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Viking Star Ship Review

Viking Star rendering. Photo courtesy Viking Ocean Cruises

Viking Star rendering. Photo courtesy Viking Ocean Cruises

Overview Of Viking Star

With Viking Star, 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 offers guests a completely different ship — and an innovative onboard product.

See Viking Star: Day 3, Cartagena, Spain, Has Viking Created A New Category Of Ocean Cruiser?

For starters, the ship: Viking Star features 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 set the 930-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 in March of 2013.

Viking Star Infinity Pool rendering. Photo courtesy Viking Ocean Cruises

Viking Star Infinity Pool rendering. Photo courtesy Viking Ocean Cruises

Viking’s onboard program is equally impressive: One complimentary shore excursion in each port. Complimentary beverages, including wines and beers with lunch and dinner. Complimentary wi-fi internet access. Real king-sized beds. No charges for dining in specialty restaurants.

And Viking offer its cruises at a lower cost than its competitors.

See Viking Star: Day 2, Departing Barcelona, Tor Touts ‘Understated Elegance’ For Nearly 60 Percent Cheaper Than Oceania

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 is 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 internationally themed World Café located on Deck 7, and on deck 2, Manfredi’s and The Chef’s Table, the ship’s signature restaurants. Both offer 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 reservations-only depending on the stateroom category booked.

Like the Viking Longships, Viking Star has an Aquavit Terrace, which faces aft, toward the striking Infinity Pool, as opposed to forward on the Viking Longships.

Almost All-Inclusive Alcohol & Beverages

The Silver Spirits beverage package covers special wines-by-glass selections, beers, espresso drinks, juices and mineral water for the entire duration of your cruise, plus cocktails and a bottle of sparkling wine. The Silver Spirits Beverage Package goes for US $29.95 per day, per person.

Staterooms On Viking Star

My Penthouse Veranda stateroom 5101. © 2015 Ralph Grizzle

My Penthouse Veranda stateroom 5101. © 2015 Ralph Grizzle

Viking Star features all-balcony staterooms that come in five categories:

  • Veranda Staterooms measure 270 square feet and feature king-sized beds and spacious balconies. These staterooms are situated on Deck 3, one deck above the Viking Star’s Promenade Deck. This category does not include reservations at Manfredi’s or The Chef’s Table, or priority reservations at The Restaurant.
  • Deluxe Veranda Staterooms also measure 270 square feet, but include the dining perks. There’s also 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 is available to guests in these suites, along with higher-priority specialty restaurant reservations and priority embarkation and shore excursion reservations. See Viking Star: Day 4, Gibraltar, United Kingdom, A Peak Inside My Stateroom On Viking Star
  • 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.
  • Last but not least is the top-of-the-line Owner’s Suite designed by Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen himself. It spans a massive 1,448 square feet.
Torstein Hagen in the Owner's Suite on Viking Star. © 2015 Ralph Grizzle

Viking Ocean Cruises’ Chairman Torstein Hagen in the Owner’s Suite on Viking Star. © 2015 Ralph Grizzle

Where Viking Star Cruises

Viking Star operates 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.

We’ve cruised on her twice already. Read our reports here: Search all of our stories, including first-hand reports, from Viking Star.

  • Roland Hosier

    I did end my cruise when I posted this. I think the worst aspect was not that the Viking Star woefully failed in so many areas, but that corporate and ship executives totally failed to respond to their guests. The poor lady at the Explorers Lounge was beseiged with complaints and requests to see executive level staff and crew but was stifled by them. This poor lady endured day after day of complaints but the cowardly cruise line and ship executives refused to address any problem. Instead of taking it as a learning experience, they hid like cowards. When I think of all the ships that sank with high level ship offices abandoning ship first, I think that is what Viking would do also. Bottom, Viking had major problems. Face the fact and learn from them instead of hiding. It is the customer that has to be satisfied in the long run not individual egos. The ship was large enough to satisfy all passengers. Have at least one venue that caters to passenger who still have a little life left in them. 80 & 90 year olds still like to kick up their heels once in a while. Classical music in the Atrium and during tea is perfect. But everywhere? No dancing? Nothing livelier than a knitting class? Viking is cutting out a huge over 55 affluent clientele that still is mentally and physically alive.

  • Ralph Grizzle

    Thanks for sharing your experience Roland. It will be helpful for others. Please keep us informed and let us know your thoughts, if you will, at the end of your cruise. Happy travels, Ralph

  • Roland Hosier

    My review on Cruise Critic is the RPH1949 review. I was very pleased with the Viking River Boat Experience two years ago but the Viking Star was a disaster that started back in Sept. of 2014 when they became evasive about the excursions. It took them until just a couple of months before the trip to admit that they were cutting Paris and London to one day each instead of two days and putting us out to sea for those days. Any attempted communications with upper management was futile. Even on the ship, many of the executives were on board but would not respond to their customers. I know that this ship is for a more senior guest like the river boats but at least the pianist on the riverboat would respond to the guests and play dance music. Here is another link that I posted of their standard entertainment. It is not a good video but it will give you an idea of the entertainment and how many enjoyed it. Since basic port a calls were only about 5 hours and they put us out to sea for five full days, think what it was like listening to this 24/7 either live or piped into their PA system.

  • Ralph Grizzle

    Hi Roland, Thanks for providing the link to the Cruise Critic user reviews. Please provide us with a little context as to the value you think the link provides for readers. Are you the ship? Is this your review? We appreciate all perspectives to help people make informed decisions. Thank you.

  • Roland Hosier
  • Roland Hosier
  • Ralph Grizzle

    I was on deck 5 and liked it. The ship is very quiet, except for an issue they are having (which will soon be fixed) of the stateroom doors not latching, so people are forced to slam them. Definitely want to go midships, but she was largely stable, even in semi-rough seas.

  • Ralph Grizzle

    I board on May 2. Watch for reports then. Thank you.

  • Annemarie

    I’ve only done one cruise – with Seabourn – and absolutely loved it. I want to do the Homelands cruise on Viking Star, booking a Deluxe Verandah Statement. Which level and whereabouts on the ship should I try and access that would be good for feeling very little movement and away from laundries, kitchens, etc? Thank you.

  • Enomai

    I am currently on the Star enjoying her maiden voyage. Apart from a few minor glitches to be expected on any first sailing, the cruise is fantastic.

  • Ralph Grizzle

    Lots of ports to think about and the ship could be turned, etc. Leaving Venice is beautiful, but I’d be out on the top deck. Barcelona, it’s almost better looking out to the sea. Lot of variables.

  • FirstTimer

    Hi Ralph. If you are going on the Viking Star ocean cruise from Venice to Barcelona, what side of the ship would give you a view of the land when in port (docked)?

  • Ralph Grizzle

    Viking markets primarily to English-speakers who are 55 and up.

  • Donj

    What do you think the Nationality makeup and age of the cruise guests will be

  • theavidcruiser

    Thanks very much. I’m definitely eager to learn more about Viking Star. I’m sure new info will be trickling out.

  • Chavdar Chanev

    Mr Grizzle, your review of Viking Star is concise, yet pretty informative considering the little information officially released by the new Viking line. It was of huge help for me, since I needed such info for one of my surveys.
    Thanx, Ralph, and keep up the good work! 😉