2017 EDITOR'S PICKS
There are two ways to look at Viking Star, the new ship from a new cruise line created by the people of Viking River Cruises: the easy way and the more appropriate way. The easy way compares this new offering to other cruise lines, stacking up features, price points and itineraries. The more appropriate way takes a good long look at what is being offered here and considers that effort on its own merits, ignoring the other players in the game. After just a few hours on board Viking Star, which way to go is crystal clear. Explaining that direction; that’s going to take a bit more work.
Simply put: there is no other cruise line or ship that would be fair to compare to new Viking Oceans and new Viking Star. Viking river Longships created a new and unique travel option, cracking open the door to international travel for those who had not experienced it before and, along with it, a world class travel experience. Viking Star looks poised to do the same for the world of ocean cruising. The end result will be a huge win for cruise travelers.
Important to get out of the way right now: This is not a time for other cruise lines to react, head for cover or be scared to death of the market share Viking may steal away from them. At first glance, the Viking Star experience looks to be everything Viking has done for the world of river cruising, applied to ocean cruising. Viking Star and upcoming sister-ships will bring new travelers into the world of cruise vacations. You will not read one word here that compares this new cruise line to any other because there is simply no comparison. This is unique.
Not all that long ago, Viking chairman Torstein Hagan tagged ocean cruising a “drinking mans cruise” while river cruising was a “thinking man’s cruise”. On Viking Star, books are everywhere, as are cozy nooks to read them in where pleasant crew members stop by from time to time to see if Viking guests need anything.
This is indeed an appropriate time for other cruise lines to dig in and shore up their onboard experience, further defining factors that differentiate one line over another.
All of the above is long on providing an end definition for what Viking Star is offering but short on details of how they get there. Taking you deep inside cruise vacations, we’ll take a stab at uncovering the choreography behind what makes this happen.
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