until he found clear skies and the Lights. Those on the very late tours organised by. Viking caught a glimpse At Alta, a highlight was dog sledding drawn by excitable huskies through forest and on a frozen river. Outstanding! Then it was our turn to search for the Lights. There was an hours bus trip each way and two hours at a camp with fires in the open and in a lavu ( tent) Sadly the cloud cover stayed in place until just as the last bus left at midnight, they got a brief show. For the large majority there was only disappointment, frankly the chances of seeing the Lights by staying in one place are slim. You do need to go on a private tour and “ chase” the Lights to have a real chance. Viking should consider hooking up with companies that provide that experience.Alta was rebuilt after WW11 and is not very interesting AtNarvikthere was a two hour drive each way for 40 minutes snowmobiling. There was no food or coffee offered apart from a chocolate bar in the bus on the return journey. Viking were let down by the tour guides. It was shambolic, people were told to go to a nearby hotel for refreshments but it was closed. There was no one to assist people with the snow suits, goggles and helmets because the guides were out with the first group on the snowmobiles For Narvik, read Alta So Viking really need to rethink the excursions they offer and the shore side providers. Conclusion We still have unfinished business having not seen the Lights. We will consider doing the trip again with Viking. If we do we will do our own Shore arrangements. We still had a great time, a great experience and made some lovely friends We will certainly cruise with Viking again, somewhere warmer, and will look very critically at whatever shore excursions are on offer Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This cruise itinerary was selected because it met several of our desires to travel to Norway's west coast cities, see Northern Lights and visit extended family in Oslo. Viking Cruises is quickly becoming a top ranked cruise line and ... Read More
This cruise itinerary was selected because it met several of our desires to travel to Norway's west coast cities, see Northern Lights and visit extended family in Oslo. Viking Cruises is quickly becoming a top ranked cruise line and after experiencing this ocean cruise, is evident they will continue to be a strong presence among existing cruise lines. Two things readily apparent with Viking Ocean Cruises is they don't have casinos in the ships and the evening "broadway-style" productions are not provided. Aside from that, Viking has superb staff who are especially friendly, outgoing and willing to provide any type of assistance to the passengers. There are enrichment speakers who are exceptionally experienced, knowledgeable, and educated in their respective fields of interest. The speakers are very adept at adding valuable information for the various ports of call, the natural surroundings, historical relevance and scientific research which helps passengers get a more in-depth understanding of the areas visited. Viking provides included excursions at each port, which is typically a bus ride through the local city with some points of interest highlighted by a tour guide. Add on excursions are, generally, much better than the included excursions, but they will each have added costs. All of the dining venues with Viking are excellent. It is not necessary to eat in the dining room to get exceptional quality for your meals. The World Cafe has a tremendous assortment of salads, main entrees, and desserts. All in all, Viking offers an outstanding cruising experience in new ships. We never had to wait in crowded lines for anything from the time we embarked to the day of disembarking. I strongly recommend Viking Ocean Cruises . Bon Voyage. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I choose this cruise only because it went to the Northern Lights in Norway. We didnt see them. It is a very rough ride across from London to Norway, that is ok, but the food was terrible. Only thing worth eating is in the specialty ... Read More
I choose this cruise only because it went to the Northern Lights in Norway. We didnt see them. It is a very rough ride across from London to Norway, that is ok, but the food was terrible. Only thing worth eating is in the specialty restaurants. The spa does not look anything like the pictures. I had to go back to the salon 3 times to finally get my nail color off, as their products were sub-par. As a result, I canceled any spa treatments. There were no clocks on the ship. I never knew what time it was. Fifty percent of our excursions were canceled. I am used to Luxury Cruises, so this was a big all around disappointment. They said they were a "prime" cruise, which we do not have a category for in USA, when i asked how this was a luxury cruise I do not see how they have such a high rating, i do however see that on some websites they are listed a "luxury".....they are NOT. Entertainment was an opera singer with sound too loud, not her fault. Cabin was an odd shape, too much dining and living room, not enough closet. I used the living room as part of my closet. My stewardess was excellent. The best thing about this cruise was dogsledding i give that a 5, but will never go again on Viking Cruises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Ship is pristine and service could not be more friendly or professional. Entertainment is high quality but the emphasis on classical music gets a little tiresome. Professional lectures were excellent. Dining is varied and delicious with ... Read More
Ship is pristine and service could not be more friendly or professional. Entertainment is high quality but the emphasis on classical music gets a little tiresome. Professional lectures were excellent. Dining is varied and delicious with food served hot. Cabin is smaller than indicated in the photo, with insufficient storage space.Balcony very small. We particularly enjoyed the spa with the snow grotto and the exercise classes were excellent. Included excursions are boring and the others are extremely expensive. Prices not disclosed until 30 days before departure. Sledding by huskies was a lot of fun but lasts 15 minutes. An excursion to see the northern lights was supposed to include being taken to several places to try to see the lights. Stayed in one place. Never saw the lights. Another couple went with a private company and saw the lights for hours! Most of the city stops were on Sunday so no shopping opportunities. Scenery in Norway is beautiful and we may go back in summer, just probably not with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We wanted to see and experience the famous northern lights and were attracted to Viking as their ships have a good reputation for quality and style. We were unlucky with the weather, very, very cloudy every night (not conducive to seeing ... Read More
We wanted to see and experience the famous northern lights and were attracted to Viking as their ships have a good reputation for quality and style. We were unlucky with the weather, very, very cloudy every night (not conducive to seeing the lights at all) and although we left on our tv every night hoping to be summoned to see them we were never called. Finally at our most northern port, Alta, we managed to book a private tour. It seems to be best to go late at night and finally after chasing the skies for about three hours we were rewarded. They weren’t vibrant but not sure they ever are,but greeny/gray swathes of light definitely were in evidence. It seems to be luck if you do see them. The ship was lovely, v high quality everything, super food, we liked the Italian speciality restaurant the best, the specialist Chef’s Table experience left me hungry. The staff are v friendly, nothing is too much trouble. And no one is trying to sell you stuff all the time, drinks, photos (no employed photographers at all) etc. plus proper ground coffee although nothing matched the Nespresso machine in our room. The grill in th Wintergarden had fabulous beef burgers etc at lunchtime, tasty and well made. The only disappointment for me was that the library, although restocked halfway through the trip, was a bit lacking. Books aren’t all in one place but throughout the ship, some heavy tomes in evidence. The TVs in the rooms had a variety of channels, BBC included and really new films, one hadn’t been released in the UK yet. There were a variety of q erudite talks, didn’t go to many but some seemed to have some depth and rigor for those interested. There was also a jigsaw table with one always on the go for all to have a try at and a variety of games to play, scrabble etc. The free port tours were well run, some better than others depending on how interesting the port was. Evening entertainment ok, we enjoyed watching Mary-Jess (ex winner of the Chinese version of X Factor) who was v good. Would have liked more variety, it was singers or singers. Due to the fact this is a new cruise for Viking didn’t feel the staff always had a good handle on what some of the excursions entailed. So cancelled the visit to the Arctic Circle due to dodgy ankle as was told there would be a three mile walk by two different members of staff. This was not true and was disappointed to have missed it. Plus some had to be cancelled due to lack of snow. Would recommend this trip but go for the scenery and superb service and food as well as the lights. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
My wife and I were intrigued by visiting Norway in winter, and Viking included free air on this cruise from Bergen. We paid for a Veranda cabin and were upgraded to Deluxe Veranda. It seems like everything is expensive in Norway, so ... Read More
My wife and I were intrigued by visiting Norway in winter, and Viking included free air on this cruise from Bergen. We paid for a Veranda cabin and were upgraded to Deluxe Veranda. It seems like everything is expensive in Norway, so staying on a cruise ship is a bargain by comparison. Winter in the Arctic makes this something of an adventure cruise. The included bus excursions are fine, but they get repetitive, and we wanted to take some optional excursions into the countryside. Overnight stays in Bergen, Alta, and Tromso gave extra time for shore excursions or browsing in town. Wearing multiple layers of warm clothing made outdoor excursions comfortable, but it did make the buses seem overheated. We particularly enjoyed visiting the Sami camp with reindeer sledding outside of Tromso. The Polar Park outside of Narvik was also good but high chain link fences make animal photography difficult. More daring souls might want to enter the enclosure with wolves. High winds caused the ship to skip the planned stop in Bode, but we enjoyed a longer stay in Stavanger instead. Flying to Bergen in January was more of an adventure than planned. Bad weather across much or the US was causing extensive cancellations and delays. Viking did a good job of getting everyone to the ship, but some arrivals were quite late. A pre-cruise extension would have helped,at a cost not much more than one more optional shore excursion. On the other hand, we made friends at airports with other cruisers who had similar itineraries, and we ended up eating some dinners together. Best dining by far is at Manfredi's. We ate there twice. Make reservations at the first opportunity and don't fail to try the rib steak. Be aware that portion sizes are large, and we naturally wanted to try a variety of dishes. We ate most meals at the World Cafe because it was convenient and featured many of the same items served in the Restaurant without the time commitment or a dress code. The cabin service was particularly good. Our cabin attendant learned our names and habits and accommodated our early bedtimes with a special early turn-down service. We all hugged when the cruise was over. The enrichment lectures were all available on the cabin television. Northern Lights and Vikings were the favorite topics. I particularly enjoyed the Northern Lights Tour lecture in Alta. We had two nights in Tromso with magnificent displays of the Northern Lights. The whole sky lit up with colorful displays which were easily viewed from the ship. Those on Northern Lights shore excursions got an even better show on those nights, but on other nights they just spent several hours in the cold. The light show is going to vary from one cruise to the next, but when it is good it is fantastic! Overall, it was a wonderful cruise. Prepare to have a great time. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this itinerary because I wanted to travel somewhere to see the Northern Lights. This was our third Viking Ocean cruise and we received the excellent service we have come to expect from Viking. We have our fourth already booked ... Read More
We chose this itinerary because I wanted to travel somewhere to see the Northern Lights. This was our third Viking Ocean cruise and we received the excellent service we have come to expect from Viking. We have our fourth already booked for August 2019. Our trip to Bergen to embark was interesting due to the snowstorm at the Bergen airport when we arrived, but KLM did a fine job, diverted us to Oslo to refuel and then back to Bergen. The Viking representatives were still waiting for us at the airport when we got there and we were quickly delivered to the ship. Embarkation was a snap and within 15 minutes of arriving at the ship we were in our stateroom, our luggage arrived about 30 minutes later. We booked a Penthouse Veranda, 5014, and were very happy with the room size and storage. The closet had plenty of room for all our hanging clothes and there were 10 drawers available for other clothes. Each night stand has two USB port, a US outlet, and an European outlet so there is plenty of support to keep your devices charged. We especially like the Chef's Table specialty restaurant. it is a set menu of a 5 Course meal and each course has it's own wine that changed every three days. Small individual portions, but plenty of food for us by the time the meal is over. We like the Asian Panorama and Xiang. When we don't eat at the Chef's Table, We eat our evening meal in the Restaurant where you get several choices of local food or their "always available" (food for picky eaters) menu for a three course meal. The first thing all the waiters asked was if we had any food allergies. Beer and wine are always included in meals, you can upgrade your wine selection with the Silver Beverage Package. The World Cafe is the buffet style restaurant and seems to have almost everything available that is on the Restaurant Menu and again beer and wine are included with the meal. Be sure to check out Mamsen's on deck 7 for a quick sandwich and some really good soups. All dining venues are included. There is always some sort of live music in the Explorers Lounge or the Viking Living Room. This cruise had a guitarist, pianist, and string duet. The Band playing in the Torshavn was outstanding. Viking provides enrichment lectures that cover local history and culture on all their cruises. This cruise had lectures on the Northern Lights and other astronomical occurrences. The service we received from our room steward and the wait staff was outstanding. Two of the bartenders and several of the waiters were on previous Viking Cruises that we were on and remembered us. One thing everyone that booked this cruise should have remembered was that it was January/February in Norway. It is going to be cold and dark. Take warm clothes. I heard some of the passengers complained about the dark. The cold made the Pool area cold, it is a glass enclosed space and when it is 5F outside it is going to be cold inside. Our room was comfortable and I was usually comfortable in my shirt sleeves anywhere other than the pool area and we live in Florida. We hit all the ports on the itinerary except Bodo. The weather forecast at Bodo was 30 F, with 35 MPH winds. I think the captain made a good decision in not stopping in a non sheltered port. The excursions would have been miserable. The other ports were interesting and informative (and cold). The Thermal Spa was a great place to go after an excursion out in the cold. There is a large warm pool, a hot tub, snow grotto, and steam room in the coed part with lounge chairs. There is a Sauna and Cold Plunge in each locker room. This is included and there are robes and towels available in the locker rooms, all you need is your key card to lock and unlock the lockers. The Silver Beverage Package (SBP) is worth a look. At $19.95 a day per person you only need to have three cocktails/beers/glasses of wine to pay for it. It covers everything they have on the bar. We are considering going on this itinerary again, just in the summer for the midnight sun. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My wife has had seeing the Northern Lights as a "Bucket List" item for many years. When Viking Ocean came out with the "In Search of the Northern Lights" cruise I knew it was a must to do. In quick summary, We saw the ... Read More
My wife has had seeing the Northern Lights as a "Bucket List" item for many years. When Viking Ocean came out with the "In Search of the Northern Lights" cruise I knew it was a must to do. In quick summary, We saw the lights and they were spectacular and the ship/food/crew exceeded our expectations. And yes it was cold. My wife and I are fairly seasoned cruise passengers the last ten years and usually cruise Celebrity "Aqua Class" or Princess "Club" class and find that level of service excellent on those ships. We have travelled Azamara and thought it was even better but it is expensive. This was first time on Viking and I have to say it was excellent with much the same feel and quality of Azamara but newer. Pricing is much like Oceana and Azamara. We were scheduled to pick the ship up in Bergen in late January. We were worried about flight delays so arranged to arrive in Bergen a few days before departure. We stayed at Opus IV and it was great. I would highly recommend it as the it is relative new and in a A-1 location for exploring Bergen. It has a great breakfast Buffet with friendly helpful management. Boarded the ship and headed North. We were in a "D-2" cabin which well laid out with a nice bathroom (Heated floors a definite plus for this trip). The food on the ship was great and varied. Great fish as you would expect being in Norway but the beef was also exceptional. Nicely seasoned and tender for the various cuts. The "Grill" served the best burgers I have ever had at sea. Fresh ground beef or if you wanted, Bison or Turkey or Veggie burgers were avail along with great Hot Dogs or BBQ. All fresh and prepared to order. Several nights they had a seafood buffet on the pool deck with shrimp, crab legs, lagotisnos etc - all you can eat - no charge. Their afternoon tea included besides the 3-tiered platter of goodies, fresh scones and clotted cream....Yum! Most cruises have a "Lobster Night" and serve what I call a Fla Lobster Tail. Always tasty. On Viking they served full Maine Baked Stuffed lobsters or Lobster Thermador. Surf and turf was a highlight not once but twice. So as you can see the food was good. At least on this ship, Viking Sky, everyone was friendly, has a smile and was willing to chat and help in anyway. Most cruises have one or two staff that stands out but on this ship it was almost everyone without exception. As an example, my wife is allergic to gluten. I would say most ships as well as Viking handle this well. In Viking's case, they had a Sr. Officer assigned to those passengers with food needs. He was always present insuring my wife was taken care of and would bring special chief creations that made the trip special for her. We sailed North of the Arctic circle and had, for Mid-January, pretty good weather. No real storms, cold weather (Think zero) and some snow. The two cities on the itinerary that had the highest probability to see the lights was Alta and Tromso. Alta was first but no luck. Tromso was a winner with great lights both nights we were there. Other excursion highlights were snow mobile (Heated handle bars a must), dog sledding (a little scary but terrific) and seeing the Ice Hotel (Amazing). I can't say enough about the cruise as it was very unique and certainly not your average Caribbean cruise. Viking certainly had its act together on this one which means we will definitely use them again. Read Less
Viking Sky Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.5 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.5 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0

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