• Jeff @ i-Global Travel

5 Things You Won’t Find on a Viking Ocean Cruise Ship

Updated: Aug 3, 2018

I admit that in the past I have not been a big fan of Viking Cruises – but that is rapidly changing as the company has really upped the game over the past few years. Viking river cruise passengers remain loyal to the company and with the addition of their ocean cruise itineraries, I expect to see more brand loyalty in the future ahead.

Cruise lines have been building ships for many years with the goal of adding more and more onboard to appeal to as many people as possible. In short, they want to show cruisers what they have.

Viking Ocean Cruises is proud of its choice to stand out because of what it doesn’t have. The fast-growing line adheres to much of its Viking River Cruises heritage by keeping things simple and elegant — with fares that are mostly inclusive. For example, the Viking Orion, which debuted in 2018 is the fifth ship for the line. There are plans for at least seven more of that size in the coming years. The vessels carry much fewer passengers compared with the megaships that have been hitting the oceans in the past decade (they all carry 930 passengers). Viking Ocean ships are spacious, and the voyages focus on exploration while you travel in comfort. To figure out whether this is the kind of cruise line you’re looking for you, you’ll want to know five things that you won’t find on a Viking Ocean Cruise.

  • Children – Viking Ocean Cruises passengers must be at least 18 years old, so you won’t see any kids onboard.

  • Casinos – The line also made the choice skip on using space for casinos. Viking states that they make stops in plenty of destinations that have casinos if people really want to gamble during their cruise vacations.

  • Crowds – By saving space not having a casino or kids clubs (or sports courts, waterslides, jogging tracks or other top-of-ship activities) there is more room for wide-open passenger areas, and the spaces around the ship are delightfully crowd-free. The ships are full of comfortable furniture (couches, chairs, loungers) and have books placed in shelving all over the vessel (in place of a formal library).

  • Annoying Fees – Viking Ocean Cruises fares include access to the thermal suite area LivNordic Spa, where you can do a traditional Scandinavian spa regimen using the plunge pool, dump bucket, snow room, sauna and steam room. Specialty dining and Wi-Fi are also included, as well as beer and wine at lunches and dinner.

  • Noise — Itineraries are jam-packed and offer few sea days, so the ships can be really quiet during the day if you decide to stay onboard while others are off on excursions. Even when everyone is on the ship, the vibe is quiet and relaxed. There are no poolside band or lido deck activities, and ship wide announcements are kept to the bare minimum. Even when movies are shown on the big screen at night, the area remains hushed as passengers listen to the audio through Bose headphones. Passengers are left to their own devices to enjoy the intimate and relaxing atmosphere with fellow cruisers, friends and family as they wish. And they seem to genuinely love it.

On A Vegan Diet? Oceania Has The Largest Vegan Choices At Sea

If you're always on the quest to eat healthy, cruise ships can be your dietary undoing. But if you're vegan, cruising can be a real challenge (even though vegan cuisine has gone somewhat mainstream).

Vegan chocolate cheesecake dessert

Oceania Cruises has recently introduced the most expansive vegan-menu offerings at sea. Its ships also carry cold-pressed raw juice and vegan smoothie bars -- so you really can have your plant-based cake and eat it too.

All of these dishes are in addition to the line's already comprehensive selection of vegetarian, gluten-free and kosher meals. The juice and smoothie bars are currently available onboard the Marina and the Riviera, while the vegan menus are available fleet-wide on Oceania, on the line's six ships -- Regatta, Insignia, Nautica, Marina, Riviera and Sirena. "We are delighted to expand our culinary offerings to please an even wider array of palates, and offer our guests more diverse choices to suit today's wellness-focused lifestyles," said Bob Binder, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises.

What's for breakfast? Try vegan tortilla Espanola with potato, onions and tofu. Or vanilla waffles with fresh berries. Or apricot and pistachio muffins. Or cream of wheat or oatmeal complemented with cinnamon, organic sugar and your choice of nuts. Side dishes -- which are always available -- include grilled tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, vegan link sausage, and Lyonnaise potatoes. Lunch might include Tuscan-style bean soup and chocolate vegan-ricotta pie served with vanilla and raspberry sauce. (After such a luscious lunch, I'm ready for a power nap in the ultra-luxurious, fluffy Tranquility Bed that's in all staterooms.) Dinners feature ever-changing five-course meals such as quinoa salad and vegetable tartare; creamy truffle-flavored parsnip soup; plus a shortbread with passion fruit cream and strawberries.

Afterwards you 're probably ready for the raw juice and smoothie bar. It's located on the pool deck. You can get such goodies as sweet green juice, cold brew latte, acai berry bowls and chia-cashew yogurt bowls. And one of the greatest advantages of cruising with Oceania is that this luxury cruise line features not only the famous Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea -- but also Canyon Ranch spa cuisine! If you have ever experienced a stay at a Canyon Ranch facility you know what a delight that is. No matter what you order, you will never feel deprived, and more so, you will probably drop a few pounds during the course of your stay (even though it may feel like you're "cheating)."

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Prior to starting i-Global Travel in 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona, Jeff was a registered Landscape Architect with a passion for travel. Jeff has traveled extensively throughout the US, and owns a timeshare in Hawaii. He has traveled to Europe on several occasions, as well as to Israel, Mexico and Central America and Canada.


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