With two weeks to utilize at the holidays, and with the desire to catch a restful break from daily routine while also getting to see some of the wonders of Australia and New Zealand, the Viking Orion offered the perfect solution. The ship is beautifully designed in every way. The public areas are spacious and elegant, while still warm and welcoming. The beautiful light wood covering the walls is soothing and clean, with a minimum of bric bracs and ornamentation resuting in a ship which conveys a refreshing study in classy elegance. The main dining room (The Restaurant) is similarly tasteful, wrapping around a good portion of the ship in intimate dining spaces, rather than being one big, cavernous central eatery. The World Cafe (cafeteria style service) provides a wondrous array of foods of different types and nationalities. With the excellent Italian restaurant, Manfredi’s, and the addition of the Chef’s Table option, travelers always have at least four terrific options for food. High tea in the classy Wintergarden is also a daily option, and there’s a selection of good snacks in the Explorer’s Lounge. The personnel at all these areas is unfailingly helpful and pleasant. Other unique amenities on the ship include the surging wave machine in the spa pool, the “IMAX” style dome theatre, the warmed infinity pool outside the World Cafe, and a wealth of niceties (spa access, wine with dinner, soft drinks, organized panorama shore excursions) which are all included in the fare for the trip. We loved the requirement that all travelers be t least 18 years old, and also loved the absence of casino or ever-hovering photographers. It was, far and away, the best cruise we have ever experienced.
Very well laid out, cleanly designed, superb use of space, comfortable bed, excellent toiletries and water pressure. We loved our cabin steward, Rowena.