We booked Wake of the Vikings almost as soon as it was published; we loved the itinerary, and the out-of-the-ordinary route. We really wanted the Bergen extension, which was already fully booked. We knew we could do it on our own, and at the same time, we like the Viking process, where they help handle all the baggage and transfers, so we called, almost every week. Finally, we said to ourselves "this is the last call" when we called about the extension, and to our shock and delight, someone had cancelled, and we had the spot.
Our flights were comfortable and uneventful. Viking Travel worked with us to get what we needed.
We loved the Bristol Hotel in Oslo, loved its central location and the wonderful walkability of Oslo. We had a great dinner there, and began to meet some of our ship mates. Ditto for the location of the Bryggen Radisson Blu, where we could walk to super restaurants, the fish market, and local sights.
Embarcation was smooth. Viking has this process down pat; other than the mandatory security check (similar to TSA machine screening) the process took mere minutes. We checked into our room, and went right back out to spend more time in Bergen.
We booked the same exact room on the Viking Sky which we had booked on the Viking Sea a year ago. It made life so easy! Unpacking and putting away was a snap. This year, I brought sticky notes for the drawers so I would quickly know what was where without having to open and close.
The cabin was immaculate. Hilda, the cabin steward, immediately brought more hangers so we could get rid of those packing wrinkles.
We like the Penthouse Veranda because of the extra drawer and shoe space, and the closet location. The small amount of extra space suits us because we really like spending time in our room. We love all the outlets for charging up our phones, computer, camera battery, etc., and the great individual reading lights over the bed.
One of the best surprises on this trip was our experience in Manfredi's. The Manfredi's on the Sky was much more quiet, less clanking of plates and cutlery, better coordination of staff. We heard several couples asking to share a dish and they were graciously accommodated. Our meal was exquisite and healthy; every sip of the cold tomato soup was a taste treat, and the grilled seafood platter with a side of grilled asparagus was divine. So healthy we each also enjoyed a sinfully delicious dessert.
We often had breakfast in Mamsen's, the heart and home of the more introverted cruisers. We particularly liked it because on this destination rich itinerary, we often docked around breakfast time. Even on sea days, there was always something to be seen - rainbows, migrating whales, frolicking dolphins - and the Explorer's Lounge gives you a wide overview.
Our experience in The Restaurant was mixed. It's nice to be served, but we like our hot food served hot. It took three requests to get a beer instead of the wine. The World Cafe offers most of the same foods, and you can get them quickly, and they are hot, or cold, as we like our food served. We think Viking offers a wonderful variety of foods to satisfy a multitude of customer tastes. We particularly love the variety of condiments in the World Cafe, including things like soy sauce, horseradish, red pepper flakes, capers, chopped chives, etc so we could doctor up anything we found too bland.
Before every port arrival, Viking does a Port Talk and a Destination Enrichment talk. We found we enjoyed them more by watching them in our room - they were up for viewing only shortly after they took place. We could back up and listen to something again, we could fast forward. We loved all the information, and we loved the background information. We particularly appreciated one speaker, Mr. Tarkington, whose lectures were well researched and who was generous in sharing his sources. He was funny, and engaging, and we appreciated the level of work that had gone into his presentations, including pointing out illustrations in the ship's decor to supplement his lectures on Viking mythology and Viking magic.
One of our happiest places on the Viking Sky was the Spa area. It is amazing to us that such a gorgeous, serene spot is included in the trip price. This trip had some chillier ports; we would head straight for the spa hot pool to warm up. It was divine. One day when the sea got a little rough, the waves rocked from side to side whooshing back and forth. Hot waves! It was so much fun. I liked the snow room for cooling down.
Service aboard the Viking Sky is flawless and seamless. The waitress who brings you coffee and tea in the Explorer's Lounge will smile and greet you by name again at dinner in The Restaurant. Any problems are promptly addressed (like messing up your safe combination) as soon as you bring them to the attention of the right person. It's almost sinful to be so well cared for. Viking has cracked the code on customer service, and they deliver exquisite care.
Oslo: We had a wonderful guide who included a lot of local culture: housing, courtships, trolls, customs, and an unexpected thrill, the Vigeland Park, full of sculptures of nude human figures in all the variations of human life. Words cannot do it justice; it has to be experienced. Vigeland captures a broad spectrum of human behavior and interaction. Our guide accompanied us on the train ride to Bergen, delighting us at the end by appearing in traditional Norwegian dress.
Lerwick: We got to Lerwick and couldn't dock due to high winds and weather. We were greatly disappointed, and we also understand that weather happens.
Faroe Islands: We enjoyed our tour to the ancient Viking settlement. It was a beautiful day and our guide was very generous in sharing local culture with us. He even sang a hymn in Faroese for us in a beautiful old Faroe Island church.
Reykjiavik: We did the Golden Circle; Thingviller was a real thrill. We could almost envision the early gatherings, the consultative decision making process and the brutal criminal punishments.
Nanortalik: So near and yet so far! We were looking at Nanortalik when the Captain announce that he and the Port Commander had agreed that tendering in the high winds would endanger passengers. It was the right decision (sigh). We got to tour another gorgeous fjord; this was a day of some of the most beautiful icebergs and glaciers ever.
Qaqortoq: We have a thing about places that start with Q, so to hit a village which had three Q's was a rare thrill for us. We walked straight up to the top, then meandered down. It was a great unique stop.
At Sea: Whales! Whales! Dolphins! More whales! Seals! Otter! We loved our At Sea Days.
L'Anse Aux Meadows: Great village with a beautifully re-created Viking long house. Locals act as settlers, and help give context to what we see and experience.
Saguenay: What a celebration! This town goes all out to welcome the cruise ships, offering blueberry juice, little slices of blueberry pie, all while costumed in authentic period style, including representatives of the First Nation peoples. Saguenay is a joyful experience.
Would we go again? We've already booked the same cabin for our next trip :-)
We choose to have a little more room because we like spending time in our room. The Penthouse Veranda suits us perfectly. It has plenty of room to stow our gear, it gives us space for dressing and sharing without a lot of awkward "excuse me's" and it is in a very quiet part of the ship.
Totally loved Thingviller. This tour included a lunch, which turned out to be amazing. The restaurant served 250 cruise travelers, and did it noticeably well. There was a tomato soup which was superior in every way, and a salmon steak which was generous, moist and so delicious that even people who thought they didn't like salmon were gobbling it up. I do like salmon, and it was particularly well prepared. The geysers and the hot springs were awe inspiring.View All 122 Golden Circle Reviews