48 hours of luxury: A taste of Viking Sun
Helen Hayes takes to the seas for 48 hours in ultra-indulgent style onboard Viking Sun.
Stepping into the lobby, or ‘living room’, of Viking Sun, it felt like somehow I had taken a wrong turn and strolled into a five-star boutique hotel in the city. Chic, elegant and not too extravagant, it set the tone for the rest of my stay on this gorgeous ship that I was going to spend an oh-too-short two nights aboard.
Viking Sun has been sailing the seas since she was launched in 2017, carrying a mere 930 guests in Style. And yes, that is Style with a capital S. At 227 metres long and with a beam of 28 metres and a bit, she is nothing like the behemoths of the ocean that carry more people than live in my old home town. The finishes are exceptional, in that typically Nordic way, with a soothing colour mix, incredible attention to detail and did I mention stylish?
I love the touches of Norway’s Viking heritage all around the ship. I adore the replicas of the famous Bayeux Tapestry up the staircase and the exquisite pieces placed thoughtfully and without pretension in nooks and crannies everywhere.
I float through to my Deluxe Veranda Stateroom; head on a swivel looking at the artworks and voilà, I open the door to my gorgeous personal space. The room has a king-size bed, roomy bathroom with a glass-walled shower and Freyja toiletries, a flat screen TV, a mini-bar, decent-sized closet and drawer space, a desk and a comfy sitting area from which I can watch TV, sit and read with the beautiful Norwegian Marius weave blanket on my lap or just look at the sea. Or, I can go out on the balcony and enjoy the ocean views, which I do, and spy several dolphins enjoying some gymnastics in the ship’s wake.
The TV proves to be much more than just something to watch movies on. I can get information on all the restaurants on board to see which one takes my fancy; see where the ship is on a real-time map; look up information on the daily activities; read up on the myriad treatments available at the spa. I was so impressed I rang and booked a treatment.
© ANTHONY WELLER
The choice of where to drink, snack and dine is impressive. The ship has a tasty collection of places to choose from. I have dinner at The Restaurant one night and at Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant the next. You need to book ahead for both, as you should for the Chef’s Table, The Kitchen Table and the two private dining rooms. The World Cafe is huge, wrapping around the aft section of deck seven with floor-to-ceiling glass windows giving a starring role to the ocean. While I didn’t have dinner there, the made-to-order breakfasts are excellent. Also make time to have a drink in Aquavit Terrace, which overlooks the spa and pool just outside World Cafe, the Wintergarden Conservatory, which has divine high teas in a stunning environment by the main pool, and in the Explorer’s Lounge. This panoramic lounge at the bow has two levels, with the upper level a beautiful space for a board game, a quiet drink or to read.
Things to do
From doing laps of the running (or walking) track, greeting the new day with Qi Gung, learning to knit with Beverly, learning how to blog or learning to play bridge, there is something for everyone. The spa did gain my attention and I particularly loved the Nordic snow grotto which was great to cool down in after a sauna. Hot and cold plunge pools, and an array of treatments rooms, ensured my yearning for pampering was sated. For the record, the massage was excellent. I could have worked out in the rather large gym and was surprised to see it was very well attended every time I went past.
What the passengers think
Who better to ask about the attributes of the ship than the passengers who were calling it home on a world cruise? In fact, 70 passengers on board had already been on a world cruise on Viking Sun and loved it so much they signed up again. The answers were similar from all of them. They loved the small size of the ship, and could always find a lovely place to sit and read, chat, work on the computer, learn, chat or work out. They loved the choice of dining, the entertainment, were happy with their cabins, gave a big thumbs up to the vast range of activities and, most of all, they loved the crew. The itinerary also was a big winner, as were the inclusions, which most people felt were more generous than on any other ship they had been on. One lady was already planning to do the world cruise on the ship in 2020. Maybe next time I can sneak on board for longer?
© ANTHONY WELLER