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Viking Ocean Cruises called this Cruise: “Barcelona, Baltic & Beyond” but early on I referred to it as a cruise around Europe — port hopping from Barcelona in the Med, through the Straights of Dover into the Atlantic, up into the English Channel into the North Sea, the Baltic all around to St. Petersburg, then doubling back to ports in Scandinavia. During the three week journey we were treated to an excursion in every port (with some options at extra cost that enhanced the experience). Viking arraigned good tours, on good transportation, with competent local guides — except for one marginal guide in France. For our two days in St. Petersburg we had preplanned a private guide who added great value with her knowledge of the city, life under Communist rule, and art. She reacted very well to our group of four’s specific interests. In Russia, we could not venture out on our own: a licensed tour guide had to be arraigned ahead of time and an application approved to go ashore with that person. The ship herself was fantastic! The small size allowed berthing at advantageous piers. Fewer passengers, only about 900, made movement ashore and back on much less of an event. Food and beverages were some of the best we have experienced afloat. The eating and bar venues are efficient and well designed for our desires. Public lounging areas, multiple libraries, both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, gym with cardio machines plus free weights, innovative spa, a nice theatre room for entertainment and educational talks . . . . these plus more simply exceeded our expectations! Our stateroom was of the lowest category yet we lacked for nothing. The bed was very comfortable, the bathroom layout and fixtures was great (including the heated floor). The flatscreen (TV) display both entertained as well as provided scheduling information and account status. The system contains both video ( movies and international network broadcasts) and music of many genres. There are 120v, 220v, and USB outlets. The balcony had two chairs and a table. We opted for the “Silver Seas” package of pre-paid upgraded wine selections and soda pop, beer and booze (virtually all liquor except for some very high end items). We enjoyed not having to worry about drink prices and had fun trying different cocktails we probably would not have ordered. A small item, but important to us, was the ability to walk for a mile or two around the ship without stopping nor turning around. The Main Deck goes all around and four laps is a mile. Finally, the crew. They were all very well trained, more than hospitable, and always willing to assist in any way possible. So, just how much did we like Viking’s new class of ocean going cruise ships? We booked two more cruises in 2018 and have friends joining us on both trips!

The “Around Europe” Cruise

Viking Sky Cruise Review by SailorPat1

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Trip Details
Viking Ocean Cruises called this Cruise: “Barcelona, Baltic & Beyond” but early on I referred to it as a cruise around Europe — port hopping from Barcelona in the Med, through the Straights of Dover into the Atlantic, up into the English Channel into the North Sea, the Baltic all around to St. Petersburg, then doubling back to ports in Scandinavia.

During the three week journey we were treated to an excursion in every port (with some options at extra cost that enhanced the experience). Viking arraigned good tours, on good transportation, with competent local guides — except for one marginal guide in France.

For our two days in St. Petersburg we had preplanned a private guide who added great value with her knowledge of the city, life under Communist rule, and art. She reacted very well to our group of four’s specific interests. In Russia, we could not venture out on our own: a licensed tour guide had to be arraigned ahead of time and an application approved to go ashore with that person.

The ship herself was fantastic! The small size allowed berthing at advantageous piers. Fewer passengers, only about 900, made movement ashore and back on much less of an event. Food and beverages were some of the best we have experienced afloat. The eating and bar venues are efficient and well designed for our desires. Public lounging areas, multiple libraries, both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, gym with cardio machines plus free weights, innovative spa, a nice theatre room for entertainment and educational talks . . . . these plus more simply exceeded our expectations!

Our stateroom was of the lowest category yet we lacked for nothing. The bed was very comfortable, the bathroom layout and fixtures was great (including the heated floor). The flatscreen (TV) display both entertained as well as provided scheduling information and account status. The system contains both video ( movies and international network broadcasts) and music of many genres. There are 120v, 220v, and USB outlets. The balcony had two chairs and a table.

We opted for the “Silver Seas” package of pre-paid upgraded wine selections and soda pop, beer and booze (virtually all liquor except for some very high end items). We enjoyed not having to worry about drink prices and had fun trying different cocktails we probably would not have ordered.

A small item, but important to us, was the ability to walk for a mile or two around the ship without stopping nor turning around. The Main Deck goes all around and four laps is a mile.

Finally, the crew. They were all very well trained, more than hospitable, and always willing to assist in any way possible.

So, just how much did we like Viking’s new class of ocean going cruise ships? We booked two more cruises in 2018 and have friends joining us on both trips!
SailorPat1’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Cabin Review

Cabin 3003
Right sized, good storage, nicely furnished, very comfortable bed, very nice bathroom, high tech flat screen communication and entertainment system, functional balcony with small table and 2 chairs.

See other notes in general comments.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews