After building an excellent name for themselves on the rivers of Russia, Europe and beyond, Viking Cruises, like their Viking forefathers, expanded into ocean cruising, commencing a build programme to create a series of virtually identical 930 guest ships, with a focus on thoughtfully planned itineraries and inclusive pricing.
On a sunny Friday morning, we took ourselves to Greenwich for a look at Viking Sky, to understand more about the Scandinavian invasion! We are all familiar with the principles of Scandinavian design, unpretentious and simple, light and airy, with a charming combination of natural materials and lack of clutter. This style characterises the whole ship, and we immediately enjoyed the fresh minimalist décor, walking through the light-filled Explorers' Lounge to enjoy freshly brewed coffee as we admired the little touches, such as the reindeer rugs flung over the chairs, and the antique artefacts arranged sparingly on the shelves.
A glass enclosed Wintergarden and pool area would be cosy even in Northern climes, whilst during sunny itineraries, the roof is opened to let the sunshine pour in. At the back of the ship you can relax on the Aquavit Terrace and admire the appealing infinity pool.
Staterooms, all with verandah, start at a generous 270 square feet and feature a large bathroom with walk-in shower. Higher categories offer additional space and enhanced amenities including priority dining and shore excursion reservations.
Talking of dining, the options really are excellent. The beautifully presented casual World Café offers buffet-style breakfast and lunch, while the lovely restaurant on the Promenade deck is flooded with light from the floor-to-ceiling glass windows, which can be opened up when the weather is fine. The excellent specialist options include The Kitchen Table, the Chef's Table, and the intimate Italian, Manfredi's.
The Spa is something really special, with a snow grotto (yes, the snow really falls here once a day) where you can literally chill before racing for the sauna in true Scandinavian style, whilst whirlpools and an inviting indoor pool are perfect for relaxing after a busy day ashore. An amazingly well equipped fitness centre is located alongside.
Reports back confirm a relaxed and unpretentious style of cruise, not formal or dressy, with a focus on itineraries and time ashore. Inclusive pricing is not cheap, but represents great value, so this is an excellent alternative in the high end premium arena.
Find out more: Request a Viking Ocean Cruises brochure