Viking Ocean Cruises expanded its fleet to six ships with the launch of Viking Jupiter in February 2019. The fast-growing line has gained a firm foothold in the industry and loyal following among cruisers since Viking, the longtime leader in river cruising, decided to venture into the oceans, as well. It launched its first ocean vessel, Viking Star, in 2015.
The formula for success has been simple. Viking Ocean Cruises’ ships offer a uniformly excellent experience for cruisers, with a unique blend of luxury, comfort and inclusive features. Each ship in the fleet has a nearly identical design and carries up 930 passengers, and each offers several features passengers can rely on no matter what ship or itinerary they choose to sail.
Passengers get use of Viking’s LivNordic Spa at no additional charge. This included facility offers the chance to experience the true Nordic spa regimen, with a cold plunge pool, snow room, steam room, sauna, “dump bucket,” thalassotherapy pool, hot tub and heated loungers.
The Italian restaurant on Viking Ocean ships is one of the highlights of your cruise. Each passenger is guaranteed at least one dining experience during their sailing. Then, make sure to get on the list for a second time (based on availability).
The atmosphere and decor in the eatery offer a classic and comfy feel, with pictures of Italian screen stars adorning the walls. The food is also pure comfort, as you start with fresh-made focaccia bread and dinner rolls accompanied by olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. Choose from an array of pastas and delicious sides like steamed black mussels or fried calamari. The signature item in the bistecca Fiorentina, a perfectly spiced and prepared giant slab of deliciousness that makes meat lovers swoon.
This specialty restaurant also is included in your fare, and you need to make a reservation to dine there. You are guaranteed a spot once per sailing, as well. The restaurant features a lineup of menus that rotate. So, you can pick from regional cuisines like Mexican, Scandinavian, Asian and French.
This excellent culinary journey takes you through five courses paired with specially selected wines that complement the flavors.
The leisure area on Deck 7 offers ample cushioned chairs and loungers, as well as tables so you can relax in comfort. The roof can be open or closed, meaning it’s an all-weather area. The salt-water pool is heated when cruising in cooler regions, and a large hot tub is a favorite spot to slide into after a day ashore on your excursion.
The Pool Grill is nearby offering a great selection of gourmet burgers and sandwiches, and the pool deck is also the place for special dining events like the seafood feast. You also may catch a movie poolside on the big screen.
Located at the top of the ship, this two-deck lounge area is an inviting retreat, especially at night or during sea days. The large floor-to-ceiling windows offer the best views right at the front of the ship, and this is the place to settle in to enjoy a little live piano or guitar music or a conversation with new friends while sitting on the soft couches and chairs, warmly decorated with animal furs and pillows.
The Explorers’ Lounge also is filled with bookshelves holding reading materials and art pieces highlighting travel and history. The ship’s Scandinavian comfort-food eatery Mamsen’s is also located in this venue. It’s open for breakfast and lunch and afternoon and late-night snacks. Be sure to try a fresh waffle with brown goat cheese or the split pea soup.
Another nice place to relax, the Wintergarden is located adjacent to the pool area and distinctive because of its Scandinavian-chic design. The clean and inviting space features a light-wood sculpture that wraps the columns and ceiling space to give the feel of being in a Norwegian forest.
Afternoon tea is hosted in the Wintergarden, complete with live music accompaniment, fresh scones and a tower of finger sandwiches and pastries.
The Extra Goodies
Viking offers a complimentary shore excursion in each port. These are typically the “City Tour” variety. (You can purchase premium excursions, as well.) The line’s Silver Spirits drinks package is an amazing value when compared with the cruise industry at large. A charge of $19.95 per person per day covers your sodas, wines, mixed drinks and beer. Additionally, beer and wine are included during meal times in the ship’s restaurants.
The ship features complimentary WiFi service, and free self-service laundry facilities are located throughout the ship.
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