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We are experienced travelers, but have always flown to our destination and then set out to explore by car, train, bus or foot. Wanting to visit Scandinavia but leary of the huge cruise ships with casinos and all night action, we read up on Viking and decided to try the Viking Homelands cruise which also included ports on the Baltic. We included a pre trip which started in Oslo and took us to Bergen via the Bergen RR. If you have a chance, take the Bergen RR, a 7 hour scenic trip across Norway, climbing into the mountains. The scenery is breathtaking. The transfers to and from plane to hotel to ship were seamless. Embarkation was a breeze. What is loved about Viking was first and foremost the staff, so friendly and can't do enough for you. I'd no sooner sit down somewhere and staff would be there to ask if I needed anything. And there are so many places to sit and relax on the Sea. Sometimes you feel you are on a cruise with maybe a dozen people, rather than 900. The Explorer's Lounge at the bow of the ship is a lovely and quiet place to relax and watch the ship head in or out of port. The restaurants are all good, but we loved the World Cafe the best as it is buffet style and one can sample different foods, without having to try a full portion. (Loved the gelato station!). Wine and beer are free with meals and we found other drinks to be very reasonable. There is a walking/jogging track around the ship which we made good use of, and my husband used the gym and sauna every day. I enjoyed the sauna pool, especially after a long day of walking. We both had massages which were excellent, and I had a lovely manicure. We regret that we didn't get to see much entertainment (Don't miss Cruise Director Heather Kelley, she is fantastic!) as we were quite tired from our daily port tours. We will try and see more shows next time. (Must learn to pace ourselves better.) We were actually glad there was a sea day so that we could unwind and make more use of the ship's many amenities. There was a wide variety of port tours and we took advantage of almost all of the included ones and also many of the optional. We had no regrets on tours and I highly recommend them. Normally we tour on our own in cities, but we found that the local tour guides were so knowledgeable that we learned much more than we could on our own in such a short time frame. The included tours were usually an overview of the port's highlights by bus or on foot, so afterwards you could stay on and explore more or go on an optional tour to another area. Staff (including senior staff) were always on hand to see you off the ship each day and welcome you back with hot towels. It reinforced the feeling that the entire staff is aware of and responds to the guests' needs. Highlights: Edvard Munch's The Scream in Oslo. The Bergen RR and later the view at the top of Bergen City by tram. Pulpit Rock cruise and views of the fiords. Gdansk and Tallin were surprisingly beautiful old world cities. Storks in their nests on chimneys in Poland. The Amber Room and Peterhoff fountains in St. Petersburg (booked 2 day tour independently through Alla Tours and saw everything! They we're wonderful!). The art museum in Skagen, Denmark and the canal tour of Copenhagen. The quaint tea shop in Porvoo, Finland. The beauty and cleanliness of Stockholm (take the hop on hop off boat) and the spectacular Vasa Museum (a must see)! We did not do the post trip Stockholm, but wish we did. You need at least 2 to 3 days to really see this lovely city. We were so pleased with our experience that we booked another Viking ocean cruise for next spring, and are set for our first Viking river cruise on the Rhine this fall. It's such a beautiful world, I hope I live long enough to see more of it!

Best ever travel experience on Viking Sea!

Viking Sea Cruise Review by Sconegirl

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We are experienced travelers, but have always flown to our destination and then set out to explore by car, train, bus or foot. Wanting to visit Scandinavia but leary of the huge cruise ships with casinos and all night action, we read up on Viking and decided to try the Viking Homelands cruise which also included ports on the Baltic. We included a pre trip which started in Oslo and took us to Bergen via the Bergen RR. If you have a chance, take the Bergen RR, a 7 hour scenic trip across Norway, climbing into the mountains. The scenery is breathtaking. The transfers to and from plane to hotel to ship were seamless.

Embarkation was a breeze. What is loved about Viking was first and foremost the staff, so friendly and can't do enough for you. I'd no sooner sit down somewhere and staff would be there to ask if I needed anything. And there are so many places to sit and relax on the Sea. Sometimes you feel you are on a cruise with maybe a dozen people, rather than 900. The Explorer's Lounge at the bow of the ship is a lovely and quiet place to relax and watch the ship head in or out of port. The restaurants are all good, but we loved the World Cafe the best as it is buffet style and one can sample different foods, without having to try a full portion. (Loved the gelato station!). Wine and beer are free with meals and we found other drinks to be very reasonable. There is a walking/jogging track around the ship which we made good use of, and my husband used the gym and sauna every day. I enjoyed the sauna pool, especially after a long day of walking. We both had massages which were excellent, and I had a lovely manicure. We regret that we didn't get to see much entertainment (Don't miss Cruise Director Heather Kelley, she is fantastic!) as we were quite tired from our daily port tours. We will try and see more shows next time. (Must learn to pace ourselves better.) We were actually glad there was a sea day so that we could unwind and make more use of the ship's many amenities. There was a wide variety of port tours and we took advantage of almost all of the included ones and also many of the optional. We had no regrets on tours and I highly recommend them. Normally we tour on our own in cities, but we found that the local tour guides were so knowledgeable that we learned much more than we could on our own in such a short time frame. The included tours were usually an overview of the port's highlights by bus or on foot, so afterwards you could stay on and explore more or go on an optional tour to another area. Staff (including senior staff) were always on hand to see you off the ship each day and welcome you back with hot towels. It reinforced the feeling that the entire staff is aware of and responds to the guests' needs.

Highlights: Edvard Munch's The Scream in Oslo. The Bergen RR and later the view at the top of Bergen City by tram. Pulpit Rock cruise and views of the fiords. Gdansk and Tallin were surprisingly beautiful old world cities. Storks in their nests on chimneys in Poland. The Amber Room and Peterhoff fountains in St. Petersburg (booked 2 day tour independently through Alla Tours and saw everything! They we're wonderful!). The art museum in Skagen, Denmark and the canal tour of Copenhagen. The quaint tea shop in Porvoo, Finland. The beauty and cleanliness of Stockholm (take the hop on hop off boat) and the spectacular Vasa Museum (a must see)! We did not do the post trip Stockholm, but wish we did. You need at least 2 to 3 days to really see this lovely city. We were so pleased with our experience that we booked another Viking ocean cruise for next spring, and are set for our first Viking river cruise on the Rhine this fall. It's such a beautiful world, I hope I live long enough to see more of it!
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Cabin Review

Cabin 6081
We chose a penthouse veranda and were so glad we did. It's larger in area than the veranda staterooms, with a couch and chair and coffee table, and felt very spacious. There was so much storage: a double closet with 3 drawers, and 6 more drawers in the console which also held the fridge and a makeup mirror. Our large suitcases fit under the bed. The bathroom was a master class in getting the most from a small space, in that it had a roomy shower (water was consistently the right temp), and plenty of storage and drawer space. Did I mention the floor was heated? Heavenly! The toiletries provided were superb. I loved the body lotion. We enjoyed going out on our veranda in the early morning to watch the ship pull in to port. The veranda had a table and 2 chairs so we sometimes had drinks and snacks out there. The king size bed was comfortable, with two pillows each. Staff cleaned every day and came in every evening for turn-down service. The PV comes with a fully stocked free mini fridge and free ironing service (which I took full advantage of).

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Aalborg
    Tour: Denmark's northernmost point. The day was quite rainy, but we went by bus to ask agen where there was the most beautiful art museum featuring the work of Norwegian "pleain air" painters. We spent an hour there, rather than walk in the rain around the resort town, and it was well worth it. The artwork is incredibly lovely, mainly seascapes, portraits and paintings of everyday life in the 1800's fishing village. Then we went to the tip of Denmark where then North and Baltic Seas merge. You take a large sand tractor to the waters edge to see where the two currents run into each other. It was raining sideways by then, but still interesting to see.
    View All 92 Aalborg Cruise Port Reviews
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  • City Tour
    Panoramic tour of the city by bus. Visited Fredriksbeeg fortress. Good overview of the city. Our guide also gave us historical, social and economic data on Norway including the ways they go "green". Afterwards we had a good lay of the land and did some of our own exploring.
    View All 114 City Tour Reviews
  • Berlin
    Bad Doberman is a seaside resort favors by families. It was very quaint. Visited the minster there and guide gave a good description and history of the church. Had tea and delicious cake at a lovely hotel on the water. The Molli Railway is a little steam railroad which takes you on a short trip right through the Main Street of the village.
    View All 12,995 Berlin Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Rostock Walking Tour
    Tour: walking tour of Rostock. Small picturesque small city, our guide was very knowledgeable. Got some insight into the East German history of the area.
    View All 24 Rostock Walking Tour Reviews
  • City Tour
    Took a city tour by bus. The city is installing a new subway line so lots of construction. After the tour we booked a canal tour on own own, and enjoyed it.
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  • Eidfjord
    Tiny but lovely hamlet at the end of a stunning fiord. Tour: Scenic Flam Railway. Took a bus through Hardangervidda to Flam railway. Goes to Voss though stunning mountain scenery. Stopped at Voss for a Sandwich at an old hotel, could have skipped that. Bus. Ride back went through more beautiful scenery were was a stop at a scenic waterfall. The road goes through many tunnels through the mountains that are a marvel of engineering.
    View All 174 Eidfjord Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Gdansk (Warsaw)
    The only drawback to this was the long ride to the canal. At least an hour and a half each way. The canal ride was fascinating as the boat is towed on land through the locks.
    View All 12,995 Gdansk (Warsaw) Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Gdansk Old Town
    Gdansk is not what I expected. The Old Town resembles Amsterdam and is lovely. We had dinner at a restaurant right by the water. Then we toured the streets of the old town. We were fortunate that a festival was being held there so the atmosphere was really fun. The buildings were beautiful.
    View All 53 Gdansk Old Town Reviews
  • City Tour
    Included tour. Helsinki is lovely, but not too much to see. The guide was very informative though. Saw 2 Alvar Aalto designed buildings.
    View All 178 City Tour Reviews
  • Old Town Porvoo
    Lovely old village Had a walking tour with plenty of time to explore on our own. Found the loveliest tea room, (try the apple hazelnut cake with vanilla cream) and then an antique shop where I bought a few things. Candy shop had delicious chocolate. Glad we took this tour.
    View All 48 Old Town Porvoo Reviews
  • St. Petersburg
    Booked through Alla Tours. Our tour guide Paulina, picked us up at the ship both days. Only 14 of us. Tour included the Hermitage (before the crowds), Peterhoff Palace Gardens, Catherine Palace, the Amber Room, Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, subway ride, river cruise, Faberge Museum. Fabulous tour, saw and learned so much about the city and the rulers who built it.
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  • Pulpit Rock
    3 hour Pulpit Rock Boat tour. Small boat which takes you all around the fiord. Past Pulpit Rock and into a tiny cove where smugglers hid their spoils. Boat took us close to the rocks to see seals. Stopped at an open air restaurant where we had Norwegian waffles. The day was sunny and warm so the scenery was spectacular.
    View All 62 Pulpit Rock Reviews
  • City Tour
    Took a 2 hour tour of the city which is built on connecting islands. Very informative. Visited the Royal Palace. Afterwards took the hop on hop off boat to the Vasa Museum (must see!) and the Nordic Museum of Swedish life. Need more days to explore all Stockholm has to offer. Wish I booked the post trip.
    View All 130 City Tour Reviews
  • Old Town of Tallinn
    Although the city was crowded with tourists, our tour guide kept us together and was very informative. The city is very old world and very beautiful. You start at the top of the town on a hill and proceed down narrow cobbled streets. There is a chocolate shop where you can watch the staff make marzipan. I'd like to return in the off season when it is less crowded.
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