This was our first ocean cruise but we had been on 3 river cruises.We had some concerns about how we would cope being on the sea rather than on a river. We chose this cruise because it was short, with only the first day at sea and then a different port stops for the remaining 6 days. It was very close to a river cruise Itinerary. When we saw the promotion for this Viking Shores and Fiord cruise we both said that’s for us let’s try it.
The ship was incredible. Many different themed areas to sit and relax and never crowded, even though the cruise was full. The decor was just right not over the top or opulent, but pleasing to the eye, creating a very relaxing atmosphere.
The service on board was excellent, but never pushy, just the right level of attention.
There was a wide choice of places to eat so every day could be different. We ate breakfast in the World Cafe, which is an International Buffet restaurant. The daily choices were excellent and we had a different breakfast everyday. For lunch we used both the World Cafe and the Norwegian Cafe. The Norwegian Cafe served Scandinavian styled open sandwiches and incredible Waffles for an indulgent sweet. This Norwegian cafe is located on the top deck with extensive views over the ports where we were docked. For dinner we ate in the main restaurant. There was no set seating and the staff made sure everyone sat in a different location every night, making it a different experience. The menu choice was excellent and as you expect from Viking excellent. One night we ate in one of the speciality restaurants, which was available to everyone at no extra charge. We chose the Norwegian tasting evening. It was one of the best meals I have ever had and I have traveled around the world on business and never had anything better.
The shore excursions were well organised and informative with excellent guides. Apart from in Flam we only took the included tours. In Flam we took an additional tour, which was a train ride up the valley up to the Bergen Oslo main line. Incredible scenery and the water fall station stop is out of this world. On the way back we took the additional option of disembarking half way down and cycling back to the ship. What a cycle ride. Down hill all the way, very easy anyone could do it. You could stop where you wanted to admire the incredible scenery and take photographs. We have never seen so many water falls plunging from the top of the mountains into the river in the valley. Scotland and the English Lake District just can’t compete. The included trip at Flam is to a view point overlooking the Fiord. You just have to go and see this view.
The entertainment on board was very good, from smooth piano music in the atrium bar in the early evening to ABBA, Decades and Beatles tribute shows in the main theatre. The one person show by Vicky, the cruise director, was also excellent and humorous. There were also a series of excellent lectures. We regretted in the end that there were not more days at sea to go to more of them.
Our cabin was a Penthouse Veranda. Very spacious comfortable bed and seating with excellent views.
Our cabin was a Penthouse Veranda. Very spacious, a comfortable bed and seating with excellent views.
Our cabin on deck 5 was well positioned close to the stairs and lifts we were easily able to get up to the World Cafe on deck 7 or down to the public areas and restaurants on decks 2 and 3.