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Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this trip to once again hopefully experience the northern lights and to have the luxury of this beautiful ship. The itinerary looked good with overnight stops at Tromso and Alta. Embarkation was seamless, withing 15 minutes of ... Read More
We chose this trip to once again hopefully experience the northern lights and to have the luxury of this beautiful ship. The itinerary looked good with overnight stops at Tromso and Alta. Embarkation was seamless, withing 15 minutes of arriving at Tilbury we were having lunch in the World Cafe and our holiday had started. Very impressed. Our stateroom was ready early and we were given a guided tour of the facilities in the cabin. On my mentioning that I did not drink coffee (there is a coffee maker in the cabin) the steward straight away fetched me a kettle and kept the teabags topped up - he kept the cabin spotless for the cruise and chatted and laughed with us every day, making the experience a bit more personal. We ate mostly in the World Cafe as it was very relaxed and the food was tasty and plentiful. We tried the pool grill and the afternoon tea which were both great and Manifredis italian had great service and great food, The service in every bar and lounge and dining was second to none, Very impressed. There were plenty of interesting lectures to attend, and we enjoyed sitting in the Explorers lounge watching the fjords go by with a tasty waffle and fresh fruit. We relaxed in our cabin most evenings and watched a film on the TV so cannot comment on the evening entertainment. The included excursions were informative and gave us an oversight into each port. The highlight of the trip was 'Chasing the lights' at Tromso where we were treated to a spectacular display of the Aurora about an hour or so outside the town, so many photos ........ On the way home we had the honour of a glimse of 2 Killer whale from our balcony,,,another hightlight. a quick photo and they were gone. March is certainly a good time to take this cruise. The weather was great, even a sunny day in Bergen !! Disembarkation was fairly uneventfull although there was no rep at Oslo to help out. All in all a fantastic holiday and thank you to all the ships staff for a great trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
The Itinerary is great and you will see spectacular scenery in Norway. Unfortunately, with any cruise you can't control the weather which is really important if you want to see the Northern Lights. We were glad we were able to see the ... Read More
The Itinerary is great and you will see spectacular scenery in Norway. Unfortunately, with any cruise you can't control the weather which is really important if you want to see the Northern Lights. We were glad we were able to see the Northern Lights but somewhat disappointed in the color and brightness due to most of the nights being cloudy. Also, cameras really pickup more color than the naked eye so having a camera that is capable of taking pictures of the Northern Lights is critical. Viking Sky does a good job of providing guest hints on how to take good pictures of the Northern Lights. We had a stress free embarkation in Bergen Norway. Very convenient location within walking distance of several hotels and attractions which made it nice since it was an overnight stay on the Ship in Bergen. The ship is gorgeous and mostly well maintained. They do a really good job of keeping the common areas clean. But be aware of the ice that can accumulate on the outside decks. It seems that Viking could have put a barrier around the ice which would have really improved the situation. This was mostly an issue at night when people would go to the decks and couldn't see the ice. I really like having the Self-service launderette. Our stateroom attendants were very friendly and did a great job taking care of our stateroom. The capability for Viking to notify guest, who wanted to be alerted no matter what time of the night, that Northern Lights were visible from the ship was fantastic. It did really add a special touch to the cruise. There were more movies and shows available on the TV then expected. The dining staff did a good job and were very friendly. I really like that the World Cafe for the most part served the same food that the Restaurant did so if guest didn't want to dress for dinner they had they same food options. Viking could expand some of the options such as bread and cookies so that each meal isn't the same the entire cruise. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of options but each lunch and dinner had the exact same bread everyday. I liked the availability of the specialty food buffets that were served on the pool deck that provided added flexibility and variety for dining options. We really enjoyed our dinners in The Chef's Table and Manfredi's. The included wine was mostly good except we really didn't enjoy the German red wine they had several meals. The included excursion for the most part were rather boring and didn't do much other than drive around and I think Viking could do a better job of describing the tours so guest will have a better idea of what to expect. For example, the tour in Bergen explanation of the excursion should reflect the actual excursion making it clear that it doesn't stop at the King Haakon’s Hall, the Rosenkrantz Tower or the Fish Market. We did really enjoy the included excursion in Tromso where we visited the Northern Light Planetarium. We enjoyed the warm drinks (especially the Baileys and Hot Chocolate) when returning to ship from our excursions. For the most part, Viking Sky did a good job of getting guest on and off the ship. The second day in Bergen was the only port that the line was extremely long when returning from our excursion. Disembarkation was extremely smooth. Do not expect taxi's to be readily available at the Tilbury port. Transportation should be planned prior to disembarkation. We rented a car from Enterprise which picked us up at the port. Read Less
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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We wanted to see the Northern Lights and love to cruise on smaller ships (Oceania is our 'go to'). The overcast skies during most of the cruise were a disappointment for seeing the Northern Lights (we had one clear night near ... Read More
We wanted to see the Northern Lights and love to cruise on smaller ships (Oceania is our 'go to'). The overcast skies during most of the cruise were a disappointment for seeing the Northern Lights (we had one clear night near Narvik that allowed about 15 minutes of viewing during the 12 days on board). The temperatures were also warmer than expected which resulted in melting snow and rain north of the Arctic Circle in February. Cruising the Norwegian coast and the train from Oslo to Bergen (we spent two days in Oslo before boarding the ship) were the trip's scenic highlights. The ship is very nice and we enjoyed our time aboard with a few exceptions. The main pros were the very friendly staff, the excellent bathroom (see below), a reliable internet connection, and the omission of a casino..Our main disappointments were the Restaurant (inattentive and slow service, high noise level due to lack of sound absorbing surfaces such as curtains and carpets, OK but not great food) and the limited variations in daily salad and vegetable options (lots of rice, potatoes, steam vegetables, and green salad, but not much else). We enjoyed Chef's Table and Manfredi's were OK but not great. We ate most of our meals in the Café but eating 2-3 meals a day in the same place for 12 days got repetitious. We were surprised that most of the food in the Café was self service which raised concerns about spreading bugs such as norovirus, but I'm not aware of anyone getting sick. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise and would go on Viking Ocean again if the itinerary was interesting, but Oceania remains our top choice. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We wanted to see the Northern Lights and rather than take the Hurtegruten route which is heavily promoted in the UK, thought we would take a more luxurious option with Viking. We are both season travellers with over 10 cruises in ... Read More
We wanted to see the Northern Lights and rather than take the Hurtegruten route which is heavily promoted in the UK, thought we would take a more luxurious option with Viking. We are both season travellers with over 10 cruises in various parts of the globe. Things did not start well with our arrival in Bergen and depositing our three bags at the terminal, for just two of them to arrive at our stateroom some 2 hours later and the third bag finally arrived 6 hours later!! Having chased guest services there was a very laisser afire attitude which seemed to set the tone for the rest of the trip. We have numerous issues with our cabin including excessive squeaking from the French doors when at sea ( whilst they admitted there was a problem we were offered ear plugs!) A shower that didn't seem to be regulated and periodically ran with scalding water, our toilet broke and it took three phone calls to get a plumber. We ordered room service and early morning tea on a few occasions and every time had to wait ages and there was always something wrong with the order. I felt that the staff were poorly trainef. I overhead waiters discussing their grievances on more than one occasion in the dining room which was incredibly unprofessional. The bar service was shocking and in both The Living Room and Explorer Lounge the waiters would swan around with trays clearing classes and NEVER asking if we would like a drink! We had two of our pre paid trips cancelled, one was cancelled well in advance of departure and we were told we could be credited on the card used to pay for the excursion. This now seems to be a total lie as this did not happen and we were given credit on our shipboard account. The settlement of such credits to UK passengers is by cheque within 60 days! What a joke and there is no reason why credit cards can it be refunded. We had considered a Viking River cruise but having experienced their level of service would not touch them with a barge pole! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This was a really enjoyable different kind of itinerary and our first experience with Viking. We came in with high expectations for the ship and crew and it was met in every way. Also, we really enjoy this size ship. We never felt ... Read More
This was a really enjoyable different kind of itinerary and our first experience with Viking. We came in with high expectations for the ship and crew and it was met in every way. Also, we really enjoy this size ship. We never felt crowded or experienced lines. Our cabin was modern, comfortable and provided ample storage space. The bathroom was great with a heated floor, plenty of counter space and a very comfortable shower. The TV entertainment system was great and comprehensive including tons of free movies and TV shows, enrichment programs, music and even TED talks (I can get behind a company smart enough to feature TED talks). There was also a good variety of live channels inc,using several US news stations. At times the live TV was unavailable. The free internet was limited to one device at a time per passenger which is frustrating but a smart policy. It did not work so well in some locations but was generally fine for email and reading news. Our cabin was cleaned twice a day and our room steward managed to do so without us ever hardly seeing him. The service level was as good or better then any of the dozen or so cruises I have previously taken with both mass market and luxury lines. The food ranged from very good to great. I really appreciated the fact that Viking provides an experience that is mostly inclusive and enjoyed that pretty much everything was part of the base experience. The ports we visited were all pretty interesting. We really loved our starting port, Bergen, and we recommend spending at least a few days in Oslo, where we flew into, which is not part of the cruise itinerary. If you do go to Oslo, the 7 hour train ride from there to Bergen was very enjoyable. My one complaint regarding the ports is the time in Stavanger was just 7 hours which seemed very short. We took all the included Panoramic tours and found them all worthwhile. The one optional Viking tour we took was in Alta and including snowmobiling and the Igloo Hotel. This was very well organized and was a highlight of our trip. Finally, I must note the embarkation and disembarkation. They were incredibly smooth and there was none of the usual chaos getting off the ship. I never felt crowded at all. We used Viking to transfer to the airport for our departure flights and it was great. We were not too lucky with weather or the the Northern Lights, but this did not lessen our enjoyment of this cruise. We loved it! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Our cruise was beyond our expectations. The ship beautiful, the food outstanding and the staff couldn't have been more attentive. Be sure to try the specialty restaurants. The Chef's Table which had a different menu every ... Read More
Our cruise was beyond our expectations. The ship beautiful, the food outstanding and the staff couldn't have been more attentive. Be sure to try the specialty restaurants. The Chef's Table which had a different menu every night and Manfredi's which had an extensive menu. Both were amazing! The other more casual restaurants had a huge selection of food with different selections added every day. Everything was delicious! We took advantage of High Tea every afternoon at 4 pm. The scones were the best I've ever had. There's a covered pool that allows you to swim in the coldest climates and a snow cave to enjoy after the sauna. Our stateroom was comfortable and had a beautiful bathroom with radiant heat. The TV had a huge selection of movies, TV series, and documentaries. If you leave the webcam on at night and there is a northern lights sighting, they will announce it in your cabin. We ran out on the deck at 3 am to catch a glimpse! There were many activities to keep you busy and there was entertainment in the evening along with music in the atrium. The excursions were informative and fun. We went to a Sami Camp, learned about their culture, went reindeer sleigh riding and had dinner in their teepee. I would definitely take another Viking Cruise and encourage everyone to do the same! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this ship and this cruise because seeing the Northern Lights has been number one on our bucket list. It still is because despite six nights above the Arctic Circle we did not see the Lights. But more of that later The Ship gets ... Read More
We chose this ship and this cruise because seeing the Northern Lights has been number one on our bucket list. It still is because despite six nights above the Arctic Circle we did not see the Lights. But more of that later The Ship gets 10 out of 10. Viking Sky is only two years old and has been kept in top condition. Everywhere you go there are staff polishing handrails, keeping things ship shape.etc There is a lot of public space with the Horizon Lounge, Wintergarden etc On both sides of the atrium and on Level one in the atrium there are ample spaces to sit and relax. On days at sea there were times when you wondered where everyone had got to. The furnishings are comfortable and typically Scandic. Be careful when sitting on a couch draped in reindeer hide, as the reindeer hair tends to stick to clothes. We experienced some rough weather which was to be expected given where we were cruising and the season. The ship handled the weather with ease. The Officers and Crew get 10 out of 10! The Captain is extremely personable and was around the ship all the time talking to his passengers and staff and so too the officers.This meant for a very happy ship with all crew being cheerful and helpful The Cabin. Was spacious at 270 square feet. Nicely furnished The bed was very comfortable.The stateroom was very quiet. the bathroom was the best we have experienced having cruised with Princess, Ponant, Cunard, Crystal, and Oceania. The shower had a proper box, loads of hot water and pressure. The heated floor was great. The balcony got little use given the outside temperatures. We had the lowest category of cabin so did not have a coffee machine. That did not matter as there was an excellent barista service only two levels down. Unlike other lines there is no charge for espresso. Nor was there any charge for the internet which provided good service. Nor was there any charge for using the laundry It is important when comparing cruise lines to factor in the “freebies” Food and Wine. We bought the liquor package at US$20 per day each. Much cheaper than packages offered by other lines. The choice of wine is excellent. I like a grappa to end the evening and there was a choice of 5 or 6. Oceania prides itself on the quality of food which is very good. Viking was equally good. The wine package on Oceania is much more expensive, they ran out of both chardonnays on offer and did not have even one grappa Having the lowest category cabin meant we could not book the specialty restaurants until we boarded. We went to Manfredis the excellent ItaliIan restaurant on three nights and the Chefs Table once. There is no extra charge for the speciality restaurants and all are anytime dining. Dress is smart casual and most of the time men did not wear a jacket ( Cunard take note) Entertainment. The theatre is comfortable and has very good sight lines. The ships band was good and the four young singers tried really hard and were enjoyable with ABBA and Beatles nights. There were good classical instrumentalists, and a very good resident pianist. The guitarist was excellent. The cruise Director Drew and his assistant Courtney were both extremely personable and had good voices which gave some variety. Their musical quizzes were fun. If you want Broadway show standard ,pick another cruise, we didn’t and were happy with what there was There were some excellent lecturers, the lady historian in particular The Excursions, The arrangements on and off the ship were very good. An advantage in being on a smaller ship. Some of the excursions fell well below the standard of the rest of the cruise. At Stavanger the introduction to the Vikings was poor. The museum had limited exhibits and the rest of the tour was really filling in time. Stavanger was a charming town and those who wandered on their own enjoyed that. At Bodø we drove for two hours to stand astride the Arctic Circle. That was a bit of fun. Standing in the snow, in the dark for half an hour while two young Sami women tried unsuccessfully to get their reindeer to be nice was not. Nor was the visit to the art gallery that followed At Tromsø we had an excellent guide, an interesting museum and a trip in the cable car for a wonderful view over the city. The central city is picturesque and had good shopping.The following day there was another long bus ride to a Sami camp. The hosts were hospitable and interesting. The ride in the reindeer sled led by a Sami was okay, the reindeer looked a bit sad.Some people had organised private tours overnight and their guide literally chased the Lights until he found clear skies and the Lights. Those on the very late tours organised by. Viking caught a glimpse At Alta, a highlight was dog sledding drawn by excitable huskies through forest and on a frozen river. Outstanding! Then it was our turn to search for the Lights. There was an hours bus trip each way and two hours at a camp with fires in the open and in a lavu ( tent) Sadly the cloud cover stayed in place until just as the last bus left at midnight, they got a brief show. For the large majority there was only disappointment, frankly the chances of seeing the Lights by staying in one place are slim. You do need to go on a private tour and “ chase” the Lights to have a real chance. Viking should consider hooking up with companies that provide that experience.Alta was rebuilt after WW11 and is not very interesting AtNarvikthere was a two hour drive each way for 40 minutes snowmobiling. There was no food or coffee offered apart from a chocolate bar in the bus on the return journey. Viking were let down by the tour guides. It was shambolic, people were told to go to a nearby hotel for refreshments but it was closed. There was no one to assist people with the snow suits, goggles and helmets because the guides were out with the first group on the snowmobiles For Narvik, read Alta So Viking really need to rethink the excursions they offer and the shore side providers. Conclusion We still have unfinished business having not seen the Lights. We will consider doing the trip again with Viking. If we do we will do our own Shore arrangements. We still had a great time, a great experience and made some lovely friends We will certainly cruise with Viking again, somewhere warmer, and will look very critically at whatever shore excursions are on offer Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We wanted to see and experience the famous northern lights and were attracted to Viking as their ships have a good reputation for quality and style. We were unlucky with the weather, very, very cloudy every night (not conducive to seeing ... Read More
We wanted to see and experience the famous northern lights and were attracted to Viking as their ships have a good reputation for quality and style. We were unlucky with the weather, very, very cloudy every night (not conducive to seeing the lights at all) and although we left on our tv every night hoping to be summoned to see them we were never called. Finally at our most northern port, Alta, we managed to book a private tour. It seems to be best to go late at night and finally after chasing the skies for about three hours we were rewarded. They weren’t vibrant but not sure they ever are,but greeny/gray swathes of light definitely were in evidence. It seems to be luck if you do see them. The ship was lovely, v high quality everything, super food, we liked the Italian speciality restaurant the best, the specialist Chef’s Table experience left me hungry. The staff are v friendly, nothing is too much trouble. And no one is trying to sell you stuff all the time, drinks, photos (no employed photographers at all) etc. plus proper ground coffee although nothing matched the Nespresso machine in our room. The grill in th Wintergarden had fabulous beef burgers etc at lunchtime, tasty and well made. The only disappointment for me was that the library, although restocked halfway through the trip, was a bit lacking. Books aren’t all in one place but throughout the ship, some heavy tomes in evidence. The TVs in the rooms had a variety of channels, BBC included and really new films, one hadn’t been released in the UK yet. There were a variety of q erudite talks, didn’t go to many but some seemed to have some depth and rigor for those interested. There was also a jigsaw table with one always on the go for all to have a try at and a variety of games to play, scrabble etc. The free port tours were well run, some better than others depending on how interesting the port was. Evening entertainment ok, we enjoyed watching Mary-Jess (ex winner of the Chinese version of X Factor) who was v good. Would have liked more variety, it was singers or singers. Due to the fact this is a new cruise for Viking didn’t feel the staff always had a good handle on what some of the excursions entailed. So cancelled the visit to the Arctic Circle due to dodgy ankle as was told there would be a three mile walk by two different members of staff. This was not true and was disappointed to have missed it. Plus some had to be cancelled due to lack of snow. Would recommend this trip but go for the scenery and superb service and food as well as the lights. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Ship is pristine and service could not be more friendly or professional. Entertainment is high quality but the emphasis on classical music gets a little tiresome. Professional lectures were excellent. Dining is varied and delicious with ... Read More
Ship is pristine and service could not be more friendly or professional. Entertainment is high quality but the emphasis on classical music gets a little tiresome. Professional lectures were excellent. Dining is varied and delicious with food served hot. Cabin is smaller than indicated in the photo, with insufficient storage space.Balcony very small. We particularly enjoyed the spa with the snow grotto and the exercise classes were excellent. Included excursions are boring and the others are extremely expensive. Prices not disclosed until 30 days before departure. Sledding by huskies was a lot of fun but lasts 15 minutes. An excursion to see the northern lights was supposed to include being taken to several places to try to see the lights. Stayed in one place. Never saw the lights. Another couple went with a private company and saw the lights for hours! Most of the city stops were on Sunday so no shopping opportunities. Scenery in Norway is beautiful and we may go back in summer, just probably not with Viking. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This cruise itinerary was selected because it met several of our desires to travel to Norway's west coast cities, see Northern Lights and visit extended family in Oslo. Viking Cruises is quickly becoming a top ranked cruise line and ... Read More
This cruise itinerary was selected because it met several of our desires to travel to Norway's west coast cities, see Northern Lights and visit extended family in Oslo. Viking Cruises is quickly becoming a top ranked cruise line and after experiencing this ocean cruise, is evident they will continue to be a strong presence among existing cruise lines. Two things readily apparent with Viking Ocean Cruises is they don't have casinos in the ships and the evening "broadway-style" productions are not provided. Aside from that, Viking has superb staff who are especially friendly, outgoing and willing to provide any type of assistance to the passengers. There are enrichment speakers who are exceptionally experienced, knowledgeable, and educated in their respective fields of interest. The speakers are very adept at adding valuable information for the various ports of call, the natural surroundings, historical relevance and scientific research which helps passengers get a more in-depth understanding of the areas visited. Viking provides included excursions at each port, which is typically a bus ride through the local city with some points of interest highlighted by a tour guide. Add on excursions are, generally, much better than the included excursions, but they will each have added costs. All of the dining venues with Viking are excellent. It is not necessary to eat in the dining room to get exceptional quality for your meals. The World Cafe has a tremendous assortment of salads, main entrees, and desserts. All in all, Viking offers an outstanding cruising experience in new ships. We never had to wait in crowded lines for anything from the time we embarked to the day of disembarking. I strongly recommend Viking Ocean Cruises . Bon Voyage. Read Less

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