Open For Bookings: Nearly All-Inclusive, Viking Ocean Cruises’ New Viking Star

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Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking River Cruises, presents

Last night, from the International Ballroom at The Beverly Hilton, Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking River Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises, told media and top travel agents that cruises on Viking Star will cost 38 percent less than similar cruises in the ship’s competitive set. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

THE BEVERLY HILTON, BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA — Perhaps the biggest surprise announced last night during the Viking Ocean Cruises’ reveal: lead-in per diems at just under $300 per person with included WiFi, an included tour in each port of call, overnight stays in embarkation and disembarkation ports, and complimentary beer and wine with lunch and dinner.

When bookings open on Friday May 17, the new Viking Star’s 15-day cruises between Bergen and Stockholm will go for $4,499 per person for accommodations in a 270-square-foot Veranda Suite, featuring a king-sized bed, a sitting area, an expansive balcony, and a large bathroom with a shower spacious enough to bathe in “without touching any of the walls,” says Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking River Cruises, and, as of last night, Viking Ocean Cruises.

In developing the concept for Viking’s ocean product, Hagen wanted a no-nonsense ship that delivered in seven key areas:

  • The destination will be key to the experience
  • Small ship, but at a great value
  • Designed for comfort, function and understated elegance
  • Great food, locally inspired
  • Culturally enriching shore excursions and onboard programs
  • No nickel and dime’ing
  • Don’t be everything to everybody

There will be no casino, no charge for speciality restaurants, no formal nights — and no ties. The vessel will carry 928 passengers, all double occupancy veranda staterooms (in several categories and some suites), not family friendly but appealing to “explorers” ages 55 and up.

Speaking from the same stage where the Golden Globe Awards ceremony is presented annually, Hagen displayed renderings to media and some of the nation’s top cruise sellers that showed Viking Star to be innovative — with sliding windows that open in the main dining room for al fresco dining, a spa that features a sauna and snow room, a forward-facing two-level Explorer’s Lounge, an infinity pool with an aft glass wall exposed to the sea, and much more.

Viking Star begins service in 2015. Stay tuned. We’ll have more about the new Viking Star this weekend.

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  • theavidcruiser

    Maybe I’ll bring my mountain bike for the promenade deck : ) Let us know about the Silver Spirits package (funny name huh?)

  • Wes

    you should try indoor spin classes (if you have not as well) but agree nothing beats biking outdoors (I mountain bike 2/3x a week). Ida and I spin three times a week (killer workout–we burn 700-800 calories an hour) due to our no-nonsense kicka## spin instructor….anyway back to discussing VS. Phone call this a.m. with Viking took a long time, often the rep had to excuse herself to get the answer from her spvsr. Am also checking out the Silver Spirits bev package VS guessing this will be about $50 per day. Hopefully you will be invited for the shakedown before our maiden and you can christen the jogging deck :)

  • theavidcruiser

    Thank you Wes! You’re always helpful, and I appreciate it. You’ll be glad to know that I just returned from my desk from the gym. My passion, as I think you know is cycling. I’ll be out mountain biking tomorrow with family and friends in beautiful Asheville. Keep cruisin’ and runnin’ buddy!

  • Wes

    TY Ralph; and u can take credit for the first or one the first Viking star maiden voyage bookings; due to the vid u posted above (about 8a.m) prompted me to find the viking ocean cruises website, long story short after about a half hour on the site then 45 min on the phone with a Viking Ocean rep (was one of the first guests to call) we booked the maiden voyage (Bergen to Stockholm) in PH veranda. They will have a full promenande jogging/walking deck (your right) on Deck2 (unusual location but will help block wind but reduce ocean panoramic views) and gym/fitness room on Deck 1 next to the Spa. Pls see this deck plan link:

    Btw, since Craig knowsTor well (he is the or one of the top sellers of their River cruises) gave him two recommendations; Viking should join the American Express Platinum cruise benefit program–will help their target marketing. And recommended Viking join with cruise critic for a formal CC and Viking Ocean cruisli meet & mingle–will help build buzz as they progress toward the maiden voyage. btw..sent Ellen Bettridge (Silversea this recommendation formalize meet & mingle with CC a year ago, it went live this week on CC)

  • theavidcruiser

    Tor Hagen is not big on gyms (the Viking river cruisers have none; nor bikes). That said there will be a gym, but Hagen revealed no details. In Amsterdam a few months ago, he told me the gym would not occupy premium real estate – up top and front, but would be on the lower decks. Not holding my breath for a running track. More details eventually.

  • Wes

    Thanks Ralph, beautiful the infinity pool. Did you see the fitness area rendering, thoughts? Any jogging track? Pls give Craig Pavlus a shout out.