Friday, 7 February 2020

Meet the cruise line that can't help saying" no"

Hobart today became the first Australian destination to welcome the 930-guest Viking Sun, which is on day 160 of its 245-day Ultimate World Cruise, attempting to set the Guinness World Record for the “longest continuous passenger cruise”.


The voyage will also include a three-day visit to Sydney and spans six continents, 51 countries and 111 ports, completing a full circumnavigation of the globe. Sailing continuously for eight months and offering 23 overnight stays, the journey is nearly double the length of previous world cruise itineraries.  

Upon the return of Viking Sun to London on May 2, an official Guinness World Record adjudicator will confirm the successful attempt with a certificate presentation. 

At total of 56 people - 12 from Australia, four from the UK and 40 from the US and Canada – have signed on for the full 245 days. 


Others have joined two extensive segments of the cruise, at 127 and 119-days respectively, disembarking in Los Angeles after covering half the itinerary, where a new group of passengers joined the ship for the second leg.

I was lucky enough to get a close-up look on board today - and was impressed. I have several issues with ocean cruising, including being subjected to being up close and personal with other people's children, being forced to eat with people I do not know and noise from on-board casinos and nightclubs. 

I also hate lining up for food behind people who seem set on breaking a world record for how much food they can pile onto their plates.

None of which is an issue on the six identical Viking ocean cruise liners.


Anna Bathgate, the Viking PR and Communications manager, assures me that Viking has made every effort to make cruising as hassle-free as possible for grumpy types like myself. 

That includes a policy of "no crowds, no queues, no casinos, no kids and no silly "nickle and dime" charges. That means you won't get slugged for that glass of wine you have with dinner, or for your use of wifi on board. 

Other good news is that every state room has either a window or a balcony and there are no butlers, no photographers, no formal or fancy dress nights and you can even BYO wine should you wish - although the list carries prestige names from Australia, the US, France, Italy, New Zealand and South Africa, among others.


You choose where you dine each night and can opt for a table for two should that be your preference. 

That's quite a few ticks there. 

I roamed the ship today taking some snaps - which you'll find above and below. The Viking Sun, like its fellow vessels has a definite Nordic theme; from Edvard Munch artworks to Nordic architecture, a Nordic spa, steam room and ice grotto, and its own Nordic café.


The vibe is super comfortable rather than luxe, with plenty of public spaces in which to stretch out and relax, as well as a business centre. 

Ultimate World Cruise fares started at $117,995 in a veranda stateroom, the lowest cabin category available on Viking’s fleet of small, all-veranda ships.

Like all Viking itineraries, guests enjoy an included excursion in each port of call, unlimited wifi, all meals including alternate dining, beer and wine served with lunch and dinner, 24-hour room service, self-service laundry and complimentary access to the LivNordic Scandinavian spa.


Launched in 2017, Viking Sun offers eight destination-inspired dining options, including several specialty and alfresco options such as Manfredi’s for traditional Italian and Chef’s Table, where chefs serve up destination-inspired degustation menus paired with global wines - 125 in all and also 31 vintages of Armagnac. 

There are libraries curated by Heywood Hill booksellers of London and a program of educational lectures.


Prior to arriving in Australia, Viking’s Ultimate World Cruise visited the UK, Scandinavia, Canada, the US, the Caribbean, South and Central America, New Zealand and a number of Pacific island nations. 

After spending nine days in Australian ports, Viking Sun will continue her journey through Asia, the Middle East, the Suez Canal and finally, returning to the Mediterranean.


Viking Sun will be joined by identical sister ship, Viking Orion, in Australian waters this summer. Viking Orion will offer eight local cruises from her seasonal Sydney and Auckland home ports, where she will be based for three months. 

For full details and bookings visit www.vikingcruises.com.au


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