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Found 15 results

  1. Just in case any of you have missed this little video - it brought a tear to my eye.
  2. snaefell

    Viking Sun

    I noticed the Viking Sun is berthed at the pier head in Liverpool,AIS shows she arrived on July 4th from Belfast,anybody any idea why she is there besides maybe having nowhere else to go!?
  3. DW and I returned several weeks ago from a wonderful cruise on Viking Sun: the British Isles Explorer itinerary from Bergen, Norway to Greenwich, England.  A complete day-by-day blog and lots of pictures are posted here: jazzbeauxbritishislescruise2018.wordpress.com  Here is the text of the review [last post on the blog]: This was our 19th cruise, on ships ranging from 100 to 2,852 passengers, putting Viking Sun at the smaller end – but it always felt like a much bigger ship in terms of space [never crowded], seaworthiness [a very smooth sailer], and options [dining and entertainment]. Our first reaction on boarding Sun was: Wow! She is so elegant and luxurious [Four Seasons, rather than the snide claim of IKEA], and very well laid out. Soft, unobtrusive music plays in the background in public areas [so much nicer than the jarring music on Celebrity lately]. As we explored the ship throughout the cruise, every area was just stunning! Not just to look at, but even to touch: soft coverings, e.g. leather on all the handrails, gave an elegant feel. Cabin: Our cabin, 5082 [PV1 category] was spacious, bright, and well appointed with unusual touches like the heated bathroom floor [now adjustable] and the self-opening drapes. Plenty of storage [and we pack heavy]. The location was quiet and convenient. Staff: This was the one area where Viking didn’t quite measure up to the best of the other cruise lines we have sailed. Our cabin attendant [who was very good] was the only person on board who learned our name throughout this 14-night cruise. We have been spoiled by Azamara, so it felt odd that we never saw the ‘stripes’ out mingling with the guests – that provides easy avenues for feedback on Azamara [which is acted on immediately] and also gives the ship’s staff a personality. Food: The food was excellent, and being able to visit the specialty restaurants as often as we liked [at no extra charge] made the cruise feel very luxurious. We dined in the main dining room [imaginatively called The Restaurant ] six times, The World Café once, Manfredi’s twice, [on shore once], and – to our surprise – the Chef’s Table four times [because the menu changed every two days, so there were no repeats]. Not every dish was a hit [duck was always dry and I had to send one steak back], but we enjoyed every meal and would rate the food on Viking Sun up there with our best prior cruises including AmaWaterways, Azamara, and Celebrity’s Luminae suites restaurant. Most of the included wines were acceptable, and if you didn't like them you had three choices to upgrade: the beverage package [no good for us because both cabin mates have to buy it], buying a bottle from the wine list [fairly priced], or even bringing wine on board [no corkage fee – very unusual on ocean cruises!] The Chef's Table was a real highlight. The portions are small enough that DW didn't feel stuffed, and the presentation is stepped up a notch from the MDR. The premium wine pairings were well chosen [and since DW doesn't drink at all, they were comped for me – which made them taste even better!] Note that you can only make two reservations each for Manfredi’s and the Chef’s Table in advance, but once on board we had no trouble making all the additional ones we wanted. Entertainment: Small ships generally have smaller budgets for entertainment – but Viking Sun again punched well above its weight. The four main show singers were as talented as any we have seen at sea [maybe the fact that they didn’t have to dance much allowed the casting director to focus on singing], and the show band was excellent and sounded like there were more musicians than we could see. The specialty acts were very good, and it was especially apropos that the first one played Norwegian music as we overnighted in Bergen. Most surprising was the amount of enrichment: four speakers on a wide range of topics. Casino, Art Auctions, Photographers, Kids: One of the nice things about Viking Ocean ships is that they don’t have any of these! It makes for a much more refined and laid-back atmosphere, and it frees up more space for general public use. Shops: We browsed a very little bit and weren’t tempted by anything. But we really enjoyed that no one was pushing us to buy ‘gold by the inch’ or anything else. Most times we walked by the boutiques, the salespeople were standing around talking to each other – so maybe Viking could free up even more public space by cutting these functions down [or out]. Itinerary: This was the British Isles Explorer itinerary, from Bergen, Norway to Greenwich, England. Viking uses Bergen as the start or end port on many of its cruises – both because this is their ships’ homeport and because Norway’s status outside the EU means they don’t have to worry about charging VAT onboard. But Bergen isn’t the easiest city to fly into, so we started our trip in Oslo and took the scenic train across Norway: an excellent decision! After that, we enjoyed every port and felt that the itinerary was very well thought out to give a well-rounded introduction to the British Isles [and Ireland]. Starting in the North was also a good decision, as the scenery began with stark beauty and became more lush as we went along; that also worked well with late-summer weather, although we had ‘fine soft weather’ almost every day. And ending in Greenwich gave us a very scenic [narrated] sail up the Thames. Excursions: Viking justifies the prices on its ocean ships in part because of the included excursion in each port – but after studying the available options we ended up not taking any of them. They also offer a wide range of optional choices, but most of them seem like the standard tours available on other cruise lines [at similar prices]. So we followed our usual practice of arranging private tours and lowering the price by sharing with members of our Cruise Critic Roll Call – this worked out well for us, but it is sometimes difficult on Viking Ocean because fewer people are looking beyond the ‘free’ choices. We did take four Viking optional excursions, because they were things that couldn’t be done easily or safely on our own. A Taste of Norwegian Farm Life was excellent, and gave us a nice glimpse of living in the countryside near Bergen. The Knockan Crag Hike in Ullapool was also very good [despite the infestation of midges that drove us crazy] – we could have done this on our own, but the short tender call would have made getting back to the ship stressful. Ancient Castle & Abbey Tavern in Dublin was much less satisfying; Malahide Castle was worthwhile, but the time in Howth was entirely devoted to a pub and the guide and driver were not ready for prime time. London and the London Eye was well-planned, but torrential rain put a wet blanket on it [I like my puns intended ]. Summary: Viking Ocean joins the short list of cruise lines we hope to sail again. There are only two things that may prevent that: (1) the prices are high if you don’t take the included excursions, and (2) the itineraries are mostly pretty plain-vanilla – we have reached the point that we want intensive itineraries that really let us get to know a country or area [like the Azamara Costa Rica-intensive cruise we did last January, or the circumnavigation of Iceland we are doing on Ponant next year]. I hope that as Viking adds more and more ocean ships, they will get more adventuresome with their itineraries – because we would like to be back! Again, you can find a complete day-by-day blog and lots of pictures here: jazzbeauxbritishislescruise2018.wordpress.com
  4. Hi all, So, we are looking at booking our first Viking cruise (in fact, our first cruise ever!). We have been looking at both of the Into the Midnight Sun and the Viking Homelands options, and at this stage we are pretty sure we will elect for the Into the Midnight Sun (although the decision has been hard!). We are looking to travel on the new 'Venus' ship (Homelands would have been on the Jupiter) - and we have date options of June 14 or July 12. It seems the July 12 option is booking out faster, and I guess this is the crux of my question. I am leaning towards the June 14 option, as this would nicely overlap my partners birthday, but I am concerned that the weather and experience would be better on the July 12 sailing? Should I be? Perhaps the July 12 option is preferable? Any feedback greatly appreciated :)
  5. I couldn’t get the search engine to return any responses. Are there any pickleball courts on the Sun? Thanks, Mad
  6. Just watched Jupiter eclipsing Sun today in the Cromarty Firth, Scotland as Viking Jupiter sails out past the berthed Viking Sun.
  7. We’re just back from Into the Midnight Sun on Viking’s Jupiter and despite a series of ups, downs, highs and lows we managed to have a very nice time. Bad news First … the “Lows” · One day into our trip as we sailed out of Greenwich the ship experienced an electrical problem that forced us to Tilbury where we sat for about 36 hours. They made the repairs and passed inspections and we were on our way eventually but as a result we missed Lerwick (Orkney Islands) and Kirkwall (Shetland Islands) and had to abbreviate our stops in Edinburgh and Honningsvag. Missing the Islands was a big disappointment and the changes in schedule at the other stops required a lot of adjustments to shore excursions, dining plans, etc. We had to drop two shore excursions which we would have enjoyed but the new schedule just wasn’t going to work. · We “lost” two of our dining reservations … they just disappeared from My Viking Journey while we were in Tilbury. An inquiry at guest services was frustrating. The representative there showed us that we had reservations at the Restaurant on those dates and at those times. She showed us on her “master” screen and sure enough there were reservations at the restaurant … same dates and times as we had made for Manfredi’s and the Chef’s Table. Arguing with her was useless as she was quite insistent this was obviously a mistake we had made since the original reservations. Perhaps we had done it on the “app”. After she suggested that we should have come down to the desk the first night as then we would have lots more times to choose from I thanked her for her time and ended the conversation before my frustration became anger … which is seldom productive. We were able to eventually find other times for the two dinners and all was well … for the most part anyway. · My daughter sprained her ankle on a shore excursion in Tromso. It was the Husky Trek Through Arctic Hills. They were quite clear as to the demands of the experience but we were not ready at all for the intensity! The dogs are very strong and they are racers. They do not walk, they do not “trot” … they run. They do not run in a straight line, there is no path, trail, or cleared land … it is wilderness! It was hilly, wet and “mucky” (one other participant referred to it as a “husky bog slog”). We “shared” a dog but I lasted about ten minutes and had to turn “Donald” over to my younger, stronger daughter. She managed to stay on her feet but rolled her ankle on a hillock when Donald took a sudden right turn. The initial pain eased enough for her to finish the walk but later in the afternoon she was in a great deal of pain and there was a fair amount of swelling. We had our first opportunity to visit the medical center that afternoon! That wasn’t too bad … Now the “Highs”: · We visited the (non-services part) spa for the first time this cruise. I know that’s crazy but true! We loved it! It was a great way to relax on a sea day afternoon (and we had lots of those!) and not nearly as crowded as we thought it might be! Will be regulars on our next cruise! · Manfredi’s has updated their menu and we loved it! It was NOT our favorite before but the changes have certainly improved the dining experience for us! And the new Mexican menu at the Chef’s Table was marvelous! We will be keeping our fingers crossed that that one is in rotation on our December cruise! · Despite the perils of the “husky bog slog” we actually enjoyed this excursion. We love dogs and will forgive them just about anything so Donald is forgiven but after the “hike” we got to meet and hold and cuddle the puppies … come on who doesn’t love puppies? We also had a chance to tour the facility and interact with the dogs who, when not in race mode, were affectionate and engaging. It was fascinating to learn about their training and the races each had run … many have done the Iditarod … and their life after “retirement. It is a nice facility and if I had it to do over again I would opt for the hike without a dog … which was an option some of the smarter passengers took! · The visit to the medical center was interesting and quite nice … all things considered. They were professional, compassionate and took very good care of my daughter; three x rays, a compression “sock”, some pain killers and a shot that she described as “a miracle” for the pain. When we got back to our room we discovered that they had ordered a large bag of crushed ice … ready and waiting! And all at no charge as it was an injury that occurred on a Viking shore excursion! · There were many enrichment/educational presentations on this cruise and they were very good! We watched most of them from our room as many were during afternoons and we were either tasting wine, enjoying the spa, or on an excursion, but they were great! Especially Russell Lee; a guest lecturer who provided us with several very interesting history “lessons” that we thoroughly enjoyed. · The entertainment was a high on this cruise … still a lot of the same thing but there was some “new” material this time. Most of the performances were full … standing room only which was really nice for the performers. The cruise director was one of the nicest we have experienced. She was friendly, approachable, and had a great sense of humor. · The port talks were organized differently this trip … they had them two or three day out rather than the night before arriving in the port. They were very honest about the shore excursions; which I appreciated, and it was nice to have this important information early enough to cancel or make changes if, after hearing the descriptions you decided it wasn’t for you. · The crew on this cruise was fabulous! They did a great job organizing some very nice excursions (free) while we were in Tilbury and never missed a beat in the great customer service we have come to know and love with Viking. Our housekeeping team was fabulous … as efficient as we have ever seen and always smiling and friendly. All in all it was a very nice cruise. The missed ports were disappointing but they immediately issued everyone an OBC and followed up with reasonable compensation once we were home. We thoroughly enjoyed Norway … which really was the star of the “show” and look forward to returning some day! The “highs” far outweighed the “lows” and the awesome Viking onboard experience was as great as ever!
  8. We booked a DV guarantee for the British Ilse Explorer Just learned we are in cabin 5080. It looks like a good location. Does anyone know the window/sliding door for this cabin? Thanks for the info.
  9. We are scheduled 12/9/2019 for the South American segment from Valparaiso to Los Angeles. Does anyone have information about a virus on the Sun that left half of the passengers very sick? I remember reading a post where January passengers came on board to sickness but were not warned. Not having cruised in winter before, I am concerned about getting sick. Appreciate any info...Thx
  10. Hi I have been allocated this cabin 673 for a cruise from Miami to Los Angeles departing December 14th 2020. I have previously sailed with Viking in a similar PV1 cabin but on Deck 5. I can see that 673 is under the World Cafe just where the overhanging wings start. I am concerned about noise coming from the activities above into this cabin. Has anyone stayed in this cabin or one in a similar position? I like the position of the cabin in relation to the lifts and stairs, and also the fact that it has a sliding door. Just worried about noise transfer. Thanks for any help Sandytiger.
  11. My husband and I are looking for a cruise to Iceland. I saw a notice for an "EXPLORERS' SALE" that is going on until June 30th. We have many cruises on other lines but have not tried any on Viking yet. For those of you who cruise with Viking is the Explorer's Sale a good offer or should I start watching for other sales. We really like the small ships (1000 passengers or less) so we are looking at lines with smaller ships. We are looking to cruise Iceland in July of 2021. The cruise I have looked at so far is the Iceland's Majestic Landscape on July 17, 2021 Reykjavík to Bergen. We have been to some of the Norway ports so the highlights will be Iceland. Has anyone done this cruise and can give me some tips? Thank you for the input. Carolyn Sacramento, CA
  12. Hello, This is the inaugural post for the Viking Sun World Cruise 2019!!! Less than 2 weeks to go. Looking forward to seeing everyone on January 3rd. Please post and comment here. Woot Woot!!!
  13. And here she is, parked just behind the Silver Whisper
  14. start roll call for Viking Sun May 16, 2020
  15. We are booked for the Italian Sojourn next May 13th and really looking forward to it. Just got off the Equinox on a Western Caribbean journey, first big boat for us. The mecylcine(?) they gave me twice daily and for the entire week did not really eradicate my nausea in the evenings. The vibration through the boat seemed to be what nauseated me the most plus a bit of the motion when I slept. Maybe i should of started it before cruising rather than the first night. Daytime up at the pool I was okay. I know there are no guarantees with weather patterns but is there anyone on this board that can do a comparison, share their experiences? Am going to have to decide whether to opt out in the next couple of months.
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