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Viking Star – April 2016

I was honoured and excited to be invited on board Viking Star the brand new ocean liner while I was in Barcelona in April. I was very curious to see this new vessel because as far as I was concerned Viking River Cruises were a well-known brand on the river and I wanted to see how they would transfer this on to the seas. Boy, I wasn’t disappointed – as soon as I saw the outside of her I know I was going to like what I saw. As soon as we boarded I felt enveloped in this feeling of calmness and tranquillity – nothing felt rushed or hurried and it was just so peaceful.
Viking Star is a 930 passenger ship and like their river counterparts they are destination focused with port-intensive itineraries, calls are longer than average with frequent overnights.
The ship had an intimate boutique hotel feel and was very Nordic throughout. The décor was modern Scandinavian, with luxe fabrics and leather furniture.
There are 2 pools on board – the main pool and the infinity pool which blew me away!! I have never seen an Infinity Pool on a cruise ship before and although quite small it was perfectly formed and looked awesome on deck while you are looking out to sea.
Another favourite part of mine was the Nordic Spa – probably one of the best spas I have ever seen. With thalassotherapy pool, steam room, hot tub, sauna, heated ceramic lounger chairs, cold plunge pool and the first ‘snow grotto’ at sea you would definitely struggle to get me out of there!!
There are 9 dining options to choose from – all included apart from the ‘Kitchen Table’ which offers part excursions and part hands on cooking experience. Passengers go ashore with the chef to shop for ingredients in a local food market. Then at dinner time they help to prepare the meal which they dine on paired with special wines chosen by the head sommelier.
Out of all the dining locations I think the Wintergarden where they serve afternoon was tea was probably my favourite – a real treat to visit!!
Entertainment is low key and during the evening takes place mainly in The Star Theatre – they actually serve fresh popcorn here during films.
During the day organised activities such as golf putting and shuffleboard take place. Plus there is always Scrabble and Monopoly on hand.
We ended our tour with a glass of champagne in the Explorers Lounge – quite possibly one of the most beautiful bars at sea. It is all the way forward on Deck Seven and is a two-deck observatory. There is a small al fresco area and it is part café and part library. The loft-like second story where we sat is decorated with maritime artefacts and an intriguing book collection. Could I see myself sitting up here with the fireplace (lighted water vapour, rather than flames, but very believable) flickering away while sipping a cocktail after a bus day in an interesting port? ABSOLUTLEY!!

 

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