Sailing along with Viking Ocean Cruises, we’ve paused our Countdown to the Caribbean to explore the notion of sailing to North America, sort of like ancient Vikings are believed to have done. It’s been a voyage that has stopped at interesting places, been through rough seas and is about to close in on Canada and modern conveniences. As I write this, we are reminded that the sea often dictates our day as navigational concerns have kept us from being on schedule. Interestingly, Viking Ocean Cruises has established itself as a unique and consistent travel product, unlike any other available. That it has, brings a calming effect that smoothes over the little bumps and glitches in travel that they really have no control over. Better yet, that skill positions Viking to pass the ultimate cruise traveler test.
This one could be a long and drawn out post of blah ba de blah blah blah about the wonderful job Viking does in the world of ocean cruises. For a moment, just assume I am correct there, whether you have sailed with Viking or not. With me? Good, because I have a little story to tell you.
Once upon a time there was a new cruise line that had no ships. In order to be a cruise line, they obviously had to have a ship, so they built one. They called it Viking Star, staffed it with the best crew they could find and everyone loved it. So they built another one. To staff that second ship, they took a great many key crew members to make sure it launched smoothly, which it did. We saw that first hand and reported the story in this space. Happy happy, good good, all was well…but in the back of my mind I could not help but wonder:
“If so many of the crew from the first ship went to the second ship, who was left on the first ship?” which also brought the thought “I wonder if the service has suffered on the first ship?”
Passing The Ultimate Cruise Traveler Test
In probably one of the most enjoyable Viking Moments Of Wonder I have experienced, coming aboard original ship Viking Star again, after sailing new sister Viking Sea: all is well. Actually, all is better. The friendly faces I followed from Viking Star to Viking Sea have been replaced with equally friendly and well-trained crew. This is good stuff to know for one huge, gigantic reason: the growth does not stop with these two ships.
Coming soon, Viking Sky early in 2017 then Viking Sun later in 2017 and Viking Spirit in 2018 and that might not be the end of the story. Viking Ocean Cruises could end up with ten or more ships by the time all is said and done.
That thought is indeed an especially important one as we continue our Countdown To The Caribbean. After just a few days in Viking Star, I can verify: the crew is ready for Caribbean cruising. The Viking Advantages outlined so far in this series will do well in a part of the world many North American cruise travelers are quite familiar with.
Viking In The Caribbean won’t be in competition with big ship cruise lines that feature top deck attractions, a one-size-fits-all experience or a dozen dining options, multiple dining times and a 20,000 square foot spa and/or casino. Holland America Line’s ms Koningsdam is the ship and experience those big ship guys need to worry about. They’re coming, have their act together and will eat their lunch when paired with the right traveler.
Luxury lines too: not a competitor. The Viking experience will not pick up many from their passenger list. New ultra luxury Seabourn Encore will be the one to watch if it rolls out as anticipated. After experiencing the remastering of sister Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2, under the same global direction, a synergy of direction may kick in to make that happen.
I would not count out Windstar Cruises either, with Seabourn alum John Delaney at the helm, Star Clippers can call it a day and other luxe lines will be on notice. Oceania, Regent? Crew is already jumping ship. Passengers usually follow pretty quickly.
So where will these passengers come from that will fill up to ten or more Viking Ocean Cruise ships as well as our preferred stable of cruise brands? That’s next and it’s a great story you will not want to miss.
Viking Caribbean Countdown Posts – In Progress
- 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 (this post)
Flickr photo albums
- A Day In Reykjavik, Iceland
- In The Steps Of Vikings: Cruising Prince Christian Sound
- Nanortalik, Greenland
- Qaqortoq, Greenland