The brand new 930-guest Viking Sea cruise ship is on its maiden voyage from Istanbul to Venice. It’s the second ocean-going ship for Viking Ocean Cruises, which is a sister company to the popular Viking River Cruises outfit.
From Venice, Viking Sea will sail through the Mediterranean and into the Atlantic on its way to be christened on May 5 on London’s Thames River in Greenwich. Following the christening, Viking Sea will spend its maiden season sailing itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic, as well as the Western and Eastern Mediterranean. Cruise fares vary by length and departure date.
“Too often in recent years the most talked about ships have been the biggest ships. It is our view that some cruise lines have focused too much on building bigger ships and not enough on helping guests connect with the destination,” says Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. “We have created ocean cruises that put the destination at the center of the experience, with smaller ships that are smarter in design. As our second ship sets sail with her first guests we look forward to introducing more travelers to the unique way that Viking does ocean cruising – a style of cruising that was inspired by our experience and success on the rivers.”
Designed for discerning travelers, Viking offers guests “the thinking person’s cruise” as an alternative to mainstream cruises. The Viking Difference is providing guests with cruises that bring them closer to the cultures of the world. Itineraries, for example, are designed for maximum time in port, often with late evenings or overnights, so guests can experience local culture at night or evening performances.
Ports include both cosmopolitan cities and “collector ports,” appealing to those with an interest in history, art, music, and cuisine.
While onboard, guests can hear talks from local experts and lecturers in The Theater. Dining options include the World Café, with global cuisine and open kitchens; Mamsen’s, offering Norwegian deli-style fare; the Chef’s Table, which celebrate cuisines from around the world with multi-course tasting menus and wine parings, and Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant, where guests can dine on authentic Tuscan and Roman cuisine. With the Kitchen Table experience, guests have an immersive opportunity to shop, cook and eat with the Executive Chef.
While every cruise fare includes a guided excursion in each port, Viking also offers an optional excursion program designed to provide guests with enriching experiences that go beyond the iconic and expected. In Norway, for instance, guests can sign up for Fjord Safari to a Goat Cheese Farm in Flåm, This tour provides the rare opportunity to experience Norway’s great outdoors by small boat and by hiking trail through a spectacular fjord—all rewarded with lunch at an authentic farm.