Viking Star Ship Review
Overview Of Viking Star
Currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyards near Venice, Italy, Viking Star will be unlike any other premium cruise ship. Viking is actively targeting the same sort of folks who might sail with lines like Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line and Oceania Cruises, yet Viking Ocean Cruises plans to offer guests a completely different ship — and an innovative onboard product.
For starters, the ship: It will feature a glass-backed infinity pool, a two-story forward-facing observation lounge, and all-balcony accommodations. These are just a handful of the features that will set the 928-guest Viking Star apart from her competitors, not to mention sleek, nautical styling that Torstein Hagen himself was quick to point out during the launch of the new cruise line at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles this past March.
Viking’s onboard program is equally impressive: One complimentary shore excursion in each port. Complimentary beverages, including wines and beers. Complimentary wi-fi internet access. Real king-sized beds. No charges for dining in specialty restaurants.
And Viking is planning to offer its cruises at a lower cost than its competitors when the company begins service in 2015.
Dining On Viking Star
Viking Star’s main dining room is called The Restaurant, featuring local specialties alongside classic American fare. Much of the food will be based on the itinerary being operated, such as Venetian risotto on sailings from Venice, or perhaps a traditional Turkish meze as Viking Star sails the Bosphorus.
Other dining options include the Viking Deli with its Scandinavian-style quick bites, and the internationally themed World Cafe located on Deck 7. Like the Viking Longships, Viking Star will have an Aquavit Terrace, which will face aft, toward the striking Infinity Pool, as opposed to forward on the Viking Longships.
The Italian Grill and Chef’s Table will be the ship’s signature restaurants, offering intimate experiences and authentic cuisine. Viking has come up with an interesting concept to control the availability of these experiences: Rather than offer them at an additional surcharge, Viking has made the restaurants available free-of-charge to all but the lowest Veranda-grade staterooms.
It’s a novel idea; only time will tell if it succeeds.
Staterooms On Viking Star
Viking Star will feature all-balcony staterooms that come in five categories:
- Veranda Staterooms will measure 270 square feet and feature king-sized beds and spacious balconies. These staterooms will be situated on Deck 3, one deck above the Viking Star’s Promenade Deck. This category will not include reservations at the Italian Grill or Chef’s Table, or priority reservations at The Restaurant.
- Deluxe Veranda Staterooms will also measure 270 square feet, but will include the dining perks. A complimentary iPad for use during the cruise will be provided to guests, along with in-room coffee and mini-bar services and priority reservations in The Restaurant.
- Penthouse Veranda Suites measure 338 square feet and include spacious baths with luxury showers and toiletries. Complimentary shoe-shine and pressing services will be available to guests in these suites, along with higher-priority specialty restaurant reservations and priority embarkation and shore excursion reservations.
- Penthouse Junior Suites measure 405 square feet and feature two separate rooms and an oversized veranda. Since they’re located at the front of the ship, they also provide quick access to the Explorer’s Lounge, Spa, Star Theater and other public rooms.
- Explorer Suites are larger still, coming in at between 757 and 1,163 square feet. These feature oversized wraparound balconies that overlook the ship’s bow or stern, along with a Viking Explorer Bed that features luxury linens.
- Details are still forthcoming about the top-of-the-line Owner’s Suite designed by Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen himself. What we do know is this: It will span a massive 1,448 square feet and full details will be revealed — and be available for booking — in early 2014.
Where Viking Star Cruises
When she sets sail in 2015, Viking Star will operate a variety of itineraries in Western and Northern Europe, along with sailings through the sun-splashed islands of the Mediterranean.
These include the 15-day Viking Homelands from Stockholm to Bergen; the 15-day Passage through Eastern Europe from Bergen to Barcelona; the 13-day Mediterranean Odyssey from Barcelona to Venice; the 10-day Empires of the Mediterranean from Venice to Istanbul; and three multi-voyage segments that range in length from 22 to 50 days.
Our Take On Viking Star
Viking has every chance of making Viking Star the darling of the cruise industry in 2015 by bringing the company’s experience and identity from the river cruise arena to deep-ocean cruising.