3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We Carefully Choose viking Orion for our Alaska cruise when first available in 2016 because of ships open vista views and as a small ship also very importantly the itinerary and full package details . As our first Viking voyage we have ... Read More
We Carefully Choose viking Orion for our Alaska cruise when first available in 2016 because of ships open vista views and as a small ship also very importantly the itinerary and full package details . As our first Viking voyage we have been very satisfied and loved the ship it’s ambience decor space and lovely staff. With the amazing Alaskan scenery and fantastic wildlife and wilderness al around us we had one of our best ever holidays thank you viking, We started with a pre cruise in Vancouver lovely city, wonderful hotel by the bay , the pre cruise tour and lunch alfresco after boarding and sail out was lovely with seaplanes landing and taking off around us , and boats of all descriptions paddle steamers , sailing and small pleasure cruising craft to other ships then the cruise up the inside passage humpbacks sighting wonderful scenery sunsets and all enhanced by the ship! Really very good food right through the voyage onboard Orion majority of our meals we ate seafood,. Enjoyed all of the restaurants onboard, open seating only waited the once for a table but seated in restaurant reception with offers of drinks! There’s also a bar in the restaurant where you can have a pre dinner drinks . We enjoyed all our ports of calls and trips with only one complaint about the lunch on our Haines bear search and wildlife tour which was dealt with with a small refund to compensate however no bears seen but then that’s wildlife although we were probably not going to see any as Haines had hosted the state fair a few days earlier, trip highlights amazing Juneau glacier helicopter and dogsledding and glacier and whales trips , Valdez sail out amazing beautiful weather swimming in the infinity pool and hot tub and escorted out by high speed coast guard rigid inflatable with machine gun mounted and manned past all the Valdez salmon fishing fleets which were laying nets ! A James Bond moment! Dinner that evening a favourite with to start soft shell crab , lobster Thermidor and desert a lovely soufflé , with lovely wines and all made exceptional by Alaska delivering with beautiful scenery and Orca’s seen alongside during dinner !!! A Most memorable evening I must also thank the staff on Orion Nearly all were fantastic except for the future cruise lady? The shows on board such a small ship were all delivered by the Orion team and were excellent thank you to Jade And Karine and speedy and the viking band also bar waiters stewards Ivan and Corrinia ? Overall a fantastic holiday experience one of our very best highly recommend this voyage and ship if viking can keep price correct Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We had been on many of the cruise lines in the past but really preferred the river cruise to the save my pool lounge chair mentality. So we thought we would give Viking Ocean cruise a try due to the number of people. We are so glad we ... Read More
We had been on many of the cruise lines in the past but really preferred the river cruise to the save my pool lounge chair mentality. So we thought we would give Viking Ocean cruise a try due to the number of people. We are so glad we did... specialty dining was so great. Easy dealing with food allergies too. The World Cafe was our choice most of the time. Great selection and after a full day of excursions we enjoyed cocktails and casual dining. The spa is the surprise. Beautiful facility open for all for free without scheduling a service. We enjoyed that daily. We also took advantage of the silver package. The wines and top shelf vodka was such a deal!! We are planning our next and will be going with Viking again. Alaska vista was indescribable, the captain did an amazing job getting us so close to Hubbard glacier and rotating 360 so everyone had a front row seat! Thanks to all Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We have done 3 Viking River cruises and enjoyed them all. So, we decided it was time to try a Viking Ocean cruise. First and foremost, Viking needs to have BETTER included excursions. In just about every port the included excursion was ... Read More
We have done 3 Viking River cruises and enjoyed them all. So, we decided it was time to try a Viking Ocean cruise. First and foremost, Viking needs to have BETTER included excursions. In just about every port the included excursion was really no better than us getting off the ship to explore the little Alaska town we were in. In-fact, in Ketichikan we bought our own tickets to attend a "Lumberjack Show" (lasted just over 1 hr), and they cost $35pp. Why couldn't Viking have offered that as an included excursion? Bottom Line: Offer better included excursions and try and have more than 1 available in each port! Second, remove the curtains in the "Living Room", by the coffee bar and on the 2nd level. You can't see thru this material and it would be nice while your having a drink or coffee to see the scenery!! Third, you REALLY need to train your bartenders better. After trying two Pina Colada's and a frozen Daiquiri I gave up on any frozen offering. Each time the ice was not pulverized enough so when you tried using the straw, it would always get clogged. And yes, I went to THREE different bars and had the same very poor results. Hell, the first time my wife ordered a Banana Daiquiri, they brought it to her in a martini glass. No kidding, a Martini glass. Lastly, the entertainment was, for the most part, a joke. Every night a member of the ship's staff "entertained". The 4-some (2 guys, 2 gals) who did the Beatles show and the Abba show did a pretty good job, but the overall result was very un-polished and amateurish. We never (on a 10-night cruise), had a "head-liner" or a professional comedian or magician. Kudo's to the guys and gals who worked the stage EVERY night, but they should be "fill-in" acts not the main show each and EVERY night!!! If VIKING wants to compete with Azamara and Oceania they need to heed these words and I am sure the words of many other seasoned travelers. We have done one Azamara cruise, and VIKING isn't even close to them when it comes to food quality (and choices), entertainment, and overall service. We haven't tried Oceania yet, but have friends who have done both (Viking and Oceania), and MUCH prefer Oceania. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our 4th Viking Ocean cruise and it pains me to only give the Orion a 4 star review. The Orion is definitely NOT an example of the Viking Ocean quality we have experienced on past cruises. Many new cruisers we talked to said ... Read More
This was our 4th Viking Ocean cruise and it pains me to only give the Orion a 4 star review. The Orion is definitely NOT an example of the Viking Ocean quality we have experienced on past cruises. Many new cruisers we talked to said they would not sail Viking again. Viking did a terrible job with communication. Our cruise documents stated we were sailing out of Yokohama, we sailed out of Tokyo Bay which created problems for those who booked hotels in Yokohama. Apparently due to the cruise being advertised as 23 days (it was 22 days) many had flights out of Vancouver the day after we arrived, plus Viking didn't have a berth for the ship so they offloaded our baggage in the middle of the night and then anchored in Vancouver Harbor. We had to tender for disembarkation. It was not as bad as it could have been but the next cruise pax were not allowed to board until 5:30 pm. that evening. FOOD: Manfredi's: food was sub par at best with entrees being so overcooked they were mostly inedible. The service was absolutely terrible. We ate there three times and cancelled our 4th reservation. Chef's Table: We had 4 meals there and most were excellent (didn't like the California one). The service was superior. For a 22 day cruise there were only 6 different menus so the choices were minimal. World Cafe: Eggs benedict under warming lights, no longer cooked to order. Omelette station nice, but the wait, long. The selection for both breakfast and lunch was tedious with most entrees tasting the same. All curries tasted alike. Sandwiched were no longer made to order. Main complaint however was the service with most waiters really not knowing what to do. At most breakfasts and lunches we were not offered beverages until our meal was almost finished. Restaurant: Most meals very good with a good selection to choose from. We would have liked to see some local offerings like Alaska Salmon, since we were in Alaska but none was offered. The service here was very spotty, some nights excellent, some nights not. In general most supervisors in the different restaurants seemed untrained and lazy, not really seeing the problems. Entertainment: Very good Port Talks: OK Enrichment: Very Good Cabin Stewards: Excellent Embarkation: Very good Disembarkation: Tenders Excursions: Nothing exceptional, except for expensive optional tours, mostly which were good. Planetarium: Interesting but a bit over hyped. Explorer's Lounger: Excellent servers We have signed up for another Viking Ocean Cruise so haven't given up on Viking. We just feel the crew in general needed more direction and training. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our third cruise with Viking ocean. We chose this trip for the itinerary. We had never been to Asia and liked the ports in both Asia and Alaska. Crossing the Int’l Dateline added to the attraction. We were in the Orion in ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Viking ocean. We chose this trip for the itinerary. We had never been to Asia and liked the ports in both Asia and Alaska. Crossing the Int’l Dateline added to the attraction. We were in the Orion in Jan-Feb visiting New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia. This crew was better trained and worked well together. We were pleased with most aspects of the ship. A few little things need work, but nothing major. You know what you get with Viking-it is an older crowd but activities/entertainment were sufficient for us. While some of the entertainment was the same, they did a good job at adding new entertainers. As Viking enters new parts of the world they are learning their way with shore excursions and local customs. Shore excursions were well managed. They do a good job at calling people at the right time and keep waiting times to a minimum. Checkin staff did a great job. Local guides were good. A sufficient level of activities were offered. EMBARKATION a breeze. You can arrive well before your checkin time. You are greeted with a glass of champagne and invited to use the open restaurants. Your luggage will be in your room by your assigned checkin time. DISEMBARKATION-we had a curve thrown as we could not stay in port because of too many ships in Vancouver. Luggage was offloaded in the middle of the night. We didn’t hear a thing. We disembarked via tender according to flight times. Full breakfast services available. You had to be out of your stateroom by 10am. Tenders left according to schedule with staff assisting everyone. Our luggage was waiting at our terminal at the airport. One of the most efficient operations we have experienced. CABINS Deck 3. Be careful of location. Torshavn noise is audible almost every night. Not late into the night, but it may bother some. A very convenient deck. DINING-Dining room and World Cafe offered a varied selection. Soups could use some improvement. Replenishment of eating utensils/napkins was too slow. Chef’s table-staff could use better training. One visit we had two wine pairings and no food. The French menu was too rich; not a good balance between first and main courses. Manfredi’s was very good, but don’t try to have pasta as a separate course-throws them off! SERVICE in general was excellent. Lounges and bar waiters were great. Most were very personable-not long before they know your name and cabin #! Room steward was wonderful-Edwin. SHIP-beautifully appointed. Always spotless. This ship has a dome. I don’t think this is a feature that will be included in the rest of the fleet. Makes the 8th floor area very hot. Eliminates a nice viewing/drinking area. Don’t know if that is the reason why the 7th floor area of the Explorers lounge tends to be cold. The skins on the sofas are starting to shed. Most people rolled them back to protect their clothing! PORTS/excursions. Viking’s first visits to ports can present problems. Most of our excursions were organized. In cases where we took local shuttles the scheduled were mixed. We ended up seeing what we wanted to see. ACTIVITIES-a little more variety on sea days would have been good as this was a long cruise. Lectures varied and sufficient. Like the ability to view the port talk in your cabin on the following day. Very good selection of shows/movies on the in-room system. Free internet a great feature-reception was generally good. Suggestions-have hot water in the World Cafe for hand-washing. There were some illness problems. The internet system in the room for onboard account, reservations, etc needs immediate help. The ship can not control or correct any errors. The dining for Chef’s Table had the wrong info for almost 8 days. The general website also had errors for our trip. The map wasn’t corrected until a few days before we sailed. On board future booking-a great offer that we used. However, you need to book a specific cruise that you know you won’t be using. Mucks up the booking system for other Viking customers and the whole reservation system. Viking needs to keep its attention to detail at a high level as they release the rest of the fleet! We will sail with them again! Read Less
30 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I was attracted by the destinations and the hype surrounding Viking Ocean Cruises. The ship is beautifully equipped with all modern facilities. Like a beautiful woman until the true character is exposed. The Ship lacked Soul. ... Read More
I was attracted by the destinations and the hype surrounding Viking Ocean Cruises. The ship is beautifully equipped with all modern facilities. Like a beautiful woman until the true character is exposed. The Ship lacked Soul. Furnishings were like Ikea on steroids. There were few activities apart from some excellent speakers and an outstanding performance by 4 dancers and singers. appearing only 3 times in 15 days. Another evening a Kabuki dance by locals was fascinating. People just hung out in corners of the ship reading and relaxing. They were entertained by 2 violinists and at other times by a pianist. Some passengers looked like they had passed away. Nothing much else to do. Excursions were disappointing. The one we looked so forward to going on was cancelled due to low support and the others didn't flow particularly smoothly. Food was the redeeming feature. It was excellent. Service was friendly and almost efficient. Our cabin attendant was very good. Embarkation was smooth and well organised. It would appear that Viking may be growing too quickly since there was what appeared to be inefficient administration processes. On one of our excursions we were instructed in the Newsletter to present in the Theatre for re-direction to our Buses. We had to meet by 1.45pm. Some 50 passengers turned up. But at 2pm when our Bus was due to leave, no staff appeared. A passenger then rang Guest Services to see what was going on and was then told we were supposed to meet on the Pier. No one told us!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have cruised on numerous ocean cruises over the past ten years including Princess, Regent, Oceania, and National Geographic. Viking Ocean will now be our "go to" cruise line unless we are seeking an expedition cruise. ... Read More
We have cruised on numerous ocean cruises over the past ten years including Princess, Regent, Oceania, and National Geographic. Viking Ocean will now be our "go to" cruise line unless we are seeking an expedition cruise. Everyone's cruising style is different, but Viking is perfect for us. Our reasons include what they don't have, no children, no casino, no Vegas style shows, no butlers, and no formal nights, to what they do have - sleek, Scandinavian design with room for everyone, focus on educational lectures, focus on classical music, the most amazing spa and fitness center at sea, fabulous food with no charge speciality restaurants, and wine and beer with lunch and dinner. We had a penthouse veranda and it was wonderful. Maybe a bit more closet space would have been nice. The bathroom was our favorite ever with it's roomy shower and heated floor. I would chose the same cabin when we cruise with them again. As mentioned by others, Viking needs to work on their shore excursions. We were on a new itinerary so maybe that was part of the problem. They definitely need to invest in new listening devices. But overall, we have found our new favorite cruise line and can't wait to sail with Viking again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We really loved our Viking cruise and as Viking regulars appreciated the familiarity and excellent service from the very friendly staff. I will get the negatives out of the way straight away - there are administrative shortfalls on board. ... Read More
We really loved our Viking cruise and as Viking regulars appreciated the familiarity and excellent service from the very friendly staff. I will get the negatives out of the way straight away - there are administrative shortfalls on board. These may be common to all the ships - there are many minor administrative errors between finance, guest relations and excursions. There has been some reorganisation since the early days and things have definitely gone backwards in this area. We had several finance errors on our account which needed resolution. On the other hand we do love Viking - the food on board was very good indeed - I don't think we had a bad meal in a month, We enjoyed all the restaurants several times. There were a few issues with room service breakfast on the first sector, and also the bar staff could be "variable". There were a lot of crew changes during the month we were on board and this could make things difficult I am sure. Our cabin stewards were amazing for the full four weeks. The entertainment is low key which we like but there is always something to do if that is what you want or a nice corner in which to read and chill. We went from Bangkok to Tokyo and enjoyed the schedule very much indeed. It can be a challenging programme and those with limited mobility should think twice before heading out into Asia . Overall we were very pleased and have no hesitation in booking with Viking again. We think the value for money equation compared to the competitors is excellent and are very satisfied. It could be really excellent if the problems are properly addressed. There is no point in expanding fast if the standards cannot be maintained. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We are loyal Viking River cruisers (5 trips) and decided to give Viking Ocean a try. We have traveled on other ocean cruise lines. Generally, things went pretty well for us, though there were a few bumps during the first couple of days. ... Read More
We are loyal Viking River cruisers (5 trips) and decided to give Viking Ocean a try. We have traveled on other ocean cruise lines. Generally, things went pretty well for us, though there were a few bumps during the first couple of days. We love the Viking Orion. With only about 900 passengers, it is small and intimate but still has everything we wanted. If you are looking for casinos or large Vegas-style reviews - the Viking Orion is not for you. The good: wine and beer included with meals, free internet, free launderette, free excursion in each port, heated bathroom floors, comfortable beds, adequate sized cabins, alternate restaurants included, outstanding lecturers and speakers, friendly & efficient crew, good food selection and preparation, verandas on all cabins, the "Explorer Dome". Ample storage in cabins. Certain class cabins get free minibar and laundry. Awesome use of state of the art technology everywhere on board. Spa area. Many quiet comfortable spaces to read and relax. Infinity pool. Musicians and singers were all good. What we thought could be improved: Dining Room was crowded - seemed like there were too many tables for the space. Excursions - We usually take the "Easy or Leisurely" excursions due to some mobility issues - Choices were limited. Need magnifying makeup mirror in bathroom or elsewhere in cabin. Itinerary - Bali to Hong Kong - Sihanoukville, Cambodia is awful. Dirty, polluted - No reason for any passenger to go there. Singapore - Needed an overnight there - not just one day. Vietnam, Singapore, Kuala Lampur, Bangkok, Bali, Hong Kong were all very good . Indonesian ports other than Bali were just okay - not great. We'll cruise again with Viking Ocean, but will carefully select the itinerary based on Mobility-friendly excursions. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose the Viking Ocean cruise because we had done two Viking river cruises which were exceptional. So we were expecting the same on an ocean cruise. Not to be, alas! The ship itself, Orion, about 8 months old , is very well decorated ... Read More
We chose the Viking Ocean cruise because we had done two Viking river cruises which were exceptional. So we were expecting the same on an ocean cruise. Not to be, alas! The ship itself, Orion, about 8 months old , is very well decorated and spacious. Our room , a penthouse suite with veranda, suited us perfectly: spacious and lots of drawers. The bed was not comfortable: hard as rock. But when I told our cabin steward about this, he offered a topper...which made it a bit softer. Another drawback was a head shower that kept on swirling around every way but the right way! Like taking a shower with an attacking cobra!!! My husband took care of the problem by putting a bandaid on the collar of the shower head and forcing it to stay in the right position. Food was average. Sometimes awful: we asked for a hamburger well done. Came back almost raw. Included excursions were very disappointing. We were expecting guided tours but the guide was the bus driver. So he would stop and let us out on our own to explore. He would stay with the bus. Entertainment was very good. The personnel is absolutely marvellous, solicitous and caring. They treat you like royalty! But they have trouble speaking and understanding english. I would do another Viking river cruise but never another Viking ocean cruise. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
If you want a ship with a casino, climbing wall, giant water slide, etc., ignore this review and Viking Oceans. If you seek a family cruise with you and your (non-adult) children, look elsewhere. If you like cruising with thinking people ... Read More
If you want a ship with a casino, climbing wall, giant water slide, etc., ignore this review and Viking Oceans. If you seek a family cruise with you and your (non-adult) children, look elsewhere. If you like cruising with thinking people and a remarkably intelligent, attentive crew visiting an itinerary of a lifetime on an impeccable, smallish ship, read on. We are just back from Viking’s Grand Pacific Explorer cruise that traced all around the Pacific, roughly following the Ring of Fire from New Zealand through Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Russia (Siberia), across the Bering Sea, and down through Alaska to Vancouver. Portions of this 93-day itinerary were also available in smaller chunks of 15 to 23 days. As we came to realize, the guests on shorter legs were taking a cruise on the ship. We lived there. And it was fantastic. There were roughly two dozen of us who traveled the entire way and another fifteen or so who embarked in Sydney for 79 of the 93 days. All tolled, we traveled 19,919 nautical miles on the ship. Convert to statue miles and add on the air travel, and our adventure went far beyond the distance around the globe. What we learned: You can be happy on a Viking Oceans ship for a long time and still be happily married. Although our Penthouse Veranda was not the smallest stateroom, several of the Grand Voyagers were in the standard size (all veranda) staterooms, and there was at least one couple who survived and celebrated their 50th anniversary just afterward. The secret is the many varied public spaces on the ship. The Explorer’s Lounge is great 24/7, and you don’t have to order any booze to just sit and enjoy the view and read. Or converse in comfortable seating clusters. Add the quiet reading area in the deck 1 library, the exterior wings outside the Winter Garden, and various nooks and crannies. There is always somewhere to go. Crossing the equator and the International Dateline can be fun. Viking made sure we celebrated on both occasions. May 14 happened TWICE (thus 93 days, not 92)! The seas are never what you expect. Yes, the Tasman Sea can be “lively,” as can the Bass Strait above Tasmania, but even the Bering Sea is not necessarily going to be bad. If you count on good or bad seas, you won’t get them. It’ s pure luck. Siberia did kick up a ruckus for us for one day, but the Bering Sea was crazy calm! You will get to know the crew very, very well. They will bring you just about anything, anytime. Room service delivers ANYTHING on their menu for free anytime. Ask for the things you don’t see but crave. This applies to those on the ship for two short weeks or for three months. “Another latte, madame?” “A scone from tea in the Wintergarden?… sure I will get that for you.” The only cost is if you elect to drink alcohol from the bar. Those with the Silver Spirits package pay nothing. Others like us paid very reasonable prices with no added gratuities if we chose to drink. Of course, the minibar in our PV cabin had standard level booze and mixers of our choice, so we could always carry our own drinks to the lounge. If we had brought a bottle of our own on board-- no problem. They’ll even provide the glass and ice. No nickels. No dimes. There is a bar waiter, Ardel, who introduced me to an excellent formula for a top shelf margarita, now dubbed the “Ardel Margarita” by several of us who enjoyed it! The senior officers are incredible. Kudos to the general manager for most of our cruise, Joaquim Scherz, and to the restaurant manager Gerome Venon, for making our group of voyagers feel especially welcome and for preventing monotony from EVER setting in – as if that could happen with such a rich itinerary! Even the entertainment team added some new performances so we could enjoy the talents of two different Viking Bands who were onboard during our tenure and especially the excellent ensemble of four young Viking Vocalists Aoibhin, Jorgen, Dan, and Beth, whom we got to know quite well. (These four, by the way, were the first to be awarded a new contract by Viking to stay together on their next cruise in the Caribbean.) Kudos to cruise director Spencer who rose to the role on this, his first cruise in the position. When Viking says they are a family, they are serious. That includes the passengers. They know you. They figure you out within a few days, and they are all eager to make the cruise p-e-r-f-e-c-t. Your cabin steward knows when you are likely to be out and about or when you have an excursion scheduled. The ice is there every day on time. The things you store in you bathroom are arranged exactly as you like them. After a few days, people know your names. (The general manager told us he actually looks over each guest list in advance and learns names and scans for those he has met before.) We learned much about the way Viking hires, trains, and rotates its crew and senior officers. We boarded Viking Orion and saw crewmembers we had met four years ago on Viking Star, now promoted to higher positions and happy in “the family.” The family extends to all the ships. When the Viking Sky encountered rough seas off the coast of Norway (while we were in Australia), every crewmember on Viking Orion was paying attention, praying, and even helping to send a video to the crew of Viking Sky in support and thanks for all their efforts. Family goes both ways. We Voyagers truly got attached to Joaquim and gave him a Viking umbrella salute send-off as he departed for a well-earned vacation. There were tears. Viking is truly fortunate to have such amazing people, and Joaquim is one who has been with VO since its launch. If he has any say about it, the quality will not diminish as the company expands. We sincerely hope his influence will keep things as good as they are! Speaking of family, our group of “Voyagers” definitely became one. People who take Viking cruises are fascinating folks with endless interests and stories. When you meet new people at home, you may see them once a week or a couple of times a month. When you make new friends on a ship, you see each other as often as three meals a day plus an excursion. Yes, we could avoid seeing them, but we enjoyed getting to know each other—really well! We avoided talking politics -- which was a refreshing change for over 90 days! We compared notes about our days (what excursion did you take?), drank a LOT of free wine (opened and closed the World Café many times), and watched out for each other when someone was “solo” on an excursion. These friendships will last for sure. We learned about the tons and tons of food they bring on board and when. We noticed that the chef went into town to pick up a few things while we were out on excursions – but only if he can find provisions that met Viking’s strict quality and safety standards. Within a couple of days, the cook at the breakfast fruit and yogurt bar handed me a bowl as I walked in each day and several times kept a few strawberries aside when the stock was dwindling before the next provisioning. He found the plain Greek yogurt that I like if it is not out on display. He was genuinely apologetic when the strawberries ran out in Siberia! If it wasn’t perfect, all we had to do was ask. Just when I was muttering to myself that there weren’t any chocolate options on the desert bar in the World Café, one of the supervisors offered to go down and get a chocolate mousse from the sit-down Restaurant downstairs…. “And where are you sitting, madame?” Or if the buffet choices were not exactly what we wanted, the chef custom-prepared a strip steak (“Medium? Four minutes, please.”) and delivered it to our table, with a potato and sour cream if that was what we wanted. All this in the “buffet” style World Café, our favorite venue for every day. Manfredi’s, the Italian specialty restaurant, is a gem. People seem to figure this out quickly, so be sure to book reservations as soon as you can. Book before you embark, as we did or stop by the laptop at the entrance to the world café to add more or make changes. We also learned that they will make every effort to change your numbers as you meet people and want a larger table. (Thank you, Ian!) Yes, we also ate in the Chef’s Table, but after trying each of the (mostly delicious) menus, we found we preferred the less formal and more flexible options elsewhere. We aren’t “The Restaurant” type people, though many of our friends were and enjoyed it just as much as we enjoyed the free-ranging exploration of the world Café – the same food, but you can graze and get up from your table at will. (Just hide your fork…. They clear TOO quickly!) The only nights I personally did not enjoy as much were the Indian Buffet theme nights, but my husband loved them. I just ordered a strip steak and tasted a few other things. I made the suggestion that perhaps not EVERYTHING had to be Indian… like the weird gelato flavors. We learned SO MUCH. The itinerary was loaded with places we had always wanted to see, and Viking offered many ways to learn about each one. The guest lecturers were great, and word gets out about which ones are REALLY good. The naturalist in the north Pacific and Alaska, the historian in Southest Asia, the archaeologist in New Zealand, the reef pilot on the Great Barrier Reef, and many others were terrific. If they can keep you awake in a darkened theater on a gently rocking sea, they must be good! The video replays on demand in the cabins were a MUST to keep up with the many things to learn. What we saw: It is a challenge to summarize forty-seven ports, but there were recurring themes: wildlife, history, religions, World Heritage sites, gardens, wine/beer/whiskey. We chose to take many optional excursions, mostly because we don’t like touring on buses much. A bus to GET somewhere is fine. We tend to like walking tours better. When we compared notes with our fellow travelers, we learned that by skipping some of the included excursions, we missed some good stuff. Some of the descriptions did not make it clear just how much time would be spent on or OFF the bus. As my husband says, the descriptions are a bit like real estate ads. Example: “Enjoy a panoramic tour.” Translate: bus ride. As Viking continues in these ports, we are sure the excursions will be refined and the descriptions edited for a better match to what is actually there. In the first season of a new itinerary, this is tough. We took this cruise knowing that would happen. Our priorities for tours may not be yours. My husband is a photo buff—both wildlife and street scenes, and I tend to enjoy culture, art, crafts, and people. Sometimes we split up to see what we liked best. We did not need to stay together every day of a 93 day cruise! Don’t miss the onboard cultural visitors. There were local groups who came on board in several countries to perform music and dance. ALL were amazing. Sometimes we did not find out about them until the day before or the day of. READ the Viking Daily! Port/excursion highlights: (Unless otherwise stated, all excursions/tours were VIKING offerings) Everything in New Zealand. Lots of wildlife and Maori culture options. We especially enjoyed visiting a sheep farm outside Napier, a foodie tour I did in Wellington, a seal watch my husband did outside Wellington, and wildlife cruises outside Christchurch and Dunedin. Others went to interior locations such as the Hobbiton tour. This may not be the best way to see interior New Zealand. I wish I’d had more time at Rotorua at the native (Maori) center there. Australia: Hobart, Tasmania. This port is right in town and we wish we had stayed MUCH longer. Just walk off the ship, and you were in a pedestrian area filled with shops and history. (Think Viking River Cruises.) We took a tour outside of town and visited a winery and the charming town of Richmond. Wish we could have done BOTH. We’d like to go back to Tasmania. The koala and kangaroo sanctuary outside Melbourne. Unlike many “sanctuaries” where the animals are caged or restricted, this one has animals on their own in the wild and shows visitors how to find and follow them respectfully. No koala cuddling, but fantastic naturalists who teach and let you participate in finding the animals. Sydney: Did a pub crawl in The Rocks on a HOT day. Saw lots of local color: weddings, crazy young professionals out having fun, and of course the Opera House right at Circular Quay. Since Viking Orion is small enough to pass under the Harbor Bridge, we were docked a short shuttle FERRY ride from Circular Quay. This could have been a pain, but it’s much more fun than a shuttle bus! We had a day on our own while others disembarked and embarked. Viking did offer an excursion for the in-transit passengers, but we elected to spend time with some new friends from Sydney whom we “met” here on CC. (They joined our cruise later in Hong Kong.) Great city. Almost anything you can do would be fun. Whitsunday Islands and Cairns: both are portals to the Great Barrier Reef. We went on a smaller catamaran out to snorkel in the Whitsundays and a very large one (but well managed) in Cairns. We are not experienced snorkelers and have never seen the reef before, so we enjoyed these. Experienced GBR visitors might like more private or selective tours, but these are hard to find and schedule within port time limits. Viking did managed the tendering in Cid Harbor (Whitsundays) very well. Thursday Island--- skipped because of an incoming cyclone! Darwin: wildlife options again. We saw Jumping Crocs, which we thought would be really touristy. It actually was fun. The Territory Wildlife Park was also good, though VERY warm. Take lots of water with you! Be sure to visit the aviary. Weaker Australia ports: Newcastle, Townsville. These are perhaps good ports for their access to other places inland, but we did not find the actual towns as interesting. Maybe with time? Indonesia: In general, Indonesia has bad traffic, hot weather, and lots of temples. The blend of religions is fascinating and varies from island to island. Get a taste by seeing some of everything. Komodo: The national park is going to be closed for 2020. We were lucky to see the dragons. Very hot, and the most aggressive vendors we saw on the entire cruise were in the tent as we left the park. Be prepared to be tough and to haggle. Otherwise just duck and keep on walking! TAKE WATER. Viking did an outstanding job of managing the tendering and keeping guests hydrated and safe. They were on the dock with COLD towels and drinks as we finished the tour. The really wanted everyone to drink and stay safe. Bali: another disembarkation/embarkation port. On the day on our own, we traveled by cab into Denpasar to visit the fabric street—a MUST for any quilter or sewing enthusiast. We did an evening dinner and performance that evening which was fun, though touristy. We enjoyed seeing Batiks being made and wood carvers in action on a Viking excursion the next day. Surabaya: We visited a temple that is actually within an amusement park. Though it looked like we were entering Wally World, the temple, right next to the water, was interesting. The seafood lunch served on the way was excellent though a bit crowded. Our highlight was a stop at a T-shirt place that had graphically bold shirts at very low (fixed) prices. Thanks to a good tour guide. We’ve gotten compliments on those shirts everywhere. Semarang: Entre to a daylong trip to Borobudur, a must-see. Don’t do the included tour. Not much there. The Rainbow Village is not as enthralling as they say. Those who went to Borobudur said the long ride was definitely worth it, especially with the police escort that accompanied the bus caravan, stopping the challenging traffic. Think presidential motorcade. Viking managed an unfortunate bus accident between two buses that were following too closely pretty well. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt. Jakarta: Interesting but not worth two days? Went on a tour that included an inside visit to a large mosque and Catholic cathedral and a walk through Chinatown Had some time on the second day to go into town on the Viking shuttle to a shopping mall that offered great shopping for authentic batik shirts and much more. I think half the ship bought batik shirts. Weaker ports in Indonesia: Lombok? We actually did not go into this tender port. Those who did said we did not miss much. We really should not judge. Singapore One day, and not enough. Unfortunately, immigration stole over 90 minutes of our day—through no fault of Viking. If there were way for the ship to stay two days and not have to do this each day, it would be worth it. We did a walking “Odyssey” tour and saw little India, Chinatown, and an area called Arab Street. I’d do that tour again. We had time to explore on our own, which we always like. I’d like to have seen the gardens at Singapore Marina Bay, but we did not have time. I’d REALLY like to swim in the world’s largest infinity pool on the rooftop there, but you have to stay in the hotel to do that… unless Viking has connections? Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) Our one day was a quick stop. My husband and I did separate tours. He enjoyed the Batu Caves and Pewter factory tour, managing to avoid having his hat stolen by the monkeys. I did the Blue Mosque tour, which was a misnomer. We saw a view of the mosque at a GREAT distance. We did enjoy a tour of several sites in the city and a FANTASTIC lunch at the Renaissance Hotel. Of course, the last thing we needed was more good food! We honestly cannot say whether Kuala Lumpur is worth more time. Thailand Bangkok: The port is VERY, very far from the city, at least two hours drive if traffic is not bad. We had three days in Bangkok, the middle one a disembarkation/embarkation day for other passengers. We did Viking’s Bangkok After Dark tour, which was twelve hours long! The heat was oppressive, and the guide kept a pace that was a bit too enthusiastic for the heat. It did take us to great things and included a much appreciated foot massage after a lot of walking. We had a local dinner of SPICY pad thai and time shopping in the iconic night market. The tour is good, but plan on being totally soaked with sweat. Pace yourself and carry water. We took a private tour on the ship’s changeover day, and that was smart. We had a small van with great A/C and endless water. We could get back into the cool van often. We split the tour cost with three other friends, so it was quite reasonable. We visited locations our first tour did not include. Day 3 took my husband on the Viking tour out to the Summer Palace and Ayutthaya. He declared that tour to be excellent, including the golf carts! (I rested and did much-needed laundry out of the heat.) Cambodia Sihanoukville: This is the toughest port to talk about. It is not pretty, and the people lack hope. This port sparked great debate among our friends onboard. In my opinion, Viking needs to be honest about what you will see (poverty, loads of trash, hopelessness). The contrasts of the hotel where Jackie Kennedy stayed (a claim to fame in this miserable town) and the life in a local fishing village are painful. The Cambodian Cuisine tour we took involved riding in tuktuks through dusty, dirty streets. I did not initially appreciate the mask they gave me to wear, as I have never had respiratory issues. In the end, I actually needed it. The market offered a realistic view of what people buy and eat. The beachfront barbecue food attracted too many flies for us to taste it. Then we went to the Jackie hotel and had delicious hors d’oeuvres and drinks while feeling hollowly fortunate. The second day we took the included tour, but we were warned by our friends to expect very sad scenes and sickening smells. They were right. The little children who should have been in school -- but had never even been REGISTERED to attend -- bore witness to the lack of hope of the Cambodian people. Yes, Viking should let us all see the realities, but the descriptions also need to be accurate. This port is a place to learn and think, not to enjoy. If the corrupt government is benefitting from Viking’s visits, perhaps this is not a good idea? Sadly, the countryside beyond the city has exceptional natural beauty, and the guides were very honest about their plight. Vietnam What a contrast to Cambodia. There is hope, and education is highly valued in this rapidly-growing economy. VERY. VERY. HOT. Ho Chi Minh City (known to the locals as Saigon): Three days. A fair distance from the port -- about an hour. Fantastic city to visit! We did the Saigon Cooking Class, which was excellent in both organization and fun. We shopped in the market, cooked, learned a lot, and enjoyed our own cooking. The next day we enjoyed a special visit to the Hotel Reverie with our fellow Voyagers (NOT an excursion) for high tea. This was arranged by the general manager and restaurant manager just for our group. WOW. If you have a chance to do this high tea on your own, DO IT. We’ve never, ever seen anything like it! Try the iced Vietnamese coffee. It’s addictive. The third day we did Viking’s “Iconic Ben Thanh Market” tour which was disappointing. We spent more time being served food than exploring the market (allowing NO time for this). I expect Viking will be clarifying expectations with the tour operator on this, as several of us spoke to the ship about it. Chan May (near Danang): Excursion to Ancient Hoi An. This city was swamped with tourists, and the tour was too commercialized for us. We had hoped for an interesting walking tour. We were herded into places to buy things, stopped ever so briefly amid the crowds to take pictures of landmarks with said crowds. Little to no time on our own as was advertised. Other guides were apparently more flexible, and our friends enjoyed their tours. Ha Long Bay (overnight): Wow. This place is drop dead gorgeous. Even the included tour is amazing. We did a longer, slightly different boat tour of the bay, including a stop at a floating village. Great tour! We also went outside the city to the mountains and Yen Tu Monastery. What a wonderful change of pace. We meditated and talked with the leader of the monastery, a man with remarkable charisma. The tour also included a delicious dinner at a resort hotel in the mountains. A winner! Hong Kong (3 days) Another changeover port. The included tour was good- Victoria Peak (in clouds), sampan ride in Aberdeen, and Stanley Market with free time. Spent our “off day” on our own with a friend who lives nearby then did more exploring on the third day with some fellow travelers. We then did the Hong Kong by Night tour which was OK but went back to some places we had already seen on our own. It would be great for people just starting out in HK. Taipei (Keelung port)- one day We did the tour to Yehliu Geopark with its amazing rock formations. Great photo op if you can go early enough for smaller crowds. Then went to mountain village of Jiufen. Cute, though filled with tourists. There were some nice places to have tea with a great view. The Taiwan landscape is very pretty! JAPAN! Japan was perhaps the biggest “surprise” of our trip. We had heard that it was beautiful, but it was MORE beautiful than we thought. We had also heard about the crowds during Golden Week—extended this year due to the installation of a new emperor. It was more crowded in some places than we could ever imagine. AVOID Golden Week. This was Viking’s first visit to the Japanese ports, so ALL of them did something special at the port: bands, dancers, etc.! Lots of fun. Japanese weather was a welcome relief from the heat in previous ports. Kagoshima: Great tour to Kamikaze museum and Chimai samurai historic district with classic Japanese gardens. Terrific intro to just some of the subtleties of Japanese culture. Nagasaki: (separate excursions). Imari and Arita pottery tour was outstanding. Learned a LOT about the aesthetic, the history, and the processes. Beautiful scenery en route. Husband did Historic Nagasaki tour for the atomic bomb story and more. Korea (a one day stop in Busan in the midst of Japan ports): Beomosa Temple and Fish Market tour was good. Lots of walking up hill. Fish Market is a true cultural experience, especially on the weekend! More Japan Hiroshima (2 days): Sobering as you would expect. The included tour to the Peace Park is good at hitting highlights on foot, though it was pouring rain. The museum would have been interesting, but the line stretched around a half mile! Optional tour to Itsukushima Shrine was great. Crowded because of Golden week. Go as early in the day as you can. We were on the 7 am ferry. Great photo ops of the floating torii gate you always see on brochures. Be sure to try some maple leaf shaped cakes. Osaka (Kyoto): We took the tour that traveled to Ancient Kyoto. Worst crowds we have ever seen. Heel to toe and shoulder to shoulder in a mob. Easy to lose the guide. (Others shared pictures taken by friends on “regular” weekdays showing NO crowds.) DO NOT GO during Golden Week. Very long path of thousands of torii gates, but too packed to enter. Scary crowded! The Golden Palace late in the day was less crowded and saved the day for us. Shimizu: (day and a half): Nice city with very friendly people. They had quite a welcome for us at the port since this was Viking’s first visit there. Amazing views of Fuji that cleared off for us. I went to Hiroshige Utagawa Museum. Speechless how good it was. Included tour also good… good photo ops. Tokyo ( 3 days): Port is immediately next to the Olympic Village they are building for 2020! This was our last disembarkation/embarkation port getting hundreds of new passengers onboard. Kamakuri tour to three shrine and temples very good but again crowded. 43 foot Buddha! Took Viking’s shuttle to downtown on the middle day, a Sunday, and discovered that NO ONE was in town during Golden Week. Walked to Iperial Palace Grdens (beautiful) and around the area near Nihonbaski Mitsubishi. The department store is worthy of a visit on its own, very old school and filled with amazing things, including a full basement are of food. See where people custom order their $50K silk kimonos! Third day took Edo-Tokyo Museum and City Tower tour. City tower not that great. The sky tower is better, I think, if you like that sort of thing. Museum and smaller local garden were nice. Tokyo is a gorgeous city, and SOOO clean! Be sure to try every Japanese bathroom. After Indonesia and others, they are a delight! Sapporo/Otaru: Beautiful location on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido. We took the optional tour to Nikko whiskey. Lots of fun. It SMELLED of whiskey when you walked onto the grounds. Friend told us the included tour was also very good. Much cooler here. The cherry blossoms were out, as this part of Japan is weeks behind the more southern areas. Russia (Siberia) Koraskov: Did the included tour. Damp, cold, and cloudy/drizzly. Not much here, and quite sad after Japan. The people are clearly longing for the good old days of the USSR. The performance was fun, and the vendors selling crafts there were very genuine. Most are happy to take USD, though they may cheat a bit on exchange rates! Petrapavlosk-Kamchatsky: This city benefits from the large Navy base (out of sight from the port). Volcanoes abound. We did the military history tour. Too much talking at you. Choose a different one, perhaps just the included. Orthodox cathedral is less than ten years old! Someone showed us video from the helicopter tour over the volcano, and it was amazing. (But I don’t think I’d go with a Russian pilot in a Russian-maintained helicopter! Very pricey, too.) USA Dutch Harbor, AK: No tours offered, but there was a shuttle (school) bus into town. The locals are VERY friendly and talk on the buses. Go to the Alaska Ship Supply for fun, and perhaps to Safeway just to see how the locals live. Bald eagles everywhere—like pigeons! Take a hike or a walk. If you’re an American who’s been away for a long time, stop in a local bar for American bar food… nachos or a cheeseburger? If you watch Deadliest Catch, you’ll recognize many locations. Kodiak, AK: Nature photo cruise was a real highlight. Small boat with only 6 guests and a very knowledgeable couple guiding it. WELL worth it! Small town with simple self-guided (walking) tour and a shuttle bus. Very genuine. Seward, AK: Kenai Fiords cruise was incredible. Whales, dolphins, eagles, and a glacier thrown in. Entire pods of orcas! This was a MUST MUST MUST DO, even on a drizzly day. Stay in town for a visit to the Sea Life Center or some shopping, A regular shuttle goes back to the ship. Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), AK: This small town with its native tribe of 760 people owns the port through a small corporation that benefits the tribe. They market it well, with many activities and tours. The whale watch cruise we took was actually done by a separate company that cooperates with the corporation. It was excellent. Great photos of humpbacks, including mama and baby. Sea lions, and more. Another keeper! Warning: the bridge you walk across into the port area is COLD because of the wind, but the temps are much nicer around the corner and out of the wind. Wear layers. Friend did the zipline and loved it. Sitka, AK: Busier port with another ship in port at same time. Cute, smallish town. Walking tour went 5+ miles to see historic sites, totem area, and Raptor Center. All are worth seeing. Wish we’d had longer in totems and Raptor Center. People who took included tour said it was good, too. Note: if you are looking for the post office, you have to go outside of town, They closed the location right next to the port! Ketchikan: VERY, very touristy. We saw a total of FIVE other ships in one day, one of whom was waiting for us to pull out. Downtown is all shops, some owned by other cruise companies. We went out of town to a Fishing lodge for a crab feast. It was fun, including the boat ride out to the island. Good wildlife and newspapers-in-the-picnic-table crab boil. Dress for the weather because you are on an outdoor deck. You also get a walk in a temperate rainforest at the lodge. If you want nothing but shopping, stay in town and walk off the ship. Some ships dock a bit outside of town. Vancouver, Canada: Kudos to Viking for handling the challenge of disembarking over 900 passengers by tender! It went quite well. We were off the ship and on our way to the airport ahead of schedule. We hope everyone’s bags went to the right place. Ours did. Viking, you made a difficult good-bye palatable by keeping it smooth and easy. Suggestions for Viking: Consider changing the itinerary for Jakarta and Singapore. Maybe steal a day from Jakarta and add it to Singapore? You could play with some of Indonesia, perhaps. What about Lombok? Semarang is not great, though you need it for Borobodur. Think about solving that? Think about how you want to “sell” your port call in Cambodia Continue to refine the excursions. We know you do this because of wise changes that were made after Viking Ocean’s first summer in the Baltic. Suggestions for future Grand Voyagers: Plan for HOT weather and extreme high humidity on this itinerary of traveling Feb-May as we did. We live in the southeast US and know humidity, but this is FAR worse. Plan to change your clothes from the skin out 2-3 times a day in many of these ports. Take enough clothing so you can do that. If you are on a long cruise with people getting on and off for various shorter :legs, “ ask the management to gather the “voyagers’ for cocktails and /or dinner and get everyone’s first names and cabin number while they are at that first gathering, That way you will know where to find each other! Emails help, too, if you want to be able to contact everyone. The ship management cannot give you this info. Thanks to TL from our group who spearheaded this! A long cruise is a marathon, not a sprint. If one excursions or day is lousy, just look to the next one. Share your feedback in a constructive manner. It goes much further, and the crew will always want to help you. Vary your excursions. Don’t book too many temples, street market visits, or anything else. You’ll get tired of it! READ the Viking Daily—before you go to bed! Get accustomed to giving laundry advice in Viking’s free launderettes. You know how they work, and you don’t want the newbies to break the machines! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I picked Viking For my ocean cruise because they did such a wonderful job on my river cruise in Europe. Unfortunately they are beginners on the ocean. The cruise was disappointing On many levels to the point of me feeling I had wasted my ... Read More
I picked Viking For my ocean cruise because they did such a wonderful job on my river cruise in Europe. Unfortunately they are beginners on the ocean. The cruise was disappointing On many levels to the point of me feeling I had wasted my money. Unlike the river cruise which was leisurely with a pampered and elegant feel, the ocean cruise was hurried And low budget. We missed several ports of call because passengers got seasick and there was too much wind? Unlike other cruises that pass out nausea medication prior to hitting open sea, Viking waited until passengers got sick and then rationed seasick pills. Some bought them in the pharmacy. There were barf bags On every floor. I saw one passenger vomit in the dining room. I didn’t see any wind. I do get seasick without medication but the water looked fine to me.There were rumors that the crew Lacked Ability to get into the harbors. The staff were all very pleasant and agreeable but lacked real comprehension of English. I was told my laundry was included in my cabin but was charged for it. A communication misunderstanding. I qualified for a free pressing but not for free washing.At dinner the waiters explanation of the meal described a casserole but it was just a piece of roasted chicken. The gentleman who gave the daily slideshow presentation had such a thick accent that we understood little of what he said. We were stuck for several days On board with Little to do Unless you play bridge or drank all day.Even our TV didn’t work. It took four calls for maintenance for them to replace the remote Which we said was the problem during the first Maintenance call. Unlike my river cruise where my gluten-free meals were arranged daily by one wonderful staff member, there was no coordination of meals On this cruise. I had to ask at every meal for gluten-free options. Sometime I got a stare. Often I got a cold roll after I had finished all of my meal. One time I was told to go stand in line at another location, ask for the bread and then come back to get the rest of my meal. I was told at times that there wasn’t a gluten-free option. I got daily letters at my cabin addressed to Mr. But I am a woman not a man. They never did fix it. Considering how many thousands of dollars I paid for the trip you would think they could at least know that much about me. My brother got food poisoning after eating mussels in the restaurant. My sister made several trips to the infirmary From riding in the wheel well Of a Jeep during A long day excursion. They missed several day excursions and Viking would not refund what they paid for them. I wrote a detailed letter to Viking when I returned home listing all of the above problems and more because there were more. All I got was a voucher toward another cruise which expired in 12 months. Absolutely insulting! After a cruise like that who would want to repeat it ? Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My wife and I go on a cruise almost every year. We have cruised with Crystal, Regent, Ocena, Princess, Cunard, Holland America over the years. Crystal has always been our preferred cruise line. We chose this cruise for three main reasons: ... Read More
My wife and I go on a cruise almost every year. We have cruised with Crystal, Regent, Ocena, Princess, Cunard, Holland America over the years. Crystal has always been our preferred cruise line. We chose this cruise for three main reasons: (1) I badly wanted to visit my mother's grave in Hobart (Tasmania) and this cruise included Hobart in its itinerary; (2) we wanted to go to Australian Open tennis tournament after the cruise; and (3) we wanted to see the main cities of New Zealand and Australia. Additional considerations for us included the newness of Viking Orion, good reviews of Viking ocean cruises, being only for adults and no requirement for formal attire. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The ship was beautiful; eveything on the ship had been tastefully designed. Our cabin was on deck 6 and classified as deluxe veranda; its size was perfectly satisfactory, the bed was very comfortable and the bathroom was fine. There was an excellent fridge in the room and the WiFi signal was acceptable. In commen areas WiFi worked very well about 80% of the time (10-15 Mbps), which is excellent considering the remote areas we were sailing at. Dining: There were two specialty dining venues in addition to the main dining room and the "world cafe" where food was served buffet style. There were also three other locations where one can have open sandwiches, hamburgers etc. Entertainment: Compared to other cruises there was minimal entertainment of relatively low quality. Since we didn't much care about the generally low quality stage performances on cruise ships this was not an issue for us. The lectures were fine. Now, why do I give this cruise only 2 stars: The captain decided not to go to Christchurch and more importantly Hobart for weather related reasons. In his announcements he repeated that "our safety was his main priority" and provided only scant reasons for his decisions, which didn't satify anybody because weather, as far as we could determine, was not particularly bad at either port. That is two ports of call out of seven. I was very disappointed and angry as I wondered when will I ever have another chance to go to Hobart. So we ended up spending two extra days at sea and one extra day in Melbourne, which meant nothing to us because we were going to be in Melbourne for Australian Open anyway. The food was prepared by non-specialist cooks and the quality was in general quite poor. Our first dinner on board was just awful and I knew right at the outset we were going to have problems with food quality. Dinner on December 31st, New Year's Eve, was nothing special. They made no effort whatsoever to celebrate the arrival of the new year in the dining room. The variety of the food items included in the menus of the main dining room and the World Cafe became absolutely monotonous and boring. Fruit selection consisted of melon, watermelon, pineapple, apples, and strawberries all of which were tasteless. There was plently of meat but very little edible seafood. They even managed to cook salmon welldone! Shellfish was also plenty but tasteless. Imagine, you are travelling in the middle of summer in places that are well known for their vegetables and fruits (e.g. kiwi fruit, mangos, peaches, grapes) and none of them made an appearance at our dinner table. Same for seafood. The fish served were all of European origin and frozen - that's probably why they always cooked the fish until it was compeletly dry. Barista coffee was bad - we were told by one of the coffee baristas that the machines, not the coffee beans, were to blame. The staff clearly needed more training and better language skills. Often they did not understand what we asked for. Poorly selected music (rock, country etc.) played loudly on deck 7 where everyone congregated most of the time. The cover over Deck 7 would often be closed when the weather was hot with no wind making the place like a sauna and open when it was windy and cool. I mentioned this to staff and got no response. The included shore excursions were good. We received an email from Viking offering us $250 credit towards a future Viking cruise for missing out on two ports of call. I also received a phone call from a Viking representative after we returned home who tried to sell me another Viking cruise by offering "additional (to $250) cruise credit as further compensation". That is not an acceptable service recovery in my book. I will not go on another Viking Cruise and my wife feels the same. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Our 4th Viking Ocean cruise (on four different ships). It's been interesting to see the minor 'tweaks' to each edition of ship that Viking has rolled out. But overall the Viking Ocean ships are amazing in our ... Read More
Our 4th Viking Ocean cruise (on four different ships). It's been interesting to see the minor 'tweaks' to each edition of ship that Viking has rolled out. But overall the Viking Ocean ships are amazing in our opinion. Not a huge 'mega' ship with thousands of passengers, but still offering excellent dinning choices and impressive stage/auditorium facilities. Always have interesting guest lecture series. And I am a big fan of their spa facilities. Specifically on this ship, the Orion, Viking has installed a small planetarium which was a nice option for entertainment (although they need to improve the 'caliber' of what they show as to content. One show 'Mission to Mars' may entertain a 8-10 year old, but to the average Viking passenger..... I'm not so sure. Try harder to entertain in the planetarium. To score the planetarium itself, I would give the facilities themselves a 100% score. Content to the movies shown inside? A score of around 75%. Always wanted to go to Australia/N. Zealand area. From someone who has had multiple Viking Ocean cruises, the one common area that I see they need improvement in is excursions. I'm not saying they are horrible. In comparison with other areas of the ship that I would grade between 95-100%, excursions would be graded in the 85-95% area. That's why I scored as I did. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Amazing trip down under on Viking Orion. From the Sydney Harbor bridge climb and Opera house tour to welcoming in the new year in Auckland the most beautiful scenery you could imagine. Included tours were mostly city tours, botanical ... Read More
Amazing trip down under on Viking Orion. From the Sydney Harbor bridge climb and Opera house tour to welcoming in the new year in Auckland the most beautiful scenery you could imagine. Included tours were mostly city tours, botanical gardens were the equivalent of cathedrals in Europe, a tour of one on every stop. Optional tours offered chances to get away from the cities and see the beautiful countryside including interacting with the animals you expect to see. There were several chances to tour wine country and interaction with locals. Optional tours were a bit pricey but worth it to take some to get a better feel for the country. Scenery from ship sailing into and out of ports was “worth the price of admission”. Incredibly beautiful sights of the countryside. Ports also gave us a peek into what is being shipped out of the country. All this in Viking comfort with wonderful attention to all the details. The ratio of passenger to crew means everything thing you may need is taken care of by an upbeat person who seems to enjoy what they do. Cabin was always in top condition. We enjoyed the casual World Cafe for breakfast and most lunches but ended up having most of our dinners in the restaurant. Plenty of choices, one menu available everyday as well as a different menu each day. (We thought the Wiener schnitzel offered one night was the best we ever ate!) Entertainment on Viking isn’t too showy. Cruise director, Bevin, and other entertainers were very talented. The afternoon carol sing, lead by entertainers and holiday show on Christmas Eve were wonderfully warm. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We selected our destination first, then we chose Viking because of the limited number of passengers and Because there is no casino, no photographers trying to sell pictures, no pressure to buy other items, no children, and because we ... Read More
We selected our destination first, then we chose Viking because of the limited number of passengers and Because there is no casino, no photographers trying to sell pictures, no pressure to buy other items, no children, and because we looked forward to hearing excellent speakers. We were on one previous Viking cruise and enjoyed it immensely. The food is outstanding and there is no formal dining requirement, but one can dress up for dinner if desired. The World Cafe is always good and the hours are very accommodating. Great gelato. The included tours, which is one of the reasons we chose Viking, were not all stellar. But the purchased tours were great. The days are sea were good, with lots of options for activities. We went to 3 of the movies in the dome, and the lecture in the dome by the astronomer, and all were excellent. There seemed to be some reluctance on the part of the customer service staff to share information about the dome viewings. Not sure what that was about, but it took a real effort to get access. We enjoyed the trivia contests also. We did not attend many of the musical entertainments, but that was just a personal choice. The embarkation and disembarkation process were very orderly and speedy. I thought they did Christmas with the appropriate amount of music and gaiety, but it was not over the top, and that was just right. The decorations on board were lovely. Our 50th anniversary was recognized in a very delightful way. Since this was a tour with an older crowd, there seemed to be someone falling every day and there were several injuries. Perhaps people should take the advisories about activity levels more seriously. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Our experience on the Orion lived up to Viking River Cruise Standards in every way. Onboard entertainment was surprisingly good for such a small ship [ 900+ passengers]. The Viking Band performed every night in the ships different venues ... Read More
Our experience on the Orion lived up to Viking River Cruise Standards in every way. Onboard entertainment was surprisingly good for such a small ship [ 900+ passengers]. The Viking Band performed every night in the ships different venues and were excellent as were the four Viking vocalists who usually performed every night in some type of production on the ship's main stage. A bonus was the other individual performers ,such as Daniel [ an acoustical guitarist ], who performed every night before and after dinner in the ship's various lounges. No shortage of entertainment thanks to cruise director Bevan and asst. director Ian. Food quality/service met or exceeded Viking river cruise standards. The Restaurant [no reservations] never had a wait although early reservations are advisable at Manfredi's and the Chef's Table. Cruise personnel were well trained and courteous at all times. Viking never ceases to amaze me at how well they handle all logistics from booking, cruising,shore excursions etc. with little to no error. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We love to cruise on the small luxury ships - Silversea, Regent, Seabourn (no children!) and this was our first time on Viking primarily due to the time of year and the destination. We were truly impressed and we are hard to please. We ... Read More
We love to cruise on the small luxury ships - Silversea, Regent, Seabourn (no children!) and this was our first time on Viking primarily due to the time of year and the destination. We were truly impressed and we are hard to please. We booked a Penthouse Jr. Suite vs our typical veranda suite due to the 16 day trip. The dual vanities, heated floors in the bath was a great use of space and the room had enough space to be comfortable. I thought we would miss the walk-in closet we had on other ships, but it wasn’t an issue, especially because bathroom was a much better use of space. We also took full advantage of the free laundry and dry cleaning. A very nice perk. We have never eaten in a buffet restaurant on any other ship, it’s never good and we like to be served.... However, one night we didnt feel like getting “ready” for dinner so we ate at the buffet restaurant (the World Cafe) and it was great - so much so that we ate there several more times. The chefs in the World Cafe are in the kitchen freshly preparing the food as items get low and there is a chef who makes fresh to order Asian noodles at night or pasta during the day. I could also not say more about the bakery. It was second to none vs. any other ship we have ever been on. It’s fresh at every meal and thrown out in between. The pool has a retractable glass roof which makes the space usable rain or shine and there are cushioned lounge chairs that line the perimeter of the ship giving you a full view of the sea while you are relaxing on sea days. We are not excursion people so don’t have anything to say on that other than feedback from others we met on board indicates this is Viking’s short coming. We will definitely be booking Viking Ocean again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Have enjoyed previous Viking River Cruises so much we wanted to try the Viking Ocean Cruise and wanted to see Australia before we got too old to travel that distance. We found the Viking Ocean Ships professionalism is not up to par with ... Read More
Have enjoyed previous Viking River Cruises so much we wanted to try the Viking Ocean Cruise and wanted to see Australia before we got too old to travel that distance. We found the Viking Ocean Ships professionalism is not up to par with the River Cruises. My wife is gluten free with some other food allergies which we had informed the Viking booking agent but the available foods for her on ship were below par. The ship was beautiful and functioned well but much of the staff seemed confused and inexperienced. A few of the tours, especially Komodo Island, where unorganized and actually dangerous as the steps necessary to access the docks were old and hazardous and times to load on the return exceeded one hour in very hot and sunny environment. Many were showing signs of heat exhaustion. Once again, the ship and the cabins were very nice. The entertainment was nice. There were many different food offerings as long as you do not have any food issues. The Viking booking agent made changes to our itinerary that the Viking Ship staff and we were unaware of that affected our post cruise itinerary causing us much distress.60 Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We have sailed on Viking Ocean before, and will do so again. Check-in and debarking was excellent. We had a PS3 cabin, which was worth the money. The food was quite good; although they should have more green salads, and the included ... Read More
We have sailed on Viking Ocean before, and will do so again. Check-in and debarking was excellent. We had a PS3 cabin, which was worth the money. The food was quite good; although they should have more green salads, and the included wine were very drinkable; a Tempranillo from Spain, and a red from the Vaucluse in France. The entree portions were often quite small. The food in Manfredi's was OK, but the Chef's Table was awful; miniscule portions, and we headed up to the buffet for desert. We found the lecturers to be quite good, particularly the Astronomer Dr. Wright. The Planetarium was enjoyable, but the 'shows' could have been done on an Imax, and pushed the obsolete 'Orion Mars Project'. There were a lack of some of our favorite activities: Zumba at 7PM!!!!; and no ballroom dance lessons (the entertainers reduced to 4 from 8 on our last voyage) were busy learning their new routines. The band, while good for some types of music never played real dance music in Torshaven. No tangos or rumbas, and very few swings or cha-chas. The cabin was magnificent; and service by our attendant the best we've had in years. The only problem with the cruise were the Awful!!! included tours, except for the one in Bali, which was fine. Komodo was a disaster; we saw three drugged dragons and the heat was very bad; I saw two people pass-out from the heat; one waiting for a tender, and one in the jungle. The crewman in the jungle stood there mouth and did not know what to do. There was no way to call for help. Eventually the passenger was helped up. Overnight in Darwin: Tours arrived at museums 45 minutes before they opened, sometimes expecting you to stay 90 minutes at a small exhibit. Awful guides. Thursday Island: Nothing to do, but walk around a dreary village. Included tours in Cairns and Townsville were also 'misses'. The tour staff stopped giving out rating sheets. Brisbane was wonderful, but only a long day. Read Less
Viking Orion Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.4
Family N/A 4.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 5.0 4.2
Service 4.5 4.5
Value For Money 5.0 4.0

Find a Viking Orion Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise