10 Viking Ocean Viking Sea Cruise Reviews for Luxury Cruises to Europe - All

We chose this cruise to see and learn about the British isles, as we have never been to Ireland, Scotland, nor other isles in the U.K. The cruise was fantastic, first time on Viking ocean. We loved that it was a smaller ship compared to ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see and learn about the British isles, as we have never been to Ireland, Scotland, nor other isles in the U.K. The cruise was fantastic, first time on Viking ocean. We loved that it was a smaller ship compared to the other behemoths. We enjoyed the great food, the choice of restaurants, and their flexible hours. The wait people were always attentive and courteous. We liked that wine and other beverages were always available at every meal, at no extra charge. Specialty coffees, or other soft beverages were always available at the bars, free. The cabins are spacious, clean, and adequate for most people, and serviced regularly. Entertainment at the theater was fabulous, with the ship’s performers, and guest entertainers. The shore excursions, included at every port, in addition to the optional tours, were for the most part very educational. They covered the highlights of the area, as much as one could see and absorb in a few hours. Overall, the cruise was wonderful, we’ll go again with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our first experience with Viking and, though all-in-all a good cruise, we departed feeling like there was room for some improvements. Viking’s reputation and recent ratings speak for themselves, so my wife and I were very ... Read More
This was our first experience with Viking and, though all-in-all a good cruise, we departed feeling like there was room for some improvements. Viking’s reputation and recent ratings speak for themselves, so my wife and I were very much looking forward to this cruise, our sixth. We sailed from Barcelona, Spain on the Viking Sea ocean ship, ending up in beautiful Bergen, Norway. The 15-day itinerary along the west European coast was very attractive to us, both in length and variety of ports to be visited. We expected an above-average experience, which Viking pretty much did deliver, but they fell short in some unexpected areas. Spoiler alert: yes, we will likely sail with them again, despite the lapses that I’ll try to articulate here, along with some well-deserved compliments. The highlights/stars of the cruise were, for us, the ship and the crew. Both were exceptional compared to previous cruise experiences. I need to start somewhere so I guess I’ll go in alphabetical order. And since I usually refer to a ‘ship’ as a ‘boat’ I’ll talk about the Viking Sea first. ;-) Our last cruise had nearly 5000 passengers on it – way, way too many. Without going into details, the crowds, lines, noise were obvious issues. ALL of that was absent on this cruise. The Sea carries up to 930 passengers. There is no casino, no interior cabins, no huge shops, no children, no photographers; everything is scaled-down from the bigger liners, yet we never once felt harried or even particularly delayed, even while getting food at the buffet. The longest line we stood in was at the U.K. stop where everyone had to go thru a formal immigration interview. At first the number of folks queued up seemed exceptionally daunting, but we were whizzed in and out of there in no time. Much appreciated. The interior of the boat was stunning. Built in 2016, it was modern, well-organized and immaculate. The décor spoke to my Scandinavian roots; I’ve always been a fan of that type of furniture coupled with the clean, eye-pleasing space design. One unexpected detail we liked were the leather-wrapped stateroom door handles and hallway safety railings; very plush. The customer service/lounge area on deck one was appropriately called ‘The Living Room’ and instantly evoked sophistication and comfort at the same time. A few decks up, the Wintergarden lounge area amidships was especially attractive. I can’t find the words to describe it – do yourself a favor and Google it real quick. Our favorite area ended up being the Explorer’s Lounge at the bow on deck seven. It had two levels, the lower featuring a bar and LOTS of comfortable seating; the upper level was smaller, a bit more private and very quiet. Both had panoramic, 180 degree views of the outside. Side doors led to an exterior walkway in front which provided, IMO, the best forward-facing views of port arrivals and sail-aways. Every evening at 6 we were treated to either a violin/cello duet or piano music, which further enhanced the pre-dinner, end-of-the-day unwind, accompanied by refreshing libations and the new friends we met. I’m not a spa guy, but as promised to my wife I tried it on the last sea day. I felt it was modest, though classy; that is the space was in keeping with the rest of the décor. It seemed rather small to me, likely due to the boat’s size. That probably also explains why all the chaise lounges were taken. I hung in as long as I could, but on my way out I couldn’t resist checking out the Snow Room, a small rustic chamber with real snow in it. I sat for a few moments and actually felt somewhat refreshed. Never seen one of those before! (Avoiding the extreme temptation to say it was ‘cool’!) Ok, how was the room? We were in a Deluxe Veranda stateroom on deck 5, ALL the way forward on the starboard side, right below the bridge. The size (270 sq. ft.) and layout were serviceable. The bathroom was relatively spacious and featured a heated mirror and floor. The heaters were activated automatically when you inserted your sea pass card to activate the room lights, but they could not be turned off until you left the room (or took your card out). The heated mirror prevented fogging during showers and worked well. I didn't like the warm floor, in general, as it tended to heat up the whole bathroom space. My wife, who is always cold, loved it. For some reason there was only one little 22” towel rod in there, which pretty much forced us to have most of the towels changed out each day. If there’d been one or two more I would’ve gladly re-used those linens. The living area was comfortable, with a nice big flat-screen monitor in front of the bed. A small wet bar tucked in the desk had a nice assortment of snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. There was a bit of extra space to cool off wine bottles and food. The balcony was smallish, but not tiny. If the weather had been less windy I could see the two of us hanging out there more often than we did. The under-hanging search light just outside the railing (part of the bridge structure right above us) was only a minor annoyance. The MAJOR annoyance was the lack of dresser and shelf space. We got only three small drawers and a couple of open shelves in addition to an un-remarkable closet space. This was confounding given the open wall areas where they could have thrown up one or two shelf/drawer units. Some new friends showed us their Penthouse Junior Suite on deck 8 and that one had an actual dresser, in addition to more room. Another issue was the nightlight. Located at floor level near the bathroom, it was BRIGHT. We first tried covering it with some tape we’d brought, but we soon realized that a folded-up towel was required; it was that annoying. Mad, mad props to Viking Sea's crew. On our last cruise this element was a memorable low-point. This time, everyone (literally), no matter if he/she was a deck hand, housekeeping, or bridge officers, always looked us in the eye, smiled and offered a pleasant 'Good morning', ‘Enjoy your day', whatever. This simple gesture is essential, IMO, for an enjoyable cruise experience. The customer service personnel were knowledgeable, the bartenders were personable, and the wait staff were very attentive (with one lone exception, see below). The highlight came after our Bruges, Belgium excursion. As our bus pulled up to the boat, we were greeted to the sight of a huge red carpet and a double line of what appeared to be most of the senior officers and staff. Music was playing, hands were clapping, feet were stomping, and we got the 'welcome back aboard' of a lifetime! Gosh knows how long they had to stand out there; we were one of the last tour groups to return. I asked a waiter about it later and he indicated that they do this at least once a cruise, pretty much at random. How fun. Nice touch Viking! We also enjoyed the many educational lectures they offered, most of them aimed at the ‘middle ages trade routes’ theme of the cruise. Their ‘Port Talk’ presentations gave us useful info on the next port of call and the scheduled excursions. If we missed anything, we could view a recording of it later on their internal media system. I’m not a night owl so I can’t comment on the evening entertainment. Speaking of excursions, everything was very well organized. There were always plenty of personnel around to direct us and answer questions. The tour guides were fun and professional. Accommodations were made for folks using crutches, wheelchairs, etc. The disembarkation process on the final day was very efficient (sort of a one-way, final excursion, right?). No lines, we were whisked thru the terminal where our baggage, porters to carry them and taxi cabs were all waiting. Sadly, I need to move on to the "irks" part of this review, i.e. the food. The buffet was, maybe predictably, repetitive after a while. They did throw in some variety, most of which was not for my palette unfortunately. At breakfast, the scrambled eggs were Eggbeaters; to get a real egg you had to order an omelet or grab an Eggs Benedict (on which the ham slices were always way too small). The coffee was mostly bitter to my taste, and for some reason, you had to go from one end of the buffet to the other just to pair a bagel with some cream cheese. And I can't for the life of me understand why they couldn't, at least once in a while, put out some seasoned ground beef, chopped lettuce, cheese and tortillas so I could have a taco or something (i.e. Mexican food). They had Italian, they had Spanish, they had Asian - what gives? Overall, the food tended to be under-seasoned and bland, period, with very few options to jazz it up other than ground pepper or some Tabasco sauce. The memorable food-related highlight was our dinner at the 'Chef's Table' and an Asian-style menu. It was fantastic. Very gourmet-style, each course was as pleasant to look at as it was to eat. For daily faire, the burgers were excellent, and the buffet’s bakery always had a wide variety of tasty breads, rolls, pastries, etc. The low light was Manfredi's, their flagship Italian restaurant. Number one, I couldn't read the menu, it was ALL in Italian. I knew I wanted the rib eye steak, their signature dish, but I needed the waiter to help me choose a side. The food was good (yes, I can recommend the rib eye), but as we were eating, the waiter decided to disappear. From then on, we had to ask for everything: plates to be cleared, dessert menus, ready to order, etc. A second waiter eventually came by, and our desserts instantly appeared. Great, but where's the coffee we ordered? So we waited. And waited. Finally the first waiter decided to check in and he went off to look for coffee. The maître d’ stopped by - we had three people looking for coffee and the desserts were still sitting (granted, our choice). Sadly, it didn't end there. My wife's Tiramisu was a gloppy mess; just one little layer of sponge at the bottom, topped off in a coffee-cup-sized container with some kind of whip creamy, chocolate swirly, ... glop. We got back to our room and we're thinking 'Holy cats, what just happened?!' It was extremely disappointing, especially given the high regard in which the restaurant was held. Just a few more random observations to offer and I’ll wrap up (thanks for hanging in!). The captain had an irksome habit of docking early. We enjoy sail-ins and are willing to get up early to watch the early-morning ones when the opportunity avails. The Viking Daily newsletter always provided lots of info including arrivals/departures so we planned accordingly. More often than not we woke up to realize that we were already pulling into a port long before our alarm was due to go off. Oh well. Another frequent irk was the spotty wi-fi. It seemed to happen mostly during the day – the signal would just quit. Lastly, at many ports Viking would arrange for shuttles, or at least guides to help independent sightseers to explore on their own. This was completely absent at Amsterdam, which was especially confusing after my wife (being much more adventurous than I) found out that, with just a bit of advice from a fellow passenger, a short walk led to a very attractive part of town. The boat’s resources were silent on this. One last remark, and I don’t consider it to be a knock, is that the boat, at 745 feet long and 94 feet wide, got tossed around a quite bit in the choppy seas we encountered coming into the English Channel, then later in the North Sea. It got a bit dicey at times, where you had to walk really carefully when you were moving around. I doubt a larger boat would ride that way but IMO it just added to the experience. So, all things considered, it was a very enjoyable cruise. A lot of this was due to the spectacular, unusual stretch of clear, moderate weather we enjoyed in all the ports we visited; no rain, not even many clouds. The rain finally did arrive - on the day we departed. Viking, for the most part, came through with a wonderful experience, just as we expected they would. I remember on the last full day, a few of us were in the Explorers Lounge filling out Viking’s lengthy feedback questionnaire and it became apparent we were all struggling with how to rate the cruise with “As Expected”, “Better Than Expected”, etc. We all ‘expected’ an exceptional experience from Viking, but it seemed weird to choose “As Expected” because it felt like we were dinging them. In fact it was a compliment – we expected better and Viking delivered. On that basis, we’re more than willing to look into another ocean cruise with Viking. Too, I strongly suspect that we’ll try one of their river cruises in the future. And on that note, I’ll close. Thank you for reading this – I hope you’ve found it helpful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The itinerary was nicely organized so that we had great tours with quiet days in between to relax. The crew members were very friendly and caring and always tried to make sure everything was perfect. The port talks were very ... Read More
The itinerary was nicely organized so that we had great tours with quiet days in between to relax. The crew members were very friendly and caring and always tried to make sure everything was perfect. The port talks were very informative and it was handy having them recorded and available in our room so we could watch them at our convenience. The dress code was nice and relaxing, you don't need to have a lot of (any) really dressy clothes, dress pants and a collared shirt or sweater were perfect for all dining venues. The food was good for the most part but we didn't care for the offerings in the Chef's Table. We would have rather had more meals in the Italian restaurant, which was very good, but there was also a nice variety of food in the other restaurants. The staff in the explorer lounge were first rate. They remembered us after day one and always greeted us by name after that. The room attendants were most accommodating and considerate. We were glad we had a PV room with a little more space when we were relaxing in our room & on the balcony of our room. It was really helpful to have access to a laundry room during the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
A great value for the money paid, I highly recommend this cruise company, the ship and the crew, and this itinerary. Every one smiles, says good or evening and what can we do help you today, outstanding service. The positive vibration is ... Read More
A great value for the money paid, I highly recommend this cruise company, the ship and the crew, and this itinerary. Every one smiles, says good or evening and what can we do help you today, outstanding service. The positive vibration is tremendous. The food is very good, fresh, tasty, enjoyable like any multiple star restaurant. The menus have a good selection of different plates to choose from. The ports and excursions where also excellent. the guides provided a high value of information. Viking had to change two ports due to weather issues, and within three hours they had all logistics in place and made necessary changes to the passengers excursion refunds and issuance of new tickets, for a new port in which Viking had never been before, that experience was superb, both from Viking employees handling, the port itself. The Train ride between Burgen and Oslo is fantastic because of the scenery, and it has been rated as one of the prettiest in the world. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We enjoyed our impeccably clean modern cabins which were tastefully furnished and very comfortable. The bed was excellent. The ship offers a tremendous amount of enjoyable space throughout, a place for every mood, time of day, desire for ... Read More
We enjoyed our impeccably clean modern cabins which were tastefully furnished and very comfortable. The bed was excellent. The ship offers a tremendous amount of enjoyable space throughout, a place for every mood, time of day, desire for privacy or company. The food was excellent in all dining facillities, consistently fresh and of high quality. The Italian restaurant really stands out! Viking staff was very friendly, helpful and always capable. We much enjoyed being mostly in rather casual attire on a ship which offers room for every taste and fashion. On this trip we visited (or sampled) many countries from Norway to Athens, Greece. All excursions were well organized, enjoyable and informative. We probably 'overbooked' on this first cruise and will take it a little easier next time. Our airport pickup and dropoff was flawless. Viking was a really great overall experience. Our next Viking cruise in the West Indies is already booked. Go if you can! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose this cruise due to an email we got from Viking with a special offer price. We were escorted from the airport in Bergen with plenty of Viking staff in attendance. The weather in Bergen was normal rain. We were taken to the ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to an email we got from Viking with a special offer price. We were escorted from the airport in Bergen with plenty of Viking staff in attendance. The weather in Bergen was normal rain. We were taken to the ship and the registration process was very quick with your passport being scanned as well as your credit card this gave the picture for your cruise card. That was it your cards was passed to you. We boarded the ship through security and cards scanned as normal we had the normal champagne on arrival and were greeted by the cruise director. We were early approx 1200hrs our stateroom was not available until 1400 hrs.We explored the immediate area and it was very comfortable and bright and airy. Our first problem was on the first day we ordered a drink you just quote your stateroom number and the waiter has a smartphone which shows your photo my picture did not work so we had to go to guest services who then took the photo again and added this to our stateroom account. But over the next 14 days the system was showing two photos of my wife but not me. We contacted guest relations twice more who assured us the problem was fixed but it wasn't nor did they remove the second photo of my wife. So each time we ordered a drink there was a hesitation by the staff. So moving on from this we entered our stateroom at 1400hrs and we were impressed to see our luggage waiting for us. The staterooms are a good size with a nice decor. The bathroom is very nice with a heated floor. A good sized shower cubicle with a glass door. Plenty of storage in the bathroom for all your normal items. We unpacked and had plenty of storage for hanging in the wardrobe but there is a lack of drawer space. On the bedside cabinets there was power points and USB sockets but these were not working and it would be another week before these were changed and we then had power on these cabinets. There is a seating area with coffee table. Dressing table and chair with power points and a mini bar stocked with soft drinks and two mini chocolate bars. These were topped up each day. There was a coffee making machine but nowhere to make tea. No tea bags and no way to boil water. I know some of these machines can make tea so I sent a request on your first day to guest service but never got a reply. So Coffee but NO TEA The TV was good and the reception was very good and good easy interactive connections with a separate tab for the olympics. There was also a good hair dryer and a pair on small binoculars which were good. Normal size balcony with two upright chairs I thought the table was perhaps a little to big for the space. The free wifi was excellent even at sea. This is the best wifi we have had at sea When we got going on the second night we found a lot of vibration in the stateroom. We know you get some shuddering in bad weather we have been on 18+ cruises on larger and smaller ocean going ships. This was a vibration even when the sea was calm it was like something was out of balance. So I can't say we had good sleep it did disturbed it. We did have an engine problem later on I don't know if this issue was related. The ship it self is very light and plenty of space it never seemed crowded. We visited the cafe which was very good and there were plenty of good views being on deck 7 and in good weather you could eat outside and watch the sun set. The food quality and service was excellent we visited for breakfast and some evening meals. There is also the restaurant on deck 2 the decor is nice but it was always busy in the evening and very noisey. The service did not seem as good in here. We had a table for two and every time one person is left looking at a wall and the other person could view the room. We went here twice but did not enjoy the experience. There are two speciality restaurant with no cover charge we visited these 5 times in the cruise and the food again was excellent. The service was a bit patchy at times. We enjoyed eating in the cafe in the evening especially when we got to the med as we could sit outside and it never Got to busy. The entertainment team was a troupe of 8 plus the cruise director and these were very talented and put on some great shows. The scenery is all done by a screen at the back of the stage so the sound and visual side were fab. We had an engine problem on the ship which meant we missed Athens as an overnight stop which meant we had an extra night at sea so Heather Clancy put on a one man show. She was excellent sometimes singing to background music others she was supported by the band who were 5** these guys had a huge repertoire of music they had two singers a key board player who also played the trumpet, a drumber and two guitars. The Waite staff and state room attendants were all excellent they all seemed happy in there work and tried to remember your name. In all a good cruise in a beautiful ship most of the time it was excellent but I am sure they can sort out the few issues it will soon be 5*. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Just returned from Viking Sea from Bergen to Athens (repositioning cruise). First of all can I say ive been on 24 cruises on mainly Celebrity but also Cunard, Azamara, Royal Caribean and P and O. This was by far the nicest ship for ... Read More
Just returned from Viking Sea from Bergen to Athens (repositioning cruise). First of all can I say ive been on 24 cruises on mainly Celebrity but also Cunard, Azamara, Royal Caribean and P and O. This was by far the nicest ship for décor Ive ever been on. The simple modern design of all the public areas . The clean colours and the furniture was totally my taste. The staff were incredible from top to bottom (apart from the incredibly false and annoying Cruise Director). Nothing was too much much hassle and there was no stuck up aloofness that you get on Cunard. We had the best meals we have ever had on a cruise ship (or off for that matter). The quality of the food and the incuded wine was top notch. As the ship was underoccupied by nearly 300 there was never any problems getting in to the optional restaurants and we spent many a lovely night experiencing the wine pairing with the set meals in the ‘Chefs table’ with the friendly maitre d’ Michael Everything was totally relaxed and chilled. The Spa blew any other spa at sea out the water. Fabulous. From the snow room to the pool, the facilities were incredible. Other mentions are the IT. From the smooth checking in without paper tickets to the screens throughout the ship that you could interatc to get menus or event of the day up to the ordering of meals and drinks with the waiters handheld phones. Everything worked very well. Just the fact that you had unlimited free wifi made a massive difference to the experience. Note to other cruise companies: Viking give free wifi to all their staff. This makes a massive difference in their interactions with theier families back home and we could see the difference in temperament between the staff on Viking and any other ship weve ever been on. They actually liked working for Viking and the turnover of staff was a lot lower than any other lines. There are small flaws of course as a new ship. One of the thrusters broke down in Malta and we were delayed by nearly 12 hours while they flew someone in to fix it. This unfortunately meant we missed a whole day in Athens and only got into Pireous late at night in time to catch the flights home the next morning. This did put a dampener on the trip but im sure Viking will be compensating us all generously. The entertainment stopped at midnight because of the mixture of age group and the fact that staterooms were above the nightclub. The shows were actually quite good for such a small ship and again the use of the technology was very well implemented, especially with the 'James Bond' show. In conclusion Viking arent the cheapest BUT they are the Best and the most value for money when you take the free excursions, drinks with meals, wifi, gratuities, service and the quality of the meals. We will be back! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this cruise because of the number of ports. Started in Bergen, Norway and ended in Athens, Greece. This was our first ocean cruise and it was fantastic. The ship accommodated around 930 passengers, our cruise had a little over ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the number of ports. Started in Bergen, Norway and ended in Athens, Greece. This was our first ocean cruise and it was fantastic. The ship accommodated around 930 passengers, our cruise had a little over 700 passengers, but it never felt crowed which was one of our biggest fears in booking on a ship this large. Our Veranda Suite was extremely roomy, the food and service was excellent, along with great entertainment, and the common areas on the ship were comfortable and nicely decorated. My husband walks with a rollator (a rolling walker), and there was plenty of room on the ship and in our room for him to move around comfortably. We had included shore excursions at every port and enjoyed every one of them. I would highly recommend this trip, this ship, and this cruise line, and will definitely take another ocean cruise with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We sailed on the maiden voyage of the Viking Sea starting in Istanbul, Turkey and ending in Stokholm, Sweden. This is a beautiful ship. Viking has really included so many extra features to ensure a fabulous time. The crew was ... Read More
We sailed on the maiden voyage of the Viking Sea starting in Istanbul, Turkey and ending in Stokholm, Sweden. This is a beautiful ship. Viking has really included so many extra features to ensure a fabulous time. The crew was outstanding in that you could really feel that they genuinely loved their jobs and did everything possible to make our voyage a once-in-a-lifetime event! The ports of call were so interesting and the included excursions were outstanding! Viking provides Enrichment Lectures by experts in various fields (history, geography, music, the arts, etc) which enhanced each segment of the journey. All of the rooms are suites with outside verandas. The accommodations are very comfortable and beautiful. There are many places on the ship to find a quiet place to read or enjoy a nice glass of wine. The pools are very nice as well. We loved the ship and crew! We highly recommend Viking! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
The Viking Ocean Cruise "Nordic Explorer" was in a word fantastic! Every destination tour was very informative and fun. The restaurants on board were delightful with a gourmet dinner with wine every night. The destinations ... Read More
The Viking Ocean Cruise "Nordic Explorer" was in a word fantastic! Every destination tour was very informative and fun. The restaurants on board were delightful with a gourmet dinner with wine every night. The destinations included all the major cities of the continent, all with local guides that where adept with local history and color. The entire staff were very personable and knowledgeable. It seemed they could not do enough to make every day special. The on-board entertainment was exceptional. All performers were very entertaining including the local performances along the way. The spa was excellent including a large pool for relaxing plus steam and snow rooms for the total experience. On board activities educational immersion lectures from experts as well as movies relative to the areas visited. During the 35 days of our cruise I never once felt that the cruise was too long or uninteresting. I would highly recommend this excursion as a cruise of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Viking Sea Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.8
Dining 5.0 4.6
Entertainment 3.5 4.2
Public Rooms 5.0 4.9
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.4
Family 1.0 4.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.2
Enrichment 4.0 4.4
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 5.0 4.4

Find a Viking Sea Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click