Viking Cruises Global View Via Tiny Details

Spending the day in Athens on new Viking Sea brought a glorious overall experience in a very big way. Starting dockside in the morning with our first really good opportunity to see Viking Sea in full view got the day rolling along.  On an included tour with other Viking guests, we covered a lot of ground, learning about the social, economic and political sides of Greece.  A generous amount of free time to explore on our own brought some new images and meaning to the tour I’d done previously.  Back on the ship, we enjoyed a lovely dinner for two and discovered something new Viking is offering as they continue to refine the onboard experience.  Taking a micro look at one of the solid core elements of traveling with Viking, we have undisputable documentation to support the claim.  Let’s dig right in.


Viking Sea Exteriors - 42


Twin sister to Viking Star, new Viking Sea casts a lovely profile at anchor or docked, as we saw just before our included tour to Athens began.  It took a bit of a drive to get to the city from our docking position, offered one of four ways.  We were on the early included tour so our tranportation to the city center was all set.  Still, we could have chosen to take a complimentary Viking shuttle there and back at our leisure.  Running every half hour, Viking makes it easy for those who have been to Athens before to make it there and back safely.  We might have chosen one of a few select optional tours as well, have at some ports so far and will at some upcoming ports too.  Transportation to and from those is also part of the deal.  Another option available at each port is a privae tour, set up by the ship that affords even more flexibility.


Viking Sea Athens Tour - 09


On the way to Athens, our Viking guide talked up a storm, concisely summarizing real world knowledge in alignment with established historical perspective without flaw.  Questions along the way? No problem to get an answer. Better yet, our guide fit that answer into the timeline and running commentary she was sharing with us as we went.  The subtle difference is rather huge when peppered with common questions first-time visitors customarily have.


Viking Sea Athens Tour - 26


Stopping at the Archeological museum brought a walk through time which also fit in nicely with the choreography of the day, ending in the city center for free time to explore on our own.  My first stop was to a spice store we visit every time we come here, stocking up on a common mixture of Greek spices that we use in a variety of recipes at home.  Frankly, spices are a wonderful gift and/or reminder of the lovely time enjoyed at locations around the world.  They are not all that expensive, easy to pack and don’t weigh much. Like scarves, spices are great momentos of the places we visit when traveling.


Athens Temple of Zeus - 02


Ample free time at the end of our guided tour took us across the street from the clearly marked meeting point to the Temple of Zeus, a massive structure in the shadows of the Acropolis.  While the site can be seen from the street, a €6 entrance fee brought a much better view.


The Restaurant On Viking Sea - 11


Back on the ship, we decided on dinner in The Restaurant, Viking Sea’s main dining room,  and discovered something rather new that we had come to love about the Viking River Cruise product; a regional tasting menu that changes from port to port.


The Restaurant On Viking Sea - 01


A commonly-used slogan of sorts for Viking is something along See The World In Comfort, a tag line that most who travel with them on the river cruises know all about.  On the ocean ships, that moniker is also an accurate assessment of what they do as well. Different though is the amount of documentation I can gather to show those considering a Viking Ocean cruise for the first time.  To me, that proof comes in a number of forms ranging from comfy individual chairs all over the place to enjoy one of nearly 1000 books on display when I counted them this morning.  There are probably more than that as the lending library is extensive and other passengers probably have some in their staterooms.

Still, a gallery of micro detail starring the furnishings, artifacts and other highlights of public areas on Viking Sea give us a good idea of what to expect.  Let’s start with a guest favorite area, the Explorer’s Lounge.   It’s a two-deck high observation area at the front of Viking Sea, with detail that absolutely epitomizes the notion of exploring the world in comfort.


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