33 Sydney (Australia) to Australia & New Zealand Viking Ocean Viking Orion Cruise Reviews

Hello, we just got back from our Viking Ocean cruise from Australia and New Zealand on the Viking Orion. First let me tell you it was well worth the time Money and experience. We had a great time on the ship and the ports of call. The ... Read More
Hello, we just got back from our Viking Ocean cruise from Australia and New Zealand on the Viking Orion. First let me tell you it was well worth the time Money and experience. We had a great time on the ship and the ports of call. The crew is absolutely fabulous, they were the friendliest and most helpful staff I have ever cruised with (with about 12 cruises so far that saying something). The food is excellent and the preparation is 5 star. The rooms are spacious and well setup. Free use of the laundry rooms was a very nice perk for a 2 week cruise. The onboard entertainment is fun and professional. Brian the Cruise Director is a classical trained singer and has an exceptional voice. The embarkation and disembarkation was quick and organized well. With all the Virus scare going on they were very careful checking us in the first day. Most of the included excursions are just a bus ride around the local city. The quality of the excursion is based on the quality of the driver who talks about the area and sights. He has to do this while driving so can sometimes loose his train of thought. All the ports were worth stopping at and exploring. We did 3 privet tours and one Viking paid excursion. All the passengers were friendly and had no problems with any of them. The only complaint I have is the constant changing of tables when dining (first come first assigned and rotated to balance out the restaurant. The plus side of this is you meet more people, The down side of this is you don't really make any real connections with your new friends and get to know them well over an extended cruise. The internet is spotty and weak and very bad in port. We really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of the cruise and the enrichment lectures they had on the area and people we were going to visit. From the lands history to the origin of the people living there. Informative and relevant information was passed on to help you get the most out of each port. We will be doing another Viking cruise in our future, both Ocean and River. The have earned their quality reputation. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Our first Viking Cruise was the most comfortable and relaxing cruise we have been on...probably because it is geared for people of our age group (late 60’s-70’s). We enjoyed the spa, lectures, entertainment, and all the open spaces on ... Read More
Our first Viking Cruise was the most comfortable and relaxing cruise we have been on...probably because it is geared for people of our age group (late 60’s-70’s). We enjoyed the spa, lectures, entertainment, and all the open spaces on the ship. The staff was very good and friendly. We mostly ate at the buffet (World Cafe) and enjoyed the convenience of that (we appreciated the staff’s concern for cleanliness, having everyone wash their hands when entering the buffet). The food was good but sometimes cold. The food in the main restaurant was just okay, although the lobster was yummy. The food in the Italian restaurant was pretty good but the same menu every night. We did a couple of the included shore excursions but mostly purchased the optional ones, which were good. Our cabin was comfortable (DV2 category), but could have been a little larger. My main complaint was the inconvenience of the closet, which was right next to the bed and had heavy doors that you had to slide back and forth to get into the two parts of the closet. I did comment to our cabin steward that we were having a problem with the shower head and it was adjusted immediately. However, all things considered, we will definitely cruise with Viking again!! As we all know, nothing is ever going to be perfect. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Just returned from Viking Orion- Australia and New Zealand, plus a pre-cruise to Cairns. Over all our trip was wonderful. We were so blessed with good weather and mostly calm seas. Our flights took us from KC to Dallas, to Sydney. Then ... Read More
Just returned from Viking Orion- Australia and New Zealand, plus a pre-cruise to Cairns. Over all our trip was wonderful. We were so blessed with good weather and mostly calm seas. Our flights took us from KC to Dallas, to Sydney. Then to Cairns for our pre-cruise. I would recommend this pre-cruise because the northern part of Australia is beautiful with the Barrier Reef and rain forest. Our Sheraton resort was also quite luxurious and the town of Port Douglas is a great tourist area. Many artisan shops and reasonably priced restaurants. Our flight back to Sydney was delayed, so we did not get on the ship until close to 7pm. Others, who did the pre-cruise, wanted to do the evening dinner excursion that first night, but missed it due to the flight delay. The next day, we did the Sydney city tour and had free time in the afternoon. Unfortunately, our bus guide for the city tour was terrible, so we were disappointed that we did not learn more history etc., in Sydney. I did comment on the excursion review that our guide was a spacey 30 something more interested in her dare devil sports, then informing us about the area. Oh well. In Melbourne, we opted for a day long wine and animal park excursion. It was enjoyable, worth the money, but the time at the winery was too long. The wine presenter personally poured samples into 70+ glasses, which took close to an hour, with the cheese paring. After that we had lunch, which was delicious. The first group there had 30 folks, so their tasting went faster, and they finished lunch with desert in a timely manner. Our group rushed through the meal and some folks did not get desert, due to the timing. We were not affected by the fires or smoke that was happening between Sydney and Melbourne. Nor did we have any mention of the virus that has affected other cruise ships further north. We did the included tours in Hobart, Tasmania and Dunedin NZ. A lot of beautiful gardens, architecture, and nature to observe. In Christchurch, we chose to see the inland of NZ, and did the Lord of the Rings excursion. It was interesting to see the mountains and flat countryside as we drove about 2 hours. We were a bit disappointed in our lunch, probably because in the past, we have gotten great food in the additional excursions. Our stop was at a town hall were a couple senior aged women served cold sandwiches. There was fruit and sweets, but not the gourmet food you think about with Viking. In defense of the folks, in town, we were in the middle of nothing, so I get that resources were limited. My suggestion was to lower the price of the excursion and maybe state a simple lunch is served. We also stopped there on our way back for tea and sweets. At least the bathroom was clean. Our bus ( 1of 3) broke down on the way back, but the company was prompt to replace it and get us back to the ship in a timely manner. Our second bus had poor air conditioning, but we were all happy to be on our way. In Wellington, we went on the included city tour, and rushed back to the ship to watch the Super Bowl. Free beer was served that afternoon. Being from KC, we were delighted our team won. In Napier, we signed on for a winery tour, and were not disappointed in our choice. Clearview Estates provided an appetizer and wine pairing, along with a very interesting presentation by the owner/wine maker. Our second winery had more of a brief wine description and set out a tray of cheese and crackers. for all to enjoy. The other wine excursion did not have the food and wine paring that Clearview offered. Rotorua was the stop my husband and I did the kayak excursion. If you enjoy canoeing or kayaking, I would recommend this option. Fun drive out to the lake, fun folks at the kayak company, and fun time in the hot sulfur baths. We wore UV protected shirts, another thing I would recommend, although they had plenty of sun tan lotion for all to use. In Auckland, we did the included city tour and then the Sky Tower and Aquarium. The afternoon tour also took us past 3 places we saw on the included tour, so I thought we could have skipped that and just gone to the museums. Overall, we had enough time to see everything. The next morning we exited the ship about 8am. We had a late fight, so Viking asked us if we wanted to spend the day in a hotel, next to the airport, or go to the hospitality room ( in a hotel) in downtown Auckland, then be transported to the airport. We chose the day in downtown Auckland. We went with other folks to the art museum and had a great Mexican lunch. We were told the last bus to the airport was 4pm, which we board at 3:45. Because our flight was 10:55pm, we ended up at the hotel ( at the airport) anyway. It was nice to relax on a super comfy bed with regular TV, and really fast internet. If I knew that was the plan, I would have showered at the hotel and not packed like I was ready to travel the night before. Oh well, but thank you Viking for taking such good care of us. I hope this review helps those wondering about this cruise trip. We were very pleased and grateful to Viking for providing a wonderful vacation/holiday. If anyone has specific questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We have been on 2 Viking River Cruises, but never an Ocean Cruise, so we chose to try our first Ocean Cruise with Viking because of their reputation for excellence and we wanted a small ship experience. Overall the cruise was excellent. ... Read More
We have been on 2 Viking River Cruises, but never an Ocean Cruise, so we chose to try our first Ocean Cruise with Viking because of their reputation for excellence and we wanted a small ship experience. Overall the cruise was excellent. The ship was beautiful, open and airy with lots of huge windows and spaces to use without ever being crowded. All the Viking staff are top notch, which we love. The staff are genuinely happy to make sure the guest is having a great experience. On this ship, our Cruise Director, Bryan Rodrigues was wonderful, and the entertainers were exceptional. Such talent was beyond our expectations. The entertainment was so good, we often went to both the early and late shows, as they were so amazing. We cannot say enough good things about the Viking Experience as a whole. If we had to make any suggestions, we would offer two: First, have less lectures and more fun things to do with guests on "Sea Days". Second, it would be helpful to know about the docking situations in each port so that the guests can make a more informed decision regarding their excursions and times. Knowing how far the dock is from town and the time at port would be extremely helpful in planning one's day. We would have made some different decisions, had we known ahead of time some of these details. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I have traveled on 9 previous Viking River Cruises and realize I enjoy smaller ships more! I chose this ocean cruise because I wanted to see New Zealand and it was the only Viking Cruise available. I found that with river trips, ... Read More
I have traveled on 9 previous Viking River Cruises and realize I enjoy smaller ships more! I chose this ocean cruise because I wanted to see New Zealand and it was the only Viking Cruise available. I found that with river trips, people are more interested in the places traveled while with ocean cruises it seem to be the cruising itself. Also it is easier to get to know people and make friends on a smaller trip. .The ship itself was beautiful and very comfortable and of course the food excellent, the drinks good and the staff very friendly and efficient. The spa facilities and offering were very good, though expensive. I am sorry we were unable to get into Dunedin due to wind in the harbor as we had booked an excursion there that we were looking forward to. We very much enjoyed the Wildlife Sanctuary in Melbourne and the Walk in Taurange. I was disappointed in some of the other excursions: the description of "Punting on the River" implied it lasted more than 25 minutes and the Auckland City Tour and Planetarium were both disappointing. Many of the shipboard activities did not appeal to us so we did not take part (nightly entertainment was late in the evening). Perhaps this was an error on our part. I have and will always recommend Viking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I was invited by family. I had never been to Australia and wanted to go. Viking had a good reputation. The food was excellent and I always enjoyed the wine service. All staff were friendly and helpful and made me feel at home. The ... Read More
I was invited by family. I had never been to Australia and wanted to go. Viking had a good reputation. The food was excellent and I always enjoyed the wine service. All staff were friendly and helpful and made me feel at home. The wandering musicians were a joy. The ships decor was lovely. I loved all the lectures and adult activities. I dislike casinos, art auctions, noisy children and play areas and too many people on the boat. This was perfect. I appreciated having everything included in the price. The Explorers Dome shows were interesting. I didn't go to all the theater shows, but I enjoyed the ones I attended - especially the magician. The bus excursions were interesting and gave a good over view of the area. Lombok was the greatest disappointment. It would have been much better to have had time in Bali. We were not told that Lombok was essentially a day on the beach - bring your suits. So most people didn't and we wound up sitting in the lobby waiting to get back on the bus. Nothing to see there of interest. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise because we had long talked about going to Aus/NZ and with free airfare, it was time to go! A storm out of Antarctic kept us from stopping in the port of Dunedin, and fire danger cancelled out Melbourne "Koalas ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had long talked about going to Aus/NZ and with free airfare, it was time to go! A storm out of Antarctic kept us from stopping in the port of Dunedin, and fire danger cancelled out Melbourne "Koalas and kangaroos at Sunset" special tour, but with 105 degree temps from winds blowing off the outback, I can't say I was all that disappointed! The rest of the cruise was up to our expectations from having taken a number of Viking River cruises before. This was our first ocean cruise and it gave us just enough of a feel for NZ that we now want to go back, take the Trans-Alpine train, visit greenstone country on the west coast of the S. island, go to Te Anu, visit Queenstown, and see Milford Sound, all things that weren't on the cruise itinerary to start with. The Viking Orion has an on-board planetarium and we had University faculty lecturer experts in Astronomy, History, Military History, and Geology. The on-board entertainment was above our expectations and Brian, our Cruise Director, blew us away when he performed NessUN Dorma to close the evening's entertainment one night. Viking is known for it's more cerebral entertainment and it did not disappoint. We loved the onboard experts' presentations and the planetarium, which doubled as an IMAX 3D type theater with the initmacy of only 20 some seats, was a huge bonus and is not available on all Viking Ocean ships. We will book on the Orion (or one of the other 2 that have a planetarium) whenever we can! We will for sure choose Viking again! Staff were super friendly and expert. We tried the specialty restaurants (Manfredi's - Italian, and The Chef's Table - fixed menu with wine pairing - menu varies throughout the cruise) the main restaurant (called The Restaurant), and we kept going back to the World Cafe, which had fabulous views from the 7th deck, a wide selection on the buffet and the choice to dine inside or out on the deck. We loved the high tea, served all 'sea days', but we found that too many scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam and finger sandwiches can ruin your dinner appetite, and with the great seafood buffets, BBQ buffet, sushi, and always a carved meat and far too many sides to begin to mention, on top of the gelato and dessert buffet, we had to skip high tea, if we wanted what was being served for dinner that night! There was a little glitch with Embarkation that resulted in passengers standing out in the sun, uncovered for almost an hour because the boat was not docked at the main terminal in Sydney. The next day we were docked there and all embarkation and disembarkation went flawlessly, but the first day was well over an hour standing, most of it out in the hot sun, while everyone went through a makeshift screening - just very slow. We were grateful it wasn't pouring rain, but the hot sun was burning people because of how long they had to be out in the sun. Highly recommend Viking. The quality of staff and service we came to expect on Viking River Cruises happily extended over to this Ocean Cruise. We'll be back! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have been on five cruises before - Celebrity, Princess, Cunard and Norwegian. None of them compare to Viking (although Cunard is close). This cruise was pretty much flawless in every way you can imagine. Embarkation was smooth and ... Read More
We have been on five cruises before - Celebrity, Princess, Cunard and Norwegian. None of them compare to Viking (although Cunard is close). This cruise was pretty much flawless in every way you can imagine. Embarkation was smooth and painless and they let us on the ship and into our room hours before we expected. The food was universally great, there was always lots of it, and the specialty restaurants were all very good. We bought a beverage package and for us that was a good investment. But their policy of providing drinks with meals was very liberally applied, and if you limited your drinking to meals you probably wouldn't need that package. The talks about upcoming ports were very informative, and the included tours - we took most of them - were very good. Brian, their Cruise Director, was not only a splendid presenter and full of great information....he's also a very talented singer! The ship was generally spotless and I had a very hard time finding any rust. That was not true on every other ship we have ever been on. Rust is a continuing problem on ships and leaves a bad impression about overall ship maintenance (I did four years in the Navy) but the Viking people seem to have defeated it. Disembarkation at 8 AM was very early for us - our plane from Auckland didn't leave until very late that night. So first they put a bunch of us in a downtown hotel, complete with coffee, soft drinks, lots of snacks. Later they took us to a hotel at the airport and put us up in a room for several hours! This was all at no charge - a very classy thing to do. Overall we were surprised and very pleased at how nice this Viking cruise was....and how much better in every way it was compared to all the other cruises we have been on. The fact that they have eliminated kids/bogus art sales/casinos/overpriced photography shows that they understand their audience. They have hit the marked squarely. We'll be back, Viking! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose this cruise for the destinations, which were wonderful. Ship was very clean and overall staff very friendly and attentive. Speciality Restaurants were of a very good standard. Spa was excellent. Entertainment shows were very ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the destinations, which were wonderful. Ship was very clean and overall staff very friendly and attentive. Speciality Restaurants were of a very good standard. Spa was excellent. Entertainment shows were very good. Live music being played during day and evenings in Main Foyer was repetitious. Main Dining was at times “ hit and miss”. Felt they had skimped somewhat on the seafood offerings. Buffet selection was limited and very few salads. Hardly any healthy options or sugar free or low carb dessert alternatives. Wine list was very limited as were range of drinks on offer with a silver drinks package. No premium bottled spring water on offer even with drinks package. Ship layout was similiar to that of River cruises. Ship also vibrated throughout the cruise. Had to wedge paper between doors on wardrobe to prevent noise from keeping us awake at night. Disappointing for a new ship. Bed vibrated from the ship shuddering. Captain did a great job of staying ahead of Cyclone at the top of Australia. We did miss seeing Thursday Island and the shore excursions we paid for well before we sailed in March. Quite understand the importance of staying ahead of the Cyclone however we were promised to be refunded the US$278 at the end of our cruise. Home one month now and still have not received a refund! Poor processing and customer service Viking . Overall value for money was not there with Viking. Azamara, Celebrity, RCL offer a better deal, wider variety of food at a higher standard. Have also cruised on Crystal which were faultless. This was our 12th cruise and we would not cruise with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
After cruising the Baltic Sea with Viking we knew we wanted to check off Australia and New Zealand on our bucket list using Viking. This ship was even better having added the Observatory with many good destinations to visit. As usual, we ... Read More
After cruising the Baltic Sea with Viking we knew we wanted to check off Australia and New Zealand on our bucket list using Viking. This ship was even better having added the Observatory with many good destinations to visit. As usual, we loved the food enjoying the specialty dining, the Norwegian cafe, the fresh fish, tea with lovely music and especially the daily freshly made gelato. The service was individualized with the main dining room staff, recognizing us by name and our seating preference, waiters knowing our drink preferences, and our requests being fulfilled promptly. The spa was a high light, taking a couples class on relaxation and using the steam room to the snow cave and the bucket cool off. Plus we tried some special products and natural techniques for body exfoliation. The Indonesian male spa technician (whose name I forget) was inspiring! Especially enjoyed the the tour of the Sydney Opera House, touring the castle and historic homes, seeing the countryside, learning the history, plus sailing the sea and hiking craters in Auckland. entertainment and activities on board were high quality. You could be kept busy all day or simply relax with views of the sea outside or inside. Looking forward to our next Viking cruise sailing the Adriatic and Mediterranean seas. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We have always had Australia and New Zealand on our wish list but the large cruise ships kept us away. We saw the size of the Viking ocean liners and it fit us to a t. Embarkation and debarkation was a breeze. We also liked the "No ... Read More
We have always had Australia and New Zealand on our wish list but the large cruise ships kept us away. We saw the size of the Viking ocean liners and it fit us to a t. Embarkation and debarkation was a breeze. We also liked the "No Kids", No Casinos", and" no umbrella drinks" policy. We are loyal Viking river boat travelers and the Viking spirit is on the ocean liners as well. The cabin was spacious, with all cabins having the great verandas. The free laundry mat with included soap was a great feature, as well as an ironing board. There was a nice couch and TV for relaxing while doing your laundry. The dining options are handy and of course, the open seating allows travelers to make new friends.I really liked the ice cream station in the evening. The entertainment was lively and enjoyable. All the crew are so very helpful and informative. We liked all the included shore tours as they were very informative and we also took advantage of several of the optional ones as well. This was our first Viking ocean cruise after eight Viking river cruises and it will not be our last. British Isles, here we come this summer. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We are long time Viking River Cruise customers so we wanted to see if the same service and quality spread to the ocean liners...and it did ! This trip far surpassed our expectations. Every detail was top notch. Service personnel made ... Read More
We are long time Viking River Cruise customers so we wanted to see if the same service and quality spread to the ocean liners...and it did ! This trip far surpassed our expectations. Every detail was top notch. Service personnel made the trip delightful. Each remembered names and individual tastes and preferences. Reservations for the supplemental restaurants were easy to obtain and the meals were unique and delicious. Having a laundry room on each floor was amazing. Easy to use, all soaps etc provided and being open 24 hrs made it convenient and easy to use. The public areas were spacious and well maintained. There was always a place to have a quiet conversation or accommodate a larger group. Service personnel were readily available but not hovering over the guests. We were so impressed by this venue that we have booked another Viking Ocean Cruise for 2020 to Norway. Viking never disappoints ! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We always wanted to tour these two countries and experience the culture. We are so fortunate to have completed this trip prior to the devastation caused by the fires in Australia and the horrendous terror incident at Christ Church. ... Read More
We always wanted to tour these two countries and experience the culture. We are so fortunate to have completed this trip prior to the devastation caused by the fires in Australia and the horrendous terror incident at Christ Church. The ship was fabulous- from cuisine to cabin. New Zealand was amazing. And we chose the right time - late summer. We were able to swim outdoors on the ship. What amazed us: kangaroos; Christ Church and its exceptional cultural attractions( botanical garden; museum); the coastline of New Zealand ; Napier and the Art Deco architecture; The level of service was exceptional. The cabin as ALWAYS clean and restocked. The choices and quality of dining were superb. The entertainment was Broadway quality. The public spaces were beautiful and inviting with evening musical entertainment provided nightly. We were particularly pleased with the ability to plan free time in several ports which permitted us to visit additional museums and attractions. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise because it included Australia and New Zealand. This is a beautiful, well appointed new ship. The crew was fantastic, the food, and the entertainment were very good. There is never a long wait for dining, and every ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it included Australia and New Zealand. This is a beautiful, well appointed new ship. The crew was fantastic, the food, and the entertainment were very good. There is never a long wait for dining, and every seat has a view.The shore excursions left something to be desired, but they are new to this itinerary, so I can forgive them. We had a few problems one night, however, when we went to the proper channels they were quickly correctly, and from that moment on, we were treated like royalty by the entire staff. The embarkation process at each port was very slow because it seem that every tour came back the same time, and they only had one entry to the ship. The included Wifi was great. No trouble communicating anywhere. Overall, we would be very happy to sail with Viking again. This was our 39th cruise, and our first on Viking. We are an older couple, so we wanted a quiet ship , so if you're younger, looking for excitement, don't go on this ship. No children under 18 yrs and there were no couples on the ship under 45 of yrs of age. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We wanted to see not just Sydney (2nd time there) but other areas of Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. The trip surpassed anything we could have imagined. Friendly people, great food, and tremendous scenery. We took the included ... Read More
We wanted to see not just Sydney (2nd time there) but other areas of Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. The trip surpassed anything we could have imagined. Friendly people, great food, and tremendous scenery. We took the included tours in each city to get an overall feel for the area and to learn more of the history. We had a lot of relaxing time on the ship and enjoyed the spa. We always enjoy the afternoon tea in the Wintergarten. The addition of the planetarium was a surprise but also a wonderful experience. We also were surprised to find the wine sommelier, Lorraine, was the same person as we had on the Viking Sky on a previous cruise. It was great to catch up with her. The staff and service on the Orion excellent. We thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment provided. We missed Christchurch due to rough seas but the crew did a great job keeping everyone entertained. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Whe chose to try the Viking Ocean experience because we have enjoyed several river cruises with them. Unfortunatley, they did not live up to the excellent quality of thecriver cruises. It felt that the crew needed more training. They ... Read More
Whe chose to try the Viking Ocean experience because we have enjoyed several river cruises with them. Unfortunatley, they did not live up to the excellent quality of thecriver cruises. It felt that the crew needed more training. They weren't overly friendly and missed the mark in cresting a great experience. Communication was not great once on the ship. Their app works ok but doesn't let you add anything such as upcoming events so you have to keep track of your schedule on paper woth the daily and in the app for dinner, spa reservations. It was confusing. The music groups and evening entertainment were good when they were planned, however it wasn't every night. A couple nights it was taped Opera...and a lotvof bean bag challenges. A couple nights they did provide old movies in the pool area. The most frustrating thing was that we missed two (2) ports that we really wanted to visit. On a 14 day trip with already 3 days at sea planned that made our voyage 5 out of 14 days (or over 1/3) of our trip at sea and therecqas really nothing to do. It was pretty boring. The excusions that they included usually consisted of a trip in a bus around a city. Not that great. Overall I think we will stay with other lines to do an Ocean cruise and leave Viking for rivers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We have always wanted to see Australia and New Zealand, but we were overwhelmed with where to go and when. While we had one cruise we found awful, on another line, we decided to try Viking due to no casino, no kids and the all inclusive ... Read More
We have always wanted to see Australia and New Zealand, but we were overwhelmed with where to go and when. While we had one cruise we found awful, on another line, we decided to try Viking due to no casino, no kids and the all inclusive vibe. The cruise exceeded all our expectations. The ship was luxurious, the food beautiful and most memorable was the staff. We are already planning another cruise, and by chance it will be on the Orion again. We ate breakfast in the World Cafe and dinner in The Restaurant or a specialty setting. Manfredos was our favorite. We did mostly included tours, and enjoyed leisure time on our own at most ports. The lectures and cultural events were perfect for us. Viking staff/reps were with us from out of customs to back at the airport. We found Viking Air to be as good and as helpful as the ship staff. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise as the itinerary seemed very good and it seemed as though it was good to have some excursions and beer and wine included during meal times. Having said that, we had a very rough traverse of the Tasman Sea from Hobart ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the itinerary seemed very good and it seemed as though it was good to have some excursions and beer and wine included during meal times. Having said that, we had a very rough traverse of the Tasman Sea from Hobart to Dunedin. The ship rocked excessively from side to side, especially overnight the second night crossing. We enjoyed the excursions in Dunedin with great views of the surrounding areas from Signal Hill and a hike up Mt. Cargill. Cancelled Port: We were supposed to then travel to Christchurch, but despite indication that the sea was not all that rough ( certainly not as rough based on weather forecasts and other indications as the crossing in the Tasman Sea ), Christchurch was cancelled, citing safety concerns. We find it odd that of the 4 Viking cruise sailings between Sydney and Auckland, 2 were cancelled. And there was no compensation for Christchurch being cancelled. Ship It is beautifully appointed and there was never really a crowded area. There was comfortable seating throughout the ship. We were impressed by the cleanliness on the ship and that there were attendants constantly cleaning public washrooms. The cabin: It was nicely appointed and we found the PV2 to be a perfect size. The bathroom and main part of the cabin had ample space, although the veranda seemed a bit cramped to sit out on. Downside: The bed was painfully firm. This bed did not provide a comfortable sleeping experience. Food Quality: Dining we found to be questionable. The food, especially in the World Cafe was often lukewarm and sometimes overcooked. Desserts were quite amazing and gelato bar very popular. We had to send back several items in The Restaurant, including a lamb shank that was tough and lukewarm and a steak that was ordered medium rare and was definitely medium to medium well. What they call baked potatoes are not what I would refer to as baked. They are peeled potatoes and what I would call roasted, More than once they were overly soft and mushy. THis is a relatively smaller ship with just over 900 passengers, so there is an opportunity to do more frequent batch cooking. Often at dinner opening, the food was overcooked. One example was extremely overcooked mushy roasted wedge potatoes. The food was not all bad, however. The presentation was always excellent and taste usually very good. Included WInes: I found all the included wines to be very good. I suppose it would be difficult to satisfy all tastes as wine tasting can be so subjective. I was very grateful that throughout the cruise there were no oaked wines as I don't like that flavour. I think the wines were selected very carefully. Well done! Chef's Table Specialty Restaurant: We went to a dinner at the Chef's Table Specialty restaurant and enjoyed the Lotus fixed sample menu. However, we signed up for that night for a Thai menu and it was changed without a reason given. Reservations: Our dinner reservation for one of the nights in the specialty restaurant, Manfredi's was dropped off our list of reservations without explanation and no suitable fix was offered. Advice: Print a copy of all reservations on your account! That was a mistake on our part and they did not correct it. Lack of Follow Up by Management: As I mentioned earlier, I thought that the cleanliness and safety/sanitation was for the most part a focus on the ship. However, I filled out a questionnaire about a practice that I believe worked against maintaining health and safety. The comments were passed on and responded to, suggesting that I would see a noticeable change, which never happened. In all food venues on board, except the World cafe, all glassware was face up on the tables. In the World Cafe, the glassware was face down on soiled vinyl placemats. There was a risk of contamination between the drinking portion of the glassware and the soiled table mats. This is not congruent with the other good practices on the ship. I DID NOT appreciate a response that was only lip service and not a true follow up. I also filled out a survey upon disembarkation, commenting on the lack of proper follow up and nobody followed up from this either. Entertainment: We didn't attend a lot of the shows on board, but the ABBA review was pretty good, although a bit hammy. On the final night, they showed the film Bohemian Rhapsody, which was great as it is an Oscar nominated film this year. Service was excellent. All staff members would sincerely greet us at all times in the public areas of the ship. I can't say enough about the crew and their customer service. Explorer Dome: What some refer to as a planetarium, isn't really one. It is a film venue where those films are projected partly or fully onto the dome in a theatre above the explorer lounge. This is available only on the Orion and Jupiter ships. I thought the Mars show was excellent, simulating a human landing on Mars with international participants collecting specimens and reporting back to Earth. I would not recommend the Dolphins and Whales show. It only covered part of the screen and although 3D was of poor production quality. Spa: This was included with no extra fees, unless booking massages or other treatments. There were so many facets to it. Sauna, cold plunge pool, thermal pool, steam room, snow grotto. It was very refreshing and relaxing. I highly recommend visiting this area. There are towels and robes provided and the lockers are controlled by your room card, which was very convenient. The spa employees were very friendly and helpful, offering advice on receiving the maximum benefit from all the facets of the spa. Value: Questionable for a Canadian traveller, with a significant surcharge of over 35% in Canadian funds over the US price. For a 15 day cruise that cost over $22,000 CAD, a nicely appointed room on other reputable cruise lines could be had for significantly less, even if factoring in excursions and alcohol. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Overall, the cruise portion of our Aus/NZ trip was good. The itinerary was appealing as it included Hobart, Tasmania, and smaller centers in NZ. We arranged our own flights. Viking Orion is a classy looking ship with wonderful, ... Read More
Overall, the cruise portion of our Aus/NZ trip was good. The itinerary was appealing as it included Hobart, Tasmania, and smaller centers in NZ. We arranged our own flights. Viking Orion is a classy looking ship with wonderful, friendly fellow passengers. The vast majority were Americans, average age was a good 70. Public areas were well used but comfortable. My partner used the spa and really liked it. We were in a Penthouse Veranda and it has a minimalist decor with lots of storage, small veranda and good bathroom. Kept very clean and stocked with your choices. We did have to deal with the scalding hot/cool oscillations in the shower. This can be mitigated by turning the head on full force and adjusting the temp down until it at least it no longer sears. The bed is a king, good linens but for me way too firm. My sciatica acted up. I'm aware of the issues around booking shore excursions by suite category but we were able to book exactly what we wanted. Spaces did free up eventually on many showing sold out originally. Unlike some reviewers, I thought the optional excursions were great! Can recommend "Kangaroos and Koalas at Sunset" in Melbourne, "Wildlife Conservation Park and Historic Port Arthur" out of Hobart, "Great Houses of Dunedin", "Sheep Station & Te Mata Peak" out of Napier, and "Geothermal Rotorua" out of Tauranga. The food was of high ingredients quality, varied and attractively prepared. Shame, because more often than not, it was marred by too much salt, over richness and tepid serving temperatures. Kudos to the sushi, steaks and roasts, afternoon tea and service! Included wines were mostly good and generously offered. One of our Manfredi's reservations mysteriously disappeared and the restaurant manager just shrugged. We were usually too tired for the evening entertainment but did go to the planetarium twice. Not recommended as it is really just a mini Imax theater showing short childlike films. We had a very rough two day crossing of the Tasman Sea and then Christchurch was cancelled based on "safety first". Of course I defer these decisions to the bridge but where was safety first crossing the Tasman in those conditions, and sailing out of Wellington harbour in 100+ km/hr wind gusts? A much smaller cruise ship, the Caledonian Sky, sailed out of Christchurch to our port, Dunedin, the night we stayed put. It couldn't possibly have been as bad as the Tasman! Oh, and no compensation. Anyway, as only my second ever cruise, and having enjoyed the Viking brand, I have decided cruising is not for me but I certainly see the appeal to the many loyal Viking passengers. We met some great people who were always interesting to talk to! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The new ship was great. The crew was exceptional. The food was great. One day while at sea from Tasmania to New Zealand, all passengers on Decks 2 and 3 were requested to meet on Deck 1 at 9 AM to complete and review their New Zealand ... Read More
The new ship was great. The crew was exceptional. The food was great. One day while at sea from Tasmania to New Zealand, all passengers on Decks 2 and 3 were requested to meet on Deck 1 at 9 AM to complete and review their New Zealand Declaration Documents. The line was way too long and the wait was way too long. Many passengers were very disappointed. This situation was evidence of very poor planning on someone's part. With today's technology it seems that each cabin should have good WIFI Service. That was not the case for our cabin 3032. We had very little if any WIFI service. Hopefully this deficiency can be resolved for you future passengers. I have to give Simba, Bruno and Ivana took very good care of our foursome while at the Poop Deck Par. They really made us feel at home. Thank you very much. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose the Viking Orion cruise because we have wanted to go to Australia and New Zealand for a long time and because of the excellent reputation of Viking ocean cruises. We will not take another Viking cruise. Although we have no ... Read More
We chose the Viking Orion cruise because we have wanted to go to Australia and New Zealand for a long time and because of the excellent reputation of Viking ocean cruises. We will not take another Viking cruise. Although we have no complaints about the ship or our cabin, we were shocked by the lack of worthwhile activities and the poor quality of the included excursions. The so-called enrichment lectures were a total bore and the speakers were not at all interesting or entertaining. One of the speakers never looked up from her prepared presentation which she read word for word. During the four sea days there was very little to do. We spent most of our sea days watching TV in our cabin. However, we did enjoy the 30 minute dance classes taught by one of the young Viking singers and the trivia game that was run by the assistant cruise director. We were disappointed that trivia games were only held on sea days. On other cruise lines that we have traveled with (I.e., Oceania, Crystal and Regent), trivia games were held on every day of the cruise. We went on two of the included excursions on the first ports, but the tour guides were so bad that we decided to explore other ports on our own. I thought that the food was generally good but my wife was very unhappy with the poor quality of salads in the buffet. On a positive note, the entertainment in the evening was very good, especially the shows that were put on by the cruise director, the assistant cruise director and the Viking singers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
A bucket list destination with a line we trusted, we are probably more disappointed because of our expectations. We feel "betrayed" by poor communication prior to the trip and then repeated disappointment with excursions and ... Read More
A bucket list destination with a line we trusted, we are probably more disappointed because of our expectations. We feel "betrayed" by poor communication prior to the trip and then repeated disappointment with excursions and most off ship experiences. Included excursions were minimal quality, including poorly informed guides (except Sydney). When a Port Douglas extension (to see the Great Barrier Reef) was fouled due to a storm, there were no appropriate substitute provisions. We spent most of the time traveling and confined to the hotel. Final insult was attempt to charge for luggage for domestic flight back to Sydney. Beyond the subpar included excursions, there were inadequate spots on the expensive paid excursions. So, for example, we actually never saw a kangaroo because by the time we attempted to book that (single) excisions, on first available day, the excursion was full. And then there were the transfers. On first arrival to Sydney, we had a five hour layover before the flight arranged to Cairns. Five hours is long, but after flight from eastern US, it was an eternity. Upon return to Sydney, we were left to handle our luggage for several blocks between the terminal and the buses to the ship. In gale force, literally (Cyclone Owen), winds my rolling luggage escaped me. On the final day of the cruise, we disembarked at 7:10 in the morning and were transported to a hotel conference room to sit out the rest of the day, meals on our own, until our 8:10 flight that night. We did receive a transport to the airport where we discovered because our carrier had changed from the trip over, we owed $500NZ for baggage in excess of their allowances. We hope Viking has not tried to expand their ocean cruise market too fast to maintain their famous quality. We'll look harder before we leap again... Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The Viking Orion is a beautiful new ship we have been on 1 Of it’s sister ships The food was very good to outstanding The housekeeping was excellent The problem lies in being treated As a second class passengers If you are not ... Read More
The Viking Orion is a beautiful new ship we have been on 1 Of it’s sister ships The food was very good to outstanding The housekeeping was excellent The problem lies in being treated As a second class passengers If you are not in suites Luggage dragged in airport? No help with luggage at embarkation Lack of communication with guest relations Almost all excursions sold out Before we were able to get on line Had to have security transport us to Port gate after trying to have Viking staff help us to get to private tour This inspite of accessibility issues Included tours at best mediocre And could never get early times No currency exchange on ship A 5 star cruise is more like a 3 to 4 for people in non suites Staff never apologized for anything Booking of tours and restaurants Needs work Outdoor pool usually closed roof Making it almost a sauna The majority of staff did an outstanding jobless Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
As we all know, luxury does not come cheap. After years of sailing predominantly on Holland America with some side forays into Princess and a few other lines, we decided to try Viking for our most recent cruise. While there were some mild ... Read More
As we all know, luxury does not come cheap. After years of sailing predominantly on Holland America with some side forays into Princess and a few other lines, we decided to try Viking for our most recent cruise. While there were some mild snafus in regard to some of the shore excursions, which were not that big a deal considering this itinerary was brand-new for the line, everything on board the ship was as good as or better than we could have hoped. The food is good (though it is overly heavy on seafood IMO), and the staff outstanding. Our cabin was lovely and comfortable and every need we had was met. We also did the Viking air plus to schedule our flights and did both of pre-and-post extension in Sydney and in Auckland. Both extension hotels were super, but the Cordis in Auckland was unbelievably luxurious - including a free cell phone you could use during your visit and use to make free overseas calls. Because we changed several things about our departure and return dates are Airline ended up being Cathay Pacific. We knew nothing about it before flying but were absolutely overjoyed with the experience. True we had to fly to Hong Kong to fly to Australia and do it again on the way back which meant about 24 hours in the air, but I can't say enough good things about Cathay business class. Our Viking rep contacted us before we left while we were gone and after we returned to find out if all had gone well and if there was anything we needed. After this experience it would be hard to ever return to a ship that carries 3,000 or more passengers. During our two-week Voyage we really got to know the crew and the staff and they got to know the passengers. That just doesn't happen very often on the large ships. Also Viking never had to tender so we never missed any ports due to weather. They also set up free courtesy shuttles into each Port from wherever the ship docked which I can tell you has never happened for me on other Cruise Lines. About the only thing I can say negative about them is that there is far too much walking between the ship and where you can leave the security area. My mother is slightly disabled (but not wheelchair bound) and this caused a great deal of difficulty for her, and I imagine other mobility challenged people. Tge bottom line is, we enjoyed ourselves so much that we all have already booked a cruise for 2020 with Viking. As I said at the outset, luxury does not come cheap, but in this case we got everything we paid for and more. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
With two weeks to utilize at the holidays, and with the desire to catch a restful break from daily routine while also getting to see some of the wonders of Australia and New Zealand, the Viking Orion offered the perfect solution. The ship ... Read More
With two weeks to utilize at the holidays, and with the desire to catch a restful break from daily routine while also getting to see some of the wonders of Australia and New Zealand, the Viking Orion offered the perfect solution. The ship is beautifully designed in every way. The public areas are spacious and elegant, while still warm and welcoming. The beautiful light wood covering the walls is soothing and clean, with a minimum of bric bracs and ornamentation resuting in a ship which conveys a refreshing study in classy elegance. The main dining room (The Restaurant) is similarly tasteful, wrapping around a good portion of the ship in intimate dining spaces, rather than being one big, cavernous central eatery. The World Cafe (cafeteria style service) provides a wondrous array of foods of different types and nationalities. With the excellent Italian restaurant, Manfredi’s, and the addition of the Chef’s Table option, travelers always have at least four terrific options for food. High tea in the classy Wintergarden is also a daily option, and there’s a selection of good snacks in the Explorer’s Lounge. The personnel at all these areas is unfailingly helpful and pleasant. Other unique amenities on the ship include the surging wave machine in the spa pool, the “IMAX” style dome theatre, the warmed infinity pool outside the World Cafe, and a wealth of niceties (spa access, wine with dinner, soft drinks, organized panorama shore excursions) which are all included in the fare for the trip. We loved the requirement that all travelers be t least 18 years old, and also loved the absence of casino or ever-hovering photographers. It was, far and away, the best cruise we have ever experienced. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Viking Orion Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.7
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.4
Family N/A 4.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 5.0 4.3
Service 4.5 4.6
Value For Money 5.0 4.1

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