Viking Ocean Cruises has announced that its second ship, Viking Sea, has embarked on its maiden voyage from Istanbul to Venice.
From Venice, Viking Sea will sail through the Mediterranean and into the Atlantic on its way to be officially christened on May 5 on London's Thames River in Greenwich. Following the christening, Viking Sea will spend its maiden season sailing itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic, as well as the Western and Eastern Mediterranean.
Viking's ocean ships have 465 cabins and accommodate 930 passengers. Viking Sea is the second of six ocean cruise ships on order. The third ship, Viking Sky, will be delivered in early 2017; the three remaining yet-to-be-named ships will be delivered in late 2017, 2018 and 2020, respectively.
Designed by the same team responsible for Viking's fleet of Viking Longships, the ship incorporates details that pay homage to its Nordic heritage. A glass-backed infinity pool cantilevered off the stern offers unobstructed views; indoor-outdoor spaces offer options for al fresco dining; huge windows and skylights let in light; and a wrap-around promenade deck is available for strolling.
While onboard, guests enjoy talks from local experts and carefully selected lecturers in The Theater. Dining options range from the World Café, which features global cuisine with live cooking and open kitchens; to Mamsen's Norwegian-style deli. The Chef's Table celebrate cuisines from around the world with multi-course tasting menus and wine parings; and Manfredi's Italian Restaurant serves Tuscan and Roman cuisine. With the Kitchen Table experience, guests have an opportunity to shop, cook and eat with the Executive Chef.
While every cruise fare includes a guided excursion in each port, Viking also offers optional excursions, such as:
Cooking with a Countess, Venice, Italy – Countessa Lelia Passi welcomes Viking guests to her home, which has been in her family for hundreds of years. There the countess and her teaching staff share with guests the secrets of Italian cooking.
Sail & Swim the French Riviera, Toulon, France – Guests have the opportunity to try their hand at sailing a luxury sailboat on the Bay of Toulon. Weather permitting, the yacht will anchor in one of many small coves, where guests can relax with a drink or snack, or perhaps a swim in the warm waters of the Mediterranean.
A Normandy Countryside Cheese & Brandy Tasting – In the village of Pont L'Évêque, guests savor a special Norman lunch amidst the Calvados barrels of Les Tonneaux du Père Magloire restaurant. After the meal, they will visit the cellars to learn how apples are transformed into the "eau de vie," the water of life—Normandy's favorite brandy.
King Crab Safari, Honningsvåg, Norway – Guests set off in a deep-sea raft into the pristine waters of Sarnesfjorden. From there, fishermen guides show guests how prized king crabs are harvested before heading back to shore, where a feast is prepared under a Sami tent.
Fjord Safari to a Goat Cheese Farm, Flåm, Norway – This tour provides the opportunity to experience Norway's great outdoors by small boat and by hiking trail through a spectacular fjord—all rewarded with lunch at a farm.
A Beer Lover's Adventure & Walking Tour, Ålborg, Denmark – Guests sample some of the best-loved Danish beers on this walking tour of the district surrounding Jomfru Ane Gade.
Jerusalem & Bethlehem Private Tour – Guests have an opportunity to tailor their exploration of Jerusalem and Bethlehem to suit their personal interests with a private guide and transportation.
From now through April 30, 2016, Viking is offering U.S. residents 2016 Special Savings and 2017 Early Booking Discounts with 2-for-1 pricing on cruise departures and up to free air. Every cruise fare includes 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.