In May, Viking Cruises will christen their second oceangoing ship, Viking Sea, in a ceremony set along the River Thames in London, England. It’s a grand city befitting of a truly grand ship – one that is poised to offer guests everything that made Viking’s first ship, Viking Star, so spectacular.
Inside and out, Viking Sea will be more similar than not to her older sister. She’ll still 748 feet long. She still carries just 930 guests. And she still offers all of the things that made Viking Star such an unbridled success.
Suites are expansive and well-designed, even at the entry-level categories that still, impressively, feature balconies. Colours are soothing, materials are of an extremely high quality, and the furniture is a cross between Scandinavian and Mid-Century Modern that plays on the senses in a warm, welcoming way.
In fact, the entire ship feels warm and welcoming. Board games like Scrabble line public room tables adjacent to the three story Atrium space known as The Living Room. There’s hardly a public room that doesn’t feature books that are free to enjoy while onboard, on nearly all subjects. Service is friendly and punctual. Drinks are poured properly, with good value for money on the few beverages you’ll actually pay for (Viking offers beer, wine and soft drinks complimentary with lunch and dinner).
There are other special touches as well. The windows in the main restaurant and casual buffet can open completely to let the fresh ocean air in. Deck space is plentiful and well-designed, and the midships pool and it’s adjacent Wintergarden are two of the most attractive examples at sea today. What’s more, the ship’s LivNordic Spa offers up one of the best thermal suites and hydrotherapy pools for guests to use absolutely free. That’s right – instead of the two or three hundred dollars you’ll spend on a mainstream line, Viking is offering up its Spa Thermal Suite for nothing. Nada. Zip. In these days where companies don’t provide printed documents because of “the environment” and charge you for an extra three inches of legroom on flights, it’s refreshing to see Viking buck the trend and get off the “me too” train of nickel-and-diming.