Planning Booking And Packing
I am a traveler who enjoys dreaming, researching, and planning trips almost as much as taking them, and I promise you that a Viking Ocean cruise will be a singular travel event in your life, more than worth the time, effort, and money you invest.
So let’s get started planning your voyage of a lifetime . . . .
Limited Time: Reduced Airfare & Cruise Fare Savings
Reduced or Free International Roundtrip Airfare!*Special Cruise Fares! »Search for a Viking Ocean Cruise *Air savings varies based on availability and departure gateway. Air is all-inclusive, roundtrip and includes transfers.Offer valid for new bookings, made September 1 – 30, 2021 on available 2021, 2022 and 2023 departures only. Offer based on double occupancy. Air does not have to be purchased to get cruise offer. Not combinable with additional discounts, Viking Air Plus or Frequent Flyer programs. Additional restrictions may apply. Please call for further details. We reserve the right to correct errors.
Bars Lounges And Beverage Options
Unlimited coffee, tea, juice, soft drinks, and water are included with your cruise. Complimentary wine and beer are also served during lunch, dinner, and shipboard events.
The World Café beverage station is open 24/7 with coffee, tea and water. My only criticisms are that the beverage machine does not have a hot chocolate option like the river cruise machines, and cookies are not stocked at the station. If you are a cookie monster like me, I suggest that you grab cookies from the buffet and stash them in your stateroom for later.
Pap’s bar in the Explorer’s Lounge typically has a coffee and tea station set up, as well.
You will discover that all coffees served on board are not created equal. In my opinion the coffee made from fresh-ground beans at the beverage station is best, the Parisian variety from the stateroom coffee brewer is second, and the coffee served at tables is third.
Is a Silver Spirits beverage package right for you?
The Viking;Silver Spirits;premium beverage package includes unlimited house-pouring wine, beer, liquor, cocktails, well drinks, and mixers. Prices currently begin at $139 for a 7-day cruise, and both parties ages 21 or older occupying a stateroom must purchase the package for the full length of the cruise. You may purchase the package in advance or after you board.
The midship Pool Bar is a great place to enjoy poolside drinks and classic cocktails.
Tour The Bridge And The Galley
Courtesy of Viking Cruises
If youre on an ocean cruise, you can actually take a tour of the bridge and galley, but youll need to act quickly in order to get a spot.
At least once during your sailing, the ship will offer behind-the-scenes tours of the bridge, where the captain and crew manage the direction and speed of the ship, and the galley, the kitchen, a Viking representative says.
These are limited capacity and can only be booked once onboard, so talk to the guest services team once you arrive and watch your Viking Daily newsletter to make sure you can secure your spot.
That might not interest every traveler, but if youre interested in the inner workings of a major cruise vessel, its well worth the time.
Food: Other Viking Ocean Cruises Places To Eat
Order 1/2 portions of pasta dishes at Manfredis. I ordered a 1/2 portion of seafood paella for an appetizer one night in The Restaurant. By the way, the bistecca at Manfredis is remarkable.
Check for special nights at The Restaurant. On our current itinerary there is a lobster night and a scallops night . Since Manfredis and Chefs Table reservations are made in advance, you will have to shuffle if they conflict with lobster night.
When you decide to explore on your ownlike we did in Molde Norway with a hike to Varden viewpoint request a lunch box from Viking guest services. They will pack a box for you with a sandwich, apple, and goodies.
We finally tried the;Viking cruise room service. Just like a typical vacationing US resident in Europe, I ordered a hot dog and apple pie. It made for a yummy midnight snack.
Oh, definitely;order a scrumptious Mamsens waffle. Mamsens is located at the starboard entrance to the Explorers Lounge. They also provide other Norwegian food items, including late night service. But the waffle is the star of the show.
For more information please read;Viking Star Dining Options.
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More Secret Things To Do On Viking Ocean Cruises
Find blankets for cooler temps and towels for warmer times in the relatively quiet;sitting area on level 8 aft.
Insert foam ear plugs while walking the decks. I do not have the natural insulation to protect my ear canal from cold winds. But I still like my walks and level 2 is a perfect 1/4 mile track. I walked 5K on sea days in the North Sea and the foam ear plugs worked well for me.
Request basic supplies from the spa or Medical Center. I cut my foot on the bathroom door and exhausted my emergency Neosporin and Band-Aid stash. One day the spa gave me a Band-Aid. I then made two trips to the Viking cruises Medical Center, where they gave me some one-time use antibacterial ointments and bandages .
After dinner on many nights, my wife and I played backgammon in the Atrium. On the second floor, we could watch and listen to the classical trio down on the first level. The rolling of the dice, though, I thought might bother them. It probably did not but it was cool to find some nearby video game tables. The video game tables in the Viking cruises Atrium include backgammon, blackjack, air hockey, checkers, and more.
Take a Galley Tour. Over 100 people work in the food operations on a Viking ocean cruise and their workspace is simply amazing. From the efficiency of the Viking Cruise breakfast room service to the gelato machines, it is fun to see. I know of two secret ways to see a Viking ocean cruise galley but ask Guest Services how you can best tour it.
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The Perils Of Overpacking
Cramming too much in your suitcase increases the odds of incurring additional airline fees for oversized or overweight checked bags. Heavy bags are tricky to manage, too. As we age, carrying and lifting suitcases can exact a toll on back and shoulder muscles.
Once onboard, it can be difficult to easily stow an overpacked bag under your bed. Although there is ample storage space onboard Viking Ocean Cruises, bringing too much stuff only makes it harder to sift through your belongings to find what you want.
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Viking Sea Cabins Review
Follows the review of Viking Ocean Cruises Viking Sea staterooms as furniture, price-included amenities and complimentary services:
- King-size bed , optional twin beds configuration.
- Luxurious private bathroom , glass door shower, hairdryer, premium bath products and toiletries , deluxe bathrobes, slippers, towel warmers, plenty of storage space.
- The seating area is furnished with a sofa, coffee table, vanity desk with chair, wardrobe. There is a full-length mirror that can double as a night light. The switch on/off button is conveniently positioned by the bed.
- Satellite phone , smart HDTV , in-room binoculars, personal safe, individual climate control, 220V / 110V voltage power outlets . The roomâs key-card must be inserted into a slot to power the cabinâs electrical outlets and lights.
- Coffee machine, mini-bar .
All cabin categories enjoy complimentary movies on demand and room-service . All Suite-categories enjoy complimentary laundry, pressing, shoeshine .
- Welcome Champagne bottle .
- Priority cabin access: Explorer and Junior Suites , Penthouse Veranda , Deluxe Veranda , Standard Veranda .
- Priority dining room reservations : Explorer Suite , Junior Suite , Penthouse Veranda , Deluxe Veranda , Standard Veranda .
All guests also enjoy priority reservations on each of the Viking Ocean cruise shore excursion.
Viking Ocean Sea ship cruise deals are all-inclusive, meaning they offer as complimentary :
What Does The Silver Spirits Package Cover
Any drinks up to $15.00, including premium wines by the glass, cocktails and aperitifs
The Chefs Table premium wine pairing
A selection of wines, which change twice per cruise
15% discount on premium beverages above $50
Soft drinks and juices
Note: For premium wines, only those wines that are available by the glass are included in the package . Wines that are only available by the bottle are not included in the package.
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Some Of Our Favorite Premium Wines:
Overstone Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough white
Classique Luberon Blanc, Provence white
Brazin Old Vine Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley red
Nederburg Pinotage, South Africa red
On our second ocean cruise on the Viking Sea, we did order some premium wines by the glass at dinner.
Did we like the premium wines better than the complimentary wines?
Mmmm. Yes, some, for sure.
But some of the complimentary wines were just delightful too like the Sacchetto Pino Grigio Blush .
Is food important to you on a cruise? Then check out Oceania Cruises it may well be the best cruise for foodies
You Can Avoid Overpaying For Drinks
Courtesy of Viking Cruises
If youre planning on drinking regularly no judgments here, were talking about a vacation there are a couple of ways to keep your budget in check.
The most obvious: Pay for the Silver Spirits beverage package, which offers unlimited beers, cocktails, premium wines, juices, espresso drinks, and mineral water for the entire cruise. Prices vary depending on the length of the cruise, but for around $19.95 per night per guest, youll never have to worry about what youre spending.
Is that worth it? If youre planning on drinking several glasses of wine per night , its certainly a decent purchase. If that doesnt sound like a great value , theres another option.
You can also buy local wine and bring it onboard, a Viking Cruises representative tells TravelAwaits via email. Each stateroom on Viking Longships and Vikings ocean ships have a refrigerator, and a corkscrew is also available onboard.
As with all other aspects of your cruise, the trick is to plan ahead. Make a list of planned expenditures, then do the math to see whether you can justify the Silver Spirits package. If not, you can always grab a few bottles of the good stuff during a shore excursion.
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Things To Do On Viking Ocean Cruises: Excursions
Included tours have more flexibility than optional tours. Request an earlier or later included tour if desired. Later tours generally have the most empty seats. The last bus in a time slot also is most likely to have extra seats.
You can arrange two tours in one day. Do an optional excursion in the morning and an included excursion in the afternoon. Or vice versa. Treat yo self!
Add yourself to waiting lists for popular excursions. Some optional excursions quickly fill up. However, when there is enough demand, multiple tours may open. That happened for us with the Husky Hike. The afternoon session was booked very early. We were waitlisted. Later a morning session was added.
The Castle From The Drive
The biggest thrill for this “Downton Abbey” fan is that a visit to Highclere offers a trip to a castle and a film set. It’s also the private home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. You motor up the very same drive as characters from the series do, and you walk in the front door, leading into the impressive saloon, like an invited guest. The big surprise? As big as the castle is, it definitely looks a lot more massive on the television screen than it does in person. However, Fiona, Eighth Countess of Carnarvon, was quoted in “The Telegraph” saying she really didn’t know how many rooms there are in Highclere. “I suppose if you know how many rooms you’ve got, you haven’t got a very big house.”
Still, its provenance is alluring. Highclere was built in the 19th century by Sir Charles Barry, also famous for rebuilding the Houses of Parliament, and it’s been continuously inhabited by the Carnarvon dynasty since then.
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On A River Cruise Get Off The Boat
Courtesy of Viking Cruises
Given the luxurious nature of the Viking vessels, its easy to understand why a traveler would want to stay on the boat. Thats fine if youre on an ocean cruise, but for river cruises, make sure youre taking advantage of the local culture.
Sailing down rivers puts you in the heart of many of the cities you visit, our source tells us. During each port of call, guests can explore the destinations with a short walk from their ships dock. Plus, the ships sail smoothly down Europes waterways, meaning, no waves for those who get seasick.
This is where a carefully planned travel itinerary can really elevate your trip. Of course, if you miss a stop, you can still enjoy the cities: Vikings Culture Curriculum program provides onboard performances and lectures from artists, musicians, and historians, along with authentic culinary demonstrations.
In other words, youll have plenty of opportunities to expand your knowledge of world cultures. Just make sure to make an effort!
Ship Areas: Leaving Port
In general, avoid crowds by doing things when other people are not. Do laundry last at night or during an excursion day. When leaving the port, go to the spa.
When leaving a port, you will find better views on the Sports Deck . Most people flock to the Explorers Lounge but the QuietVox set still works on the Sports Deck in case you want to hear the lecture.
When leaving port , people arrive early for the front row chairs in the Explorers Lounge. Two problems. One, a big wooden rail blocks your view. Two, when cool stuff happens, people go to the outside deck and block your view. If you are committed to sitting, try the upstairs front row chairs in the Explorers Lounge where people cannot stand in front of you.
When ships leave ports, wifi works well in the rest of the ship. Why? Because most people are in the Explorers Lounge listening to the talks. Wifi also works better during big shows, when most people are on excursions, and in the middle of the night. But wifi is not the primary reason for a Viking ocean cruise. Right?
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A Viking Ocean Cruises Voyage Of A Lifetime
We were on our Viking Ocean Into the Midnight Sun cruise, when we received an announcement from Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen that Viking had been named the #1 Ocean Cruise Line by Travel + Leisure readers in the 2018 World’s Best Awards.
UPDATE: Viking Ocean Cruises earned the #1 spot again in 2019, owning this designation for four consecutive years since its launch in 2015.
Travel + Leisure readers attribute this merit to Viking’s sophisticated;design, stellar service, and cultural programming . . . .
Viking Ocean Cruises also swept the #1 spot in 10 out of 12 categories of the 2018 Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice awards, including: best overall cruise, value, cabins, service, dining, shore excursions, public spaces, entertainment, fitness & recreation, and first timers.
I sailed on the Viking Star, the first ship in the ocean fleet, for the Romantic Mediterranean cruise, shortly after it launched in 2015. Now, the world’s newest fleet is destined to become the world’s largest fleet in 2019 when the Viking Jupiter joins its sister ships, the Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Sun, and Viking Orion.
Viking Ocean sister ships are identical. Carrying only 930 guests, they are classified by Cruise Critic as small ships, a designation that allows them to cruise shallower waters, sail beneath lower bridges, and reach smaller ports that are inaccessible to larger ships.
Are Drinks Included On Viking River Cruises
Viking Ocean Cruisesdrinkcruisecruisedrinksincluded
On both of Viking’s river and ocean cruises, wine and beer is complimentary during these meals. Or perhaps you’d like to try different premium wines. Then the Viking Silver Spirits package might be for you. This all-inclusive drinks package is available on both the ocean and river cruises.
Subsequently, question is, how much is the drink package on Viking River Cruises? The Viking Ocean Cruises Silver Spirits beverage package includes any drink up to $15, throughout the day and anywhere on the ship; mini-bar replenishment; The Chef’s Table premium wine pairing; and 15% off premium beverages, Armagnacs and bottles of wine over $50.
Similarly, you may ask, are gratuities included on Viking River Cruises?
Viking River Cruises recommends varied gratuities depending on your cruise region. Additional tipping is at each passenger’s discretion. For the crew tips, you may tip in cash or charge the gratuity to your credit card. Program directors do not share in the onboard staff gratuities, and they should be tipped in cash.
What’s included on a Viking cruise?
Viking Ocean Cruises: What’s included
- WiFi. Wifi is completely free on Viking woohoo!
- Drinks with Lunch/Dinner. During meal times wine, beer and soft drinks are included.
- Spa entry. Entry to the spa is inclusive in your cruise fare.
- Daily Excursions.
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Room Service Is Included On Viking Cruises
I am used to cruising on cruise lines where they have room service but it is often a very small menu or you have to pay for it. Some cruise lines offer free breakfast room service but very few have a menu as big as Vikings. Onboard Viking you can get a 9oz steak delivered to your room for no extra cost! I enjoyed breakfast room service which came promptly at the time I requested. You simply fill out the order form, leave it on your door before 11 pm and then in the morning, your food arrives. Easy peasy! .
10. Return flights
If youre in the UK and you book a Viking cruise return flights from the UK will be included. All transfers are also included which means that you dont have to worry about anything! Vikings main market are from the UK although many of the passengers onboard our Norwegian cruise were from the US.