It’s official, Viking Ocean Cruises first ship, Viking Star sailed into New York harbor as part of its inaugural North American voyage. The 930-guest ship docked at Manhattan Cruise Terminal at noon, just after sailing past the Statue of Liberty with a reception by New York Fireboats. The first time Viking has sailed into New York, it’s also where our Countdown To The Caribbean heats up as we board the ship and begin My Viking Story.
“To sail past Ellis Island and into New York for the first time is a proud moment for our entire Viking family. With the same spirit as the Vikings who originally sailed their longships across the Atlantic, arriving in North America signifies a new era of possibilities for our company and our guests,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. “As our fleet continues to grow, we will look for new ways to bring our unique destination-focused approach to more regions of the world. There are no kids onboard, and there are no umbrella drinks. Instead, our Caribbean itineraries are inspired by iconic 18th century navigation routes and were developed to highlight the rich history and culture of the region.”
The world’s leading river cruise line, Viking was recently awarded top honors as the #1 Ocean Cruise line in Travel + Leisure’s 2016 World’s Best Awards. After departing from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal on October 14, Viking Star will sail for San Juan, Puerto Rico, which will serve as her homeport for the winter season. From San Juan, the ship will sail the 11-day West Indies Explorer itinerary, which also calls on ports in the British Virgin Islands, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, Guadeloupe, St. Kitts, St. Martin and the U.S. Virgin Islands. With no sea days on the itinerary, guests are able to avoid the time at sea typically associated with Caribbean cruises originating in Florida. While sailing West Indies Explorer, guests will have an opportunity to learn onboard about the destinations from local experts, historians and lecturers, as well as through a variety of shore excursions, including optional visits to museums, gardens and historic sites. Viking Star will return to Europe in February 2017, with a transatlantic sailing from San Juan to Barcelona.
Classified by Cruise Critic as a “small ship,” Viking Star features understated elegance and modern Scandinavian design. In its debut season Viking Star was awarded with the cruise industry’s highest honors, including being named Best New Ocean Ship and scoring a 5-star rating by the editors of Cruise Critic, as well as receiving the highest rating in the mid-size ship category in Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2016. In addition to the recently christened Viking Sea®, Viking will launch four additional ocean sister ships in the coming years, including Viking Sky® and Viking Sun® in 2017, Viking Spirit® in 2018 and the remaining, yet-to-be-named ship in 2020.
Designed by experienced nautical architects and engineers, including the same interior design team responsible for the award-winning fleet of Viking Longships®, Viking’s ocean ships feature:
- All Veranda Staterooms: Guests can choose from five stateroom categories, starting from a 270 sq. ft. Veranda Stateroom, all with private verandas and premium amenities that include king-size beds with luxury linens, large showers, luxury toiletries, heated bathroom floors and large interactive flat-screen LCD TVs with movies-on-demand.
- Explorer Suites: The ship will feature 14 Explorer Suites, which are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,163 sq. ft. that offer sweeping views from wraparound private verandas as well as the most amenities and privileges of any category onboard.
- Two Pool Choices: In addition to the Main Pool with a retractable roof permitting any-season swimming, the ship features a first-of-its-kind glass-backed Infinity Pool cantilevered off the stern, allowing guests to swim surrounded by their destination.
- LivNordic Spa: In keeping with Viking’s Nordic heritage, The Spa onboard is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind—from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a Snow Grotto where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air. Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2016named it one of the “5 best cruise ship spas.”
- Explorers’ Lounge and Mamsen’s: Share a cocktail with friends. Linger over a Norwegian breakfast and a nautical history book. The Explorers’ Lounge and Mamsen’s gourmet deli are thoughtful spaces located at the bow and designed in the Scandinavian spirit, for complete relaxation and for marveling at sweeping views through double-height windows.
- The Wintergarden: Guests looking for serenity will find it in the Wintergarden. In this elegant space, guests can indulge in afternoon tea service under a canopy of Scandinavian trellised wood – an homage to Norse mythology and Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life.
- Dining Choices: Viking’s ocean ships offer multiple restaurant locations and food choices—from fine dining in The Restaurant, which serves three full meals and the widest choice of culinary options, and the World Café, which serves international fare and regional specialties—to intimate dining experiences at The Chef’s Table, which offers a multi-course tasting menu complete with wine parings, and Manfredi’s, which features freshly prepared pastas and Italian favorites. Additionally, The Kitchen Table experience focuses on regional dishes from market to table; the Pool Grill specializes in gourmet burgers; afternoon tea and scones are available in the Wintergarden; and Mamsen’s serves Norwegian deli-style fare. Furthermore, with multiple choices for outdoor seating during meals, Viking’s ships offer the most al fresco dining at sea.
- Enriching Entertainment: Connecting guests to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking in creating “the thinking person’s cruise.” Instead of casinos and water slides, guests are offered Viking’s Culture Curriculum® including: world-class lectures on history and art; tasting of vintage wines from their destinations; restaurant menus inspired by local cuisine; informative port talks; enriching Destination Performances featuring folkloric shows and musicians playing regional and classical music; an onboard cooking school allowing guests to learn how to prepare local specialties.
- Sustainable Features: Designed with the environment in mind, Viking’s ocean ships feature energy-efficient hybrid engines, hydro-dynamically optimized streamlined hull and bow for maximum fuel efficiency and equipment that minimizes exhaust pollution and meets the strictest environmental regulations.
Cover Photo- Viking Cruises
If you missed it, see our Pre-Cruise Countdown Post library below
Viking Caribbean: Unique In The Caribbean
- Viking Star Arrives In New York
- In New York: My Viking Story Begins (this post)
Viking Caribbean: Pre-Cruise Countdown
- Coming Up: Viking West Indies Explorer, Epic Invasion
- Viking Cruises Caribbean: Island Connected Dining Like Never Before
- Viking Cruises Caribbean: Panoramic Island Hopping\
- Viking Cruises West Indies Explorer Countdown
- Viking Caribbean Shoreside Focus Different, Included
- Thinkable World Of Viking To Meet The Caribbean
- In The Viking Caribbean, No Smuggling Skills Needed, Door Wide Open
- Uniquely Different Viking Ocean Cruises: Specific Features That Caribbean Travel Will Like
- Follow Viking Star In Real Time Satellite View
- Flexibility Enables Surprise Viking Exploration, Again
- Coming To North America: Our Viking Adventure Begins
- Viking Introduces Previously Ignored Caribbean
- Viking Welcome Home: It Can Happen Anywhere
- Exploring Iceland Like Vikings: Thoughtfully
- Vikings Explore Prince Christian Sound, Very Carefully
- Spectacular Travel Moments With Viking Ocean Cruises
- Interesting Viking Tour Brings Global View In Very Simple Terms
- Viking Star Passes Ultimate Cruise Traveler Test
- Viking Caribbean: Something New For Someone New
- Aggressive Repositioning Itinerary Highlights Viking Commitment To Travelers
- Thoughtful Canadian Port Choice Typical Of Viking Destination Focus
- Features Not Part Of The Viking Caribbean Experience
- Viking Star Caribbean Dining: New Cuisine For Cruise Travelers
- Actually, Viking Star Is Designed For Caribbean Cruising
- Incomparable Viking Star
- Viking Star Base Features To Elevate Caribbean Cruise Experience
- In The Wake Of Vikings [PHOTOS]
- Viking Caribbean Preview: Your Questions Answered
- Viking Caribbean Preview: More Of Your Questions Answered
- Reader Question Highlights Viking Attention To Detail
- Slideshow: Favorite Viking Star Features I Can’t Wait To See
- Viking World Cruise: I Could Do That
- Viking Star Arrives In New York City
Flickr photo albums
- A Day In Reykjavik, Iceland
- Icelandic Air
- In The Steps Of Vikings: Cruising Prince Christian Sound
- Nanortalik, Greenland
- Qaqortoq, Greenland
- Viking Star Penthouse Verandah Staterooms
- Viking Star Ship Shots
- Viking Star At Sea
- Northern Lights
- Viking Star Culinary: Mamsens
- Viking Star Nordic Spa
- Viking Star Living Room Bar
- Viking Star Culinary Sampling
- Viking Star Explorer’s Lounge
- Viking Star Pool Grill
- Viking Star Past Guest Party
- Viking Star Living Room
- Saguenay, Quebec, Canada
- Viking Star Infinity Pool
- Sailing To Canada On Viking Star
- Viking Star Top Deck Spaces
- Viking Star Aquavit Bar
- Viking Star Crew
- Viking Star Main Pool Area
- Greenland From The Deck Of Viking Star
- Viking Documentation
- Al Fresco Seating Areas