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Cruise Ratings
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this trip to once again hopefully experience the northern lights and to have the luxury of this beautiful ship. The itinerary looked good with overnight stops at Tromso and Alta. Embarkation was seamless, withing 15 minutes of ... Read More
We chose this trip to once again hopefully experience the northern lights and to have the luxury of this beautiful ship. The itinerary looked good with overnight stops at Tromso and Alta. Embarkation was seamless, withing 15 minutes of arriving at Tilbury we were having lunch in the World Cafe and our holiday had started. Very impressed. Our stateroom was ready early and we were given a guided tour of the facilities in the cabin. On my mentioning that I did not drink coffee (there is a coffee maker in the cabin) the steward straight away fetched me a kettle and kept the teabags topped up - he kept the cabin spotless for the cruise and chatted and laughed with us every day, making the experience a bit more personal. We ate mostly in the World Cafe as it was very relaxed and the food was tasty and plentiful. We tried the pool grill and the afternoon tea which were both great and Manifredis italian had great service and great food, The service in every bar and lounge and dining was second to none, Very impressed. There were plenty of interesting lectures to attend, and we enjoyed sitting in the Explorers lounge watching the fjords go by with a tasty waffle and fresh fruit. We relaxed in our cabin most evenings and watched a film on the TV so cannot comment on the evening entertainment. The included excursions were informative and gave us an oversight into each port. The highlight of the trip was 'Chasing the lights' at Tromso where we were treated to a spectacular display of the Aurora about an hour or so outside the town, so many photos ........ On the way home we had the honour of a glimse of 2 Killer whale from our balcony,,,another hightlight. a quick photo and they were gone. March is certainly a good time to take this cruise. The weather was great, even a sunny day in Bergen !! Disembarkation was fairly uneventfull although there was no rep at Oslo to help out. All in all a fantastic holiday and thank you to all the ships staff for a great trip. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Always wanted to see the Northern Lights thought this would be a great way to do it. We have been on both the Sky and Star before and in Norway two other times. We love the area, the people and the natural landscape and were not ... Read More
Always wanted to see the Northern Lights thought this would be a great way to do it. We have been on both the Sky and Star before and in Norway two other times. We love the area, the people and the natural landscape and were not disappointed this time. We were lucky enough to see a great light show in Tromso and took a ship tour to a remote, dark place which allowed for some great photography. We walked down a hill through heavy snow, past a small stream to set up the tripod but it was well worth it. Never saw anything like these lights and it far exceeded our expectations. Our guide was attentive without being annoying and gave everyone ample time to do their pictures, We also saw the Lights in Alta also on a Viking tour at a great "camp", wonderful facilities, great helpful guides. Answered any and all questions about photography always checking to see if everyone was having a good time. Unfortunately the Lights were not as bright as in Tromso but that is not in Viking's control Also took a trip to the Polar Park in Narvik also a Ship offered tour and it was wonderful. Great photography of animals in the wild. Lots of snow but lots of opportunity for fun. Also did dog sledding and snowmobiling and we had a blast on those excursions also. Only disappointment was we could not stop at Bode because of high seas but respected the captain for putting our safety first. Overall the trip was great, a few hiccups with service in the World Cafe at the begnning of the cruise and with our reservations at Manfred's but our concerns were taken care of once reported in a prompt and professional way. Our cabin was clean and tasteful (we have actually booked the same cabin on all of our six Viking Ocean cruises), and our cabin personnel were awesome. I use the gym daily and it was clean and the personnel always friendly even early in the morning. Towels were always placed on the machines with fresh water bottles. Embarkation was faster than normal and we were on the ship within a few minutes.Overall a fantastic experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Just completed the cruises in search of the Northern Lights. Embarkation was very slick and easy, having been picked up from home and transported to Dover by a very efficient and professional driver. A great added bonus with Saga. Cabin ... Read More
Just completed the cruises in search of the Northern Lights. Embarkation was very slick and easy, having been picked up from home and transported to Dover by a very efficient and professional driver. A great added bonus with Saga. Cabin was large, (inside deck 7) bigger than the normal cruise liners we have sailed on like HAL, RCL etc. Decor not quiet up to a brand new cruise ship but plenty of space for hanging clothes and draws . Shower and toilet efficient and clean if a little smaller than the top cruise liners. Dining and entertainment were superb. Top quality, attentive and pleasant staff and all inclusive in restaurants and drinks. The Sapphire was above the mainstream cruise liners and just below the six star Silverseas, Seabourn, Viking cruises which we have done. Value for money, quality, ambiance and enjoyment made for a memorable cruise. Not the last time we will sail with Saga, who have two new ships coming into service. Do not let Saga’s reputation for catering for the very old put you off, this is not true. Whilst it is for the over 50’s the age profile was no different to those other lines like Silverseas, Seabourn, Viking. It did cater very well for those with mobility issues, but I have seen many more mobility scoooters on Caribbean cruises. Lots of people got up dancing to great dance music in both the main Britannia lounge and the Drawing Room. Sunday lunchtime was just fabulous. Lunchtime jazz in the drawing room followed by transitional sunday lunch in the main dining room. Just idyllic. Entertainment was outstanding. Great lectures by Gary Fildes on the Northern Lights and astronomy in general. Had 700 pax enthralled. The cruise was well worth the money just to listen to him speak. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We wanted to see the Northern Lights and rather than take the Hurtegruten route which is heavily promoted in the UK, thought we would take a more luxurious option with Viking. We are both season travellers with over 10 cruises in ... Read More
We wanted to see the Northern Lights and rather than take the Hurtegruten route which is heavily promoted in the UK, thought we would take a more luxurious option with Viking. We are both season travellers with over 10 cruises in various parts of the globe. Things did not start well with our arrival in Bergen and depositing our three bags at the terminal, for just two of them to arrive at our stateroom some 2 hours later and the third bag finally arrived 6 hours later!! Having chased guest services there was a very laisser afire attitude which seemed to set the tone for the rest of the trip. We have numerous issues with our cabin including excessive squeaking from the French doors when at sea ( whilst they admitted there was a problem we were offered ear plugs!) A shower that didn't seem to be regulated and periodically ran with scalding water, our toilet broke and it took three phone calls to get a plumber. We ordered room service and early morning tea on a few occasions and every time had to wait ages and there was always something wrong with the order. I felt that the staff were poorly trainef. I overhead waiters discussing their grievances on more than one occasion in the dining room which was incredibly unprofessional. The bar service was shocking and in both The Living Room and Explorer Lounge the waiters would swan around with trays clearing classes and NEVER asking if we would like a drink! We had two of our pre paid trips cancelled, one was cancelled well in advance of departure and we were told we could be credited on the card used to pay for the excursion. This now seems to be a total lie as this did not happen and we were given credit on our shipboard account. The settlement of such credits to UK passengers is by cheque within 60 days! What a joke and there is no reason why credit cards can it be refunded. We had considered a Viking River cruise but having experienced their level of service would not touch them with a barge pole! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This cruise itinerary was selected because it met several of our desires to travel to Norway's west coast cities, see Northern Lights and visit extended family in Oslo. Viking Cruises is quickly becoming a top ranked cruise line and ... Read More
This cruise itinerary was selected because it met several of our desires to travel to Norway's west coast cities, see Northern Lights and visit extended family in Oslo. Viking Cruises is quickly becoming a top ranked cruise line and after experiencing this ocean cruise, is evident they will continue to be a strong presence among existing cruise lines. Two things readily apparent with Viking Ocean Cruises is they don't have casinos in the ships and the evening "broadway-style" productions are not provided. Aside from that, Viking has superb staff who are especially friendly, outgoing and willing to provide any type of assistance to the passengers. There are enrichment speakers who are exceptionally experienced, knowledgeable, and educated in their respective fields of interest. The speakers are very adept at adding valuable information for the various ports of call, the natural surroundings, historical relevance and scientific research which helps passengers get a more in-depth understanding of the areas visited. Viking provides included excursions at each port, which is typically a bus ride through the local city with some points of interest highlighted by a tour guide. Add on excursions are, generally, much better than the included excursions, but they will each have added costs. All of the dining venues with Viking are excellent. It is not necessary to eat in the dining room to get exceptional quality for your meals. The World Cafe has a tremendous assortment of salads, main entrees, and desserts. All in all, Viking offers an outstanding cruising experience in new ships. We never had to wait in crowded lines for anything from the time we embarked to the day of disembarking. I strongly recommend Viking Ocean Cruises . Bon Voyage. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Ship is pristine and service could not be more friendly or professional. Entertainment is high quality but the emphasis on classical music gets a little tiresome. Professional lectures were excellent. Dining is varied and delicious with ... Read More
Ship is pristine and service could not be more friendly or professional. Entertainment is high quality but the emphasis on classical music gets a little tiresome. Professional lectures were excellent. Dining is varied and delicious with food served hot. Cabin is smaller than indicated in the photo, with insufficient storage space.Balcony very small. We particularly enjoyed the spa with the snow grotto and the exercise classes were excellent. Included excursions are boring and the others are extremely expensive. Prices not disclosed until 30 days before departure. Sledding by huskies was a lot of fun but lasts 15 minutes. An excursion to see the northern lights was supposed to include being taken to several places to try to see the lights. Stayed in one place. Never saw the lights. Another couple went with a private company and saw the lights for hours! Most of the city stops were on Sunday so no shopping opportunities. Scenery in Norway is beautiful and we may go back in summer, just probably not with Viking. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We wanted to see and experience the famous northern lights and were attracted to Viking as their ships have a good reputation for quality and style. We were unlucky with the weather, very, very cloudy every night (not conducive to seeing ... Read More
We wanted to see and experience the famous northern lights and were attracted to Viking as their ships have a good reputation for quality and style. We were unlucky with the weather, very, very cloudy every night (not conducive to seeing the lights at all) and although we left on our tv every night hoping to be summoned to see them we were never called. Finally at our most northern port, Alta, we managed to book a private tour. It seems to be best to go late at night and finally after chasing the skies for about three hours we were rewarded. They weren’t vibrant but not sure they ever are,but greeny/gray swathes of light definitely were in evidence. It seems to be luck if you do see them. The ship was lovely, v high quality everything, super food, we liked the Italian speciality restaurant the best, the specialist Chef’s Table experience left me hungry. The staff are v friendly, nothing is too much trouble. And no one is trying to sell you stuff all the time, drinks, photos (no employed photographers at all) etc. plus proper ground coffee although nothing matched the Nespresso machine in our room. The grill in th Wintergarden had fabulous beef burgers etc at lunchtime, tasty and well made. The only disappointment for me was that the library, although restocked halfway through the trip, was a bit lacking. Books aren’t all in one place but throughout the ship, some heavy tomes in evidence. The TVs in the rooms had a variety of channels, BBC included and really new films, one hadn’t been released in the UK yet. There were a variety of q erudite talks, didn’t go to many but some seemed to have some depth and rigor for those interested. There was also a jigsaw table with one always on the go for all to have a try at and a variety of games to play, scrabble etc. The free port tours were well run, some better than others depending on how interesting the port was. Evening entertainment ok, we enjoyed watching Mary-Jess (ex winner of the Chinese version of X Factor) who was v good. Would have liked more variety, it was singers or singers. Due to the fact this is a new cruise for Viking didn’t feel the staff always had a good handle on what some of the excursions entailed. So cancelled the visit to the Arctic Circle due to dodgy ankle as was told there would be a three mile walk by two different members of staff. This was not true and was disappointed to have missed it. Plus some had to be cancelled due to lack of snow. Would recommend this trip but go for the scenery and superb service and food as well as the lights. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this ship and this cruise because seeing the Northern Lights has been number one on our bucket list. It still is because despite six nights above the Arctic Circle we did not see the Lights. But more of that later The Ship gets ... Read More
We chose this ship and this cruise because seeing the Northern Lights has been number one on our bucket list. It still is because despite six nights above the Arctic Circle we did not see the Lights. But more of that later The Ship gets 10 out of 10. Viking Sky is only two years old and has been kept in top condition. Everywhere you go there are staff polishing handrails, keeping things ship shape.etc There is a lot of public space with the Horizon Lounge, Wintergarden etc On both sides of the atrium and on Level one in the atrium there are ample spaces to sit and relax. On days at sea there were times when you wondered where everyone had got to. The furnishings are comfortable and typically Scandic. Be careful when sitting on a couch draped in reindeer hide, as the reindeer hair tends to stick to clothes. We experienced some rough weather which was to be expected given where we were cruising and the season. The ship handled the weather with ease. The Officers and Crew get 10 out of 10! The Captain is extremely personable and was around the ship all the time talking to his passengers and staff and so too the officers.This meant for a very happy ship with all crew being cheerful and helpful The Cabin. Was spacious at 270 square feet. Nicely furnished The bed was very comfortable.The stateroom was very quiet. the bathroom was the best we have experienced having cruised with Princess, Ponant, Cunard, Crystal, and Oceania. The shower had a proper box, loads of hot water and pressure. The heated floor was great. The balcony got little use given the outside temperatures. We had the lowest category of cabin so did not have a coffee machine. That did not matter as there was an excellent barista service only two levels down. Unlike other lines there is no charge for espresso. Nor was there any charge for the internet which provided good service. Nor was there any charge for using the laundry It is important when comparing cruise lines to factor in the “freebies” Food and Wine. We bought the liquor package at US$20 per day each. Much cheaper than packages offered by other lines. The choice of wine is excellent. I like a grappa to end the evening and there was a choice of 5 or 6. Oceania prides itself on the quality of food which is very good. Viking was equally good. The wine package on Oceania is much more expensive, they ran out of both chardonnays on offer and did not have even one grappa Having the lowest category cabin meant we could not book the specialty restaurants until we boarded. We went to Manfredis the excellent ItaliIan restaurant on three nights and the Chefs Table once. There is no extra charge for the speciality restaurants and all are anytime dining. Dress is smart casual and most of the time men did not wear a jacket ( Cunard take note) Entertainment. The theatre is comfortable and has very good sight lines. The ships band was good and the four young singers tried really hard and were enjoyable with ABBA and Beatles nights. There were good classical instrumentalists, and a very good resident pianist. The guitarist was excellent. The cruise Director Drew and his assistant Courtney were both extremely personable and had good voices which gave some variety. Their musical quizzes were fun. If you want Broadway show standard ,pick another cruise, we didn’t and were happy with what there was There were some excellent lecturers, the lady historian in particular The Excursions, The arrangements on and off the ship were very good. An advantage in being on a smaller ship. Some of the excursions fell well below the standard of the rest of the cruise. At Stavanger the introduction to the Vikings was poor. The museum had limited exhibits and the rest of the tour was really filling in time. Stavanger was a charming town and those who wandered on their own enjoyed that. At Bodø we drove for two hours to stand astride the Arctic Circle. That was a bit of fun. Standing in the snow, in the dark for half an hour while two young Sami women tried unsuccessfully to get their reindeer to be nice was not. Nor was the visit to the art gallery that followed At Tromsø we had an excellent guide, an interesting museum and a trip in the cable car for a wonderful view over the city. The central city is picturesque and had good shopping.The following day there was another long bus ride to a Sami camp. The hosts were hospitable and interesting. The ride in the reindeer sled led by a Sami was okay, the reindeer looked a bit sad.Some people had organised private tours overnight and their guide literally chased the Lights until he found clear skies and the Lights. Those on the very late tours organised by. Viking caught a glimpse At Alta, a highlight was dog sledding drawn by excitable huskies through forest and on a frozen river. Outstanding! Then it was our turn to search for the Lights. There was an hours bus trip each way and two hours at a camp with fires in the open and in a lavu ( tent) Sadly the cloud cover stayed in place until just as the last bus left at midnight, they got a brief show. For the large majority there was only disappointment, frankly the chances of seeing the Lights by staying in one place are slim. You do need to go on a private tour and “ chase” the Lights to have a real chance. Viking should consider hooking up with companies that provide that experience.Alta was rebuilt after WW11 and is not very interesting AtNarvikthere was a two hour drive each way for 40 minutes snowmobiling. There was no food or coffee offered apart from a chocolate bar in the bus on the return journey. Viking were let down by the tour guides. It was shambolic, people were told to go to a nearby hotel for refreshments but it was closed. There was no one to assist people with the snow suits, goggles and helmets because the guides were out with the first group on the snowmobiles For Narvik, read Alta So Viking really need to rethink the excursions they offer and the shore side providers. Conclusion We still have unfinished business having not seen the Lights. We will consider doing the trip again with Viking. If we do we will do our own Shore arrangements. We still had a great time, a great experience and made some lovely friends We will certainly cruise with Viking again, somewhere warmer, and will look very critically at whatever shore excursions are on offer Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My wife and I have cruised many times with Celebrity and always received 1st class service. We have completed many of the popular cruises more than once so was looking for alternative itinerary's. We booked an Explorer Suite with ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised many times with Celebrity and always received 1st class service. We have completed many of the popular cruises more than once so was looking for alternative itinerary's. We booked an Explorer Suite with Viking (similar price to a Penthouse with Celebrity) expecting a premium cruise experience but how wrong we were. We opted for the flight and cruise package just in case of any delays etc but unable to pre-book our seats so we could not sit together. Check-in was OK but the welcome champagne was an inch in a glass and no member of staff to show us our suite. The suite was as expected, sensible size decorated with furniture from Ikea. The one big issue was trying to keep the room warm as the outside temperature was as low as -18. We had all the curtains closed, all heating including an electric panel heater on full, blankets on the bed and still cold. The same for the pool area and the world café, you needed a sweater or fleece to eat your lunch. Service was very slow with many dirty tables waiting to be cleaned and members of staff just walking past. Must say food quality and variety was good. Room service was very slow to start, 1230pm and still no clean, 8.40pm no clean or turn down. After a couple of complaints this did improve. Shore excursions a complete joke, they were either cancelled or changed at the last moment and those that did proceed were poorly organised. I complained to Judi Buikman the shore excursion manager as she cancelled Northern Lights tours as not dark enough, tidal water phenomenon as it was low tide and a train and snow mobile tour as there was a road incident at 7am and she was worried the bus could not return passenger's back to the ship at 4pm. When I pointed out she failed to do her homework on the excursions, she replied "fair comment". We had arranged dinner reservations prior to sailing for the specialty restaurants but then refused to alter the seating from 2 to 4 persons as we had met new friends. After a sharp conversation with the Hotel Manager and Restaurant Manager this was changed but it should not be this way. The service in the Lounge Bar was very slow if at all, quicker to order drinks at the bar. The evening entertainment was fine for us, either a guitar or piano entertainer. One day the Cruise Director Drew Raitch performed his song book for us, it was embarrassing, the man cannot sing at all so please don't try. Viking Ocean Cruise are a new start-up cruise line (not river cruises) and it shows. The staff are not trained or experienced at ocean cruises and require constant direction from the Officers who themselves require more training. The ship itself was very well maintained but then it is only 2 years old, it is however very noisy when in rough seas and when using the bow thrusters, no pods fitted to this ship. My wife and I really wanted to like Viking as our new "go to" cruise line with different itinerary's but not a chance. Viking are now what the cruise industry was 10 years ago and customers paying premium rates for the top suites and Penthouses demand service. Celebrity have a Butler who takes care of everyday issues such as excursions, dinner reservations, laundry etc. They also have a dedicated restaurant and lounge bar with concierge for suite guests only and unlimited use of the speciality dining rooms. We are so glad we booked Alaska with Celebrity in May and not Viking, we would have been so disappointed. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My wife has had seeing the Northern Lights as a "Bucket List" item for many years. When Viking Ocean came out with the "In Search of the Northern Lights" cruise I knew it was a must to do. In quick summary, We saw the ... Read More
My wife has had seeing the Northern Lights as a "Bucket List" item for many years. When Viking Ocean came out with the "In Search of the Northern Lights" cruise I knew it was a must to do. In quick summary, We saw the lights and they were spectacular and the ship/food/crew exceeded our expectations. And yes it was cold. My wife and I are fairly seasoned cruise passengers the last ten years and usually cruise Celebrity "Aqua Class" or Princess "Club" class and find that level of service excellent on those ships. We have travelled Azamara and thought it was even better but it is expensive. This was first time on Viking and I have to say it was excellent with much the same feel and quality of Azamara but newer. Pricing is much like Oceana and Azamara. We were scheduled to pick the ship up in Bergen in late January. We were worried about flight delays so arranged to arrive in Bergen a few days before departure. We stayed at Opus IV and it was great. I would highly recommend it as the it is relative new and in a A-1 location for exploring Bergen. It has a great breakfast Buffet with friendly helpful management. Boarded the ship and headed North. We were in a "D-2" cabin which well laid out with a nice bathroom (Heated floors a definite plus for this trip). The food on the ship was great and varied. Great fish as you would expect being in Norway but the beef was also exceptional. Nicely seasoned and tender for the various cuts. The "Grill" served the best burgers I have ever had at sea. Fresh ground beef or if you wanted, Bison or Turkey or Veggie burgers were avail along with great Hot Dogs or BBQ. All fresh and prepared to order. Several nights they had a seafood buffet on the pool deck with shrimp, crab legs, lagotisnos etc - all you can eat - no charge. Their afternoon tea included besides the 3-tiered platter of goodies, fresh scones and clotted cream....Yum! Most cruises have a "Lobster Night" and serve what I call a Fla Lobster Tail. Always tasty. On Viking they served full Maine Baked Stuffed lobsters or Lobster Thermador. Surf and turf was a highlight not once but twice. So as you can see the food was good. At least on this ship, Viking Sky, everyone was friendly, has a smile and was willing to chat and help in anyway. Most cruises have one or two staff that stands out but on this ship it was almost everyone without exception. As an example, my wife is allergic to gluten. I would say most ships as well as Viking handle this well. In Viking's case, they had a Sr. Officer assigned to those passengers with food needs. He was always present insuring my wife was taken care of and would bring special chief creations that made the trip special for her. We sailed North of the Arctic circle and had, for Mid-January, pretty good weather. No real storms, cold weather (Think zero) and some snow. The two cities on the itinerary that had the highest probability to see the lights was Alta and Tromso. Alta was first but no luck. Tromso was a winner with great lights both nights we were there. Other excursion highlights were snow mobile (Heated handle bars a must), dog sledding (a little scary but terrific) and seeing the Ice Hotel (Amazing). I can't say enough about the cruise as it was very unique and certainly not your average Caribbean cruise. Viking certainly had its act together on this one which means we will definitely use them again. Read Less

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