13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our second and third Viking cruise. We'd been on a previous Viking Ocean cruise and both my wife and I came down with "type a" flu. I went from the ship directly to the hospital (with pneumonia). This cruise ... Read More
This was our second and third Viking cruise. We'd been on a previous Viking Ocean cruise and both my wife and I came down with "type a" flu. I went from the ship directly to the hospital (with pneumonia). This cruise also had many many people coughing and sneezing all day at every venue. The ship was on "yellow alert" several of the days. The ship allows passengers to serve themselves in the buffet restaurant sharing the same tongs and serving pieces. Guests sneeze and cough into their hands and then pick up the serving pieces and spread germs at every meal. My wife caught bronchitis on this cruise and is still coughing 3 weeks later. The heating and air-conditioning never worked properly in our suite and we were told by the guest services manager that is was a design flaw in some cabins which could not be fixed. Our suite was really noisy and no one on staff could offer a reason. The menus are boring, preparation is very good. We hated the chef's table. We really enjoyed the classical combo and the piano player and the entertainment team of 4 people who did 3 different shows in 35 nights. We're done over 75 previous cruises mostly on Oceania and Regent. This will be our last Viking cruise. We've cancelled 3 future Viking cruises and re-booked all on Oceania and Azamara. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
What a wonderful experience!! This was our second Viking cruise on their luxurious 930 passenger max vessel. We are so proud to have been passengers aboard the Orion. The Viking Ocean cruise Team was outstanding in planning, ... Read More
What a wonderful experience!! This was our second Viking cruise on their luxurious 930 passenger max vessel. We are so proud to have been passengers aboard the Orion. The Viking Ocean cruise Team was outstanding in planning, execution, frequent pre-trip communication, airport transfer process, and the luxurious on board experience. Our cabin was a deluxe veranda style and very comfortable. Having been guests for cocktails in a friends cabin suite, we have recently booked our next cruise for a penthouse junior suite. The excursion selections were numerous and covered a nice variety of time and exertion. Our area helicopter tour at Valdez was excellent. The on board Viking Resident Historian lecture program was absolutely a “cannot miss” daily experience. Great subjects, content and presentations by Mr. William Simpson, resident historian and Howard Parkin, astronomer. The post lecture round tables were perfect for our more detail questions. The on-board planetarium was like being on a space flight to the cosmos. We even met for a midnight viewing experience of the International Space Station fly over and searched for Northern Lights viewing. Wow! Fitness center was excellent and equipment inventory was never a wait situation. Massage facilities and personnel were excellent. We enjoyed the wave pool facility. 4 PM tea was never missed. Our dining experiences in all restaurants was 5 star. Staff, selection, ambiance, and prompt service was outstanding. Manfredi’s (thanks to Ian and his staff), Chef’s Table, Restaurant were a great variety of cuisine. Evening entertainment was Hollywood quality and a great time. Overall the cleanliness and strict attention to sanitation was very important and they ship personnel did a discreet and outstanding performance. Thank you to Cesar, our Viking Tour advisor from beginning to end. The overall cruising experience provided by Viking Ocean Cruises was absolutely outstanding. Move this intinery up on your bucket list. You will never forget it. 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
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
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
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: January 2019
Our previous experience with Viking was the Midnight Sun. We were pleased with the quality of services and ship. We arrived 3 days early in New Zealand and stayed an extra 4 days in Sydney. Time allowed by Viking would not have done ... Read More
Our previous experience with Viking was the Midnight Sun. We were pleased with the quality of services and ship. We arrived 3 days early in New Zealand and stayed an extra 4 days in Sydney. Time allowed by Viking would not have done justice to these cities. We planned our own package with the help of our TA. We were very happy with the ports visited. Shore excursions need a little work - you almost have to book paid excursions to see what you want. Tours overlap so you must choose; you might take two if timing was better. Christchurch is still recovering from the earthquake. Many of their monuments will never be rebuilt. We appreciated seeing what they have accomplished. The tram ride and botanic gardens were very good. Even included a surprise tea in the trolley. We found all guides to be very friendly. Some were more informative than others. Tour times/departures were well organized. All were walk-off - no tenders! We especially enjoyed Napier (Art Deco-car ride) and Dunedin (Taieri Rail Trip). Our first trip to this area of the world. Would definitely consider again if it weren’t so far!! Viking should do a better job at getting detailed information to passengers BEFORE the online booking date. The online experience is tedious and requires that you print your own info. We did receive a detailed list, but too close to our departure. Tours should also include meals and snacks when offered. We had several tours that included a meal (large snack) ther we weren’t expecting. A tour that left at eleven a.m. required you to purchase a meal. Better if we know ahead what will be provided Room service was excellent. Juan Carlos deck 4 - did a great job. Moved the coffee machine to a higher cabinet as we don’t use the machine in the room. Dining room staff still seems to be learning their way. The automated ordering system seems to have some slip ups. Bar and lounge service was great. We are husband and wife traveling with 2 friends. Manfredi’s-dined there twice. Found the food to be good quality both times. Second service was a little sloppy. One in our party received his pasta as a separate course-the rest had theirs included with the main course. I think this is a problem with the way the menu appears on the ordering app. Chef’s Table-also dined there twice. Xiang and Asian Panorama. Both meals were good; wine pairings well-suited. Portions were not huge, but gave a good idea of flavors. Was a full meal. The Restaurant-we found a good selection of food. Meats were excellent. What is missing is any local seafood. Now that Viking is around the world, the need to offer seafood beyond the waters of Norway. Ship needs to fix the dinner in the second to the last night. Two shows plus the Captain’s Farwell meant that almost no one could eat in The Restaurant after the first show. World Cafe - we found a good variety of selections for each meal. Varied offerings for many cultures; you could always find something to eat. Nice to add in special grill offerings every few days - chicken schnitzel, lobster, etc. Back by the pool area. Entertainment /Activities - good variety in entertainment for us. Varied from night to night. Lectures available if you wanted and a good selection in your cabin if you missed a port talk. Sea day activities sufficient for us. There were 8-9 activities scheduled - we did expect Viking to be more in the quiet side. Embarkation/disembarkation-very smooth for us. Arrived 15 min. prior to scheduled time and were let right on. Less than 10 people waiting. Short wait in the ship-sipping champagne-and our room was ready. Luggage all delivered within 30 min. Same for leaving the ship. We were independent travelers. Had breakfast and left the ship by 8:30a.m. Taxis readily available and we were at our hotel in 20 minutes. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We have been on a Viking River cruise and really liked it. Have always had Australia/New Zealand on our list, so decided to try their ocean cruise. It was a great trip. It did not have the high budget shows, or casino or big parties, ... Read More
We have been on a Viking River cruise and really liked it. Have always had Australia/New Zealand on our list, so decided to try their ocean cruise. It was a great trip. It did not have the high budget shows, or casino or big parties, but had the level of entertainment and activities suited to what we like. They had a wonderful pianist, creative guitarist, violin/cello duo and fun singing group, all who entertained every day somewhere on the ship. We took all the included tours, which are mostly city tours, which are all considered easy, and fit our walking ability. Mostly ate on the 7th floor buffet so we could look out at the cities. Got really lucky and started in Auckland on their anniversary day which was celebrated on the pier next to the ship. Lots of music and fireworks. Learned a lot about New Zealand on the trip, which was our main objective. Watched the Super Bowl in the middle of the Tasman Sea, which was technologically cool. The one suggestion we would make to Viking would be to have scheduled seating times in the Restaurant, and assigned seating with other couples. We have done that on a number of cruises and found it a great way to get to know other people. The best part of our trip was the post cruise extension, Best of Australia, where we want out to Uluru-kata tjuta National park and Alice Springs. Had a great tour guide and lots of interesting sites to see. Learned so much about Aboriginal culture and history, as well as geology. Overall a very relaxed, enjoyable trip. We liked the smaller ship and hope to take more Viking River and Ocean cruises in the future. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Having cruised all major shipping lines over the past 30 years, I was thrilled to find Viking Orion cruising from Australia 30th December, 2018. Having heard the standard of this ship was equal to the best I had travelled on previously, ... Read More
Having cruised all major shipping lines over the past 30 years, I was thrilled to find Viking Orion cruising from Australia 30th December, 2018. Having heard the standard of this ship was equal to the best I had travelled on previously, I booked & paid top price for our accommodation onboard. By the end of the cruise, I was so disappointed with so many aspects of the cruise, I actually cancelled another booking I had for later in the next year. My biggest disappointment was that, because it was a New Years Eve cruise, a date I cruise every year, to celebrate, I couldn't believe how little was offered on the night. There was a countdown clock on the outside deck pool screen showing the time & then the wording Happy New Year displayed - & that was it. No balloons, no party hats, no whistles, no deck food etc - all the little things that go into making it a great night. The worst NYE I have ever experienced onboard a cruise ship. No flowers, fruit, chocolates on pillow in stateroom. Buffets with so little choice, it was difficult to find something worth eating. 2 ports of call were missed out due to "bad weather". I feel so sorry for people who had travelled halfway around the world to see Australia & New Zealand & ended up mainly having sea days. Why, when we couldn't get into Lyttleton (for Christchurch) didn't we go to the safe harbour of Akaroa near by - as did one of the larger Princess cruise ships on the same day. Viking, you have a great reputation with River Cruises - perhaps you should stick to them. 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The ship was elegant as was the cabin. I enjoyed the choice of dining options and the housekeeping staff just awesome. Perhaps the only thing I feel could be improved upon were some of the free excursions. We felt that they could be more ... Read More
The ship was elegant as was the cabin. I enjoyed the choice of dining options and the housekeeping staff just awesome. Perhaps the only thing I feel could be improved upon were some of the free excursions. We felt that they could be more in-depth with more of a chance to explore the shops and perhaps to eat at the local restaurants. Otherwise the trip was worth the money and I would do it again. The trip allowed us to see another part of the world which was as beautiful as portrayed. I would recommend this trip to anyone wanting to see Australia/New Zealand. Viking delivered the experience of a lifetime. The entertainment and activities were of a wide range and enjoyable. Also, being on ship Christmas Day was even more special. The crew had all hands on deck for fun and enjoyment which was just awesome. If you are thinking of cruising consider Viking. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The new ship was great. The crew was exceptional. The food was great. One day while at sea from Tasmania to New Zealand, all passengers on Decks 2 and 3 were requested to meet on Deck 1 at 9 AM to complete and review their New Zealand ... Read More
The new ship was great. The crew was exceptional. The food was great. One day while at sea from Tasmania to New Zealand, all passengers on Decks 2 and 3 were requested to meet on Deck 1 at 9 AM to complete and review their New Zealand Declaration Documents. The line was way too long and the wait was way too long. Many passengers were very disappointed. This situation was evidence of very poor planning on someone's part. With today's technology it seems that each cabin should have good WIFI Service. That was not the case for our cabin 3032. We had very little if any WIFI service. Hopefully this deficiency can be resolved for you future passengers. I have to give Simba, Bruno and Ivana took very good care of our foursome while at the Poop Deck Par. They really made us feel at home. Thank you very much. Read Less
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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We had taken a river cruise with Viking and were happy with the experience. We wanted to try an ocean liner with fewer passengers and Viking fit the bill with the Australia and New Zealand destinations. The ship was wonderful! We found ... Read More
We had taken a river cruise with Viking and were happy with the experience. We wanted to try an ocean liner with fewer passengers and Viking fit the bill with the Australia and New Zealand destinations. The ship was wonderful! We found everything to our liking. No crowds, few lines, short waiting times for tables, many places to just sit and relax. And, of course, there was High Tea in the afternoons. The fact that this was an adult cruise with no casino, but a myriad of activities if you wished to be involved is definitely a strong point.. I could easily have stayed on for another 2 weeks. Viking could easily become our cruise line of choice, depending on destinations and itineraries. Our only disappointment was with some of the tours. Maybe we needed to know what to expect before booking tours. We felt there was too much bus time and a couple of driver escorts who were more talkative about their exploits as children or the relative costs of houses.Favorite tours were in Sydney: the Aborigine cultural tour to an island in Sydney Harbor and lunch prepared on board our small ship.Next was the tour out of Hobart to a wildlife sanctuary and to the small town of Richmond. Napier was another bus trip but with 2 nice wineries and tour guide. Would have liked more time to explore the city on my own. Best tour of all! Tauranga: Explored Maori culture with efficient guide, learned and sang a Maori song, and at the end we were entertained by a school group in tribal dress. I wish I had paid more attention to the enrichment activities. On my to-do list for next time. We are looking now for 2020 trips. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Combining factors reduced this cruise/tour to nearly unpleasant experience. The two factors were our lack of due diligence studying the time of year for down-under travel and Vikings failure to provide their reputed excellent service with ... Read More
Combining factors reduced this cruise/tour to nearly unpleasant experience. The two factors were our lack of due diligence studying the time of year for down-under travel and Vikings failure to provide their reputed excellent service with regard to air arrangements and shore excursions. Many other reviews refer to the shore excursions both free and paid-for so no real need to reiterate. We believe Viking learned a great deal from the negativity which we found to be quite vocal on this trip. Do not do an outback at this time of year, and Viking does need to look at their tour providers more critically. We were upgraded to a wonderful cabin, 8011, far above our pay-grade and that alone increased our rating and eased the other discomforts, but not enough to move to above average. We received four free special dining reservations which provided a lovely variation to main dining. Don't recommend "food-court" except for lunch. One really bright idea: the Maya Ubud Resort which hosted the 3-day pre-cruise. One not so good was Komodo Island which might handle a 200 passenger ship--they were overwhelmed with our numbers. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I love Viking Ocean. Well worth the money. We usually eat dinner in World Cafe since it has same menu Plus I like the seafood it offers. Sushi bar every night is good. Ten flavors of ice cream made on ship. I like you can order a steak at ... Read More
I love Viking Ocean. Well worth the money. We usually eat dinner in World Cafe since it has same menu Plus I like the seafood it offers. Sushi bar every night is good. Ten flavors of ice cream made on ship. I like you can order a steak at grill. I enjoy spending 3 hours for dinner in cafe eating and drinking wine. Great place to meet people. We will be on same ship in May for 21 day cruise. Have 40 day cruise in Dec. No longer do Celebrity. My only wish is that they do more games on sea days. They only throw the bean bag. I would like to see them do more minutes to win it games. Staff is very friendly. They all appear very happy. May be the free internet everyone has. I enjoy the shows each night. The local talent is also good.looking forward to next cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Our voyage on the Viking Orion from Bangkok to Bali was certainly one of the most memorable cruising we have the pleasure to partake. Viking has a way to pick the best crew, and this is no exception. As this is a new ship, our review ... Read More
Our voyage on the Viking Orion from Bangkok to Bali was certainly one of the most memorable cruising we have the pleasure to partake. Viking has a way to pick the best crew, and this is no exception. As this is a new ship, our review reflects the fact that every detail has not been worked out, and polished on this ship. Our cabin configuration was very well thought of, with plenty drawers. The under bed has enough clearance to easily stow our empty luggage. A little quirk; the shower stall is designed in such a way, that one is forced to exit the stall completely to get to your towel! An extra hook adhered to the side glass panel just outside the door would solve that problem. We prefer fantail room for its views, and we enjoy sitting on the balcony for that reason. That is the reason we booked cabin #4123. Disappointingly, because of a design flaw, which blocks water drainage, we constantly have inch-deep water pooling on the balcony; and the water is not only from rain. The infinity pool above us constantly splashes water to our balcony! Our cruise mates, in the cabin directly above us (deck 5), does not have this pooling problem. We were not able to enjoy the balcony as we have in past cruises. We recommend avoiding booking cabin #4123, and #4122, for this reason. We enjoy wine pairing with our food, and definitely it is worth purchasing the beverage package. Viking wine selection and premium liquors are extensive, and the package allows liquor enjoyments outside the dining room. We were able to sample some of the best wines on a cruise, in part because of the expert guidance from our knowledgeable sommelier, Kat! We were truly excited that there is an onboard planetarium and with an astronomer crew member. We feel that the planetarium and the astronomer are not utilized to their full potential. People have to book ahead for the 3D shows, as the facility has limited seating capacity. I love watching 3D movies. Unfortunately, only one of the shows (Space travel) requiring tickets, pertained to space, or astronomy. The best presentation was conducted by the astronomer, unfortunately also have limited times. My recommendation is to try to see the Space presentation and attend the astronomer's lecture, and skip the rest. Karaoke is not for everybody, but having no karaoke in an Asian tour seems a bit extreme. We asked the Cruise Director if a karaoke session is possible, and was told that the company CEO forbid that activity on board! The trip from Bangkok to the ship docked in Laem Chabang, because of traffic, took over 2hrs! Is there a nearer port from Bangkok, other than Laem Chabang? Wouldn't it be a unique experience to for passengers to be shuttled to the ship on a fast boat, like a hydrofoil? How boarding a hydrofoil from Klong Toey on the Chao Phraya River, and shuttle us to the ship in it, if Laem Chabang is the only cruise ship friendly port from Bangkok? There is nothing worth seeing in Laem Chabang, so all tours are centered in Bangkok. Realizing how long it is to reach Bangkok, we even skipped an included 9hr tour, because we know we will be wasting at least 5 of those hours, just for the commute! Our only disaster, was our pre-cruise tour of Bangkok. The guide failed to provide us with rain gear, and we were soaked to our skins in the downpour! Viking learned from that goof, and we were given rain ponchos at every shore tours after that. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
What’s Qnot on the Orion. Evertthing from a luxurious stateroom, great food, entertainment and activities. The staff go out of their way to insure every meal, activity and tour are top notch. The ship itself has every acommodation from ... Read More
What’s Qnot on the Orion. Evertthing from a luxurious stateroom, great food, entertainment and activities. The staff go out of their way to insure every meal, activity and tour are top notch. The ship itself has every acommodation from entertainment, shopping, exercise facilities, swimming, spa treatments, great food and spirits as well as a staff that finds no need to great. Your cabin is well equipped with fresh linens and towels on a daily basis. There is so much entertainment you will never be bored including lectures, movies, high tea, availability to an onboard library, a swimming pool, spa treatments, exercise equipment and a sun deck as well as a walking track. The staff will provide 24 hour room service. There are several specialty restaurants as well as the Buffett. The Buffett serves everything from soup To nuts. They even have gelatos. You’ll fell very comfortable with any of the Viking cruises. You will never e bored or hungry on Viking no matter what trip you take. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our third Viking experience, previously a 15 day river and 15 day ocean. I guess I should start out by saying the the Viking ships are beautiful, well laid out it never feels congested. The cabin attendants are first class and ... Read More
This was our third Viking experience, previously a 15 day river and 15 day ocean. I guess I should start out by saying the the Viking ships are beautiful, well laid out it never feels congested. The cabin attendants are first class and the dining is excellent. Entertainment is limited but, we already new that. The singers and dancers on board did a very good job with what they were given. The cruises director and staff seemed to only work about half the time. Compared with our previous Viking cruise, the entertainment was almost non-existent. The guest services group ranged from very good to just another body filling up space. My wife and I flew into Hong Kong from LA two days early. it was a tough 15 HR flight and my wife experienced some issues. The Viking host at our hotel was very helpful but, it was evident that many staffers were not adequately trained to Viking standards. This would turn out to to be the overriding theme for the rest of our trip. Transportation to the Orion was uneventful and embarkation was smooth. Our luggage was delivered to our cabin within a half hour followed by the attendants. We enjoyed the ship for two days but upon arriving in Xiamen my wife was still not feeling well so we visited the medical center. Before I proceed, I just want to say that the doctor and med staff were caring, thorough and extremely professional. They had a doctor and two nurses with quite a lot of equipment. After much testing the doctor decided to send her to the hospital for further tests. We were advised to take it easy for the rest of the cruise. We cancelled our post cruise extension and were advised that we would need to file a claim with the trip insurance company(we are still working on that). Three days before disembarkation, we received the details for our four day extension for the first time(the one that we cancelled). It included baggage restrictions...we had four bags and each one was over sized according to their list. We also had medical equipment which was not allowed. For the morning flight returning to Beijing we had to leave our hotel in the early am. Bus rides and planes made up most of the time during the four day trip. The day before our final port my wife was feeling worse. We went to the med center and they kept her over night. The next morning she was transported to the hospital in Tianjin where she stayed for five days before flying back home. The reason for this long story is that the cruise had many high points and of course many lows. In the future, I would definitely travel with Viking again. I will always find out who the cruise director is before booking, and will not travel with this one. I will purchase travel insurance on my own and not use TripMate. If traveling to Asia I will fly, train, drive, book hotels on my own and hire my own guides. It is difficult to separate our personal problems with our feelings about THIS Viking cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My wife and I were trying to get from Europe to Japan mid-October to meet our son for a two week vacation with the least amount of jet lag. This seemed to fit the bill. We could catch the ship in Mumbai, disembark in Hong Kong, spend a ... Read More
My wife and I were trying to get from Europe to Japan mid-October to meet our son for a two week vacation with the least amount of jet lag. This seemed to fit the bill. We could catch the ship in Mumbai, disembark in Hong Kong, spend a week in China before catching a short flight to Tokyo. The ship is beautiful, comfortable cabin, good food, great on board library for readers who like history, memoirs, exploration etc., which I like, not so great for thrillers, romance novels etc. Got to know all the fellow smokers well. Passengers are mostly affluent, retired Americans (I'd guess 80%), the others mostly anglophone from the UK, Australia, NZ. Ports of call and tours were a mixed bag, many at container ports with miles of docklands a long way from anything you'd want to visit, though seeing the container ports themselves was eye-opening, often with beautiful sunsets through the gantries. No way in most places to walk off the ship and explore on your own. Our own favorites were an overnight trip to Kandy (Sri Lanka), Georgetown, Penang, and Viet Nam (Saigon, Da Nang and Hoi An and Halong Bay). The best ports for getting off the ship and exploring on your own are Georgetown, Halong Bay, Singapore and Hong Kong. The port for Bangkok was especially inconvenient, a 2-1/2 hr drive each way in slow traffic. We went in once, spent the second day in port on the ship. In ports like Bangkok and Saigon, where the ship is docked overnight, our advice would be to book a hotel in town and explore on your own. Our main criticism of the ship-organized tours, which we took in every port, is they left no time for wandering around on your own. In Sihanoukville, where we took a tuk-tuk tour we took things into our own hands and told the driver where we wanted to go (a liquor and cigarette store), after which we lost the rest of the tour group, to our relief. Same with Hoi An, where a large majority of those on the bus rebelled against some cultural stop that hadn't been flagged on the itinerary and asked to be dropped off in town to wander on our own. These turned out the best of the tours. A lot of passengers complained about Sihanoukville, which is dirty and poor, with little culturally of interest to see, but we found it interesting, the obviously poor public services, the life story of our tour guide, sent to a child labor camp at 6 where many of the children died of starvation, the signs of Chinese investment (billboards promising great new developments, some built, some half-built and abandoned, some just billboards of fabulous things to come). I hope Viking won't drop it from future cruises based on the comments of others. Our guide was grateful for us coming, and I hope others will come in the future. The ship is beautiful, but not without flaws: it should have teak decks (the rubberized, fake teak decks are deplorable), for cruises in the tropics, there's inadequate shade for the sun deck loungers and after-deck dining, the promenade deck, which is wholly given over to walker, would be much improved if it had deck chairs. The library should have a section of guidebooks to the countries being visited. An ATM onboard dispensing US Dollars, even if not local currency, would also be helpful. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We liked the itinerary. It hit several places on our bucket list, such as Petra and the pyramids. We really enjoyed the lectures that prepared us for every stop. The staff was amazing. We adored our steward who was very attentive. And ... Read More
We liked the itinerary. It hit several places on our bucket list, such as Petra and the pyramids. We really enjoyed the lectures that prepared us for every stop. The staff was amazing. We adored our steward who was very attentive. And we felt very safe, even when we were sailing by Somalia. The ship is lovely and very well designed. The interior decorating is very Scandinavian and comfortable. There were lots of places to relax. Even though there were nearly 900 people on the ship, we never felt it was crowded. The food choices were excellent, and we probably ate more than we should have! We really enjoyed having a variety of food venues and the option to eat both inside and outside. We liked the experience so much that we signed up on board for another cruise on the ORION in Nov. 2019 -this time to Southeast Asia. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I have sailed a lot, probably close to100 cruises. On Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, I have spent over 360 days. But I was so impressed with everything about this voyage, I’m not sure I ever will go back to any other line; I think I have ... Read More
I have sailed a lot, probably close to100 cruises. On Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, I have spent over 360 days. But I was so impressed with everything about this voyage, I’m not sure I ever will go back to any other line; I think I have found my new home on the seas. embarkation and disembarkation both went very smoothly, a benefit of sailing with only 900 other passengers. This was not only the first and last day of the cruise but also for every port we visited. We were in Suite 4000, a ES1 category. Before sailing, I looked at the diagram for the owner’s suite on deck 7. I wondered if I would have wanted or needed everything provided in that cabin. Once we boarded and were settled in our suite, I was perfectly happy and would not have wanted to move upstairs. Heck, even the lowest standard cabins on Vining Ocean are better than many higher-level cabins on other cruise lines. I have often been a Grills passenger on Cunard. The Queen’s Grill on QM2 is considered by some to be the best restaurant at sea. Although Wiking does not offer dishes prepared table side, the quality and presentation and variety is equal to the food on other ships. Open dining was a delight and we never had a wait, It was nice to have the alternative dining restaurants and not have to pay extra. The rotating menu at the Chef’s Table was a deal. We ate there five nights during the month we were on board. Wine (which was not bad) and beer (which I don’t drink) were free during meals and I never paid for non-alcoholic beverages and coffee away from the restaurants. I consider it a benefit not to have a casino on the ships, photographers always wanting to take your picture, and on the shops on board lining the hallways as they apply their wares. I loved not having announcements every hour. The lecturers were very good and well-versed to discuss their topics, especially the port talks. Evening stage shows were above-average and well attended, but not the glitzy performances produced on larger ships. At least one excursion is free in every port. I participated in some of those and they were fine. The optional, paid excursions were well run and educational. Good variety of options. The gym is good, plenty of machines. Never crowded. A great spa and - since the line is Norwegian - great sauna, jacuzzi, ice water buckets AND a snow grotto. Imagine a snowball fight in the Suez Canal, I can’t say enough to complement the Viking professionals who made this such an enjoyable adventure. I liked it so much that I already have booked a one month journey next summer. I am sold on Viking! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We had done 4 River Cruises with Viking and enjoyed them very much. The staff was friendly and had great Stewarts. We enjoyed most of the tours, except the Saint Catherine Monastery, which we felt it was not worth the time on the ... Read More
We had done 4 River Cruises with Viking and enjoyed them very much. The staff was friendly and had great Stewarts. We enjoyed most of the tours, except the Saint Catherine Monastery, which we felt it was not worth the time on the bus (7 hours) for a 30 minutes tours of the monastery. Waste of time and money. Enjoyed the tours in Greece and Jerusalem. Petra was wonderful, the pyramids was fabulous, Luxor was great and had a wonderful time the days at sea. The food was excellent through out the restaurant with a varaity of choices. we also enjoyed the scandinecvian restaurant, Mamsens, and trying those Norwegian delights made my wife very happy. She is Norwegian descendant. We also enjoyed the high tea, the spa and the specialty restaurants. Overall we were very impress with Viking Ocean cruises and have already reserve two additional trip for 2019 and 2020. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Background information This is our seventh cruise, and the first with Viking Ocean Cruises (VOC). We selected the voyage based on the itinerary, final destination, and time of year. This voyage allowed us to compare VOC with similar ... Read More
Background information This is our seventh cruise, and the first with Viking Ocean Cruises (VOC). We selected the voyage based on the itinerary, final destination, and time of year. This voyage allowed us to compare VOC with similar Azamara (AZ) and Oceania (OC), which we used previously. I retired a year ago and my wife wanted to visit Hong Kong again. Ship information Orion was put into service earlier in the summer, so anything is new. We liked that VOC includes everything except tips, drink package (we don’t), optional excursions, Kitchen Table, and spa service (no need). The VOC provides minimal computer support because most people are computer literate by now. The VOC WiFi (which is free) security meets the security requirements of financial institutions. Streaming movies from the internet most of the time was not a problem in our cabin possibly because we were close to a router, though we heard other people were having problems. The Library shows up on Deck 1, but is spread out over Deck 7 (swimming pool area, the Lanai, Explorers Lounge) and Deck 8 (upper Explorers Lounge). The spa has numerous restrictions on use with anyone with medical conditions, so its use was lost on us. Activities We used the gym almost every day except on the days with all day excursions. The gym was equipment was excellent. The aerobic machines were crowded from 0600 to 0700, especially on sea days. The rest of the day, the equipment is open. The other parts of the gym were not busy during the day. During the sea days, we used the enrichment program after the gym and stream movies using the VOC WiFi (most of the time very good), or just lie around the Explorers Lounge with a an ebook. Service In general, the service throughout the ship was mostly excellent. For Housekeeping, the cabins were available earlier than the VOC stated times. Our cabin attendant did not just stop by to say hi, but went through the entire cabin to explain everything. More closet hangers, bath towels, and bottled water were provided without question. The cabin was well attended throughout the cruise. Well done. For dining, service was generally good everywhere with a few lapses due to staff inexperience and language problems. The World Cafe could use more servers at lunch and dinner. We had only one service breakdown in The Restaurant that required speaking to a manager. What we really liked about the World Cafe was the ability to talk directly to the line cooks to prepare foods to our liking, especially vegetables. They all were very eager to please. We can not say enough about the VOC port agents. I had an old medical condition that flared up in Ho Chi Minh City. The port agent: got me and my wife to hospital, found a reasonably priced nearby hotel for my wife, on short notice got us airline tickets from Ho Chi Minh City to Haiphong, and took us from the Haiphong airport to Orion. Extremely pleased. Excursions Port and shore excursions used a mix of Included and Optional excursions. The excursions were in Athens (GRE); Haifa, Acre, and Caesarea (ISR); Cairo, Luxor, and Sharm El Sheik (EGP); Aqaba (JRD); Salalah and Muscat (OMN); Mumbai and Goa (IND), Colombo (SRL), Georgetown and Kuala Lumpur (MAL), Singapore, Koh Samoi and Bangkok (THD), Sihanoukville (CAM), Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Long Bay (VTM), and Haikou and Hong Kong (PRC). Only two problems with booking: we were warned at the time of booking to get on the My Viking Journey web page at 0000 PST at 67 days prior to departure to ensure we would get the excursions we wanted. I logged on at about 0400 PST and found some excursions were already sold out. In addition, the multi-day overnight excursion to Angkor Wat site via Vietnam was not available. We were satisfied with the excursions we took. While most of the Included excursions were satisfactory, one needs to check the Optional excursions because they had the more interesting and/or more significant locations/programs. One of the problems was the distance from port to destination (Cairo, Luxor, Bangkok, Phnom Penh; sometimes 3+ hours on a bus each way, which left relatively little time for the the destination after accounting for bathroom breaks and lunch). One of the problems with the demographics of the guests was that people are not really aware of their physical condition when signing up for even moderately exerting excursions in hot humid weather from India to Hong Kong. From a VOC port agent, for example, we learned that six guests were removed from the ship to hospital in Sri Lanka. Travel to Embarkation Port We used Viking Air (via Air Canada) without upgrades. We were satisfied with the connections from Dulles (IAD) through Toronto (YYZ) which put us in Athens (ATH) at 0920, and return from Hong Kong (HKG) through YYZ to IAD (2200). We found the local VOC representative easily and were loaded into a bus the ship. Not as nice as the personal van on VRC. Only a passport is necessary for ID so we were on Orion quickly. VOC eliminated the paper tickets for transfers and embarkation. Next time, I will look into Business or Premium Economy. Air Canada is not too comfortable. Cabin We were in Deluxe Veranda 3 (DV3) #4083. The cabin was mostly quiet. The only noise was from the lifeboats/tenders during crew training or tendering on the decks below. We still could feel the diesels. Anyone for gas turbines? We thought that the cabin was much better than the AZ and OC small ships reflecting a newer design. The bathroom was far better the any AZ or OC. Not cramped at all. We had no difficulty with the amount of drawers even with clothes for a 50 day cruise. If we had known how good the laundry was, we could have brought less clothes. The ability of storing even the large luggage under the bed (unlike AZ or OC) provided more room. The space between the bed and closet was tight, but not a problem given the great design of the rest of the cabin. We did not understand the logic behind two chairs instead of one sofa in DV cabins. The E-safe is also much bigger than AZ or OC. A minor annoyance was VOC canceling our E-safe PIN in Mumbai and Bangkok embarkation ports that required ship security to reset. Dining For breakfast and lunch, we exclusively used the World Cafe on Deck 7. It is open longer, self-serve, and more choice of food. Because the choice of food in the World Cafe is more than The Restaurant on Deck 2, the was no point going to The Restaurant for these meals. We liked the layout of World Cafe with the spread out food service stations and seating areas to eliminate crowding. Not as cramped as AZ or OC. We liked the food in the World Cafe except for a little to much salt used especially in the soups (the same for dinner). The outside kitchen on the Aquavit Terrace for regional foods was good. We tried the Pool Grill and Mamsen’s, which we thought were great, especially Mamsen’s with the waffles. We attended the Afternoon Tea for about two weeks but stopped in the interest of decreasing our food consumption. On Orion, you needed to get there about 15-30 minutes before 1600 or there were no more seats. To get around this, we would go later, ~1630. There would always be a place by then due to people leaving. We especially liked the live music provided. For dinner, we used The Restaurant, Manfredi’s, The Chef’s Table, and World Cafe. Dinner was not as pleasant an overall experience as we would have liked. We found ourselves eating at the World Cafe more than the other venues. If there were many dishes on a given night in The Restaurant that we really wanted to try, we would go to the World Cafe where we could get a smaller portion of each dish. You can also see the line cooks make final food preparations, make requested modifications, and present the food so you knew exactly what you were getting. No surprises to be sent back and another dishes ordered (AZ). The other food in The Restaurant was very good. Now for the really subjective opinions. We were not particularly impressed with The Chef’s Table; only five cuisines with the chefs interpretation. The food was not bad, but limited with a little too much salt. Manfredi’s was a big disappointment. Our first meal main dishes were somewhat dry with a little too much salt. The best part was the excellent custom chocolate cake prepared for my birthday. The second meal was awful. My pork dish was very salty and loaded with fat rending half inedible. My wife’s main dish was worse. Even though we were entitled to one more meal there, we would not go into Manfredi’s again without significant changes in cooking style. All the table breads, muffin, and bread sticks has a very cheesy flavor that was annoying; not the Italian bread that I remember from the Italian bakeries at home. We would not eat the bread again. In the end, we informed a manager of our problems. If you don’t tell them, they will not know. The OC Toscana and AZ Aqualina are far better restaurants. The OC was far more generous with some foods such as lobster. We had lobster for either lunch or dinner every day on OC Marina. Orion had boiled lobster in the The Restaurant only twice in 50 days and Lobster Thermidor once (not very good with too much filler sauce). The VOC fruits were great especially after Mumbai where the more unusual fruits to the USA [dragon fruit (white and red), star fruit, for example, and others we have never seen before but tasted great] from southeast Asia countries were available. The VOC should be commended for portion control for desserts in the World Cafe seeing that passengers are mostly 60+ and some not in the best of shape. Desserts were in small size pieces with many choices. When a cake or pie was provided, it was smaller in diameter and thickness than AZ or OC. This did not deter an obese couple from consuming half a chocolate cake. Odd crowd behavior: the port side World Cafe was more crowded than starboard side, so the the greeters at the entrances several times requested that we use the starboard side. The food is the same on both sides except for ice cream and gelato, and stir fry (port), and pizza and doughnuts (starboard). The VOC has aerosol hand sanitizers throughout Decks 1, 2, 7, and 8 that are built into the bulkheads. The entrances to the World Cafe also have sinks with liquid soap and hand towels. Unfortunately, there was an outbreak of GI problems on the way to Mumbai, which necessitated eliminating self service at the World Cafe and implementing other protective measures for a few days (not the majority of the cruise as claimed elsewhere). In summary, we think the food was better on OC, especially the Marina size with more diverse restaurants. However, itinerary, destination, and timing are more important, so we would not hesitate to use VOC. And the destination oriented foods was also a plus. Entertainment We did not attend much evening entertainment in the Theater due to a lack of interest in the programs offered. What we did see was very good. The VOC did not appear as big on entertainment as OC based on the programs offered. Enrichment We attended the astronomy movie series in the Explorers Lounge theater exclusively on the Orion Deck 8 (which does not show up on the generic deck layouts and virtual tour on the VOC web site). Be advised that the theater is very small (26 people) and very cold as is the entire Explorers Lounge on Decks 7 and 8. Be sure to book the theater ASAP at the start of a cruise to get a seat for the three separate movies, and ensure that you a blanket because the theater is so cold. I don’t know why the Explorers Lounge is also cold all the time. (It was nice of VOC to put thick furry animal skins and blankets on the sofas.) The astronomy was enhanced by a resident astronomer who lectured several times and also lead open ended discussions on astronomy in general, space exploration, black holes, etc, during each cruise segment. Very well done. There was star gazing lead by the astronomer on Deck 9 weather conditions permitting, In general, from Athens to Oman had good conditions. Mumbai to Hong Kong had more haze so it was limited. If you are on Orion and are interested in astronomy, be sure to download to your smart phone a star map app with GPS capabilities to find stars, planets, satellites, ISS more quickly. BTW, the darkest part of the ship at night outside for stargazing is the outside platform at the starboard exit from the Explorers Lounge Deck 8. The VOC also has a resident historian (or diplomat) to cover the diplomacy, history, economics, warfare, etc., of the regions visited in formal lectures that we attended and roundtable discussions on the same or different subjects later. Very well done. Disembarkation Disembarkation was very easy. We stayed over in Hong Kong (HK) handling our own arrangements. The benefit of this is we were the last group required to leave the ship at 0845 so you can have a more leisurely breakfast. Luggage was easy to find in the dock terminal being clearly marked in groups. In HK, the disembarkations started as early as 0400 to catch flights. Check your airline arrangements from VOC Air and revise if necessary. The HK airport is very efficient in moving people through security to catch flights. The VOC cruise and air fare includes the HK airport departure and expansion construction fees. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
When I was in high school, I read a lot geography around the suez canal, red sea, and indian ocean. It is very interesting and I am glad I get this one in my bucket list. The excursions is actually more than I expect traveling Egypt, ... Read More
When I was in high school, I read a lot geography around the suez canal, red sea, and indian ocean. It is very interesting and I am glad I get this one in my bucket list. The excursions is actually more than I expect traveling Egypt, Israel, Jorden, and Mumbai in one trip. Of course, the ship is the top of the class in service. This is better than other ships which I had travelled before. The quality of food is also above other ships except the Chef Table. I went three night in this dinner and I just like the french food only. The equipment in the exercise room are in good condition and also because it is max. 930 persons in the ship, therefore, it is not crowded in the exercise room and spa area. I used the spa every day at sea. the Scandinavian Bathing is highly recommended to utilize in the trip. I also love so many sea food in the menu in this ship. 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

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