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Viking Sun Cruise Review
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
404 Reviews

New lands, same wonderful service

Viking Sun Cruise Review by tony the magnificent

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Aug 2019
  • Destination: Transatlantic

We had not cruised the north atlantic, Great Britain, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Canada and the Northeast states before, so we were looking for new lands to discover. We found Viking Sun in the same place that we left her 18 months before, moored in the Thames at the Cutty Sark: all spiffed up and ready for a new group of explorers and energetic crew and staff. Like coming home again. Various crewmembers from our previous voyage easily remembered us and called us by name. Being the shoulder season (Sept) in the north Atlantic, we were taunting Mother Nature, and well, you know how that goes. But the captain and crew were ready and proactively scrutinized the weather at every opportunity. While we had to skip a few ports on this 41 day cruise due to weather, we still enjoyed the heart of the experience among this very ruggged and sometimes harsh neighborhood. We thoroughly enjoyed the Scottish Highlands, and the vast Canadian wilderness, not to mention all the friendly port calls in cities large and small. Kudos to Vicki, our Cruise Director, and Sudjith our General Manager for outstanding support.

tony the magnificent's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

All cabins on all Viking ships have verandah,. Size was fine even for the longest cruises. Well appointed and holding up well. Extremely well maintained.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Historical Canterbury and Cathedral

If you havent been, Highly recommended to go. But make sure you're awake early in order to see the White Cliffs of Dover as the sun comes up!

View All 4 Historical Canterbury and Cathedral Reviews
City Tour

Having a great guide made this a memorable visit to this sprawling, bustling city. Having a combined coach and walking tour made our time there very rewarding, including the brief stop for a pint of Guinness at the Kennedys!

View All 44 City Tour Reviews

Not just an"All Beatles" tour, this one got us out into the city to see St George's Plateau, into the central library, the vast contrast of The Metropolitan Cathedral and the Liverpool Cathedral, a photo stop on Penny Lane, the old neighborhood, topped off with a stop at the "Three Graces" (Mercantile Buildings) and a photo with the Fab Four at the waterfront. A Great tour with a Great tour guide.

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Greenock (Glasgow)

Weather prevented a call at Holyhead, so instead we ported at Glasgow. The back staff did a great job pulling together some excursions at the last minute, and we had a great time visiting Glasgow Cathedral then George Square, Glasgow University and the River Clyde.

Giant's Causeway

If you like rocks and water, this is a "Must See". The bus ride to the site we had a photo stop at Dunluce Castle on the coast, then on to Giants Causeway, a natural basalt formation of ancient igneous rock forming a buffer at the edge of the sea. The hexagonal columns are quite distinctive. If you're a geographer, geologist, or rock hound, this is a worthwhile visit, Or if you just want to see the wild northern Coast, its worth the trip. Two hours is enuf time to see most of this natural formation. Crowded on weekends. A great afternoon visit.

View All 94 Giant's Causeway Reviews

After driving to the Standing Stones of Stenness, three tall stones from the Neolithic period, we walked around the neolithic Ring of Brodgar, Not as impressive as Stonehenge, but older. If the rain had let up some, it would have been more fun.

Later we had some time in the coastal village of Stromness which was very exposed to the sea but had grown and established itself as a port city for many folk transiting the Atlantic. The more sheltered Kirkwall to the south later became the preferred stopping place.

In town, the hidden gem is St Magnus Cathedral. A beautiful 1137 structure, it is built from sandstone and is one of Orkney's most significant landmarks. Nearby beyond the cemetery, what looked to be two very old castles, we found the Bishop's Palace, a 12th Century townhouse and early 17th century palace. And across the street stood the Earl's Palace, one of the finest examples of French Renaissance architecture in Scotland. Entrance fee to go inside, but free to wander around the grounds.

Edinburgh Castle

Day long visit with lunch on our own (go for the fish and chips near Edinburgh Castle). The castle is heavily crowded, security lines slowed the entry process. Worth having a guide to enrich the experience. Great views of the city from the top, opportunity to see the crown jewels, but the lines were so long, we skipped this part. After lunch we headed to Holyrood Palace.

View All 37 Edinburgh Castle Reviews
Holyrood Palace

Countryside was great, gardens exquisite, and inside the castle was a real thrill to absorb the many centuries. Guides not allowed to guide while inside, and no photos either, but the state of the art audio/video guide gently paces visitors with high quality narration and video clips to expand the "inside" story. Gem of the visit is Arthur's seat viewed from the front of the palace.

View All 8 Holyrood Palace Reviews
Highland Day Tour

Day tour to Loch Ness and Urquhart castle ruins

This 13th century castle sits on the shore of Loch Ness, the largest and deepest body of water in Scotland, some 23 miles long and over 750 feet deep.

The castle is open to visitors, so have a great time walking in and out of the various rooms. The castle's Grant Hall was struck by lightning in the 1700s and the owners decided not to repair it. Later most structures were stabilized to slow further degradation. Nessie remained hidden for our visit, but our guide recanted several stories about the old gal. Great photo op here. Take care on the steep steps, and careful of the gusty winds near the top.

View All 69 Highland Day Tour Reviews
City Tour

Two hour bus tour got us a great overview of this sprawling city and kept us out of the driving rains and occasional hail. The afternoon cleared a bit, so we walked around Briggen Wharf and the while the fish market was closed, the shops were open and warm. Had planned on the cable car, but high winds closed it for the day, allowing us to retreat to a warm book aboard ship for the afternoon.

View All 136 City Tour Reviews
Golden Circle

Well worth getting the day long Circle of Light tour around the countryside. While the geothermal power plant was uninspiring, understanding how people use this natural heat to make their lives comfortable was interesting, and a good start to the day.

the Hukadalur geothermal area allowed us to see the eruption of the Stokkur geyser. It lies to the north of Lake Laugarvatn, and is home to hot springs, fumaroles, mud pots and geysers. This geysir erupts every 4-5 minutes.

Gullfoss, Iceland's most famous waterfall, where it plunges into the Hvita Canyou, is quite a sight. The Golden waterfall is 33 meters high and sits on a glacial white river.

Lastly, we visited Pingveller National Park where the atlantic ridge is visible between two tectonic plates on the surface, moving apart at 2cm per year. Plate action is caused by magma pressure from below, spreading the two plates.

While this was just a small slice of the island, it was enough to put it on our "be back" list for the future.

View All 122 Golden Circle Reviews
Montmorency Falls

Wine tour to the island and return to Montmorency falls was spectacular and fun watching the zipliners disappear into the mists below. well worth the time

View All 45 Montmorency Falls Reviews
Walking Tour

Lots to do here, and two days to do it. Bus and walking tours of old Quebec city were envigorating and interesting, blending the old and the new in this very active and scintillating city.

View All 44 Walking Tour Reviews

Today our excursion took us 35 miles away to the fishing village of Perce on the coast, famous for a windowed sandstone rock formation in the bay. Nearby is the bird sanctuary of Bonaventure Island (Ile-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé National Park). Here the Gannet population numbers in the thousands. The boat ride to the island brought us up close and personal with these highlights.

City Tour

After lunch, we strolled through Halifax's Public Gardens, admiring flowery serpents in the grass and the fountains. Finally, we drove through Citadel Hill, a star shaped defensive fortress in the center of the city, manned by two Canadian artillery brigades.

View All 55 City Tour Reviews
Peggy's Cove

We exited the ship right into the Saturday Farmers Market in downtown Halifax. three weeks earlier Hurricane Dorian had slammed into Nova Scotia{ many trees were stripped of leaves, many trees broken in half and simply blown down and at least one large crane in the downtown area had been toppled over a building, crushing the top two floors. Fortunately no lives lost,but it left a considerable mess.

A scenic drive took us to the fishing village of Peggys Cove, situated on the southern coast amid a glacial scatterfield. Home to only 30 perm residents thru winter, this quaint village is a constant draw for artists and tourists throughout the year.

Popular legend has it that the town was named for the sole survivor of an 1815 shipwreck at Halibut Rock. She was found by the townspeople, who called her Peggy, and this area became Peggys Cove.

Next stop is at "Acadian Maple" a local maple syrup factory, where we learned about the syrup harvesting process and sampled some of their syrups. Home owned for generations, the owner explained how they got the sap fomr is several thousand maple trees on his property.

Back to Halifax, we visited Fairview Lawn cemetery, and the graves of 121 of the Titanic victims buried here.

View All 245 Peggy's Cove Reviews
Historic Salem & Witch Museum

While the hour bus ride to Salem proceeded uneventfully, apparently our guide had very little to say about the area. Most of her comments were in retrospect, shortly after we passed the items of interest. The Witch's Museum was a pre-recorded autorama, but tastefully done, with dioramas of various scenes around the hall. About an hour show, and they told/showed a good story. Worthwhile to attend. But there's lots more to little Salem, and having a more energetic guide would have made this visit much more enjoyable. After considerable prodding, she dumped us near artists square to fend for ourselves for an hour.

View All 8 Historic Salem & Witch Museum Reviews
Lexington and Concord

Best of Boston, Lexington, and Concord, with one of the very best guides we've had on any cruise excursion to date. Seek him out if you can: Dick Jacobson did a wonderful job of weaving the story of the Revolution and tied all our stops together today, making the 8 hour excursion a single, seamless, naturally flowing narrative of the events of the day. A true storyteller.

View All 22 Lexington and Concord Reviews
City Tour

A combined bus tour through the city on a very rainy morning precluded any possibility of a good photo. However, after the bus trip cross town,m we arrived at the intended destination, the water taxis.

View All 42 City Tour Reviews
The Statue of Liberty

fter arrival at the water taxi site, the rains let up a bit, and we cruised from the Brooklyn Bridge up around manhattan, seeing the tall buildings and our ship docked next to the Lexington. As we turned south, the rains let up and we chugged down to the Statue of Liberty, where our captain took advantage of the better weather, and everyone had amply time to fill their cameras with wonderful pix. Well worth taking this trip. and big Kudos to the onboard crew for their narrative about the Big Apple and their personal insights!!

View All 9 The Statue of Liberty Reviews

This 41 day cruise was really three two-week segments, end to end, with changeover days in Bergen and Montreal, so more time to explore. This would be true for the rest of the Suns voyage around the world, and would not impact the seasoned traveler. But novices might have to pre-plan their time better in those changeover ports to maximize their experience as organized excursions would be limited.

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