Viking Ocean Cruises

...the ceremonies began at 9:30 p.m. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
A journalist photographs Viking Ocean’s Viking Star on the eve of her christening in May, 2015 in Bergen, Norway. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

The Viking Difference: River Cruise Style Inclusions

Founded in 1997 by industry veteran Torstein HagenViking 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.

Viking Cruises chairman Torstein Hagen, left, and Bergen mayor Trude Drevland, right, take in the concert. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Viking Cruises chairman Torstein Hagen, left, and Bergen mayor Trude Drevland, right, take in the concert at the christening. Photo  courtesy of Viking Cruises.

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.”

Viking Oceans Ships

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:

  • Viking Star. Launched May, 2015.
  • Viking Sea. Setting sail March, 2016.
  • Viking Sky. Setting sail January, 2017.
  • Viking Sun. Setting sail May, 2017.
  • Unnamed 1: Due November, 2020.
  • Unnamed 2: Due January 2022.

Viking Oceans Destinations

Historic Bryggen - just steps away from Viking Cruises' Viking Star. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Norway is a focus destination for Viking. Shown here is the historic Bryggen district of Bergen, Norway. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Currently, Viking Oceans offers voyages throughout the Mediterranean, Western Europe, Northern Europe, the Baltics and Norway.

See Scandinavia Cruises: Viking Wants To Be Your Best ChoiceSee

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.”

...and it offers some pretty spectacular views of Quebec City. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Viking Star is coming to North America this year – and one of her first stops is Quebec City, Canada. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

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.

These People Will Love Viking Ocean Cruises

I love Scrabble - and I've never seen so many Scrabble sets on a ship before in my life. Better, everyone's using them. Well done! Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Do you love games and books? You’ll love Viking Star. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
  • 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.

These People May Not

The Atrium boasts impromptu dance routines...Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Viking offers a relaxing, cerebral experience on its ocean cruises. If you need constant stimulation or rock-climbing walls, better to look elsewhere. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
  • 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.

Also see The Second Coming Of Torstein Hagen Full Circle In Bergen.

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

Join the Conversation

Bob S. says:

Thanks so much for your very informative site. I’ve sailed on a Viking River Cruise (Paris to Normandy) and we’re booked on the Star for Feb 2016 (Rome to Barcelona.) However, I was disappointed to find recently that motorized scooters are not allowed. I have a small one that can be assembled and disassembled in about 5 minutes. In January we cruised on the RCCL Quantum, and our regular, non-handicapped cabin accommodated it with no problem…and that was much smaller than a Viking Star regular cabin. I realize that the Star is much smaller than RCCL ships. However, I checked other lines and Azmara, for instance, has a ship smaller than the Star and they allow motorized scooters. I can walk short distances but it is difficult. Collapsible wheelchairs are allowed, but pushing me around will be hard on my wife. I realize it is more difficult getting around on scooters in certain international venues, but any savvy, mobility-challenged traveler can get around quite well. I just feel that a cruise line such as Viking, that markets largely to seniors should be more sensitive to their needs.

anthony santiago says:

I did the Alaska cruise with Viking Orion and along with many others, got very sick with the flu. I was asked to leave the ship in Seward, had to pay for my hotel and my own transfer to Anchorage and then ended up with change fees and upcharges on airfare previously bought through Viking. Originally, customer service on board said they would take care of everything but all they did was walk me to the exit of the ship and say good bye. The medical office on board said that they did not stock tamiflu, not sure why as this would have helped. A couple of recommendations: get medical insurance if you cruise as you likely will get sick; bring your own tamiflu; don’t do a cruise longer than 7 days and look at the medical records of the carrier you are picking. I think that is available through the CDC.

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