"We have always had a vision to reinvent ocean cruising—to bring destinations back to the forefront of the itinerary and to build ships that are designed to help our guests better explore their destinations," said Torstein Hagen, founder and chairman of Viking Cruises. "We launched our ocean cruises in Europe earlier this year, and just as the Viking explorers before us, we are now looking across the Atlantic for new discoveries. Our new itineraries in North America and the Caribbean will offer travelers experiences that broaden their horizons both on and off the ship."
New North America & Caribbean Itineraries
Created in part to honor early Viking trade routes beyond Scandinavia, Viking's new North American itineraries will allow guests to sail the North Atlantic and visit original Norse settlement sites that date back more than 1,000 years. Viking's Caribbean itineraries will provide an alternative to the cruises typically offered in the region—with more time in port and experiences that go beyond the iconic and expected. Highlights from the new program include:
• In the Wake of the Vikings (15 days; Bergen to Montreal): Trace the route of Viking Leif Eriksson, setting off from his homeland, Norway, sailing from the old mercantile city of Bergen to the rustic Shetland Islands of Scotland the Faroe Islands, once home to the Viking Parliament. Witness the magnificent natural beauty of Iceland and Greenland; then, as Eriksson before you, land at Newfoundland, where L'Anse aux Meadows reveals evidence of Norse settlements. Sail on to Quebec, with explorations of Saguenay and Quebec City, before arriving in Montreal.Sailing Date: Sept 18, 2016.Viking Star
• Eastern Seaboard Explorer (13 days; Montreal to New York): Witness the shores of Canada and New England come alive with fall's vibrant hues during this once-annual sailing. From cosmopolitan Montreal, cruise the St. Lawrence River to French-flavored Quebec City. Learn about Canada's colonial past in Saguenay and about its Scottish and Acadian heritage on Prince Edward Island and in Halifax. An overnight in Boston gives you ample time to visit its historic treasures. Then, enjoy a rare crossing of the Cape Cod Canal en route to New York City, where you'll experience the highlights of Manhattan. Sailing Date: Oct 2, 2016.
• Eastern Seaboard to the West Indies (15 days; New York to San Juan): Trace the Atlantic seaboard of the United States into the Caribbean, calling on an array of vibrant capitals and lush islands. An overnight in exhilarating New York City lets you take in its dazzling sights. Then explore Newport's grand mansions and Baltimore's historic riches. Immerse yourself in colonial Jamestown from our port in Norfolk, and enjoy an overnight stay amid the coastal beauty of Port Everglades. Then explore the lush and lively Caribbean islands of Turks and Caicos, Antigua and St. Thomas. Sailing Date: Oct 14, 2016.
• West Indies Explorer (11 days; San Juan to San Juan): After time to explore the colonial treasures of San Juan, Puerto Rico, immerse yourself in the British, French and Dutch cultures of the Lesser Antilles. Take in the steep green hills of Tortola and Antigua. Explore settlement towns on St. Lucia and Barbados. Witness the rainforest beauty of Guadeloupe and the rich past of St. Kitts. And marvel at the French and Dutch sides of St. Martin and the splendid vistas of St. Thomas. Sailing Dates: Oct 28, Nov 7, Dec 17 and Dec 27, 2016; Jan 6, 16, & 26, Feb 5 & 15, 2017.
• West Indies to Iberia (18 days; San Juan to Barcelona): Embark in colonial San Juan, and call upon the Dutch side of St. Martin. Then, enjoy a leisurely six-day trans-Atlantic crossing, savoring the offerings onboard Viking Star. You'll make landfall on the garden-draped Portuguese island of Madeira and visit the French-inflected Moroccan city of Casablanca before exploring Spain in Cadiz, Valencia and finally, Barcelona. Sailing Date: Feb 25, 2017.
Christened in May 2015 in Bergen, Norway, the 930-guest all-veranda Viking Star is considered a "small ship," and is engineered at a scale that allows direct access into most ports, so guests have easy and efficient embarkation and disembarkation. The small size of Viking's ocean ships provides greater maneuverability, allowing them to dock where mega-liners that dominate the world's ports today cannot. From prime, central berths in the world's great cities, cuch as Venice and Monte Carlo and in smaller, seldom-visited ports like Kotor, Montenegro, and Scotland's Shetland Islands, enriching cultural discoveries are just a short walk away from the ship.
Viking Ocean Cruises
Viking developed its ocean cruises by leveraging extensive feedback and input from Viking River Cruises® passengers, and with experienced travelers in mind. Itineraries are designed to spend more time in port, with fewer days at sea and more overnight stays, so guests can have ample time to immerse themselves more fully in each destination. Ports include both cosmopolitan cities and "collector ports," and appeal to those with an interest in history, art and culture. In addition, Viking Inclusive Cruising provides unparalleled value—with every cruise fare including a veranda stateroom, shore excursions in each port of call, all onboard 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—a value of more than $2,400 per couple for an average cruise.
Image Courtesy of Viking Ocean Cruises