Having been invited to take a look around Viking Cruises brand new vessel – the first ocean-going ship in the company’s history, we at Cruise Adviser were curious to see what the company could achieve, given the acres of extra canvas it would have to play with.
The vessel, which can handle about 930 passengers, is the perfect extension for guests who have been used to four-star plus river cruising. There are parts of Viking Star that, for all intents and purposes, do feel like a river vessel. However, with lounges, cinemas, an extensive spa, and a choice of restaurants all on board, it is certainly a different proposition. We ran through a few of our favourite parts of the new ship to give you a flavour of what’s on board.
The Living Room is on deck one of the ship’s main lounge area. It comes complete with a Steinway piano, for any guests who fancy themselves on the ivory keys, but otherwise will have live music during the evenings.
There is also a huge piece of art on the wall over the main stairway. The work changes periodically. While we were there we saw running water over rocks, right, to a field of lavender. However, cleverly, it is programmed to the itinerary the ship is on. So, if, for example, the ship visits Istanbul then there could be a bazaar full of exotic spices.
The spa is an exceptionally developed part of Viking’s new vessel, although what else would you expect from a company who boasts such a Scandinavian heritage.
From single and couple’s treatment rooms, to the first snow room we have ever seen at sea. The spa also comes complete with a more traditional sauna, a nail bar and a whole host of other amenities for those who take their relaxation very seriously.
There are four traditional restaurants on board Viking Star, while you can eat in six places in total while on board. The four restaurants are split into two main dining options – the buffet and main dining room – and two speciality restaurants, which need to be pre-booked but do not incur a cover charge. The speciality restaurants are Manfredi’s Italian and the Chef’s Table. The one dining option which does incur a charge is Kitchen Table. Essentially a shore excursion, Viking Star’s chefs will take passengers out into the markets of certain ports before bringing them back and teaching them how best to cook the ingredients in a state-of-the-art facility. Prices start at $199 per person.
The infinity pool is one of the headline grabbing pieces of Viking Star, which looks out on to the back of the vessel. The perfect place to lounge and enjoy the view whether you’re in the Mediterranean or the Baltics. It’s not the only pool on board either, with a main swimming space found on board too.
Those were our first impressions but what do you think to Viking’s new ocean offering? Let us know on our Facebook page