Our first cruise on Viking Ocean and the Viking Star did not disappoint. A beautiful ship and the staff was excellent. BRINSLEY as cruise director did a great job and was very organized. The guest lecturers were very good and We enjoyed the fact that if we missed the real time lecture, we could view it later in our room. All the public areas were beautifully decorated and cozy. Loved tea at 4:00 although personally I would have preferred it earlier.
We saw the Northern lights on at least 4 different days both in Alra and Tromso and from the ship. Didnt realize that to the naked eye you can't always see the colors. You see them on your camera but to your naked eye they may appear as a hazy white mist. They were still beautiful to see on your camera.
Make sure you bring warm clothing and hand and feet warmers as it was minus 22 degrees Farenheit! And fleeced lined thermal underwear! We also brought bib snow pants and it was still cold.
Definitely recommend it though. The extra excursions were so much fun, dogsledding, snowmobiling, sami huts and going to the ice hotel to see the sculptures. I think the overnight stay in the ice hotel isnt worth doing...no inside restrooms and very basic accommodations.
We did private light tours and I would highly recommend the one we did in Tromso with Enjoy the Artic tour, only 8 of us and he was very helpful with cameras and settings.
Nice cabin at rear of the ship but slightly disappointed at the lack of storage. With all our heavy clothing, there was limited drawer and shelf space. We had to have them repair the hanging closet door twice which was the main place to store clothing. Only 3 small drawers and 2 shelves overhead since one had the coffee service on it. Vanity was hidden under the desktop so you had to clear the desk whenever you wanted to use the vanity mirror and light.
Just your average bus tour
We did a private northern lights tour with Nord Expedition As but disappointed in them. They were way overbooked. No one told us another van had hot drinks and no one helped with camera settings. They did supply boots and warm suits.
It was dark so kind of a waste of time other than the planetarium.