This past week, the Avid Cruiser's own Ralph Grizzle has been sailing onboard Viking Cruises' brand-new (and first-ever) oceangoing cruise ship, Viking Star. During that time, he's filed an amazing series of reports, including a firsthand video look at what makes this new ship so exciting.
• Day 1: Boarding in Barcelona; a Tour with Tor
• Day 2: Departing Barcelona; Understated Elegance - for less than Oceania
• Day 3: Cartagena, Spain, Has Viking Created a New Category of Ocean Cruiser
• Day 4: A Peek Inside My Penthouse aboard Viking Star
• Day 5: Avid Cruiser's Viking Star Introduction Video
• Day 6: Lisbon, Portugal; End of a Journey; Summing Up Viking Star
As in-depth as Ralph's reports are, we always like to cover every concievable angle - particularly with a new ship like this. So this week, we're trading places. I'll get my own shot at Viking Star as I sail aboard her from Greenwich (London) to the Hanseatic port of Bergen, Norway, to witness her christening ceremonies on Sunday, May 17, 2015. To fully understand why she's such a special ship, you first have to understand the Norwegian propensity for tenacity.
Once upon a time, there was a Norwegian man by the name of Roald Amundsen. Born in the small parish of Borge in 1872, he would go on to become one of the world’s most daring and successful polar explorers of all time.
He also had a great talent for doing what others couldn’t: Despite centuries of failed expeditions to the North and South Poles, Amundsen ending up claiming both victories for himself and for Norway in 1926 and 1911, respectively. He also singlehandedly succeeded in discovering the fabled Northwest Passage in 1906. A one-man-wrecking-ball, Amundsen was a huge thorn in the side of contemporaries like Scott, Shackleton, and Mawson simply for his freakish ability to succeed in the face of extreme odds.
Viking Cruises founder Torstein Hagen is a bit like Amundsen – and not just because he’s of Norwegian descent.