8 Tips to Maximize Your Time Onboard the Viking Sea
Photo by Jason Leppert
Viking Ocean Cruises’ second ship – the Viking Sea – has now set sail, and we’ve got tips for how to make the most of the cruising experience onboard and ashore.
Take Advantage of Included Shore Excursions
There is a remarkable amount of all-inclusive amenities to be enjoyed onboard and off, but perhaps the most impressive for the line’s price point is a complimentary tour offered in every port. For those who have never been to a particular destination, these typical overview tours are a great primer, and even those wishing to take a deeper dive can select more extensive excursions at reduced cost.
Bask in the Relaxation of the Ship’s Comforts
On the Sea, there is no shortage of creature comforts, from the spacious private accommodations to the double-decker Explorers’ Lounge observation venue. Everywhere guests turn, homey furniture invites them to relax and enjoy the passing scenery or pick up one of the ship’s many books stocked throughout, or even enjoy a board game or interactive variety at the fun touch screen tables.
READ MORE: TravelPulse On Board: Viking Sea Review
Discover the Art Collection
There is quite a collection of art onboard, spearheaded by the dramatic tapestry-sized screen that displays destination images at the top of the atrium stairs, and the Sea newly offers an audio guide to learn more about each piece. Accessed on smartphones and tablets, host Karine Hagen, Viking’s senior vice president and the ship’s godmother, provides commentary through a headset. Additionally, the Viking Heritage exhibit honors the company’s Nordic roots with historic artifacts.
Book The Kitchen Table Experience
Other great inclusions are the wonderful dining options, but the one culinary experience that does cost extra is well worth the $199 per person. The Kitchen Table experience starts with a morning visit to a local market with the executive chef before enjoying an interactive cooking demonstration and dinner featuring the purchased ingredients in the evening. The venue itself is nestled within one of the ship’s galleys where participants can learn and help prepare the meal alongside experts.
Enjoy All the Other Dining Too
Of course, all the other cuisine onboard is wonderful as well. Even room service can be described as gourmet, and the two specialty restaurants are delightfully free of charge. Only reservations are required to enjoy Manfredi’s for fine Italian and the Chef’s Table for creative fixed course meals. Don’t miss out on The Restaurant and the World Cafe either, especially at night when the buffet serves premium sushi and shellfish. Plus, the pool grill prepares excellent burgers and pizza while Mamsen’s offers tasty treats throughout the day in the observation lounge. And teatime in the Wintergarden is a must as well.
Experience Nordic Bathing
The Liv Nordic spa facilities (pictured above) are also free to use, save for treatments, and they include several variations on Nordic bathing – essentially the contrast of moving from hot to cold environments. Most notable, of course, are the steam and snow rooms, the first at sea. Moving from such toasty to chilly extremes is wholly invigorating. Also, the therapeutic pools are refreshing as is the cold water bucket that can be dunked overhead. Dressing rooms additionally feature dry saunas and plunge pools.
Swim in the Infinity Pool
For an entirely different type of swimming experience, the ship features a genuine infinity pool with a zero edge and translucent side cantilevered high over the stern. While at sea, the water level is lowered, but in port the surface goes right to the top, preparing a unique vista while either above or under the waterline.
Board Regardless of Age
The biggest misconception about Viking Cruises is that it’s geared exclusively for older couples. Truth is, the Viking Sea is perfect for any adult, millennials like myself included, looking for a refined destination-focused cruise with excellent cuisine and unmatched accommodations. Only those seeking elaborate onboard attractions like rock climbing walls and surfing simulators need not apply. All others, come aboard.
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