Jason Leppert | April 29, 2016 12:00 PM ET
Why You're Never Too Young For A Viking Ocean Cruise
Born in 1943, Torstein Hagen, chairman and CEO of Viking Cruises, unashamedly admits that he sees the target demographic of its Viking River Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises brands every time he looks into the mirror. However, I’m here to tell you that there are plenty of millennials and other young travelers, yours truly included, that would love sailing aboard not only the river line but also the ocean line’s Viking Star and newest Viking Sea.
Sure, there are no surfing and skydiving simulators onboard, nor even a casino and dance club, but I love these new Venice-class cruise ships with all of my heart simply because they feel like home. In much the same way Apple computers and devices are praised for their simplicity according to what is omitted as much as what is included, Viking centers its ocean ships exclusively around its mission of “exploring the world in comfort.”
That means the ship is a return to cruising basics done right: a welcoming atrium, spacious accommodations, a relaxing spa, great restaurants and a stunning observation lounge. That doesn’t preclude it from innovating in other ways though. In fact, the Explorers’ Lounge uniquely spans two decks, gazing upon the passing scenery with an abundance of windows, and to my earlier point, its glass stairs are appropriately reminiscent of an Apple Store. Also, its true zero edge pool, with a translucent side cantilevered high over the stern, is quite dramatic.
Where Viking Ocean Cruises really shines is in its software, carrying over a number of inclusions from its river line that make it a fantastic value for all ages. To be sure, the line does not cater at all to children, but young adults have plenty to enjoy, especially complimentary internet. That’s correct: the Wi-Fi connection onboard is entirely free. Of course, it can easily bog down when so many people are online, but that’s an impressive inclusion on the sea nonetheless.
Also, there is an included shore excursion available in every port, and house wines, beer and soft drinks are complimentary at lunch and dinner. These are features usually available only aboard luxury lines, but here they are on Viking bundled into the lower value-added fare. And that’s where youth should take note. Per diems add up quickly on other lines as you start to add in tours, drinks and aforementioned internet, so definitely do the math to see what you value most, and you might be pleasantly surprised by how affordable a Viking cruise really is.
Sure, there’s a place for elaborate onboard attractions and some millennials demand them, but others are perfectly content to dedicate our time to the destination as Viking does. If you’re looking for a European cruise, and beyond as the fleet swiftly expands, and seeking premium comfort at a great price point, Viking Ocean Cruises is for you, regardless of age.
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