Viking Cruises are best known for their leisurely river cruises that cater to a more leisurely crowd (and not necessarily the target audience of this blog). But the small river boat company is making some big waves in the cruise business with some much bigger boats.
The Viking Sea, the second in a new class of Viking cruise ships, recently embarked on its maiden voyage from Istanbul to Venice. The Viking Sea was officially christened on the Thames this week after journeying to London before it spends the season sailing among the fjords.
“Too often in recent years the most talked about ships have been the biggest ships. It is our view that some cruise lines have focused too much on building bigger ships and not enough on helping guests connect with the destination,” Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking Cruises, said in a press release. “We have created ocean cruises that put the destination at the center of the experience, with smaller ships that are smarter in design. As our second ship sets sail with her first guests we look forward to introducing more travelers to the unique way that Viking does ocean cruising – a style of cruising that was inspired by our experience and success on the rivers.”
Classified by Cruise Critic as “small ships,” Viking’s ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons (as compared to the 130,000 tons of the Disney Dream) and boast 465 cabins (which is 785 fewer than the Disney cruise ship). Viking has four more of these cruise ships on order as they expand their fleet.
The Viking Sea, like her sister ships, was designed to incorporate design elements to pay homage to Nordic heritage and to help guests immerse themselves in local surroundings. A glass-backed infinity pool cantilevered off the stern offers unobstructed views and the indoor-outdoor spaces offer plenty of places to eat under the stars.
In response to the fear that the Viking name will soon become synonymous with family fun time as they hopscotch from destination to destination, the company is heavily marketing these ocean liners as “the thinking person’s cruise.” Viking wants to maximize time in port with late evenings and overnights to give cruisers plenty of time to experience the local culture.
The ocean cruises by Viking are relatively new and we can’t wait to hear the reviews from the discerning travelers who are looking for a different kind of cruise.