Viking Ocean Cruises’ Viking Star will sail the East Coast and the Caribbean in 2016. // © 2016 Viking Ocean Cruises
Feature image (above): Viking Star’s new itineraries begin in September with a 15-day Atlantic crossing. // © 2016 Viking Ocean Cruises
When Viking Ocean Cruises’ first vessel, the 930-passenger Viking Star, launched last year, there were complaints from agents that past guests had booked the vast majority of inventory. Now, North Americans have a great opportunity to see the ship. The debut of Viking’s second seagoing vessel, Viking Sun, has freed the company to bring Viking Star to the East Coast and the Caribbean this year.
Described by veteran agents as “pretty close to perfection,” Viking Star was named Best New Ocean Ship in the 2015 Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards. Coupled with Viking’s attention to value, the result has been an unexpected number of back-to-back bookings.
Viking Star’s new itineraries start in September with the 15-day Atlantic crossing from Bergen, Norway, to Montreal, which traces the route of Viking Leif Eriksson with port calls in the Shetland Islands, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, Saguenay in Quebec and Quebec City.
At the beginning of October, the ship will sail 13 days on the St. Lawrence River and down the coast of New England to New York City, with calls in Quebec City; Saguenay; Prince Edward Island; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Boston (overnight); and across the Cape Cod Canal. By mid-October, after an overnight in New York, the ship will sail to its Caribbean homeport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, over 15 days, calling in Newport, Rhode Island; Baltimore; Norfolk; and Port Everglades, Fla., followed by Turks and Caicos, Antigua and St. Thomas.
From San Juan, the ship will sail 11-day cruises to Tortola, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, Guadeloupe, St. Kitts, St. Martin and St. Thomas. In February 2017, Viking Star will return to Europe with an 18-day San Juan to Barcelona Atlantic crossing.
“We have always had a vision to reinvent ocean cruising, to bring destinations back to the forefront of the itinerary and to build ships that are designed to help our guests better explore their destinations,” said Torstein Hagen, founder and chairman of Viking Cruises. “We launched our ocean cruises in Europe earlier this year, and just as the Viking explorers before us, we are now looking across the Atlantic for new discoveries. Our new itineraries in North America and the Caribbean will offer travelers experiences that broaden their horizons both on and off the ship.”