Line: Viking Cruises
Size: 47,800 tonnes
Crew to passenger ratio: 1 to 1.7
Cabin sizes: 21 to 123 sq m
ADULTS ONLY AREA: The whole ship. Viking’s boast: “No casinos, no kids”
FOOD: Ten dining venues, open seating, and unfussy international dining with a Nordic bent. The aptly named Dining Room is the main place to eat. But there are plenty of smaller venues. Manfredi’s Italian is the specialty restaurant. It’s Italian – and ironically named after the founder of Silversea, a friend of Viking’s owner. We lunched on a seafood plate with salmon, crab claws. Mains were lamb (an acknowledgement of the region) or salmon, and Italian deserts. It was delicious and healthy, and we left the table feeling virtuous.
ACTIVITIES AND ENTERTAINMENT: Viking focuses on cultural immersion. The 250-seat Sun Theatre is reserved for Ted lectures and local entertainers. There is a good library and plenty of places for quiet contemplation. Along with no kids and no casinos, Viking is also proud to say it doesn’t have any waters slides – but it does have a nice pool and a beautiful infinity pool on the back. As you would expect, the spa is brilliant with a Snow Grotto, based on the holistic wellbeing philosophy of Nordic culture, which features extremes of hot and cold (in this case: very cold!). There is a “fireplace” – amazingly authentic and a great place to settle back with an akvavit
BEST FOR: Adventure seekers who are not too concerned about ultra luxe offerings but like the comforts of life. The destination is the point, here, and the ship is a very nice means of getting there.
OUR VERDICT: Sydney will be getting the Viking Orion – but not to worry, Viking’s fleet are all the same. The line’s philosophy is that the destination is the focus, and identical ships mean guests feel right at home. The ships are beautifully designed, with art works, light woods and a very contemporary vibe. We felt the basic cabin was a tight squeeze, so if you like travelling with lots of luggage definitely upgrade. Good value.