Viking Ocean Cruises has created a new category of cruise vacation unlike any other. Taking the core elements of the unique Viking Longships river cruising experience to sea has proved popular. Sailing this year in North America for the first time, Viking Star will do a short series of Canada/New England sailings before repositioning to debut in the Caribbean. Once there, a unique Viking Caribbean features will be put to the test in an environment most North American cruise travelers are quite familiar with.
- Passengers Will Wake Up To A Lovely View – Every stateroom has a balcony. There are no oceanview or inside accommodations. No staterooms have obstructed views. A smaller sized ship, every venue is not far on Viking Star.
- Travelers Will See More Of The Caribbean- With an included tour at each port, there will be no deciding IF we want to pay extra for a shore excursion. Viking does not see the point in charging to take us there then charging again to see the place they took us to.
- We Will Enjoy The Caribbean On Our Schedule- While the content of those included tours is planned in advance, the time we get off the ship to do one is flexible. We can choose early morning, mid morning or afternoon, in advance of sailing.
- No Smuggling Necessary- Since beer and wine are included during meal times and available for a reasonable price at other times, liquor smuggling skills will not be used here. Should you want to bring your own liquor on board, that’s fine, they don’t care.
- Internet Access Is Included– It’s not high speed (yet) but it’s free and easy to use on any device, making sharing that Caribbean experience with friends around the world easy.
- An Adult-Oriented View Of The Caribbean- Viking Star carries just 930 passengers very few of which are children. The ship is simply not attractive to the family travel market. All staterooms are set up for two people and there are no family features or accommodations.
- A Different Starting Place- Viking Star’s smaller size enables the ship to call in smaller ports and dock in different places than possible on larger ships. That ability also bring an onshore experience that does not include thousands of other travelers deposited ashore at the same place.
- A Better Time To Visit The Caribbean- Starting at a different place, as noted above, brings a less congested first impression of the port. Still, at the popular places to visit there might be tours from other ships in port…at other times of the year. Viking Star’s Caribbean season happens at a time when school is in and family travel is out, taking the lion’s share of visitors out of the mix.
- Viking’s Business Model Is More Traveler Oriented- Mega Ship cruise lines need passengers on the ship, generating onboard revenue, to make money. Still, they must include different ports to attract travelers and support the “unpack once, see multiple places” core element of cruise vacations. So they build them, extending that pay-as-you-go revenue model ashore. Viking’s business model does not work that way, as we have seen in this short list of Viking Caribbean features.
- New Ports Of Call Not Created By Cruise Lines- Viking’s different business model relies heavily on destination and passenger focused experiences. That focus bring places not normally visited by cruise big ships cruises. Guadeloupe is most likely a new port of call for those who have visited the Caribbean on mega-sized ships.
- The Caribbean Seen Like Those On A Luxury Cruise– We advertised Ten Viking Caribbean Features. Like Viking, we’re giving you one more. An unexpected feature only found onboard and only because Viking is constantly updating what they do at an accelerated rate that makes keeping up with the actual onboard experience virtually impossible. So, #11: Until now, only Cunard, Crystal Cruises, Costa and Regent Seven Seas cruises visited places like Guadeloupe, all for a considerably higher price. Also, at a number of Caribbean ports, Viking Star passengers will walk off the ship rather than tender ashore, again due to the smaller size of the ship.
Viking Caribbean Features Begin At Home
In addition to Viking Caribbean features, also unique to Viking Ocean Cruises is extensive pre-cruise information. Provided via their online My Viking Journey planner the information is heavily weighted on the experience, not geared to sell services in advance of sailing. While Spa Treatments and a handful of additional tours are available for a fee, their mere presence and focus is on customizing the experience to each individual’s preferences. That’s going to be a common theme in the Caribbean as it has in other destinations around the world and should serve the world of Caribbean cruising well.
Cover Photo ©Chris Owen