Founded in 1997 by industry veteran Torstein Hagen, Viking River Cruises is the parent company of oceangoing offshoot Viking Ocean Cruises, and from the outset, Hagen’s mission was a simple one: to bring river cruise style amenities and inclusions to oceangoing cruise ships.
To that end, Viking offers a surprising amount of bang-for-your-buck on its ocean voyages:
- Complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner.
- One complimentary excursion in nearly every port of call.
- Complimentary access to the Thermal Suite in the Nordic Spa.
- Complimentary dinner reservations in all venues.
- Complimentary stem-to-stern WiFi internet access.
Viking Star is flagged in Norway and registered in Bergen. Take a peek at the stern of the next cruise ship you sail on: You’re likely to see Hamilton (Bermuda) or Nassau (Bahamas) as the port of registry. These are called “flags of convenience,” and typically translate into lower fees and more relaxed regulations. But because she’s registered in Bergen, Viking Star can proudly carry her Norwegian heritage with her to the farthest corners of the world. That, too, is significant.
“We believe the arrival of Viking Star signals a new era in destination-focused cruising, and I could not be more proud that she will call my favorite city in the world ‘home,’ ” said Hagen. “This is a ship that was built for exploration and designed with our Scandinavian heritage in mind, and our guests will experience it from the moment they step onboard.”
By 2022, Viking Oceans will have a fleet of six 930-guest passenger ships that are, at this point, scheduled to be more alike than not. However, considering the success Viking has had with its lead ship, Viking Star, this is a good thing. Read our full Voyage Report from the christening of Viking Star in Bergen, Norway; and from our journey between Barcelona and Lisbon.
The Viking Oceans fleet:
Currently, Viking Oceans offers voyages throughout the Mediterranean, Western Europe, Northern Europe, the Baltics and Norway.
Beginning in September of 2016, the all-veranda, 930-guest Viking Star sailed a unique transatlantic voyage from Bergen, Norway to Montreal, Quebec. The 15-day journey marked the first time that Viking Star sailed to North America. The westbound transatlantic journey offered calls on the Shetland Islands; Faroe Islands; Iceland; Greenland; and Newfoundland. The journey concluded with numerous calls in Quebec, including visits to Saguenay Fjord, Quebec City, and Montreal.
“We have always had a vision to reinvent ocean cruising – to bring destinations back to the forefront of the itinerary and to build ships that are designed to help our guests better explore their destinations,” said Torstein Hagen, founder and chairman of Viking Cruises. “We launched our ocean cruises in Europe earlier [in 2015] and just as the Viking explorers before us, we are now looking across the Atlantic for new discoveries. Our new itineraries in North America and the Caribbean will offer travelers experiences that broaden their horizons both on and off the ship.”
Viking Star will also set sail for the eastern seaboard of the United States and the Caribbean. On October 2, 2016, Viking Star sails on a 13-day Canada & New England journey from Montreal to New York City, featuring port calls in Quebec City, Halifax, an overnight stay in Boston, and even scenic cruising of New York’s rarely-visited Cape Cod Canal.
After that, it’s off to the Caribbean. Viking Star will sail for 15 days to the West Indies, arriving in San Juan, Puerto Rico after calling on Newport, Rhode Island; Baltimore, Maryland; Norfolk, Virginia; and Port Everglades.
Sister-ship Viking Sea makes her home primarily in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. Viking Sky will offer similar sailings when she debuts in January of 2017. Routes for future ships have not yet been announced.
- Guests who appreciate value and inclusive features. Viking doesn’t ‘nickel-and-dime’ guests.
- Cruisers who love the idea of being at sea. Viking’s oceangoing vessels are filled with wide-open decks and plenty of windows to let in ocean vistas.
- Travelers who appreciate history and culture. Viking’s itineraries are a compelling mix of popular ports of call and off-the-beaten-path locales.
- If you need constant activities and a barrage of loud music and flashing lights, this isn’t the cruise for you.
- Families with Kids: there are better options out there that cater to multi-generational families. The Viking Oceans experience is a decidedly adult one.
- Casino lovers: Viking’s ships don’t have one.
|Ship Review||Live Voyage Report|
|Viking Star Review||- Christening Voyage: London to Bergen|
- Christening Ceremonies in Bergen
- Barcelona to Lisbon
|Viking Sea Review||Christening Viking Sea in London|