Ship: Viking Ocean Cruises’ brand spanking new Viking Star
Where: Istanbul, the Greek islands, the Adriatic coast and Venice
Who: Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief
Why There? Viking Ocean Cruises, a new, ocean-going cruise line spawned from Viking River Cruises, launches its first ship, the 930-passenger Viking Star, on its first-ever passenger cruise. Viking Oceans is the first cruise line to debut with all-new, purpose-designed and built cruise ships since Disney launched Disney Magic in 1998.
We Can’t Wait: While Viking’s philosophy for its new ocean line emphasizes destinations, such as longer days in ports of call and a nice mix of marquee ports (like Venice, Istanbul and Dubrovnik) with offbeat places (like Montenegro’s Kotor and Croatia’s Pula), we’re also excited to check out its innovative newbuild.
The ship has some nifty contemporary features, like a firepit, Nordic spa with Finnish sauna and snow room, and an Armagnac bar (not sure we’ve ever tried this brandy, distilled in France’s Pyrenees region, but open to the possibility!). Having cruised on Viking’s distinctive river-based Longships, we’re excited about the carryover of features on this ocean ship, such as the indoor/outdoor Aquavit lounge, a complimentary array of shore excursions, and free Wi-Fi, along with wine and beer at lunch and dinner. And we also look forward to the ships’ retro touches, including a wrap-around promenade deck (you don’t see that much on today’s newest big ships) and a lofty, two-deck-high Explorers Lounge observatory. Last but by no means least, we’re excited to share our discoveries in ports of call with you.
Follow along with Carolyn on Cruise Critic Live, where she’s sending updates all week long.
Cruise Critic staffers set sail every week, traveling the globe to bring you the latest cruise ship trends, port sneak peeks and onboard observations.
(Got questions about any of the ships we’re boarding or ports we are visiting? Ask us in the comments!)
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