Viking Star Is Coming To North America

Why Viking’s First North American Sailings Matter

Viking Sea will be the sister-ship to 2015's Viking Star. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Viking Star is headed for North America this month. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Later this month, Viking Ocean Cruises will chalk up another milestone in its history – one that you might not even know about. The line’s lead ship, the 930-guest Viking Star, will set out from Bergen, Norway on its first transatlantic crossing, arriving two weeks later in Montreal, Canada.

With her arrival comes Viking’s first-ever cruises based out of North America – and you can bet the company will be watching how it goes as it tentatively eyes expanding its river cruises beyond Europe and Asia and onto the Mississippi River.

With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about Viking’s first-ever season of cruises North America.

Why Does It Matter?

Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Viking Star’s first ports of call will include Quebec City, Quebec. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

The most important question on many lips might be, “Why does it matter?” Most cruise lines offer at least some sailings in Europe during the warm summer and fall months before repositioning ships to tried-and-true runs like the Caribbean for the winter.

With Viking, it’s a little bit different. Until this moment, if you wanted to take a Viking cruise – either on one of the line’s company-owned Viking Longship river cruise vessels or aboard Viking Star or Viking Sea – you had to fly to Europe.

While many customers did just that, there are still legions of people who probably want to try out this cruise line they’ve heard so much about, but either couldn’t (or wouldn’t) because of the cost and time involved in transatlantic air travel.

With Viking Star offering sailings this fall from Montreal, Canada; New York City, and San Juan, Puerto Rico (where most of the Caribbean cruises depart roundtrip from), getting onboard a Viking cruise for the first time has never been easier.

How Long Is Viking Star in North America?

Not only was our evening sunny...Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Viking Star will call on St. Lucia, among other ports, on her Caribbean itineraries. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Viking Star (technically) arrives in North America on September 28, with her call at L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland. Avid Cruiser’s Aaron Saunders is sailing on Viking Star’s transatlantic crossing to Montreal, and will have a series of reports here during that week.

Viking Star’s first North America voyage begins on October 2, 2016 from Montreal, Quebec.

Where Can I Go On Viking Star?

Viking Sea Flag
Viking Sea (and Star) are Norwegian-flagged vessels. © 2016 Ralph Grizzle

Unless you’re prepared to cough up big bucks for the amazing September 18, 2016 transatlantic crossing from Bergen, Norway (we hear there’s a single, solitary stateroom left on the entire ship), you’ll probably want to look into Viking Star’s other itineraries.

The bulk of her Winter 2016-2017 season is made up of 11-day West Indies Explorer sailings that navigate the Caribbean roundtrip from San Juan, Puerto Rico. With departures between October 2016 and February 2017, this great itinerary overnights in San Juan, giving guests the opportunity to actually explore their port of embarkation rather than just zipping through it. After that, Viking Star visits Tortola, BVI; St. John’s, Antigua; Castries, St. Lucia; Bridgetown, Barbados; Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Philipsburg, St. Maarten and St. Thomas, USVI before returning to San Juan.

If you can’t get away between October and February, you might be interested to know that Viking Star’s sister, Viking Sea, will arrive in the Caribbean to sail this itinerary again in the winter of 2017-2018, with sailings beginning in October of 2017. Viking Sea will also sail the line’s first itineraries to Cuba next fall.

Other itineraries in the Americas this winter include Viking’s 13-day Eastern Seaboard Explorer that departs Montreal, Canada on October 2, 2016 bound for New York; and the 15-day New York to the West Indies voyage on October 14, 2016 that will include the entire West Indies Explorer itinerary in the Caribbean, plus a four-day journey between New York and San Juan on the Atlantic Ocean.

Fans of the transatlantic crossing that can’t make Viking Star’s voyage this month, fear not: you can still hop aboard her 15-day San Juan to Barcelona eastbound crossing that sails on February 25, 2017.

Looking for more on Viking Ocean Cruises and Viking Star?

Look no further: We’ve assembled a huge collection of Viking Star articles for you here.

Viking Oceans Cruise Reviews

To read a review of a particular ship, click the link under "Read the Review." If applicable, our Live Voyage Reports offer a day-by-day overview of an actual cruise onboard. In some cases, there may be more than one report, to be sure to see if your favorite destination is represented.
Ship ReviewLive Voyage Report
Viking Star Review- Christening Voyage: London to Bergen
- Christening Ceremonies in Bergen
- Barcelona to Lisbon
Viking Sea ReviewChristening Viking Sea in London

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