in what must rank as the single most auspicious cruising debut of 2015, Viking Ocean Cruises’ first ocean going ship, the 47,800 ton Viking Star, has finally set sail on her ground breaking maiden voyage from Istanbul to Venice.
The 930 guest ship is not so much a clear departure from the contemporary mega ship cruising style so much as an about turn. The elegant, upscale ship draws an unmistakable bead on the former glories of the legendary, long redundant Royal Viking Line and it’s rival, Norwegian America Line.
Scaling down the size of the ship has instantly enhanced the level of intimacy and interaction between guests and staff, resulting in a far more personalised, highly styled environment. Viking Star deliberately eschews a slew of glitzy diversions to offer travellers a more full on, immersive cruise experience overall. The ship will place great emphasis on longer, often overnight stays in port, with a free, comprehensive series of excursions on offer to people in each call.
Just as on board the same company’s slew of award winning river cruisers, wine, beer and soft drinks are free with lunch and dinner aboard the Viking Star, just as they will be on the two sister ships which are heading towards completion at the present time. An option for a fourth ship in the same class remains on the books.
With an elegant on board spa, sumptuous winter garden and a truly spectacular, aft facing infinity pool, the Viking Star has put the emphasis firmly on cool, highly styled Scandinavian luxe in the public areas. And Viking Star also joins a very exclusive club; one of only four in the entire industry to offer every stateroom on board with a private veranda.
This splendid new ship- beautifully crafted in every respect- is due to be formally christened in Oslo on May 17th- Constitution day in Norway.
As ever, stay tuned.