When I was a little boy, more years ago than I care to count, my father gave me a bit of advice that has served me well throughout life. “Look a man in the eye and you’ll know if he’s telling the truth,” he said, adding “through his eyes you can see into his soul.” Commonly thought of as just a respectful way to have a conversation, that little bit of wisdom has saved me from entering agreements that might have turned out bad, revealed cold hearts, warm personalities and more. It’s one of the things about Viking Cruises chairman Torstein Hagan that has always impressed me, far beyond any words he has spoken.
Looking back to an announcement made at a gala Beverly Hills event in 2013, two years ago to the day and on the eve of christening Viking Star, Hagan will make good on a promise I had absolutely no doubt would come true. I could see it in his eyes then and will see his dream of offering an entirely different option for cruise travelers become reality tomorrow.
In “Is Viking The Carnival Of River Cruising? We Sure Hope So” I spoke to the phenomenal growth of Viking River Cruises and their Viking Longships that revolutionized river cruising, opening up a new world of travel to those who might not have otherwise experienced it. That effort tastes a lot like what Carnival Cruise Line did for the world of ocean cruising, bringing to the marketplace a fun and affordable way to get out and experience the world.
In a press conference here in Bergen, Norway, Hagan reminded journalists gathered in advance of another gala celebration that it would be “two years to the day” since the announcement of his new ocean cruise line and the official launch of its first ship. A promise made, a promise fulfilled.
A Promise Was Made: Why You Should Care
But other than running an efficient company that is delivering a product on time, as promised, what possible value could this event have for cruise travelers? That, my friend, is what it is all about here as we continue to define what makes a cruise line tick. This is good, solid information we can take to the bank with a high degree of confidence. This rare opportunity to see inside what drives a seller of travel should give us the confidence to book, plan, invest our time and be able to fully enjoy what is being offered.
From what I have seen in just a few days previewing new Viking Star, this ship is everything Hagan promised it would be and more. Gathered to serve, Viking has curated crew that ‘get it’ about we cruise travelers; they know and deliver a smile in the hallway, a helpful hand when needed, a direct answer to questions asked; as it should be. Attention to detail in the design and furnishing of Viking Star, the hardware, is nearly flawless. The onboard programming I will reserve personal judgment on for a later day as a short preview is not nearly enough time to arrive at a verdict. Still, I have confidence that Viking Star and all she represents will be the right product, at the right time, aimed at the right people: you and I.
If you were here and we could look each other in the eye, you would see the pure confidence I have in what Viking does. Indeed, to those of you I have met in person, sailed or done business with, believe this: Viking Star is a game changer, a new entry into the world of cruise vacations worth a serious look.
Stay tuned, tomorrow we bring you along on as a journey that began two years ago begins again with the official christening of Viking Star in Bergen, Norway.
See more about Viking Star in these previously published posts:
- Viking Star First Impression: A Whole New Ballgame
- Tactile Viking Star: Designed To Go Places
- Viking Star Qualities For People Like Me
- Viking Star: A Ship Built For Me, Maybe You
See more of Viking Star in our Facebook Photo Albums