The brand-new Viking Star® is Viking Cruises’ first foray into ocean cruising, leveraging the company’s wealth of river cruise and travel industry experience and applying it all to their first ocean liner. The results are both stunning and luxurious, and remarkably comfortable and cozy at the same time.
The new ship is a model of excellence in beautifully thought-out ergonomics. The ship is a smaller size than the behemoths of other cruise lines, handling a passenger load of just 920, but you never feel cramped or part of a large herd of vacationers thanks to the beautiful, space-efficient design. The passenger-to-crew ratio is 2:1, and wherever you find yourself once aboard ship, there is someone available to assist with a smile.
The Viking Star staterooms are the largest among their competitors at over 270 square feet, and all rooms have verandas from which to leisurely watch the scenery pass by. The Scandinavian design influence is bright and airy with light teak wood finishes, large mirrors, and floor-to-ceiling observation windows.
The rooms feel like a modern hotel suite complete with desk, living room and sofa, an abundance of soft-close drawer space, both European and U.S. power outlets, and even 5 USB charging outlets in the desk lamp base for recharging personal technology. The intelligent design even extends to the closets, whose lights turn on as you reach inside. All the furnishings are built to last and upholstered of high quality fabrics and leathers.
Although attention to detail is everywhere in the cabin design, I think the bathroom has the most striking features. Big in comparison to most cruisers, here two people would never feel cramped while using it at the same time. The sink is a square European design and there are plenty of drawers and shelves for all toiletries. The large bottles of supplied soap, shampoo and conditioner are labeled clearly so you don’t grab the wrong one when your glasses are off. The glass shower has Swedish chrome finishes and a dreamy showerhead with tons of hot water and high pressure.
Viking doesn’t want to be all things to all people. Targeting an English-speaking, mature market, the smaller-class Viking Star is bound to attract customers focused more on the destination than on the ship itself.
Certainly not lacking in amenities, the ship has everything you need as a vacationer, and you never have to worry about organizing and planning your vacation activities.
Before you even board, you can plan and book excursions, restaurant reservations and spa treatments through MyVikingJourney.com. In your stateroom, the TV becomes a portal to view all the information contained in your schedule of activities. You can even review your shipboard account to keep up with expenditures.
But there won’t be many, since Viking doesn’t believe in nickel-and-diming guests. For instance, WiFi is available everywhere on board, provided for free and with unlimited use. Several destination excursions are included free of charge, and the premium restaurants, Manfredi’s Italian and The Chef’s Table, have no up-charge.
Hands down, this is one of the finest travel experiences I’ve had. Viking Cruises offers great value for the money, and I always felt like a guest in the comfort of my own home. The Viking Star is just the first of their ocean cruisers, and I hope they soon have many more in their swiftly growing fleet. It is simply a completely satisfying and relaxing vacation for anyone who values excellence, service, exquisite cuisine and comfort. Top marks for the Viking Star and Viking Cruises!