I was taping an episode of Cruise Radio today, talking about Viking Ocean Cruises in a new segment titled Five Things You Need To Know About (insert name of cruise line). We talked about Viking Ocean Cruises in the Caribbean and their all-inclusive drink package for $19.99 per person, per day. That it’s less than half that of other cruise lines and not both passengers in the stateroom are required to take it is a wonderful value. Still, a Viking Ocean Cruise is not a bargain swing through the Caribbean by any means. No casino or top deck attractions will cut out a number of cruise travelers, at least for now. That there is an included tour at each port of call, however, makes a huge difference. That beer and wine are included with meals strays into the world of luxury cruises, although Viking goes out of their way not to use the word “luxury”. So who would like a Viking Ocean Cruise in the Caribbean? I have a nice list prepared that nails the answer to this question quite accurately.
There are basically four types of travelers for whom Viking Ocean Cruises is a good choice:
- Viking River Cruise Travelers- One of the big reasons for the creation of Viking Ocean Cruises was a clear demand from fans of the Viking River Cruise experience. After sailing Viking Ocean Cruises in the Caribbean as well as other parts of the world: If you liked the Viking River Cruise experience, you will love the Viking Ocean Cruise experience. With a similar level of quality and destination immersion, chances are you’ll flip flop back and forth between rivers and oceans on Viking. Not in the cards yet: A packaged combination river/ocean cruise although those are easy enough for your travel agent to make happen.
- Experienced Cruise Travelers Who Remember The Good Old Days– This is one of the main reasons Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen was all in on launching an ocean product. He had the vision to cast the right performers in lead roles, cover all the bases and make the experience emulate cruise travel of a more inclusive yesteryear. Then they blew right past that initial goal with current, relevant programming that is quite distanced from the olden days of cruising, still referred to as for “the newlywed or nearly dead”. This is the place to be. Now.
- New Cruise Travelers Who Do Their Homework- Intelligent, well-traveled individuals who may have never been in the market for a cruise are being drawn to Viking Ocean Cruises like flies to sugar. The Viking term “culturally curious” fits like a glove on the river product and like wonderful pair of fine leather gloves on the ocean version…and they are just getting started too. Solo travelers; Viking makes paying double worth it and provides a good example of the quality level we experienced; about twice as good as what we experienced on many other cruise lines lately.
- Current Fans Of Big Ship Cruises Who Book Mini-Suites And Above – Basically, the cream of the crop and where many big ship cruise lines make their profit. They sure don’t make it off the discount inside cabin buyers. Dollar for dollar, cruise travelers who book a mini- or junior-suite on a big ship cruise line will pay about the same for more space in the least expensive Verandah stateroom on Viking Ocean Cruises. Break it down any way you want to; all roads lead to that end. There are no inside or oceanview staterooms, just lovely Verandah staterooms beginning at 270 square feet and not one has an obstructed view.
A big bonus for all of the above: The Viking experience is a lovely, relaxed but intellectually invigorating way to travel. Try it and see, I think you’ll agree.