Viking Ocean Cruises Awarded World’s Best Cruise Line
For 20 years in a row, Crystal Cruises has reigned supreme as the #1 ocean cruise line by the readers of Travel + Leisure. However, in their 2016 survey, newcomer Viking Ocean Cruises surprised the industry by unseating Crystal Cruises in their first year of service.
Inquiring minds want to know, how did this happen?
To be sure, the success of Viking Ocean Cruises was built on the wildly successful Viking River Cruises.
Torstein Hagen, founder and chairman of Viking Cruises says, “We launched Viking Ocean Cruises to reinvent the category. We have a unique approach to destination-focused ocean cruising that is built upon our success in river cruising, and awards like this demonstrate that our approach is working. Thank you to our guests and the readers of Travel + Leisure for this great honor.”
What Makes Viking Ocean Cruises Different?
Here’s a few key points from Viking…
- Designed for discerning travelers, Viking offers guests “the thinking person’s cruise” as an alternative to mainstream cruises. The Viking difference is providing guests with extraordinarily well-designed cruises that facilitate engagement with the cultures of the world.
- Ships are small allowing privileged access to smaller ports and getting guests closer to their destination, with more time in port, more overnights and fewer days at sea.
- On-board, guests find serene Scandinavian spaces, where every room is beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light. All-veranda ships mean that guests experience every day with a new, expansive vista.
- With the most al fresco dining at sea, featuring regional cuisines and always-available American classics, Viking’s guests can truly dine in their destination.
- A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences onshore and on-board. And only The Viking Way brings guests itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences.
- Viking Inclusive Cruising provides a small ship experience at a big ship value—with every cruise fare including a veranda stateroom, shore excursions in each port of call, all on-board meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including: beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; premium dining reservations; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service—an included value of more than $200 per person, per day.
Viking Ocean Cruises is quickly amassing industry awards. The company’s second ocean vessel, Viking Sea, was recently awarded a top rating of five stars by Cruise Critic, a distinction previously bestowed to Viking Star – which was also named “Best New Ocean Ship” of 2015 in Cruise Critic’s Editors’ Picks Awards. Additionally, the ship received three top awards in the 6th Annual Cruisers’ Choice Awards and was the highest rated ship in its category in the 2016 version of “cruising bible,” Berlitz’s Cruising and Cruise Ships guidebook. Viking will welcome two additional ships in 2017, Viking Sky® and Viking Sun®, whose maiden voyage will be a 141-day world cruise spanning 5 continents, 35 countries and 66 ports. Two remaining, yet-to-be-named ships will be delivered in 2018 and 2020.
Carol and I had lunch with a major ocean cruise line just a few days ago, and she said, “it’s all about the ship”. I think that was a profound statement in trying to understand the difference between Viking Ocean Cruises and many of the rest.
While Viking has worked hard to provide a beautiful ship, and a package that doesn’t nickel and dime you death, their focus is clearly providing their guests a destination immersion instead of gimmicky Flo-riders and climbing walls. While there’s a place for both, Viking is very appealing to those who desire to talk about their destination when they return home instead of the Broadway-style musical they saw on-board.
For my money, I think I’d likely enjoy a ride on one of these floating cities once, but my great desire is to see and experience the world. And for that, I think Viking Ocean Cruises is more suited to my tastes.
While my statements above make a comparison between a mega-ship and what Travel + Leisure calls a large-ship in Viking’s case, you should know that the methodology used to compare the various cruise lines in this survey were divided by category.
For the cruise category, respondents were asked to rate individual ships; the results were combined to generate scores for cruise lines in different categories. The categories are: river cruise lines, mega-ship ocean cruise lines (capacity of 2,200 passengers or more), large-ship ocean cruise lines (600 to 2,199 passengers), midsize-ship ocean cruise lines (250 to 599 passengers), and small-ship ocean cruise lines (249 or fewer passengers). Some cruise lines may appear in multiple categories depending on the makeup of their fleet. Further the questions in the survey had to do with Cabins/facilities, food, service, itineraries/destinations, excursions/activities, value.
Viking Ocean Cruises Booking Information
For booking information, call our travel agency at (480) 550-1235, or use our convenient online information request (click here) and we’ll reach out to you.
To view Viking Ocean Cruises various itineraries, click here.
To view Travel + Leisure’s complete World Best Awards 2016, click here.
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