Aug 3, 2018 - Viking Sky is moored on the Thames River in Greenwich, England, today.
We have booked another Viking included excursion 'Walking Tour of Greenwich' this afternoon. We have to allow 30 minutes for a tender ride to shore, even though the ship is literally only a few hundred yards from the tender boat dock (you can see the tender docked in the foreground). When we disembark the tender, we check-in with Viking shore excursion personnel to be assigned a tour guide.
We are about 20 minutes early, so we have to wait for others to arrive on another tender. It is really warm here today, about 94 degrees (F). This is the hottest it has been this entire cruise! We seek shade next to the Cutty Sark exhibit, which is located just steps from the Greenwich pier.
This is the first time on this cruise that we have been required to use the QuietVox audio units. Each stateroom has two QuietVox units with earpieces for guest use. The use of QuietVox was pioneered by Viking River Cruises and is now used by many cruise lines and tour companies. The system allows guests to hear the tour guide's narration from hundreds of feet away.
After everyone is gathered for the tour, our local guide begins walking us through the streets of Greenwich, attempting to find shady places for us to stand as he explained the various palaces and other interesting structures.
One of the must-see sights when visiting Greenwich is the Old Royal Naval College. It is less than a 5-minute walk from the Greenwich pier.
If you have an interest in maritime history, a visit to the National Maritime Museum is perhaps another five minutes away.
There are also a lot of local pubs where you can stop and have a bite to eat, or throw back a pint. The Trafalgar Tavern is right on the Thames and less than a 7-minute walk from the pier.
The best thing we learned from our walking tour is that Greenwich is a very easy place to see on foot. You really don't need a guide, just get out and explore! There's is a lot to see in a relatively small area.
After our tour, we took the tender back to Viking Sky and had time to finish our packing for the disembarkation tomorrow morning. Our flight to DFW is at 12:25, but Viking wants us to gather at 5:15am for the transfer to Heathrow! They say it can take two hours to get from the ship to the airport. So, we wanted to get packed before we go to dinner at 6pm at The Chef's Table.
With our packing behind us, we arrive at The Chef's Table for dinner. Tonight's menu is Xiang, a Cantonese-inspired five-course tasting menu.
As with all meals at The Chef's Table, each course is paired with a different wine. We noticed that the wines being offered were the same ones paired with the Venice Carnival menu. We made a couple of special wine requests, and our waiter was happy to accommodate us. An amuse bouche of Hot and Sour Soup was the first item to arrive.
Our first course was a plate of fried prawns covered with panko bread crumbs, fried garlic, red chili peppers and scallion. If you love bold flavors, this dish has it: salty, crispy, garlicky, spicy (if you dare eat the red chilies) and juicy.
After a much needed palate cleanser consisting of a coconut and lemongrass granite, our main course arrived. The Wok-fried Beef was a bowl filled with chunks of tenderloin steak in a five-spice sauce. The meat was incredibly tender and delicious. Unfortunately, I did not think to snap a photo of the Wok Fried Beef, but trust me, it was good. Finally, our Mango Passion dessert arrived which was sort of like a mango-flavored tapioca pudding topped with toasted coconut.
This was another great dining experience at The Chef's Table and one that I would like to experience again. If you are sailing with Viking Ocean, make sure to book a reservation on a night when they feature the Xiang menu.
As we were leaving The Chef's Table, we were surprised to see Heather Clancy walking toward us. Heather was the Cruise Director on our Viking Sea cruise last year and she has just boarded Viking Sky for a two-month contract to relieve Cruise Director, Aaron Syfert. You may recall that Heather was our pick last year as BEST Cruise Director for 2017.
We had the opportunity to sit and chat with Heather in the Living Room for about an hour, just swapping cruise stories. Heather is a rare treasure in the cruise industry and we cherish her friendship. Hopefully, we will be sailing with her again soon! We hug Heather goodbye and head to bed early tonight.
Tomorrow, we will disembark Viking Sky and fly home to Dallas. Watch for our full, in-depth review of Viking Sky coming soon to CruiseReport.com.