It’s no secret that Viking Ocean Cruises can be pricy. The luxury cruise line, which operates six ocean-class ships (a seventh will make its debut in 2021), offers sleek interiors, gourmet dining options, and high-style amenities. Itineraries start at about $2,000 per person and can climb all the way up to $60,000 per person for a 244-night world cruise. However, most sailings tend to fall within the $3,000 to $6,000 range.
Viking Ocean’s starting prices are similar to what you’d pay for a balcony cabin on Celebrity Cruises or Princess Cruises. These are just two of many cruise lines that cater to adults with high-style design, specially curated artwork, and exciting culinary offerings. For example, take Viking's 14-night “Viking Homelands” sailing, which visits eight countries and sails from Stockholm to Bergen. While you may experience sticker shock from the initial price ($5,799 per person), it's actually a better deal than you think. It comes down to $414 per night; everything is included except for gratuities. Celebrity Cruises also offers a similar 14-night itinerary, which costs around $3,200 per person for a balcony stateroom (about $228 per night). While the Viking itinerary costs $186 more per night, you’ll be getting more bang for your buck.
Here are seven reasons to consider a Viking Ocean cruise for your next sailing.
1. All staterooms have their own balconies. While other cruise lines charge anywhere from $500 to $700 more for a balcony stateroom, Viking does not. (It's included in the base price.) Besides, what's more relaxing than being lulled to sleep by the sound of waves or enjoying breakfast on your private balcony?
2. Specialty dining is included in the base price. The $20 to $75 per-person fee to eat in a specialty dining concept (think steakhouses, Italian eateries, and sushi restaurants) can really add up. On Viking, you don’t have to pay any extra costs to dine at onboard specialty restaurants, which include Manfredi's (where you'll find incredible Italian cuisine) or The Chef's Table (a bucket-list-worthy, multi-course food and wine pairing experience). Tip: Be sure to book a table in advance, as reservations book up fast.
3. You'll enjoy crowd-free ports (for the most part). If you’ve docked next to four other cruise ships in St. Maarten, then you already know how crowded cruise ports can be — especially in peak season. Thanks to Viking’s small ships (about 930 passengers), you can explore up-and-coming destinations sans the crowds. Plus, you won’t have to pay for a bus, taxi, or train in order to experience a destination: many attractions and activities are located right off of the vessel’s gangway.
4. House drinks are included in your cruise fair. In recent years, cruise lines have begun to offer all-inclusive drink packages (starting at about $60 per night ) but if you’re not a heavy drinker, it’s wasted money. The house selections on some cruise lines are not quality enough for a beer snob, wino, or cocktail aficionado. However, Viking offers an amazing array of house wines, spirits, and beers, so there's no need to spring for an additional beverage package.
5. Some excursions are free. In every port, Viking offers at least one included excursion that's free. (Usually, it’s a walking tour through the local town or city.) While it’s not a luxe helicopter ride or private yacht sailing, it’s something. On the other hand, most excursions on other cruise lines all cost extra — some can be as high as $350 per person, depending on the activity.
6. The spa is free to use. On Viking’s ocean-class ships, the Scandinavian-style sauna, steam room, snow cave, and pool are complimentary for all passengers to use. This is pretty rare for a majority of cruise lines.
7. Wifi is included. We get it: You want to be connected to family and friends while traveling. Since cruise ships only get cellular service in port — not in the middle of the ocean — this means that you would have to purchase a wifi package, which tends to cost around $15 per night.