After a year of dominating nearly every major travel industry award ceremony, Viking® this week received a new set of accolades from the popular online cruise resource, Cruise Critic®. The travel company is today celebrating that its first three 930-guest sister ships, Viking Star®, Viking Sea®, and Viking Sky® received 10 First Place honours in the Cruise Critic® 8th Annual Cruisers’ Choice Awards. Viking’s fourth ship, Viking Sun®, which is in its first months of service, also debuted on the Awards list.
Viking’s four ships won the top three placements in nearly every category where they compete. Viking Sea received First Place placements in six award categories: Best Overall Ship, Best Cabins, Best for Fitness & Recreation, Best for First-Timers, Best Shore Excursions and Best Value-for-Money. Viking Star received First Place Placements in two award categories: Best Dining and Best Service. And Viking Sky, in its first year of service, also received First Place placements in two award categories: Best Public Rooms and Best Entertainment. Cruise Critic is the world’s leading cruise reviews site and online cruise community, with more than 350,000 cruise reviews, covering approximately 500 of the most popular cruise ships. The Cruisers’ Choice Awards name the best cruise ships in the world, based solely on ratings submitted with member reviews published on the Cruise Critic website in the last 12 months.
“Of course we are pleased with every award we receive, and winning the Cruisers’ Choice Awards is a particular honor. Members of the Cruise Critic Community are among the most experienced and well-traveled individuals in the world; they are truly expert voices for the industry, and I thank them. I would also like to thank our entire Viking family, especially our onboard colleagues, without whom these accolades would not be possible,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “For the last 20 years, we have focused not on designing ships with shiny gimmicks, but rather on designing opportunities where our guests can enrich their lives through exploration. We are still a young company, and as we continue to add new ships to our fleet over the next decade, we look forward to introducing many more guests to the Viking way of travel.”
In addition to the First Place wins, Viking’s ships also took the Second and Third Place honors in most of the same categories, meaning Viking overwhelmingly dominated the top third of the Awards for Small-Mid-Size ships. Viking Sky and Viking Star took Second and Third Place, behind Viking Sea, in four award categories: Best Overall Ship, Best Shore Excursions, Best for First-Timers and Best Value-For-Money. Viking Star and Viking Sky took Second and Third Place, behind Viking Sea, in Best Cabins. Viking Sky and Viking Sea took Second and Third Place, behind Viking Star, in Best Dining. Viking Sky and Viking Sun took Second and Third Place, behind Viking Sea, in Best Fitness & Recreation. And in the Best Public Rooms category, Viking won the top four awards, with Viking Sea, Viking Star and Viking Sun taking the Second, Third and Fourth place, behind Viking Sky.
Today’s announcement from Cruise Critic caps an impressive list of recent accolades for Viking. In 2017, the company was named the #1 ocean cruise line in Travel + Leisure’s 2017 World’s Best Awards – and was voted the Best River Cruise Line by Condé Nast Traveler in the publication’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards. Town & Country named Viking’s ocean cruises “Best for Design” and “Best Overall, Contemporary Luxury” in the magazine’s recent Cruise Awards. It also named Viking’s river cruises “Best for Suites” and “Best for Design.” And in its 10th annual Editors’ Picks Awards, Cruise Critic honored Viking with five awards, more than any other river or ocean cruise line. Viking was recognized in the river and luxury ocean categories, with awards that point to key differentiating factors for the brand: Best for First-Timers, Best Enrichment, Best Shore Excursions, Best Spa and Best-Value-for-Money.
Viking’s Ocean Ships
Viking’s all-veranda ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, have 465 staterooms and host 930 guests. Classified by Cruise Critic® as a “small ships,” Viking’s fleet includes Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky and the new Viking Sun which will be officially christened on March 8 in Shanghai. Viking will welcome two more sister ships in the next two years, including Viking Orion® in June 2018. With the arrival of Viking Jupiter® in 2019, Viking will be the largest small ship ocean cruise line. Four additional ships are also on order for delivery starting in 2021, which will bring Viking’s ocean fleet to 10 ships by 2023.
The Viking Difference
Designed for discerning travelers with interests in history, art, music and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests “the thinking person’s cruise” as an alternative to mainstream cruises. Ships are small to get guests closer to their destination, with more time in port and more overnights. On board, guests find serene Scandinavian spaces, where every room is both beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light. With the most al fresco dining opportunities at sea, featuring regional cuisines and always-available American classics, Viking’s guests can truly dine in their destination. A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences ashore and on board. And only The Viking Way provides guests with itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences.
In addition, Viking offers the best value at sea, with each cruise fare including much more than what competitors offer—an included value of more than $200 per person per day for an average cruise. Every cruise fare includes an exterior stateroom, a complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including: beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; alternative restaurant dining; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service.
About Viking Cruises
Viking was founded in 1997 with the purchase of four ships in Russia and is now the leader in river and small ship ocean cruising. Designed for discerning travelers with interests in science, history, culture and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests “the thinking person’s cruise” as an alternative to mainstream cruises. In its first two years of operation, Viking has been rated the #1 ocean cruise line in Travel + Leisure’s 2016 and 2017 “World’s Best” Awards. Viking currently operates a fleet of 63 vessels, offering scenic cruising on rivers and oceans around the world. By 2023 the company will operate 10 930-guest ocean cruise ships and will be the largest small ship ocean cruise line. In addition to the Travel + Leisure honors, Viking has also been honored multiple times on Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” as well as recognized by Cruise Critic as “Best Overall” Small-Mid size ship in the 2018 Cruisers’ Choice Awards, “Best River Cruise Line” and “Best River Itineraries,” with the entire Viking Longships® fleet being named “Best New River Ships” in the website’s Editors’ Picks Awards.