Greek Odyssey Cruise with Viking Ocean Cruises

Viking Announces New Greek Odyssey Itinerary For 2021

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New 11-Day Sailing Brings Guests to New Ports of Call in Greece and Turkey

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Viking® (www.vikingcruises.com) today announced a new 11-day ocean cruise itinerary, Greek Odyssey, that will allow guests to explore the ancient empires of antiquity of the Aegean Sea during the quiet season. Sailing roundtrip from Athens starting in January 2021, the new itinerary features three new ports of call for Viking, including Volos, Thessaloníki and Nafpilo in Greece, as well as a stop in Ephesus, marking the company’s return to Turkey.

“Our guests are curious explorers who want opportunities for learning while they travel in comfort,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “Our destination-focused ocean itineraries are built on the same successful principles as our river itineraries – we offer our guests more time in port, enriching cultural experiences, the best-designed ships at sea with no children, no casinos and no nickel-and-diming. With this new itinerary in Greece and Turkey offered during the quiet winter season, we look forward to helping our guests explore such a culturally rich region of the world in ‘The Viking Way.'”

Sailing on Viking’s award-winning 930-guest all-veranda Viking Sea®, guests will journey through several millennia of culture and history, from Athens, known as the “birthplace of democracy,” to the island of Crete, home to the mysterious Minoan civilization. Highlights of the new Greek Odyssey itinerary include:

Ephesus (Kuşadasi), Turkey: One of the best-preserved cities of antiquity in the world, guests can visit the remains of the Byzantine Basilica of St. John, take in sights such as the massive Great Theater and the magnificent Library of Celsus, or see the modest home where, according to legend, the Virgin Mary lived out her final days.

Volos, Greece: Now a modern, cosmopolitan port city, this region was once thought of as the playground of the gods. Guests can experience the stunning scenery of Meteora, where medieval monasteries stand precariously on hilltops, or explore the ancient religious center of Dion, located on the foothills of Mt. Olympus.

Thessaloníki, Greece: Greece’s second-largest city offers an exhilarating mix of ancient culture and modern life. While in port, guests can walk the vibrant waterfront promenade with its many cafés and restaurants, or venture outside the city to the remains of the ancient Macedonian kingdom of Alexander the Great.

Nafpilo, Greece: Set between breathtaking mountains and the Bay of Argos, Nafpilo is one of Greece’s most beautiful and romantic port cities. Guests can discover the charms of its Venetian homes and Byzantine churches, take a drive to Palamidi, an imposing fortress towering over the city, or travel to the nearby Peloponnese peninsula, an ancient area rich in history.

Scenic cruising: Mt. Athos: During the one sea day on this itinerary, guests will sail past the majestic slopes of Mt. Athos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the spiritual capital of Orthodox Christianity. Called the “Holy Mountain,” the peninsula’s soaring peaks are home to 20 monasteries whose monks work to preserve and catalogue a vast collection of liturgical works and art.

 

The Viking Difference

Designed for discerning travelers with interests in history, art, music and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests “the thinking person’s cruise” as an alternative to mainstream cruises. Ships are small to get guests closer to their destination, with more time in port and more overnights. On board, guests find serene Scandinavian spaces, where every room is both beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light. With the most al fresco dining opportunities at sea, featuring regional cuisine and always-available American classics, Viking’s guests can truly dine in their destination. A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences on shore and on board. And only The Viking Way® of exploration provides guests with itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access® experiences.

In addition, Viking offers a compelling value compared to other cruise lines. Every cruise fare includes an outside stateroom, a complimentary shore excursion 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; alternative restaurant dining; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service.

Pumpkin Soup

Recipe: Viking Cruises Pumpkin Soup

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Since the first pumpkin seeds were brought to the Old World from the Americas, Europe has embraced squash-based cuisine. This easy recipe yields a full-bodied soup without using cream. The final flourish of candied walnuts, thyme and parmesan adds texture and complements the flavors exquisitely, and makes for a delightful seasonal fall starter or winter main course.

Ingredients

2 T (29 ml) olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 med yellow onion, minced
2 29-oz (822-g) cans pumpkin purée
½ tsp (30 g) salt
¼ tsp (0.7 g) pepper
1 tsp (2½ g) ground cumin
6 C (1,420 ml) low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
¾ C (135 g) grated parmesan cheese

 

Garnish

½ C (60 g) sour cream
¼ C (30 g) candied walnuts
Small thyme sprigs
Parmesan shavings

 

Directions
Sauté shallots and onions in olive oil in a large saucepan on medium high until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in pumpkin, salt, pepper, cumin and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in parmesan. To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish.

Prep time: 5 minutes. Cook time: 15 minutes. Makes: 6 servings.

Viking Jupiter

Viking Jupiter
(Ocean)

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The Sixth of Viking Cruises Ocean sailing ships will be joining the fleet in February 2019

Traditional English Summer Pudding by Viking Ocean Cruises

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A seasonal dessert made with sliced bread and summer fruit, this English classic dates back to Victorian times. Summer pudding highlights the fresh flavors of plump, juicy berries, while crisp, delicate phyllo, crunchy pistachios and heavenly whipped cream complete this British favorite.

Ingredients
SUMMER PUDDING:
¼ loaf brioche, crust removed
⅓ C (75 ml) water
½ tsp (1½ g) pectin
2½ T (30 g) sugar
½ C (60 g) strawberries, diced
½ C (60 g) raspberries
½ C (60 g) blueberries
½ C (60 g) blackberries
½ C (80 g) figs, diced
1 sheet gelatin

PHYLLO CRISP:
¼ sheet phyllo dough
1 T (15 g) unsalted butter, melted

BERRY COMPOTE:
1 T (20 g) strawberry jam
2 strawberries, diced
2 T (25 g) blueberries

GARNISH:
½ C (50 g) whipped cream
1 fig, cut in 5 wedges
2 T (30 ml) raspberry sauce
2 T (15 g) dried cranberries
1 T (10 g) pistachios, coarsely chopped
2 T (15 g) confectioners’ sugar
5 sprigs fresh mint

Directions
Summer Pudding: Slice brioche and cut with a 3-inch circle cutter; place inside 3-inch ramekins. Combine water, pectin and sugar, add strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and figs; heat gently just until juice releases from berries. Remove from heat, strain over bowl. Dissolve gelatin in liquid, combine berry and gelatin mixture, spoon into ramekins and chill 1 hour. Reserve leftover berry mixture for compote.

Phyllo Crisp: Preheat oven to 350°F (170°C). Brush phyllo with butter, bake 12-15 minutes. Break into pieces.

Berry Compote: Combine reserved berry mixture, strawberry jam, strawberries and blueberries.

Serving Suggestion
Remove pudding from ramekins, place on plates. Add whipped cream rosettes, fig wedges, raspberry sauce, cranberries, pistachios and compote. Dust with confectioners’ sugar; garnish with mint.

Prep time: 15 minutes. Chill time: 1 hour. Cook time: 18 minutes. Makes 5 servings.

Highclere Castle

Viking Announces Enhanced Partnership with Highclere Castle

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“Heroes at Highclere” Event Sponsorship and Exclusive Video Content Offer New Opportunities to Experience “The Real Downton Abbey”

Los Angeles (August 9, 2018) – Viking® (www.vikingcruises.com), widely known for its sponsorship of PBS’ celebrated series MASTERPIECE and the iconic television advertisements that aired during the Emmy® Award-winning series Downton Abbey, today announced it has extended its partnership with Highclere Castle, the country seat of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon that served as the setting for the show. As part of the relationship, Viking has signed on as headline sponsor of “Heroes at Highclere,” a weekend to raise money for those who serve and those who save, taking place at the Castle on September 8-9, 2018. Representatives from more than 20 countries will gather on the lawns for the event, which will honor the centennial anniversary of the end of World War I and will highlight the history of flight, as well as the creation of the Royal Air Force (RAF), culminating in a memorial service on Sunday. Adding to the partnership, Viking has also launched a series of online videos to complement the first-ever coffee table book about Highclere, At Home at Highclere, written by the Countess of Carnarvon.

The enhanced partnership with Highclere Castle builds on Viking’s long-standing commitment to promoting cultural enrichment, with current partners including NBCUniversal International Studios’ “Downton Abbey: The Exhibition,” PBS’ MASTERPIECE, National Geographic’s Genius, TED, The Metropolitan Opera, Greenwich Music Time, Opera Holland Park, BBC, LIBERA, Ballet Sun Valley, RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Oslo’s Munch Museum, Oslo’s Viking Ship Museum and St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre, among others.

“Many of our guests were introduced to both Viking and Highclere Castle while watching Downton Abbey, so we are inextricably linked in a lot of minds,” said Karine Hagen, Senior Vice President of Viking. “But first and foremost, the relationship between Viking and Highclere is one of friendship and family. In our professional worlds, both Lady Carnarvon and I are much aligned in our determination to deliver enriching and meaningful experiences to our guests. Our respective platforms, Highclere Castle and Viking, allow us to connect different cultures in ways that can ultimately help make the world a more understanding place. Heroes at Highclere, which Viking is proud to sponsor, is one such example – and just one of the many of the worthwhile causes the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon organize and to which they lend their names.”

 

Heroes at Highclere

In addition to marking the RAF and World War I centennial, Heroes at Highclere will welcome several thousand visitors for a fundraising weekend for all involved in wars past and those continuing to serve today. Funds raised during the weekend will go support veterans’ charities including Combat Stress, Médicins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), The Royal British Legion, The UK Sepsis Trust and RAF100 Appeal, as well as one in the USA. Throughout the weekend, guests will be entertained with displays in the sky and on the ground to commemorate heroes. Historic aircraft, including the Red Arrows Display Team, P51 Mustang, a Typhoon Display, the Spitfire, the Tiger 9 Formation Team and the Great War Display Team will take part in the event – and Europe’s only airworthy B17 will fly over the Castle on both days. The Earl and Countess of Carnarvon will also dedicate a new memorial of an airman, carved from a 200-year-old cedar felled on the Highclere Estate. The event will also feature commemorative football games inspired by the only moment of peace during World War I, when armies from both sides famously played football on Christmas Day 1914. Musical entertainment will feature the popular Military Wives Choir, a Scottish Pipe Band and the 1920s band The Gatsby Girls. The Viking hospitality area is set on the famous lawns, where guests will enjoy a tea tent, a dance tent and a speakers’ tent with well-known literary names, including Robert Harris and former war correspondent Kate Adie, amongst others. For more information about the event, visit www.highclerecastle.co.uk.

“We are delighted to continue our partnership with Viking for Heroes at Highclere. This weekend is to raise money for those who serve and those who save, and we hope it will be a fascinating and meaningful event for all who attend,” said Lady Carnarvon. “This is also a particularly exciting time for us, as we prepare to welcome the cast and crew of Downton Abbey back to Highclere Castle for the filming of the highly anticipated movie, and I am delighted that Julian Fellowes who created and wrote Downton Abbey is joining us on Sunday as one of our speakers.”

 

Highclere Castle

Known to global audiences as the setting of Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle is a country house in the Jacobethan style by the architect Charles Barry, with a park designed by Capability Brown. The 5,000-acre estate is in Hampshire, England, about 5 miles south of Newbury, Berkshire. Long the Carnarvon family’s ancestral country seat, Highclere has welcomed royalty, statesmen and notables from the worlds of business, academia and the arts. Lady Carnarvon is the author of multiple bestselling books, including At Home at Highclere, Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey and Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey. Lady Carnarvon’s first book spent 60 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list. Read Lady Carnarvon’s blog at www.ladycarnarvon.com.

 

Viking & Highclere

In addition to the Heroes at Highclere sponsorship and new videos, Viking offers a variety of ways for guests to experience life at “The Real Downton Abbey” in person and at home. Viking’s Oxford & Highclere Castle pre- or post-trip extension is available for guests on select river and ocean cruise itineraries. The Privileged Access extension was co-created by Karine Hagen, with the Carnarvon family. The extension provides guests with an exclusive three-day experience in the rolling hills of England’s countryside with a champagne welcome and tours of the estate. Also, Lady Carnarvon’s bestselling books are sold onboard Viking ships. Additionally, Karine Hagen’s “The World of Finse” children’s book series, which chronicles Finse’s adventures around the world and are sold onboard Viking ships, includes several titles written by Lady Carnarvon, including Finse of Dogton Abbey: Afternoon Tea and Finse of Dogton Abbey: Good Manners.

Viking Ocean Cruises

Travel + Leisure Again Names Viking “World’s Best” in 2018 Awards

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Viking Has Been Voted a #1 Ocean Cruise Line Every Year Since its Launch

Los Angeles (July 10, 2018) –Travel + Leisure readers have again voted Viking® to the top of its categories in the 2018 World’s Best Awards, which were announced today by the publication. Viking was named the #1 Ocean Cruise Line for ships carrying 600–2,199 guests and one of the World’s Best River Cruise Lines. In the three years since the launch of Viking’s ocean cruises in 2015, the company has been named a #1 Ocean Cruise Line every consecutive year. Viking has also been voted a World’s Best River Cruise Line every year since the award’s inception in 2010.

Today’s milestone comes on the heels of last month’s launch of the company’s fifth ocean ship, Viking Orion®, and the announcement of the 245-day Viking Ultimate World Cruise, the longest-ever continuous world cruise itinerary. Travel + Leisure is the largest travel magazine brand in the U.S., and since 1995 its readers have been asked to cast their votes for the World’s Best in cruising with considerations in the following cruise features: cabins/facilities, food, service itineraries/destinations, excursions/activities and value. Viking will also be featured in the magazine’s World’s Best issue, which will be on newsstands on July 27; the full results of the awards can be found at www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best.

“We have been offering ocean cruises for three years, and for all three years we have been voted the world’s #1 ocean cruise line. To receive such a positive reception so quickly and consistently is unprecedented and a great honor,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “From our beginning, we have set out to do things differently. We focus on the destination, providing what we believe to be a better value than any other cruise line. We want to thank our guests and the readers of Travel + Leisure for embracing the Viking way of travel and for again bestowing upon us two awards in a single year.”

Today’s announcement from Travel + Leisure adds to an impressive list of recent accolades for Viking. Earlier this year, the company’s first three 930-guest sister ships, Viking Star®, Viking Sea®, and Viking Sky® dominated the Cruise Critic® 8th Annual Cruisers’ Choice Awards, receiving 10 First Place honors. Viking’s fourth ship, Viking Sun®, which was still in its first months of service, also debuted on the Awards list. All four ships have also been awarded a top rating of five stars by Cruise Critic. In 2017, Viking was voted the Best River Cruise Line by Condé Nast Traveler in the publication’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards. Town & Country also named Viking’s ocean cruises “Best for Design” and “Best Overall, Contemporary Luxury” in the magazine’s Cruise Awards. It also named Viking’s river cruises “Best for Suites” and “Best for Design.” And in its 10th annual Editors’ Picks Awards in 2017, Cruise Critic honored Viking with five awards, more than any other river or ocean cruise line. Viking was recognized in the river and luxury ocean categories, with awards that point to key differentiating factors for the brand: Best for First-Timers, Best Enrichment, Best Shore Excursions, Best Spa and Best-Value-for-Money.

Quickly-expanding Viking plans to add seven new river vessels to its fleet in 2019, including six award-winning Viking Longships® and one additional vessel inspired by the Viking Longships and specifically designed for Portugal’s Douro River. Viking also is targeting February 2019 to welcome its sixth ocean ship, Viking Jupiter®.

 

The Viking Difference

Designed for discerning travelers with interests in history, art, music and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests “the thinking person’s cruise” as an alternative to mainstream cruises. Ships are small to get guests closer to their destination, with more time in port and more overnights. On board, guests find serene Scandinavian spaces, where every room is both beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light. With the most al fresco dining opportunities at sea, featuring regional cuisine and always-available American classics, Viking’s guests can truly dine in their destination. A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences on shore and on board. And only The Viking Way® of exploration provides guests with itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access® experiences.

In addition, Viking offers the best value at sea, with each cruise fare including much more than what competitors offer—an included value of more than $200 per person per day for an average cruise. Every cruise fare includes an outside stateroom, a complimentary shore excursion 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; alternative restaurant dining; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service.

Viking Ocean Cruises - ship in port

Viking Takes Delivery Of Fifth Ocean Ship – Viking Orion

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LOS ANGELES, June 7, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Viking® (www.vikingcruises.com) today announced it took delivery of Viking Orion®, the company’s fifth ocean ship. The delivery ceremony took place this morning when the ship was presented at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Ancona, Italy. On June 14, the ship will arrive in Livorno, Italy, where she will officially be named by her ceremonial godmother, Dr. Anna Fisher, American chemist, emergency room physician and retired NASA astronaut. The ship’s name was inspired by the prominent constellation and Dr. Fisher’s work on NASA’s Orion exploration vehicle project. Viking Orion will spend her maiden season sailing the Mediterranean, before journeying to Australia, Asia and Alaska, where she will be Viking’s first ship to call on the northernmost U.S. state.

“Today we celebrate the delivery of our fifth ocean ship, just three years after launching our ocean business,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “We are pleased to welcome Viking Orion to our award-winning fleet and look forward to introducing more guests to the Viking way of travel, through culturally-immersive and destination-focused itineraries as we expand to new destinations in Asia and Alaska.”

 

Viking Orion

Viking’s ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, with 465 staterooms that can accommodate 930 guests. Viking Orion is the fifth addition to Viking’s award-winning ocean fleet, which also includes Viking Star®, Viking Sea®, Viking Sky® and Viking Sun®. With the arrival of Viking Jupiter® in Spring 2019, Viking will be the largest small ship ocean cruise line. Ten additional ships are also planned for delivery starting in 2021, which could bring Viking’s ocean fleet to 16 ships by 2027.

 
The Viking Difference
Designed for discerning travelers with interests in history, art, music and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests “the thinking person’s cruise” as an alternative to mainstream cruises. Ships are small to get guests closer to their destination, with more time in port and more overnights. On board, guests find serene Scandinavian spaces, where every room is both beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light. With the most al fresco dining opportunities at sea, featuring regional cuisines and always-available American classics, Viking’s guests can truly dine in their destination. A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences ashore and on board. And only The Viking Way of Exploration provides guests with itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences.

In addition, Viking offers the best value at sea, with each cruise fare including much more than what competitors offer—an included value of more than $200 per person per day for an average cruise. Every cruise fare includes an exterior stateroom, a complimentary shore excursion 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; alternative restaurant dining; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service.

Viking Ocean Ship

Viking enters agreement with Fincantieri for six additional Ocean ships

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New Options Would Bring Viking’s Ocean Fleet to 16 Ships by 2027

Los Angeles (March 6, 2018) – Viking® (www.vikingcruises.com) today announced a new agreement with Fincantieri that could see the delivery of six additional ocean ships by 2027. The new understanding expands Viking’s partnership with Fincantieri, raising the company’s total ocean ship order and options to 16 – the highest-ever for a shipyard from a single owner. The agreement for the six additional ships, which will be delivered in 2024, 2025, 2026 and 2027, is subject to specific conditions.

“When we launched our first ocean ship in 2015, we set out to reinvent ocean cruising. We focus on the destination, and we do not cram our ships with gimmicks and waterslides. Our understated, elegant, award-winning ships are designed to simply enable our guests to better explore their destination,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “In our first two years of operation, we have been named the #1 Ocean Cruise Line, and this new order speaks to the positive response we have received from our guests and the industry. As we continue to expand our brand, we look forward to bringing guests to more destinations around the world and introducing them to the Viking way of exploration.”

This announcement comes just prior to the naming of Viking’s fourth ocean ship, Viking Sun®, on March 8 in Shanghai. The ship is currently sailing Viking’s sold-out 141-day World Cruise from Miami to London, and its stop in Shanghai will mark the first time one of Viking’s ocean ships has called in China. Viking Sun will also be the first-ever cruise ship to be named in Shanghai.

Classified by Cruise Critic® as “small ships,” Viking’s all-veranda ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, have 465 staterooms and host 930 guests. Viking Sun is the newest addition to Viking’s award-winning ocean fleet, which also includes Viking Star®, Viking Sea® and Viking Sky®. Viking will welcome two more sister ships in the next two years, including Viking Orion® in June 2018. With the arrival of Viking Jupiter® in 2019, Viking will be the largest small ship ocean cruise line. Ten additional ships are now on order for delivery starting in 2021, which will bring Viking’s ocean fleet to 16 ships by 2027.

Viking’s Fourth Ocean ship named in Shanghai

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930-Guest Viking Sun is the First Cruise Ship Ever Named on The Bund
Los Angeles (March 8, 2018) – Viking® (www.vikingcruises.com) today announced that its fourth ocean ship, Viking Sun®, was officially named during a spectacular celebration on The Bund, in the heart of Shanghai. The ship is currently sailing Viking’s sold-out 141-day World Cruise from Miami to London, and its stop in Shanghai marks the first time one of Viking’s ocean ships has called in China. Viking Sun is also the first-ever cruise ship to be named on the Bund in Shanghai. Classified as a “small ship” by Cruise Critic, the 930-guest, 47,800-ton Viking Sun arrived in Shanghai this morning, navigating into the mouth of the Yangtze River and then up the Huangpu River into central Shanghai, where she received a warm welcome from local residents and boats in the harbor.

“I am very pleased to officially name our newest ship in Shanghai. We care deeply about tourism in China, and we have been bringing river cruise guests here since 2004,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “China is the home of Viking Sun’s Godmother, Mrs. Yi Lou, and in the coming year, Shanghai will also welcome our fifth ship, Viking Orion. We look forward to introducing thousands of new travelers to the cultural treasures in Shanghai and throughout China.”

After arriving today, Viking Sun was positioned at the Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal, adjacent to a concert stage constructed specifically for the celebration. Viking’s World Cruise guests and international dignitaries were treated to high-tech show and musical concert on the waterfront that paid tribute to the special friendship between Norway and China. On a giant wave-like screen built alongside the ship, a projected animation depicted the story of silk – the ancient trade that has formed a cultural bond between Norway and China. Shanghai television personality Michelle Wang served as master of ceremony and introduced musical performances from the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra and acclaimed Chinese operatic tenor Dai Yuqiang, as well as Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebø, who is widely considered one of the world’s top crossover sopranos.

Mrs. Yi Lou, Vice President of China Merchant Bank Financial Leasing (CMBFL), served as ceremonial godmother and offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for Viking Sun – a naval tradition that dates back thousands of years. In keeping with the naming custom, Mrs. Yi Lou also cut a ribbon that allowed a bottle of Norwegian aquavit to break on the ship’s hull.

On March 9, Viking Sun will set sail from Shanghai for Southeast Asia and India, before making her way through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean – essentially following the route of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road or “One Belt One Road” Initiative. When the ship arrives in London on May 5, she will have visited five continents, 35 countries and 64 ports during her first World Cruise. Viking Sun will continue to sail the globe during the 2019 World Cruise, a 128-day itinerary from Miami to London.

While this is the first time one of Viking’s ocean ships has called in China, the company has a long history with the China tourism industry. Operating river cruises on the Yangtze since 2004, Viking has been one of the largest sources of inbound travelers from North America. In 2016, Viking began offering a new river cruise product designed specifically for Chinese travelers who wish to travel to Europe. Sailing on Viking’s award-winning Longships, Chinese travelers experience a Mandarin-exclusive environment – with all signage in Mandarin and all staff and tour guides fluent in Mandarin. These dedicated 190-guest Viking Longships are the first Mandarin exclusive hotel environments for Chinese travelers in Europe. And expanded for 2018, Viking will offer 100 sailings on the Rhine and Danube rivers, dedicated specifically for Chinese guests.

Viking Sun

Viking’s ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, have 465 staterooms and host 930 guests. Classified by Cruise Critic® as a “small ship,” the all-veranda Viking Sun is the newest addition to Viking’s award-winning ocean fleet, which also includes Viking Star®, Viking Sea® and Viking Sky®. Viking will welcome two more sister ships in the next two years, including Viking Orion® in June 2018. With the arrival of Viking Jupiter® in 2019, Viking will be the largest small ship ocean cruise line. Ten additional ships are also planned for delivery starting in 2021, which could bring Viking’s ocean fleet to 16 ships by 2027.

The Viking Difference

Designed for discerning travelers with interests in history, art, music and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests “the thinking person’s cruise” as an alternative to mainstream cruises. Ships are small to get guests closer to their destination, with more time in port and more overnights. On board, guests find serene Scandinavian spaces, where every room is both beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light. With the most al fresco dining opportunities at sea, featuring regional cuisines and always-available American classics, Viking’s guests can truly dine in their destination. A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences ashore and on board. And only The Viking Way of Exploration provides guests with itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences.

In addition, Viking offers the best value at sea, with each cruise fare including much more than what competitors offer—an included value of more than $200 per person per day for an average cruise. Every cruise fare includes an exterior stateroom, a complimentary shore excursion 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; alternative restaurant dining; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service.

 

Viking Orion

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Expand your horizons on this comfortable, award-winning ship, intimate and thoughtfully created by experienced nautical architects and designers to enrich your interaction with your destination in every way.

Life Onboard
Whether you seek to expand your palate, your knowledge or your circle of friends, we are creating a unique onboard experience to ensure you can explore in comfort. Like enrichment lectures that breathe insight into your destinations. Or Privileged Access behind-the-scenes tours of the Hermitage. Plus cooking classes that bring forth the cuisine of our destinations at The Kitchen Table, where you can gather knowledge with like-minded explorers. All in a setting of understated elegance and comfort. Welcome to a different kind of ship, a different kind of journey.

Explorers’ Lounge
The notion of civilized camaraderie in elegant surroundings is what inspired us to create the Explorers’ Lounge, where fellow travelers can share their latest adventures. It is the perfect setting to celebrate firsts, whether glimpsing your first fjord or savoring Aquavit. With two-story panoramic windows for maximum views, this is the perfect place to relax and take in the scenery.

Culinary Experiences
Our ships offer multiple restaurant venues and unique dining experiences, from casual cafés and pool grills to wine-pairing menus and regional specialties. You can indulge your senses at our most refined venue, The Restaurant. Savor the rustic Tuscan cuisine of Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant. Sample a delicious array of global and destination-based cuisine at the World Café, featuring live cooking stations and al fresco dining. And so much more.

Enrichment Program
We believe the best way to understand a country is through enrichment. Each cruise is thoughtfully curated with hand-picked itineraries so you can immerse yourself in history, music, art, cuisine—everything you need to know about your destination. And before you step foot on shore, you will glean insights from history experts and academic luminaries in our theater, chosen by the Viking Enrichment Board.

Entertainment
Our main theater features live performances that bring you closer to the culture of our destinations. We also pull back the curtains of our destinations with cinema in our two movie theaters, which show first-run films as well as destination-driven classics. Our theaters are always buzzing with fresh insights from our enrichment talks featuring the history, art, culture and upcoming ports. To keep you in comfort, we have banished uncomfortable theater seating in favor of soft and spacious sofa seating.

Pools & Spa
Swim surrounded by your destination in the glass-backed Infinity Pool cantilevered off the stern. Or experience our Main Pool, complete with a retractable roof, so you can always enjoy the perfect swim. Here, on star-filled nights, enjoy an outdoor movie as you sail under a canopy of stars. And when it is time to relax, try the ultimate Scandinavian tradition with our Snow Grotto and sauna; or a massage in The Spa, named one of the “5 best cruise ship spas” by Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2016.

Mamsen’s
Located in the Explorers’ Lounge, Mamsen’s is our inviting deli serving traditional Scandinavian fare, whether a snack or light meal. Norwegian cuisine is the specialty, served in a casual atmosphere from early morning to late night.