Bolsover Cruise Club’s Sarah Wilson jumped at the chance to experience a Viking Ocean ship, if only for a few hours. Now, she can’t wait to get back on board; read on to find out why…
Known for their clean lines and comfortable living, the Scandinavians are synonymous with beautiful design. So, it’s no surprise that once I stepped on-board a Viking Ocean ship I was overwhelmed with the style and elegance.
Viking Sun was in Liverpool for the day and I was so excited at the opportunity to look around and experience the ship myself. Viking are well-known for river cruising and after their phenomenal success within this sector decided to try their hand at ocean cruises. They took the award-winning concept from river and transferred this to the ocean ships magnificently. They started with Viking Star back in 2015 and have never looked back since. The fact they will soon have six ships in the fleet, with two to launch in 2018 and 2019, all built identically is testament to their growing repeat following. They never fail to impress.
So what sets Viking Ocean apart?
Could it be how many things are included? Drinks with meals, tips, excursions, Wi-Fi, use of the LivNordic Spa and of course all meals and flights are included in your fare.
Perhaps it is just the magic of the on-board experience that awaits you?
Let me take you on my tour of the ship and you will understand why. We received the warm Viking welcome from our very knowledgeable host and after introductions, we were led to the top of the ship to begin our tour.
We were taken to the aft of Deck 7 and tempted with the stunning Infinity Pool, where even the fact that I was fully dressed and it was a chilly day didn’t stop me daydreaming about how nice it would be to relax in this innovative pool while watching the beautiful vistas. Surrounding the pool is the very popular Aquavit Terrace for romantic alfresco dining.
We then strolled through the World Café, a casual buffet style restaurant that celebrates food from all over the globe. We were to eat our lunch here later and enjoy the excellent service, amazing food and even sample the delicious authentic gelato.
Also on this deck was the Main Pool with retractable roof and the Sea Screen for cosy movie nights under the stars. Next door, the Wintergarden contained stunning furniture and artwork, offering a perfect warm retreat for an indulgent afternoon tea.
Then towards the aft was Mamsen’s, which is the nickname for the Viking Cruises founder’s mother. This is a deli, Nordic style with waffles, fruit, cream and gjetost, a nutty cheese with a caramel taste.
As you stroll through the ship you notice the breathtaking artwork and stunning design; many of these pieces form part of a tour that you can listen to with headphones. This is part of the Viking ethos, to give you culture whilst on-board as well as in ports.
Other highlights on other decks included the LivNordic Spa which hosts a hydrotherapy pool, steam room, sauna and snow grotto; a must for anyone wanting to rejuvenate.
All the dining venues onboard are included in your fare as Viking feel that every venue including the main restaurant should be to the same standard. Why not try Manfredi’s, the Italian grill with perfectly cooked steaks and fresh seafood, or take advantage of Private Dining which gives you a private space with companions of your choice.
The Chef’s Table is also a favourite, an intimate dining experience with your chef creating themed meals with a wine paring.
As evening descends, after a day of exploring your destination on one of the included tours, relax to the tasteful entertainment and talented entertainers serving up a low-key vibe in cool venues like Torshavn for a spot of jazz or a livelier production of singing and dancing in the main theatre, which also transforms into a cinema showing the latest releases.
How many cruise companies let you take your own alcohol onboard with no corkage fees? How many offer full room service include or windows in the dining rooms that open to let the outside in on those balmy evenings in the Mediterranean or Caribbean?
I love the Scandi way of life. Their taste, their attitude to life and their effortless understated chic.
Travelling with Viking Ocean lets you be part of that culture on the most glorious ships.
So, what are you waiting for?