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Cruising Travel

John Pond’s Weekly Cruising Update: Viking Cruises

VIKING OCEAN CRUISES CHRISTENS SECOND SHIP

Less than one year ago, Viking Ocean Cruises (www.vikingoceancruises.com) launched its first ship, Viking Star, and marked the arrival of the travel industry’s first entirely new cruise line in a decade. Recently in London the company officially welcomed its second ship, Viking Sea, to its fleet during a celebration on the Thames River in Greenwich. “Today is a proud day for our Viking family. London is one of my favorite cities, and Greenwich is a significant port for Viking. We look forward to bringing more guests here this spring and in future years,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. “Our ships are built for exploration; they are vessels that help our guests spend more time immersed in and surrounded by their destination. With the arrival of our second ship – and with four more sister ships on the way – we are focused on introducing travelers to the Viking way of destination-centered cruising, a unique style that was inspired by our success on the rivers.”

Viking Sea will spend the summer sailing itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic; she will call on Greenwich again in June as part of Viking’s new Into the Midnight Sun itinerary that sails between London and Bergen and explores the northernmost reaches of Scandinavia and sails across the Arctic Circle.

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 bring them closer to the cultures of the world. Ships are small to get guests closer to their destination, with more time in port, more overnights and fewer days at sea. Onboard, 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. A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences onshore and onboard. And only The Viking Way brings guests itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences.

 

Viking River Cruises #1 River Cruise Line rated highest of all cruise lines in 2015 World’s Best Awards. Sailing high on a year of impressive accolades, Viking River Cruises (www.vikingcruises.com.au) has once again been named the #1 River Cruise Line by readers of Travel + Leisure. The results of the annual Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards are based on a survey that asked readers to cast votes for the very best in cruising on the following characteristics: cabins/facilities, restaurants/food, service, itineraries/destinations, excursions/activities and value.

This is the eleventh consecutive year that Viking has appeared on the World’s Best Awards list, “We are delighted to be named the top river cruise line and would like to thank our guests and the readers of Travel + Leisure for this great honour,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking Cruises. “As the river cruise market continues to grow, we will never lose sight of the Viking Way of travel – we offer our guests the ‘thinking man’s cruise,’ not the ‘drinking man’s cruise.” We provide enriching experiences for our guests in every destination, and we do it at a great value.

Viking Sea 2016 - Preview (1)

The Viking Way of travel is small ship cruises that focus on the destination, that provide authentic cultural touch points along the way and that offer a wide variety of choice for many different budgets and individual travel preferences. Every Viking itinerary covers a destination’s most famous sights and landmarks, but guests are also offered opportunities to go beyond the iconic and expected – a “Local Life” experience, such as a home-hosted visit; a “Working World” experience, such as a factory visit; and a Privileged Access experience, such as an exclusive, behind-the-scenes museum tour.

In early 2015, Viking officially expanded into the ocean cruise market and with the launch of its first ocean ship, the 930-passenger Viking Star marking the arrival of the travel industry’s first entirely new cruise line in a decade. All Viking ships will sail popular routes in Scandinavia and the Baltic; and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean.

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JOIN AUTHOR FIONA McINTOSH ON SEADREAM

Australian author Fiona McIntosh will sail aboard SeaDream Yacht Club’s boutique SeaDream I from Rome to Cannes in October of this year and is looking forward, she says, to mixing, meeting and chatting casually around the yacht with fellow guests about her life and writings, rather than giving any formal, stand-up talks and Q&A’s during her week aboard.

With over 30 adult fantasy and historical adventure-romance novels to her name – plus a half dozen children’s books – another novel for release later this year and one for next year already in the pipeline, Fiona McIntosh says she’s hoping to meet-up with some of her myriad readers while aboard SeaDream… and maybe even share some advice with any hoping to one day themselves also break into print.

The boutique mega-motor-cruiser SeaDream I that Fiona McIntosh will be sailing on,  carries a maximum just 112-guests and will sail from Rome’s port of Civitavecchia on October 22. It’ll visit such dream destinations as Sorrento (with an optional visit to Pompeii,) the Isle of Capri, Bonifacio on Corsica for an overnight stay, Calvi also on Corsica, and the French Riviera’s famed St Tropez, and finally Cannes. Premium drinks from the open bars, wines at lunch and dinner, power and sail water-sports where locally permitted, onboard gratuities, and Government charges and taxes are all included in prices that begin from US$4,926pp twin-share. Go to www.seadream.com

 

Is it 1st Class in Disguise?

Princess Cruises is set to offer guests a new premium stateroom category featuring VIP amenities and exclusive dining with the introduction of its Club Class Mini-Suite in December.

The elevated mini-suite category features select advantages including new Club Class Dining, a reserved dining area with expedited seating and expanded menu options, as well as priority embarkation and disembarkation. Club Class guests will also be among the first to sleep on the new Princess Luxury Bed. Club Class will debut in Australia in December 2016 on Emerald Princess and roll out across the rest of the Australian-based fleet during 2017.