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98 Viking Ocean Europe - British Isles & Western Cruise Reviews

I believe Viking does a tremendous job of taking care of their passengers. We loved our previous River Cruise & many of the same positive traits were present on this one. A longer trip, so even though the food was good, it got boring ... Read More
I believe Viking does a tremendous job of taking care of their passengers. We loved our previous River Cruise & many of the same positive traits were present on this one. A longer trip, so even though the food was good, it got boring after awhile. About 1/2 the tours were great, the others only average and a lot of time on busses. I am not sure what they could do to improve the tours, but sitting on a bus for a couple of hours and listening to someone talk & point out that things we could barely see happened on several of the excursions. Other times we were able to get out and actually enter an attraction of building. Our Cruise director, Vicki, was hilarious and did a great job. The beverage supervisor/officer was everywhere and always pleasant. The staff were great. Our room Stewart, Mikko and our bar waiter, Jeorge and Sasha, our favorite bus assignment gal were just a few who helped make it a great trip. Only disappointment was the sales person for new cruises. We already had a future cruise booked, but he encouraged us to meet with him anyway to review details & excursions. We made appointment, met with him and he brushed us off. He was preoccupied, took phone calls, cut the meeting short to go elsewhere. ( about 10 min). He promised to send us recommendations for excursions, but never did. I will chalk it up to he had a bad day and concentrate on all the others who were great. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We choose the British Isles Cruise because we have always wanted to experience all that England, Scotland and Ireland. This was the best way to see them all! We plan on going back to each country! The tours were great and each tour we ... Read More
We choose the British Isles Cruise because we have always wanted to experience all that England, Scotland and Ireland. This was the best way to see them all! We plan on going back to each country! The tours were great and each tour we took offered accurate facts and the stories were filled with interesting stories. Our cabin was on the 6th level and had a spacious balcony and the room was just the right size featuring a comfortable king bed, sofa, coffee table, chair and a nice desk with a hidden vanity for one to apply makeup! We had more than ample storage and drawers for our clothes. The bathroom was lovely and we loved the heated flooring. The food that was offered was delicious and the selection satisfied all appetites. We enjoyed dining at 3 dining rooms. We loved the variety of entertainment which was nightly! The lectures were subjects that would interest almost everyone and the speakers were very well spoken and held our attention! We have already booked another cruise for 2021 but plan on booking another cruise for 2020! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise for three reasons. The itinerary offered us a chance to see the peripheral sites of the British Isles without changing lodgings frequently. We wanted to avoid the large cruise ships. We also wanted a cruise that ... Read More
We chose this cruise for three reasons. The itinerary offered us a chance to see the peripheral sites of the British Isles without changing lodgings frequently. We wanted to avoid the large cruise ships. We also wanted a cruise that offered a wide selection of shore tours. Viking offered all of this at a reasonable price. The flexible dining options were also a bonus. We preferred the casual World Cafe but also enjoyed Manfredi's Italian Restaurant. Eating lunch on the beautiful comfortable Pool Deck was a real pleasure. We found the food good and varied. The service was wonderful. This was the most personable crew we have experienced. The entertainment was simple but pleasurable. We particularly enjoyed listening the guitarist in the evenings. The Explorer Lounge was absolutely breathtaking. It offered a spectacular view day of night as well as comfortable seating in the Norwegian fashion. The Viking Living Room was just that. it offered open spaces, comfortable seating, games puzzles and a library. It was too late in the season to use the Sports Deck but I believe in summer it would be a great attraction. Port and shore excursions were varied and well conducted. We enjoyed all of the ones we took. We found, though, that the optional tours went into much greater depth and were necessary to really see out ports of call. Two conveniences offered by Viking are prepaid beverage services and prepaid gratuities. I would advise guests to subscribe to both. They are quite modestly priced and take a lot of inconvenience and concern out of the trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to learn more of the long history and varied cultures the United Kingdom, and experience the land and peoples without having to drive or figure out train schedules. Norway was an added bonus. Loved ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to learn more of the long history and varied cultures the United Kingdom, and experience the land and peoples without having to drive or figure out train schedules. Norway was an added bonus. Loved the cruise and remember aspects of it daily. We felt Viking went "over the top" in considering every detail to enhance our cruise experience. Here's a breakdown: EMBARKATION: Originally, we thought we would just drop off our luggage and then find a local place to have lunch. We were surprised that we could have lunch onboard the first day around noon, though our official check-in time was 2 pm. FOOD AND BEVERAGES: Exceptional! There were always healthy options. The variety was also amazing. There was an area for Asian food, including sushi, seaweed salad, etc. There were plenty of vegetarian options as well as seafood and meats. Desserts were appropriately sized and there was always a no-sugar-added option. Servers ensured guests had the wine, beer, or other desired beverages as desired. The wine selection was quite good. The specialty dining options were definitely worth trying at least once during the cruise. The Chef's Table had a delightful wine pairing. CREW: Very accommodating and friendly. It was obvious everyone was happy with their work. They were willing to chat with us as appropriate, and we got to know of many interesting backgrounds. CABIN: Our cabin steward seemed to understand our routine from the first day. Our cabin was serviced twice a day. The mini-frig was stocked with complimentary soft drinks and snacks. Also loved the fact that they provided umbrellas, water, binoculars, and robes. EXCURSIONS: As advertised, there were complimentary tours in every port. Guides were helpful and knowledgeable. Pace was appropriate--not harried and not boring. The optional tours we took were also impressive. We especially loved the scenic tour in the Scottish highlands. The tour process was quite well organized. We received tickets for each tour we had registered for. The daily news journal let us know what time and where to meet. Viking staff were always there to guide us to the correct coach, tender, or local guide. While in Scotland, we were greeted by a bagpiper at nearly every port. From Bergen, we took the optional extension to Oslo. Would highly recommend this 7-hour train ride through the beautiful mountains of Norway, and visiting the unique city of Oslo. ITINERARY: We enjoyed all of our stops. The one disappointment was that we were unable to go to Wales due to high winds and 7-8 foot swells. Though we're glad Viking considered our safety and comfort, we had looked forward to going to Wales. They did substitute Glasgow and included a complimentary tour. We chose the optional tour to Luss instead. It was fine. Others who went on the complimentary tour told us it was ok, though not spectacular. SPA: Absolutely loved the sauna and snow grotto. Very relaxing. And all necessary amenities provided. The pool area was also nice. EXTRAS: Seemed like we would get extra surprises every couple of days--like the oyster/Champaign night, the wee draft of scotch when returning from a windy day, etc. One day there was a special soup and sandwich buffet in the pool area, which generally had good salads and casual food anyway. The special soup buffet was especially welcome on a rather cool day. Afternoon tea was quite relaxing. Some folks took advantage of the free knitting classes and yoga sessions. DESTINATION PROGRAMS: The lecture on the Scottish highlands taught us much about Scotland we did not know. It was both informative and lively. We also enjoyed the program of Scottish performers. Learned more about British and Norwegian history and culture on this trip than we ever imagined possible. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This is our first Ocean cruise experience and it was absolutely wonderful! Our cabin was roomy and I was impressed about how the storage space was designed. The bed was really comfy and the bathroom was large for a stateroom. Although ... Read More
This is our first Ocean cruise experience and it was absolutely wonderful! Our cabin was roomy and I was impressed about how the storage space was designed. The bed was really comfy and the bathroom was large for a stateroom. Although electrical outlets in the bathroom were only for razors or toothbrushes, there were ample 220 and 110 outlets in the main cabin. I really enjoyed having a port to charge my phone and IPad near our bed. Our cabin Stewart's were also wonderful and serviced our cabin twice daily. The goodies in the refrigerator were a real treat! I can't say enough about the dining options. There were so many choices and varieties of food. On several occasions , they offered special buffets specializing in foods of the regions. Although the specialty Italian and Chefs table Restuarant were a great, we really enjoyed the open dining of the World Cafe. We visited the Explorers lounge several times to enjoy the music but we loved watching the scenery off the bow. Lastly, we want to thank Viking for arraigning the unique welcoming at some of the Ports. In Scotland, bagpipes greeted us on 2 stops and the crew welcomed us home with music and dancing. OUR CRUISE was the British Isle Explorer. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Itinerary first but the Viking ships are beautiful, great staff, wonderful food. Five star experience! The shore excursions were wonderful especially the Giant's Causeway, Canterbury Cathedral, Orkney was a wonderful surprise. The ... Read More
Itinerary first but the Viking ships are beautiful, great staff, wonderful food. Five star experience! The shore excursions were wonderful especially the Giant's Causeway, Canterbury Cathedral, Orkney was a wonderful surprise. The staff are friendly and can't do enough for you. The specialty restaurants are included and Manfredi's which is Italian, everything was delicious. The Chef's Table serves a set menu that is always interesting. Wine is included with lunch and dinner but if you want to step up to the special beverage package, Silver Spirits, it doesn't cost you the price of a new car. We find the travelers on Viking to be educated, well traveled and interesting. We highly recommend Viking for a great cruise experience no matter where you want to travel, either ocean or river, you can't go wrong. We intend to keep traveling with Viking as they continue to open new cruises to all parts of the world. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have cruised with Viking many times and have enjoyed them all very much. The staff takes such good care of you and the fact that you can unpack in your cabin. The food was to die for. There were so many different foods available that ... Read More
We have cruised with Viking many times and have enjoyed them all very much. The staff takes such good care of you and the fact that you can unpack in your cabin. The food was to die for. There were so many different foods available that you did not have trouble finding something that you enjoyed. It was very interesting to see this part of the country. It did rain in Bergen as we flew in from Amsterdam but the buses picked us up at the airport under a covered area and off we went. We enjoyed the Shetland Islands even though they are virtually treeless but the people were so friendly. It was great to tour parts of Scotland and Ireland and taste their history. We extended our stay in London for four days and really enjoyed the 65-75 degree weather and sunshine. We had packed our rain gear just in case of rain and it was not needed at all. The only problem we had was the Brexit demonstration that occurred on the weekend we were in London. It really made a mess of bus transportation. Overall, our trip was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose the British Isles due to our longtime interest in our ethnic heritage, our love of the literature, and our desire to see with our own eyes the places we’ve been reading about for years. We were delighted with the ship and ... Read More
We chose the British Isles due to our longtime interest in our ethnic heritage, our love of the literature, and our desire to see with our own eyes the places we’ve been reading about for years. We were delighted with the ship and crew, the added academic and entertainment opportunities and each port. What a thrill watching the docking procedures, entering new cities and towns, discovering special nooks and crannies through the guided tours. An unexpected need due to a wardrobe malfunction was for sewing. There was a tailer on board!! He saved my wardrobe by adjusting the waist bands in two pairs of pants - thus increasing my pant options by 50%. Who knew? Well, our steward Nengah knew. Our steward was such a support and help. I think we will miss him for quite a while. We learned so much and discovered so much. We were living large the whole time and had to pinch ourselves off and on. Plus the dining options were perfect - casual when we were tired, white table cloths when we were leisurely. Beautiful presented and tasty as well, home cooking is suffering in comparison. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our first Viking ocean cruise and we loved it. We chose Viking because we had taken a fabulous river cruise with them and wanted a similar ocean experience. Our only previous ocean cruise was on a large ship (almost 3,000 ... Read More
This was our first Viking ocean cruise and we loved it. We chose Viking because we had taken a fabulous river cruise with them and wanted a similar ocean experience. Our only previous ocean cruise was on a large ship (almost 3,000 people) and we weren't happy. Our British Isles Explorer vacation was lovely from beginning to end! With Viking representatives assisting us, we breezed through Heathrow, found our transfer bus and boarded the ship (mid-morning) with ease. Complementary champagne while waiting for our cabin to be ready made that wait pleasant. Once in our Deluxe Veranda cabin we were delighted with its adequate size. I loved the big glassed in shower and the heated bathroom floor! The view from our veranda was usually delightful. Our ship the Viking Sea and its crew were a total joy. The ship is a tasteful study in tranquility and relaxation. However, there is ample opportunity to indulge in many varied activities and entertainment. The live music prior to dinner was enjoyable. The nights in the Atrium with the band were lively to dance to. All the shows and lectures we went to were excellent. I particularly enjoyed the Beatles medley on our night leaving Liverpool and the Irish “tenors” who preformed on our Dublin night. Unfortunately for those around me, I sang along to a number of the familiar Irish tunes. One of our guest lecturers was a librarian emeritus of the Royal Library -- oh, were his palace stories ever a treat to listen to (I didn't miss any of his talks). The food was phenomenal. Early morning at Mamsen's in the Explorers' Lounge, sipping coffee and eating a tasty pastry or two is the perfect way to experience sailing in to a port. The World Cafe is a great place for a varied breakfast or lunch. At breakfast I couldn’t resist the potatoes with caramelized onions. The Pool Grill is also nice for a light lunch. I loved the seared Ahi tuna. The Restaurant (main dining room) where we ate most of our dinners is wonderful and all I can say about Manfredi's Italian Restaurant is make multiple reservations. Our cruise started in London then sailed to Dover, Dublin, Holyhead (Wales), Liverpool, Belfast, and Scotland stopping in -- Ullapool, Kirkwall, Edinburgh, Invergordon and Lerwick. We ended the cruise in Bergen Norway. Viking does a wonderful job putting together included shore excursions in all ports. We went on every one and I would recommend doing the same. We also signed up for a number of optional tours. All were well worth it. My only complaint would be I couldn't do everything that interested me. A happy crew is a happy ship! It's obvious that the staff at Viking is well treated by the company because the entire crew goes out of their way to cater to your every reasonable wish. As my husband says, on Viking you are a guest not just a number. I hated to leave when our cruise was over but since I hadn't book the return cruise to London I boarded the transfer bus to the Bergen airport and am pleased to say all went as smoothly as our arrival. One of the best things on a Viking cruise is the classiness and friendliness of the passengers. We thoroughly enjoyed chatting with everyone we met. I can’t wait for our next adventure! We have two other Viking cruises booked; Empires of the Mediterranean for 2020 and Chateaux, Rivers and Wine for 2021. Viking's Windmills and Tulips river cruise is on the list for spring of 2022 but it isn't booked yet. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our first Viking Ocean cruise followed a very enjoyable Viking River cruise two years ago. We chose the British Isles tour because it was of Moderat late, 14 days, and although it covered a lot of ground it was focused on the Great ... Read More
Our first Viking Ocean cruise followed a very enjoyable Viking River cruise two years ago. We chose the British Isles tour because it was of Moderat late, 14 days, and although it covered a lot of ground it was focused on the Great Britain experience, Our high expectations were completely met by the ship’s fine physical condition, high level of service and quality cruise amenities. Everything expected was as promised. Accommodations were more than satisfactory, with the stateroom bathrooms exceeding expectations.The sitdown restaurants were excellent, and the other dining choices varied and tasty. A wide variety of shore activities were offered to suit many activity and interest levels. (The logistics of the tourist was pretty good, given the small group focus and the variety of shore experiences available.) Spa, Gym, and shopping were high-quality and immaculate.(The absence of gaming was refreshing.) Especially impressive was the onboard education. A group of lectures offered deep insights throughout our voyage, including history, culture, and present day conditions. We will patronize Viking again! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife and I are in our late 60's and still quite active and like to travel with friends. This will be our second Ocean cruise and we have done two other Viking River Cruises. I like the cruise idea since you pack and unpack only ... Read More
My wife and I are in our late 60's and still quite active and like to travel with friends. This will be our second Ocean cruise and we have done two other Viking River Cruises. I like the cruise idea since you pack and unpack only once and you travel at night to a new port. On this cruise we were able to see the diversity in the different countries in the British Isles and go to many places where we would probably not go to, all of which were interesting to us. Usually I would have extended the trip on the front end in London, because it is such an amazing city, but we had been there for a week at Christmas with our daughter and had seen a lot of the sights. We did fly in early Sunday and had a full day, although a bit tired to explore the city. We are pretty good getting around ourselves and booked the inside Buckingham Palace and garden tour at 12:15. We LOVED getting to see inside the Palace and the grounds. Definitely try to do that if you go. I will now try to summarize the different parts of the cruise. The Jupiter was stunning. It was just like our first boat with probably very minor tweeks for improvement that we would not even notice. There was a great diversity of places to be on the boat and be a quiet or active as you want. The boat was big, but not too big. It never seemed crowded to me. The Spa area was very well done with a nice changing areaa and indoor pool with a very cool Nordic experience cold room onboard. Their was also a pool in a large atrium area that have plenty of seats near the windows on the outside. Finally there was a great small infinity pool and hot tub on the aft on level 7. Our room was a deluxe veranda which was fine for us. The bed was very comfortable and a king size bed. I am 6'4" and slept well. The bathroom was a good size but crowded for 2 people. We loved our veranda but honestly did not use it much. The Crew----We found the crew on the Jupiter excellent and very hardworking. From the General Manager to all areas of operation- we thought the crew was outstanding. We were able to interact with many crew members and the one theme that came out was that they loved Viking better than others they had been on. The crew was very happy. We have been to nice resorts like Sea Island and found the level of service on par with that experience. Food-We found the food very good to excellent . I thought the best food was at Manfredis (the Italian option) but that is also my favorite food. When you get your first opportunity go ahead and book reservations at either this restaurant or the Chef's Table, both of which was good. The Dining Room option was great also and usually had a wide variety of meal options. Since we ate at different areas in the dining room, we did not have the same server every night. We usually ate at the buffet for breakfast which had GREAT fresh fruit, about any breakfast option you could imagine, and omelet stations. Bottom line-The food ranges from good to excellent. You will not go hungry. Oh, I almost forgot, Mamsen's was a grill option on level 7 toward the pool area. They have great grill options and salads which were delicious. Entertainment-We found this area to be good to excellent. The four young singers were quite good and gave a variety of performances whcih we loved. There were also several times when local talent was brought in which was fun. The band on the ship was EXCELLENT and were the male and female vocalists. They performed both in the theater as back up to the singers and by themselves in Torshavn, a small lounge . We found the music excellent, but do not expect a carnival type atmosphere on this boat. Speakers- The speakers were good not great, but still very imformative. We have had better speakers on other boats, but thought they were good and discussed some tough topics like BREXIT and the Ireland-Northern Island issue. Cruise Director-Heather. I saved the best for last. WE have been on 5 other cruises and Heather was the best BY FAR cruise director we have ever experienced. She was a great speaker, funny, on topic and talented. In a previous life she was an opera singer and had to put together a show at the last minute (5 PM for a 9:00 pm show) due to a sore throat of one of the singers. Her performance was outstanding!!! But, I loved just her daily talks and her general interaction. She had the ability to make mundane things interesting. Excursions--We found the excursions to be good and gave a lot of options. Since we booked this trip very late-in June, we could not sign early, but found that most of tours opened uo that we wanted. The only negative is getting on and off buses and is a process which they handled quite well. I would give the tour leaders high marks in each area!! We usually did the included tour and then did things on our own at the other parts of the day. I did talk to other that did some of the options and they all seemed to like them. One tip is when you are in Invergorton and you play golf, there is a Top Ten golf course in the WORLD about 30 minutes away called Royal Dornoch. You can book you own times and but you will need a morning time, as you must be back on the boat by 4:30. I did this on my own and rented a car from Ken's for the day. Amazing course -it is my favorite course ever and I have played all the Open courses. Finally, on the Bergen stop I booked the Norway in a Nutshell trip. It is a series of trains, buses and ships which shows you fiords and beautiful country. It is about 10 hours but well worth it. There is no hand holding or person, just tickets but it works quite well if you can get around and feel comfortable travelling on your own. We loved the trip and I guess the only negative was trying to book a future trip. We met with the future trip person and just did not enjoy the experience. I liked the option, just not the experience and we chose not to book. In summary, Viking ships, crew and experiences are great!!! we plan to come back in the future. One final note- if both you and your wife drink, the drink option is a good deal for part of your trip. We did not do it, but some of our friends did and loved it. Also, since we were travelling just with us, it allowed us to meet some amazing new friends we hope to see in the future! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was a fantastic vacation. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. We visited all of the countries in the United Kingdom and finished in Bergen, Norway. We always felt so comfortable on board and welcomed by the Viking ... Read More
This was a fantastic vacation. We picked this cruise because of the itinerary. We visited all of the countries in the United Kingdom and finished in Bergen, Norway. We always felt so comfortable on board and welcomed by the Viking Staff. This was the longest cruise we have ever undertaken and we were more than pleased. Heather Clancy, the Cruise Director, and her crew were fantastic. They entertained us with at different show every night. Elvis even made an appearance on board. The Viking Band was great. Dancing under the stars provided a great memory. The Restaurants provide excellent food and service. The specialty restaurants are not to be missed. Wine and Beer were provided at all lunch and dinners at no charge. I would highly recommend the purchase of Silver Drink package (Upgrade). The Buffet is one the best I have experienced. Viking provided excellent exclusions at every port, at no charge. Shuttles were also provided at most ports, free of charge. At Edinburgh, because of windy weather conditions, the ship could not tender the passengers to Edinburgh. The Captain and crew decided to dock further upstream. The crew jumped through hoops to provide transportation (free) into the heart of the city. Other cruise lines, in port, just anchored and the passengers lost the opportunity to visit Edinburgh. All in all we had a great time and thank the Viking Crew and staff for a great vacation. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The British isles were on our list and this itinerary and timing was perfect. A couple of extra days in London and also Bergen were ideal to really see those cities. We chose Viking Ocean because we had wonderful memories from our river ... Read More
The British isles were on our list and this itinerary and timing was perfect. A couple of extra days in London and also Bergen were ideal to really see those cities. We chose Viking Ocean because we had wonderful memories from our river cruises. This ship was so terrific that it's not possible to list all the amenities! From our cabin with heated bathroom floor to the fabulous food everywhere it was perfect. Many places to get away from a crowd with no casino, lots of game tables, a lovely spa, interactive art displays, and the great Viking app for our phones, The daily tours were very well organized with great local guides. The staff was multi talented from waiting tables to performing at night...where do they find these talented people? So many thanks to you Viking, for fabulous memories,....we look forward to another trip with you in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise because our friends were going. The itinerary was through the British Isles. I really liked Norway and many of the stops in Scotland were nice. Britain and Ireland were great as well. Could’ve used one or two less ... Read More
We chose this cruise because our friends were going. The itinerary was through the British Isles. I really liked Norway and many of the stops in Scotland were nice. Britain and Ireland were great as well. Could’ve used one or two less stops in Scotland as many were simply fishing villages on a little island. Would rather have stayed in one of the cities such as Edinburgh longer.Some of the included tours got to be a bit dull as all we did was ride around on a bus and things were pointed out to us. Would’ve liked to have covered less distance and done more walking. The service and the food was outstanding. The wait staff was very attentive and helpful. Could maybe have used a little more activity at night. The booking of excursions was somewhat annoying as each level of cabin got to book their excursions on different days so the day we were able to book our excursions was crazy and hard to get online. Would like to have had more options for tours. Perhaps a few more active ones. Overall I would definitely do another Viking tour. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise, first, for the destination. We have always wanted to visit the British Isles. This cruise allowed us to get a taste of several countries, and multiple cities all in one vacation. We chose Viking because they offered ... Read More
We chose this cruise, first, for the destination. We have always wanted to visit the British Isles. This cruise allowed us to get a taste of several countries, and multiple cities all in one vacation. We chose Viking because they offered this trip, it also because the value of the cruise was well worth it. It is not the least expensive one out there, but we agree that it is of the best value. Some of the reasons to travel Viking are: no kids under 18, no casinos, no umbrella drinks, no upselling of products in the spa, no additional charges for excursions, no additional charges for specialty restaurants, no nickel and diming with pictures of you with the captain etc. This is an ADULT cruise for those who want to LEARN. Of course we also had a ton of fun, but this is not a party cruise. The ship itself was a floating palace. Beautiful, clean, simple Scandinavian decor, lovely colors mixed with creams, and the lighting was spectacular. Destination artwork and pictures decked the walls and seating areas. Food was amazing. Cleanest public restrooms I’ve ever seen! The entire ship was immaculate. They worked so hard at keeping things clean! Daily tea was served in the Wintergarden complete with loose leaf tea in pots, delicious scones and finger sandwiches. We took advantage of that as much as we could. Service was outstanding. We simply could not have asked for better. Anything we needed or wanted was ours. The destinations were incredible. Excursions were good. Most tour guides were very knowledgeable and helpful, with a few exceptions, but those guides didn’t work directly for Viking, and the ones we were disappointed in, we let Viking know. In addition, there were port talks given in advance to inform you about the port, and any last minute changes that were taking place. And the lectures by the resident historians were not only informative, but entertaining as well! Embarkation and Disembarkation went very smoothly. No troubles at all. I just can’t recommend Viking enough. You will NOT be disappointed! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
After 26 cruises this was our first on Viking; surely, not our last. I'll get over our one gripe first and move on to the positives. On the evening sail from Bergen, we visited the ship's apparel shop in search Viking's red ... Read More
After 26 cruises this was our first on Viking; surely, not our last. I'll get over our one gripe first and move on to the positives. On the evening sail from Bergen, we visited the ship's apparel shop in search Viking's red and white signature Dale of Norway sweater. My wife resisted buying other attractive sweaters in Bergen's shops with Viking's signature sweater in mind. The shop had no stock of size medium. The excuse was that they sold out on the last voyage. That is lame excuse since we just sailed from the cruise line's home port and the Dale of Norway production center. The salesman offered no recourse, eg. a special order that could be shipped home, and assumed a rather indignant, huffy attitude. The message. "Clients from the Bergen cruise origin aren't as worthy as those from the Greenwich start of the same cruise itinerary." That said, now to to the cruise. Despite scheduling 13 excursions in 11 ports over 13 days, we felt that this was one of our more relaxing cruises. The casual, unbustled on-board environment undoubtedly contributed to that feeling. We used Viking Air for flight arragements and arrived in Bergen around noon after a short connecting flight from Oslo. There were at least half a dozen Viking representatives at the airport to assist passengers and get us on the way to the ship. This exemplifies a typical pattern that we experienced on the whole cruise. Ample Viking staff are readily available where needed to assist customers. A seamless check-in at the port had us in our stateroom before the scheduled time. Our luggage had already been delivered, a first time experience on any cruise. The Atrium serves as the core public area from deck 1 to 3. Above The Viking Living Room on deck 1 with its nooks of lounge furniture, book collections and artwork, deck 2 has a perimeter balcony with lounge and table game areas and deck 3 features sitting areas along with exhibits of Norwegan traditional ceremonial dress; deck 2 has a nook with Viking cultural artifacts. My wife, a serious fiber spinner, delighted in the spinning artifacts. Stateroom corridors and public areas abound with artwork. Explanatory narratives are available through an on-board dedicated phone app. At the head of the grand staircase in The Atrium is a 2-deck electronic panel with changing images of Norwegan and Viking culture and the voyage's port areas. Beneath the staircase is a garden of multi-colored visual delights. At the deck 1 staricase base performance space features daily soothing classical performances on the Steinway by Olga, resident pianist, and the Viking classsical duo on violin and cello. Other performances included well chosen port-based ensembles providing local cultural programs and the ship's staff who shared diverse talents. Deck 7 offers other retreats at Mamsen's, where light fare is available, and in the Explorer's Lounge with its bow views and bar. A mezanine extension of the Explorer's Lounge on Deck 8 privised additional views and seating nooks. Midship on Deck 7 is The Wintergarden, a quiet retreat where most afternoons feature Afternoon Tea at 4:00 with the accompaniement of the ships classical artists. The pool area expands lounging and eating space, all or part of which can be covered by the retractable roof. Special buffets and entertainment are features. And for the always exposed to the elements, there is the infinity pool on the stern outside The World Cafe. And, back to deck 1 for Torshaven, a cozy club like venue for seminars and evening dancing from 9:00 to Midnight. The Star Theater's informal lounge atmosphere is a relaxing place for tour meet-up and for guest lecturer presentations. Sofa pillows with images of Norwegan performance and artistic celebraties on one side and the autograph on the other typify the Viking touch. Four lecturers on our voyage informed and entertained us. To celebrate the July 20, 1969, moon landing, retired USAF pilot and astronaut Karol Bobko shared experiences and related the technoogy of space exploration. He also gave presentations in the shipboard planetariumn on deck 8. Ship passengers celebrated the moon landing at 8:17pm on July 20th with pastries in the Atrium that included a chocolate replica of Apollo 11. William Thayer's lectures offered insight into the energy production technologies that are active in he North Sea. Other topics included the British pursuit and sinking of the Bismarck in WWII and the "Breaking if the Enigma Machine," a step in the development of today's digital computers. Dr.Michael Fuller combined archaeological artifacts with historical evidence in lectures about Viking and Northern European history. (Without historical documentation, archaelogy is speculation.) Particularly interesting was his presentation on the Hanseatic League. He met with passengers in nooks around the ship to pursue a variety of individual interests. Notable is Russell Lee, who synthasized complex topics from history and current events into connections that are often missed among the detail of events. He was literally up-to-date, including his visuals, with his Brexit presentation on the day that Boris Johnson became the UK's PM. Outstanding was Lee's presentation "Baa, Baa Black Sheep - How Wool Transformed Medieval Europe." He included his wife demonstating a centuries old spindle technique that persists today in spinning yarn. The only tidbit he omitted, according to my wife, was how the word "sabotage" became part of our vocabulary because of the industrialization of weaving. If you miss the lecture theater presentation, it's available 3 hours later on the ship's TV, not just an fuzzy video of the stage presentation, but with the presenter in a quarter panel and sharp graphics taking up the rest of the screen. Great Viking Jupiter production team! While on technology, kudos to the full-time internet service included in the cruise fare. Wi-fi access is throughout the ship, and there are desk top PCs located in a "nook" of The Living Room. Most passengers used their own devices. An on-board "trechie" can assist. Viking Jupiter's internet service is the fastest, most reliable that we have experienced on a cruise ship. Also, amenities include wine (red and white) and beer (light and dark). Menu beverages have a modest charge, eg., $7.50 (including gratuity) for a Manhattan. No charge for all the bottled water you want. And, no charge for the daily refrigerator set up of soft drings, snacks, and Toblerone chocolates. Spa facilities have no surcharge.. Unwind in a sauna, a cold tub, the Snow Room, a hot whirlpool or churning pool. An ample variety of standard fitness equipment is also available.Spa treatments are available at fees comparable to other cruise lines. While I was pleased with a massage, my wife was less so with her facial. She noted a harsh abrasive material used on the skin that she hasn't experienced before. And, after leaving the spa, she discovered unpleasant blotches of a greasy cream on her skin. And, let me not forget the included excellent self-serve laundry facilities on 4 of the 6 cabin decks (soap is included). So nice not to be nickeled and dimed. One can opt for individual paid launtry at reasonable rates. Repeat: So nice not to be nickeled and dimed. For us a genuine surprise was a bottle of sparkling wine and cake delivered to our stateroom. Viking graciously added to celebrating our 50 years of marriage. And, the on-board dining; overall - excellent. Several individual dishes were too salty (some chefs know only that "spice"). We didn't eat at Mamsens, noted for light fare, but enjoyed the no-surcharge specialty venues. First night out was The Chef's table featuring regional Nordic cuisine. International cuisines rotate avery few days. We chose the Nordic which was excellently prepared and plated for full enjoyment. We also enjoyed an evening in Manfredi's Italian Restaurant, where portions easily contribute to expected weight gain on a cruise. One can book as many meals in these restaurants as there is availability. The Restaurant is the main dinner venue with multiple sections that avoid the "heard feeling" on other cruise lines; one can actually enjoy conversation without straining. Overall excellent well plated dishes with reasonable portions served by attentive staff who remember us when we repeat at their tables. Thank you, Henry for your songs and attentive service. For a snack, on the pool deck, light fare is available, including what may be the best hamburger at sea. Vegans can also indulge. And, The World Cafe serves for a breakfast buffet as well as lunch and dinner. Customized omlets are worth the few minutes' wait. Sometimes staff were overwhelmed by passenger needs, but they were attentive and (with few exceptions) handle the demands well. Buffet food is among the best we have had. Do no pass on the ice cream and pastry selections. Seek out the daily pizza options that go well with a Viking beer at lunch. As related above, Viking clientele are learners. Each port includes one tour. Additional, paid tours are available. Most included tours are city drive throughs with a couple of stops. Our Dublin 3 hour city tour had an excellent guide. He related neighborhood histories along with those of major monuments. He summarized economic conditions in the city and country as well as the possible Brexit impacts. Included was a 45 minute stop at Jubilee Gardens. We were able to hop off the bus to explore Temple Bar on our own. On the Orkney Islands the included tour got out of the port of Kirkwall into the countryside, and included a too brief stop in the seaside village of Stromners. My bride found a shop with her favorite roving from the native North Ronaldsay sheep - a breed that cannot be exported elsewhere in the world because of its particular seaweed diet. Plenty of time was allowed for a stop at the neolithic Ring of Brodgar, a predecessor of Britian's more famous henge. Port Ulapool's included walking tour was perfect for getting a sense of a western Highlands Scottish seaside community, and included a pub stop with adult and bakery refreshments along with lively local music. We felt that the guide gave a reasonable overview of life in the community. Comments do not include all of out complimentary tours. Among the paid tours we enjoyed The Beatles Experience tour in Liverpool, except for the hot, stuffy museum at the end. Otherwise the ecellent guide and typically cramped bus seating are worth the effort for "Fab Four" fans. In Edinburgh the Rosslyn Chapel and Glenkinche Distillery tour were well done. One has to suffer an excessive crowd at the chapel. So, it takes effort to appreciate the complexity of the architectural gem. Do leave a few coins to support the chapel cat. The distillery tour with guide Willie was excellent; that's from a Kentucky resident bourbon enthusiast. Very disappointing for a train enthusiast was the Ffestiniog Railway and Lunch tour at the Holyhead port. We arrived at the train depot with barely enough time to board - no time for photos. Photo opps were "promised" at the terminus. By the time most of the photogs in our group got to the head of the train the engine was decoupled and on its way through the rail yard. Then, we had to rush to a bus to get to the next stop, lunch in a hotel in Betws-y-Coed with provided meal and time to wander the community that reminded me of Aspen, CO, without the opulence.We traveled through the Sodonia highlands, Wales slate producing region, distinct part of the UK. A positive with the Viking tours is that the limit seems to be around 25. So, one doesn't feel like part of ther herd. We took 7 included and 6 paid tours over the two weeks. So these comments offer only highlights. Preparing us for each port was a presentation by the cruise director and the shore excursion manager. Special kudos to Vicki, the cruise director. She was genuinely engaging and totally professional; and very unlike cruise directors on most prior non-Viking cruises, did not act like a clownish buffoon. I do fault the tour director, however, Javier, for a demonstrably lack of personal knowledge about some port tours. Debarkation, not a welcome 5:00am rise to be ready for our 6:15 group to end this Viking experience. In The Living Room we had fruit, breakfast pastry, and beverage options as we awaited our group call for airport transport. Friendly Viking staff were at every turn, literally as we left the ship. On the 90 minute bus ride to London-Heathrow Airport, a Viking representive gave us a guided narration through the London neighborhoods and assisted at our airport arrival. As my wife said, "This is one cruise that we return from without needing a vacation." Thanks Viking staff and Viking Jupiter crew. We'll be back! Lecturer quality is one reason for booking an Inside Passage Alaska cruise for 2020. It will be our fifth in the region. We look forward to the Viking difference. Finally, I have kept a spreadsheet for costs on prior 26 cruises and on this Viking cruise. For comparable 2 week cruises our Viking costs were only $300.00 more. I attribute this to the longer air distance to Norway. By comparison to US carriers, SAS to Norway and BA from London to the US provided FAR SUPERIOR comfort, food, service, and amenities in the same passenger class, Economy Comfort/Economy Plus or equivalent level. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Sailed on several Viking River Cruises and wanted to experience Viking Ocean. Great cruise, ship and staff. The port stops were great; however, I think Viking could have provided more quality in their included shore excursions. In ... Read More
Sailed on several Viking River Cruises and wanted to experience Viking Ocean. Great cruise, ship and staff. The port stops were great; however, I think Viking could have provided more quality in their included shore excursions. In addition, the same time frame for booking shore excursions should be given to all passengers and not be prioritized based on what you paid for your cabin. We found the restaurant and bar staff very superior when compared to a number of our previous cruises. We thought the food included adequate variety and was delicious. The ship had a great spa area, it was never too crowded. The complimentary wine and beer for lunch and dinner was very much appreciated. Very relaxing and enjoyable cruise. The one day at sea was relaxing and enjoyable. The newness of the ship provided for a very clean and enjoyable environment. Viking Ocean and River Cruises are wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The cruise exceeded our expectations in every way. • The ship and our room were gorgeous. Every aspect of the ship was lovely and we never felt like we were crowed. • The ports were well chosen.It was a wonderful way to see ... Read More
The cruise exceeded our expectations in every way. • The ship and our room were gorgeous. Every aspect of the ship was lovely and we never felt like we were crowed. • The ports were well chosen.It was a wonderful way to see lots of different ports some of them quite remote--Shetland Islands and Orkney. • There were many available excursions.There were excursions form every interest and plenty of information if you wished to do things on your own. The included excursions were always enjoyable. • The on-board food was very good, if not often exceptional. It was great to eat when/where you liked. Again, the dinning areas never felt crowded. Having wine and beer included at meals was a treat.. • The on-board washer and dryer were very helpful. Soap was included and we brought laundry sheets so we were all set. We will definitely look at Viking for our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose Viking Cruises because of its' reputation as being the best cruise line in the industry. The British Isles Explorer cruise allowed us to see ports we had not visited before in Norway, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, ... Read More
We chose Viking Cruises because of its' reputation as being the best cruise line in the industry. The British Isles Explorer cruise allowed us to see ports we had not visited before in Norway, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Ireland and England. The included tours were excellent. In fact' we added 4 tours (total 18) to insure we saw all the things we wanted to see during our 14 day cruise. The ship was fastidious, the crew was efficient, friendly and accommodating. Food was very good and plentiful. Complimentary wine and beer with lunch and dinner a definite plus. Stocked minirefrigerator with free soft drinks and snacks unheard of. On board entertainment exceptional. Everything about the cruise was beyond our expectations. Even warm wash cloths handed to us when we returned from our tours. Talk about being pampered!! In our minds, Viking set the benchmark for excellence and we would be hard pressed to choose another cruise line in the future. What a wonderful time we had! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My husband, Ed, and I chose this cruise because of the excellent reviews that it has received. Every aspect of the cruise was great! The restaurants were delicious. I would recommend that the Chef's Table change their menu ... Read More
My husband, Ed, and I chose this cruise because of the excellent reviews that it has received. Every aspect of the cruise was great! The restaurants were delicious. I would recommend that the Chef's Table change their menu daily or have more options for people to choose from. The service was exemplary! In the World Café, there were a few female servers who could have smiled more often! I would also recommend to have more time in between the tours that require a tender such as in Edinburgh. The tour guides on the excursions were by and large excellent! The tours were very well done! It was particularly helpful to have the previews the day before! The Jupiter was a beautiful ship! We enjoyed all of our time on it. The entertainment on the ship was absolutely outstanding!!! We also really enjoyed the planetarium shows. Our cabin was terrify,c and the service of our cabin steward was exemplary! He was so considerate and thoughtful! This was truly a trip of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was an amazing cruise and was my 1st cruise experience. Loved the talks onboard the ship including having an astronaut to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. Service on the ship was excellent at all times. My wife's ... Read More
This was an amazing cruise and was my 1st cruise experience. Loved the talks onboard the ship including having an astronaut to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. Service on the ship was excellent at all times. My wife's main focus was on Liverpool and London as she is a Beatles fanatic. She loved the excursions we did. I'm not much of drinker but found that I really liked the variety of wines served during lunch and dinner. We missed our connecting flight to Bergen but Viking made sure we made it to the boat on time. Our luggage didn't arrive with us in Bergen but the Viking rep at the airport filed all the paperwork for us as we didn't have time. The followed up with daily reports on were our luggage was and did our laundry for the 3 days we didn't have our luggage. The gave us a shipboard credit for the luggage issue. We liked our cruise so much that we have booked a river cruise and another ocean cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We wanted to see the British Isles and this seemed to be the best way to do so. The Sun is a beautiful ship. The service was fantastic. The on board experience with Viking Ocean rivals the other top of the line cruise lines. However, ... Read More
We wanted to see the British Isles and this seemed to be the best way to do so. The Sun is a beautiful ship. The service was fantastic. The on board experience with Viking Ocean rivals the other top of the line cruise lines. However, unless you book in one of the most expensive cabins, by the time you are allowed to book shore excursions, which are booked on a priority basis, the best times for included excursions (that were nothing more than a bus ride around town) and the best optional excursions were already booked and not available. As a result we will never use Viking Ocean again. We paid over $15,000 for the cruise and were only able to book 2 optional excursions of our choice. An example, the Beatles Experience in Liverpool was completely booked but the excursion was only a bus ride around town stopping at various places. Why not add a couple of additional buses? Same thing with a neat hike that entailed a bus ride and then a 1-2 hour hike. Why not just add additional buses? Viking is notorious for not listening to their passengers. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We wanted to do a British Isle Cruise. It exceeded expectations. Loved the ship, excursions, service and food. The overview of the next port each day was really helpful. The Tour Guides for the most part really enhanced the trip. Guides in ... Read More
We wanted to do a British Isle Cruise. It exceeded expectations. Loved the ship, excursions, service and food. The overview of the next port each day was really helpful. The Tour Guides for the most part really enhanced the trip. Guides in Greenwich, Dublin, Belfast and Bergen were especially memorable. The options at the World Cafe were plentiful and excellent. Loved the breakfast pastries and 9 ice cream choices at lunch and dinner. Of course the complimentary beer and wine kept the bar bill down. Having a night cap at the Explorer Lounge was a great way to end the day. Drink prices were more than reasonable and made one feel like a guest rather than being taken advantage of The Deluxe Veranda room was comfortable, and efficiently designed. Viking does everything to make the trip comfortable and airport transportation was as smooth as possible. You can’t go wrong if you choose this cruise Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Viking Rep met us at the plane and helped us navigate Heathrow. Because we had a pre-cruise package, we were handed off to a limo driver, who was excellent. We thoroughly enjoyed the stay in London at the Conrad St. James. The ship ... Read More
Viking Rep met us at the plane and helped us navigate Heathrow. Because we had a pre-cruise package, we were handed off to a limo driver, who was excellent. We thoroughly enjoyed the stay in London at the Conrad St. James. The ship was all we hoped for, and more, We usually had breakfast and lunch at the World Cafe, because of its convenience, variety, and quality. Food and beverages were delightful and the waitstaff was very good, often excellent. Our dinners were in the Restaurant, but we especially enjoyed visit to the Chef's Table and Manfredi's.  Shore excursions were good-to-outstanding. One disappointment was that, because of the docking requirements, getting to the city or attraction could be time-consuming, thereby detracting from the time we had to explore the attraction, and sometimes a little stressful -- as, for example, imprecise directions for shuttle pickup in Dublin. Guides were generally excellent, with good communication skills and knowledge of the attraction. An inevitable disappointment was that, unlike the river cruise we took in 2014, the "included" excursion didn't always provide a comprehensive overview, and time in port was short enough that many "optional tours" overlapped with the included ones. We loved the sights of the British Isles, especially the northern Scotland islands, and we plan to come back to Edinburgh because we didn't get enough in one day. Our extension in Norway, despite a largely redundant second tour of Bergen after disembarkation and a less-than-ideal hotel choice (hotel choice in Oslo was inspired!), turned wonderful when we got on the train along the fjords and over the mountains, and that buzz lasted until we reluctantly accepted that the shuttle really was taking us to the airport, to leave beautiful Oslo behind. Will we go again? Absolutely. But we may opt for the more intimate River cruises, in which the shore excursions were predictably effective overviews of the destination. And we'll find our way back to Edinburgh, Liverpool, and perhaps add in a couple of inland cities on our own. A great way to celebrate our 55th. Well played, Viking. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
On the June 30th Jupiter sailing. What a disaster, As other posters have stated there was an electrical issue with the engine. The same situation as an earlier sailing on a totally different boat. These are new boats, one would expect ... Read More
On the June 30th Jupiter sailing. What a disaster, As other posters have stated there was an electrical issue with the engine. The same situation as an earlier sailing on a totally different boat. These are new boats, one would expect issues to not arise so soon. Because of the warranty parts had to be flown in and it took two days in a terrible industrial port. We ended up missing both of the Scottish islands on the tour and it just set a bad mood for the rest of the trip. In all honesty, probably 50% of the excursions were terrible. Really they need to totally scrub their excursion department and start all over. No matter how hard they tried, it was a total misstep. We had done two River cruises with Viking which were A+ but the ocean cruise opened our eyes. Viking is nothing more than a company and we are paying them for a product of which they do not care. If they did, their executives would take these cruises and do these excursions themselves. But they want us to pay, and when it is a disaster, they want to give us a voucher to book another cruise. It’s a win-win for them and a total loss for the consumer. But the worst was to come, we did the Iceland extension. Not only was it the lamest thing I have ever done, it was embarrassing how the whole thing was handled. Basically they dump you at the airport for Iceland and you never see a Viking person again. The excursions were ridiculous, the people who are your escorts on the excursion extremely inept. Viking contracts to a local Iceland tour company and so as the monies are distributed people want to get as much of the pie as they can. Viking takes their cut, the travel company takes their cut which means cost cutting occurs. Our hotel was filthy. I took pictures and sent to Viking and of course I was told how much they were so sorry we were not enjoying it and they hoped we enjoyed the remainder of our trip. It’s almost a cut-and-paste response that I have seen on all reviews. They really don’t care, if they did they would come up with a new response. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
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