Viking Star Review

Viking Star
Viking Star
2019 Best Overall
2019 Best for Cabins
2019 Best for Dining

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Viking Star
5.0 / 5.0 Cruise Critic Editor Rating
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Pros

One of cruising's most beautiful small ships

Cons

No casino and no amenities for families with young kids

Bottom Line

Terrific value for money on port-intensive cruises


Carolyn Spencer Brown
Cruise Critic Contributor

Viking Star Overview

How many cruise companies can build an entirely new line and style of ship, simply because loyal customers ask for it? That's the advantage Viking Ocean Cruises -- the sister line to the already established Viking River Cruises -- enjoyed when it developed Viking Star, its first oceangoing vessel, in 2015.

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The result is a 930-passenger ship that carries some of the spirit of river cruising onto the high seas. As is the case with the line's river cruises, Viking Star is destination focused with port-intensive itineraries. Calls are longer than average, with frequent overnights. Cruisers receive a choice of included tours in every port; for-fee options are also available. Port talks are in-depth, focusing on sights and history as opposed to shopping opportunities.

Other inclusions lifted from river ships include complimentary wine and beer at lunch and dinner, transfers, and most specialty restaurants. Wi-Fi is free and unlimited, and it worked well in cabins and public areas. Perhaps the most stunning inclusion is the Nordic spa, which boasts a thalassotherapy pool, a steam room, a hot tub, a sauna, heated ceramic lounge chairs and a cold plunge pool, as well as the first "snow grotto" at sea.

This Nordic bent is felt throughout the ship. Viking owner (and native Norwegian) Torstein Hagen has put his own stamp on the line's ocean ships, with modern Scandinavian decor, luxe fabrics and leather furniture, a small historical display on Viking history and family recipes at Mamsen's, a delightful Norwegian-themed casual cafe. The attention to detail and artwork feel personal, even idiosyncratic, making the ship feel more like an intimate boutique hotel than a cruise ship.

Viking Star might not please all travelers, though. Because of the destination-intense itineraries, with few days at sea, the ship lacks some amenities to which cruisers might be accustomed. The ship has no casino and only a handful of organized activities scheduled throughout the day. Entertainment at night is inconsistent, ranging from lackluster to engaging.

Viking Oceans is unabashedly not oriented to families with young children. The minimum age to sail is 18, and no activities onboard are arranged for children.

 

Fellow Passengers

Viking Star is designed to appeal to well-traveled, curious and value-oriented travelers in the 50-plus age group (though it will also appeal to those younger). The Viking Ocean Cruises experience is not meant for families, fans of casino gambling (no casino onboard) or those seeking constant onboard entertainment.


Viking Star Dress Code

Resort casual is the prevailing dress code, with a slightly more relaxed feel during the day. The line's literature says that shorts, jeans and comfortable shoes are acceptable for daytime, but swimsuits and workout clothes should be restricted to the pool, gym and spa areas. There are no formal nights on Viking Star, but passengers do tend to dress up a bit in the evenings -- everything from slacks and blouses to dresses for women and khakis with button-downs to suits for men. Daytime dress is allowed at any time in the World Cafe buffet area.


Viking Star Gratuity

Onboard currency is the U.S. dollar. The recommended gratuity is US$15 per person, per day (except for passengers from Australia and New Zealand) and it's automatically added to onboard bills. Passengers can make adjustments by visiting the customer service desk. Alcoholic beverage purchases levy an automatic 15 percent tip. Tips are not automatically added to spa services. 


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Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2019 Best Overall
  • 2019 Best for Cabins
  • 2019 Best for Dining
  • 2019 Best for Embarkation
  • 2019 Best for Entertainment
  • 2019 Best for Fitness & Recreation
  • 2019 Best for Public Rooms
  • 2019 Best for Service
  • 2019 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2019 Best for Value
  • 2019 Best for First Timers
  • 2018 Best Overall
  • 2018 Best for Cabins
  • 2018 Best for Dining
  • 2018 Best for Embarkation
  • 2018 Best for Entertainment
  • 2018 Best for Fitness & Recreation
  • 2018 Best for Public Rooms
  • 2018 Best for Service
  • 2018 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2018 Best for Value
  • 2018 Best for First Timers
  • 2017 Best Overall
  • 2017 Best for Cabins
  • 2017 Best for Dining
  • 2017 Best for Embarkation
  • 2017 Best for Entertainment
  • 2017 Best for Fitness & Recreation
  • 2017 Best for Public Rooms
  • 2017 Best for Service
  • 2017 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2017 Best for Value
  • 2017 Best for First Timers
  • 2016 Best Overall
  • 2016 Best for Cabins
  • 2016 Best for Dining
  • 2016 Best for Embarkation
  • 2016 Best for Entertainment
  • 2016 Best for Fitness & Recreation
  • 2016 Best for Public Rooms
  • 2016 Best for Service
  • 2016 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2016 Best for Value
  • 2016 Best for First Timers

Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks

  • 2016 Best New Cruise Ship

Viking Star Member Reviews

Viking Star
Karyle Blank
Sail Date: Apr 2019
The service aboard the Viking Star was exceptional, and truly made our cruise experience very special. We want to pass along our sincere thanks to the excellent staff on the Viking Star....Read More
Viking Star
kenpinkham
Sail Date: Feb 2020
Viking Star sailed to Norway above the Arctic Circle and gave us the opportunity to realize a dream and experience the northern lights. And we did see them--TWICE!...Read More
Viking Star
Ultimate hoosier cruisers
Sail Date: Sep 2019
Staff and crew on Viking Star were great. Room steward Virginia was fantastic! Food on board and ashore was incredible....Read More
Viking Star
palo alto dave
Sail Date: Sep 2019
I wasnt quite sure what to expect for our Viking Star Ocean voyage after six previous Viking river cruises. Needless to say I was extremely pleased....Read More

Viking Ocean Cruises Fleet