On Friday, we had the opportunity to check out Viking Cruises’ newest ship, the Viking Sun, before it set sail for its 141-day World Cruise sailing from Miami to London.
During the next five months, Viking Sun will sail through five continents, 35 countries, and 64 ports. The sailing’s first stop after leaving Miami on Friday was Cuba and the Caribbean, before setting of to the Panama Canal, and Los Angeles. Then it’ll sail to the South Pacific, Australia, and Asia, where the ship will be christened in Shanghai on March 8, 2018, and will then continue with more stops in Asia and then Europe before finishing its itinerary in London on May 5.
While on this sailing, there will be six casks of Viking’s own Linje Aquavit, to keep with the Norwegian tradition, which dates back hundreds of years where the Scandinavian spirit matured in oak barrels during sailings that crossed the equator (line) twice as part of the maturation process, which this sailing will be doing. According to the tradition, it is believed that the moving seas and frequent temperature changes cause more flavor to be extracted from the casks.
What’s on Board?
Guests sailing on the Viking Sun, sister ship to Viking Star, Viking Sea, and Viking Sky (the Viking Orion debuts summer 2018 and a sixth ship in 2019), enjoy an all-verandah vessel featuring 465 cabins for a total of 930 passengers. There are many spots for entertainment and dining on board such as TorsHavn, where guests can take in live music; The Star Theatre for broadway shows and lectures; Manfriedie Italian Restaurant, Chefs Table, The Restaurant, plus Mamsen’s and Pop’s Explorers Bar, just to name a few eateries and bars. Guests can also opt for the Kitchen Table cooking class experience, where the chef gets off the ship with the guests while at port and shop at a local market for the ingredients they’ll use during the cooking class. When they get back on board, guests will cook with the chef in a private dining area adjacent to the kitchen. Plus there’s also an onboard spa featuring a snow grotto, and various library nooks around the ship for guests to read and relax. Guests also get an included shore experience at every port during their trip for the World Cruise sailing.
What’s New for Viking?
First, Egypt is back. Viking will be sailing on the Nile starting in March 2018. The new itinerary will be on a new river ship design aboard the all-suite Viking Ra, and will follow new itineraries on the 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids roundtrip sailing from Cairo.
In addition, In Search of the Northern Lights sailing is launching in 2019, as the first winter Arctic Circle route from a U.S. cruise line. This itinerary will give guests the opportunity to explore the far north in Norway’s winter, during peak viewing time for aurora borealis—the Northern Lights—sightings. The sailing aboard the Viking Sky between London and Bergen starts January 2019 on a 13-day itinerary taking guests to seven destinations with overnights in Tromso, Alta, and Bergen, Norway; with a complimentary excursion in each port. This sailing starts at $4,999 pp.
For the 2019 128-day World Cruise from Miami to London, Latin America will be added to the itinerary with stops in Santiago de Chile and Peru, in addition to 21 other countries. The 2019 World Cruise itinerary, which sets sail Jan. 3-May 11, 2019 is currently on sale. For more information, visit vikingcruises.com/oceans/cruise-destinations/world-grand/2019-world-cruise.
Also new for 2019 will be seven new river ships for Viking—Viking Einar, Viking Sigrun, Viking Sign, Viking Tir, Viking Ullur, Viking Vali—sailing the Rhine, Main, and Danube, and the Viking Helgrim sailing the Douro.
When asked if there have been any new security changes for Viking, Richard Marnell, senior v.p. of marketing for Viking Cruises, says, “Yes, absolutely. Security is something that anyone that’s in any place that the public gathers is largely aware of. We go to great lengths, and a lot depends on the municipalities we are visiting. It’s something that is a real challenge, and we pay a lot of attention to.”
For more information, visit vikingcruises.com.