Los Angeles (February 16, 2017) – After another year of impressive travel industry awards, Viking Ocean Cruises® this week received a new set of accolades from the popular online cruise resource, Cruise Critic®. The fast-growing cruise line is today celebrating that its 930-guest sister ships, Viking Star® and Viking Sea®, received top honors in 10 categories in the Cruise Critic® 7th Annual Cruisers’ Choice Awards.
Viking’s two ships won the top two placements in nearly every category where they were eligible. Viking Sea received First Place placements in six award categories in its first year of service: Best Overall, Best Entertainment, Best for Fitness & Recreation, Best Public Rooms, Best Service and Best Shore Excursions. Viking Star received First Place placements in four award categories: Best Dining, Best for Value, and for the second year in a row, Best Cabins, and Best for First-Timers. Unsurprisingly, Best for Families was the one category where Viking did not place in one of the top two spots, as the line remains focused on catering to an audience of adults and experienced travelers and does not feature accommodations or activities for children. Cruise Critic is the world’s leading cruise reviews site and online cruise community, and the Cruisers’ Choice Awards name the best cruise ships in the world, based solely on ratings submitted with member reviews published on the Cruise Critic website for cruises taken in 2016.
“It is an honor for our first two ocean ships to be distinguished as the best ships by the members of the Cruise Critic community,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. “After just two years in service, I am proud to see Viking Star and Viking Sea receive such high accolades from the industry and our guests. And while awards and cruise line rankings come and go, the Viking scores reflected in the Cruisers’ Choice Awards are entirely consistent with our internal quality ratings, in which 99.8% of our guests rate their Viking experience above or far above expectations.”
“With these awards we consolidate the thousands of reviews submitted to Cruise Critic each year and honor those lines that received the best ratings from cruisers,” explained Colleen McDaniel, Senior Executive Editor, Cruise Critic. “Reviews offer incredibly helpful insights for those planning a cruise but also highlight the remarkable experiences and levels of service that people encounter every day on a cruise. We’re thankful to everyone who added their voice to these awards by taking the time to write a review.”
In addition to the First Place wins, Viking’s ships also took the Second Place honors in most of the same categories. Viking Sea took second place, behind Viking Star, in Best Cabins, Best Dining and Best Value. Viking Star took Second Place, behind Viking Sea, in Best Overall, Best for Fitness and Recreation, Best for Public Rooms, Best for Service and Best for Shore Excursions.
Viking’s Ocean Ships
The all-veranda, Viking Star, Viking Sea and newly delivered Viking Sky® have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, boast 465 cabins and accommodate 930 guests. Viking’s fourth ship, Viking Sun® will be delivered in November and will spend her maiden season sailing the company’s first-ever World Cruise. Viking Spirit® will join the fleet in 2018 and will sail itineraries in Australia, Asia and Alaska. A sixth, yet-to-be-named ship will be delivered in 2019 and will mark Viking as the largest small ship ocean cruise line. Designed by experienced nautical architects and engineers, including the same interior design team responsible for the award-winning fleet of Viking Longships®, Viking’s ocean ships feature:
All Veranda Staterooms: Guests can choose from five stateroom categories, starting from a 270 sq. ft. Veranda Stateroom, all with private verandas and premium amenities that include king-size beds with luxury linens, large showers, luxury toiletries, heated bathroom floors and large interactive flat-screen LCD TVs with movies-on-demand.
Explorer Suites: The ships feature 14 Explorer Suites, which are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,163 sq. ft. that offer sweeping views from wraparound private verandas as well as the most amenities and privileges of any category onboard.
Two Pool Choices: In In addition to the Main Pool with a retractable roof permitting any-season swimming, the ships feature a first-of-its-kind glass-backed Infinity Pool cantilevered off the stern, allowing guests to swim surrounded by their destination.
LivNordic Spa: In keeping with Viking’s Nordic heritage, The Spa onboard is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind — from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a Snow Grotto where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air. Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 named it one of the “5 best cruise ship spas.”
Explorers’ Lounge and Mamsen’s: Share a cocktail with friends. Linger over a Norwegian breakfast and a nautical history book. The Explorers’ Lounge and Mamsen’s gourmet deli are thoughtful spaces located at the bow and designed in the Scandinavian spirit, for complete relaxation and for marveling at sweeping views through double-height windows.
The Wintergarden: Guests looking for serenity will find it in the Wintergarden. In this elegant space, guests can indulge in afternoon tea service under a canopy of Scandinavian trellised wood – an homage to Norse mythology and Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life.
Dining Choices: Viking’s ships offer multiple restaurant locations and food choices — from fine dining in The Restaurant, which serves three full meals and the widest choice of culinary options, and the World Café, which serves international fare and regional specialties — to intimate dining experiences at The Chef’s Table, which offers a multi-course tasting menu complete with wine pairings, and Manfredi’s, which features freshly prepared pastas and Italian favorites. Additionally, The Kitchen Table focuses on regional dishes from market to table; the Pool Grill specializes in gourmet burgers; afternoon tea and scones are available in the Wintergarden; and Mamsen’s serves Norwegian deli-style fare. Furthermore, with multiple choices for outdoor seating during meals, Viking’s ships offer the most al fresco dining at sea.
Enriching Entertainment: Connecting guests to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking in creating “the thinking person’s cruise.” Instead of casinos and water slides, guests are offered Viking’s Culture Curriculum® including: world-class lectures on history and art; tasting of vintage wines from their destinations; restaurant menus inspired by local cuisine; informative port talks; enriching Destination Performances featuring folkloric shows and musicians playing regional and classical music; an onboard cooking school allowing guests to learn how to prepare local specialties.
Sustainable Features: Designed with the environment in mind, Viking’s ships feature energy-efficient hybrid engines, hydro-dynamically optimized streamlined hull and bow for maximum fuel efficiency and equipment that minimizes exhaust pollution and meets the strictest environmental regulations.
The Viking Difference
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 extraordinarily well-designed cruises that bring them closer to the cultures of the world. Ships are small to get guests closer to their destination, with more time in port, more overnights and fewer days at sea. Onboard, guests find serene Scandinavian spaces, where every room is beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light. All-veranda ships mean that guests experience every day with a new, expansive vista. With the most al fresco dining at sea, featuring regional cuisines and always-available American classics, Viking’s guests can truly dine in their destination. A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences onshore and onboard. And only The Viking Way brings guests itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences.
In addition, Viking Inclusive Value provides a small ship experience at a big ship value—with every cruise fare including a veranda stateroom, shore excursions in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including: beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; premium dining reservations; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service—an included value of more than $200 per person, per day for an average cruise.
From now until February 28, 2017, Viking is offering U.S. residents 2-for-1 cruise fare and air – plus a new “choice” offer, allowing guests to choose between a free beverage package, $400 shipboard credit per stateroom or prepaid onboard gratuities – for all 2017 sailings of the Viking Homelands itinerary. Viking is also offering 2-for-1 cruise fare and free air from more than 150 U.S. cities for all 2017 and 2018 sailings of the Panama & Central America itinerary. Contact a travel agent.