Photo by Jason Leppert
One of the features that enhances any onboard experience is shipboard art, and Viking Ocean Cruises has carefully curated many excellent pieces for its first Viking Star and Viking Sea.
Most of the time though, paintings and sculptures are displayed on other ships statically with little context. On Viking, however, a newly updated Viking Art Guide app can be downloaded before your cruise to provide fascinating detail on not only the collections but the ships themselves.
Wandering throughout the sister-ships, wherever there is a headphone icon and number adjacent to a piece, a corresponding audio file can be played back on the app, using your own headset so as not to disturb other passengers. The piece can be found in the app by manually navigating to the larger venue in which it is present and then selecting it or more quickly by typing in its number on a keypad.
Viking senior vice president, Karine Hagen, and daughter to founder and chairman, Torstein Hagen, among other artists, designers, curators and experts, hosts the collection and provides audio commentary on each individual piece. Her soothing voice, familiar to anyone who has watched her excellent destination videos on the line’s website, guides guests on an enjoyable journey of discovery.
In total, hundreds of pieces displayed in 36 venues are described in great detail, from the exquisite photography of Alastair Miller to the sculpture of Nicolaus Widerberg (pictured above), and the collections are unique to each ship. In fact, Miller’s images are also showcased on a large digital tapestry at the top of the atrium stairs, and the big screen even features the works of Norwegian painter Edvard Munch on rotation in the late afternoons for what Viking calls Munch Moments. There are even great booklets placed on tables nearby to provide art summaries as the app does elsewhere.
One thing to keep in mind, the app does not store all of the audio clips offline, likely to save on storage. Instead, the art playback is available only onboard with each ship’s specific set streamed to the app once logged into its complimentary Wi-Fi connection. What is permanently stored on the app, however, are preview images and audio descriptions of the ships’ venues, which actually provides an unexpected side benefit of the app.
Anyone considering or already planning a Viking Ocean Cruises sailing can download the app to preview the ship in a very unique way with Karine as your personal guide through literally every single space from the infinity pool to the self-service launderettes. And if you’ve since taken a Viking cruise, the app also gives you a wonderful memento of your time onboard, as you can revisit all of your favorite venues and be inspired to return onboard again.
The Viking Art Guide app is available to download for iOS and Android devices.