For the fourth consecutive year, Travel + Leisure readers have voted Viking® (www.vikingcruises.com) to the top of its categories in the 2019 World’s Best Awards. Viking was named the #1 Ocean Cruise Line for ships carrying 600-2,199 guests and one of the World’s Best River Cruise Lines. Since the launch of Viking’s ocean cruises in 2015, the company has been named a #1 Ocean Cruise Line every single year. Viking has also been voted a World’s Best River Cruise Line every year since the award’s inception in 2010.
Travel + Leisure is the largest travel magazine brand in the U.S., and since 1995 its readers have been asked to cast their votes for the World’s Best in cruising with considerations in the following cruise features: cabins/facilities, food, service itineraries/destinations, excursions/activities and value. Viking will also be featured in the magazine’s World’s Best issue, which will be on newsstands in July; the full results of the awards can be found at www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best.
The announcement from Travel + Leisure adds to an impressive list of recent accolades for Viking. Earlier this year, the company’s first five 930-guest sister ships, Viking Star®, Viking Sea®, Viking Sky®, Viking Sun® and Viking Orion® dominated the Cruise Critic® 9th Annual Cruisers’ Choice Awards, receiving 11 First Place honors. All six of Viking’s ships have been awarded a top rating of five stars by Cruise Critic – and Viking also received five awards in the luxury ocean and river categories of Cruise Critic’s 2018 Editors’ Picks Awards. Viking was again named the #1 River Cruise Line by Condé Nast Traveler in the publication’s 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards – and has also been honored as “Best Cruise Line for Luxury Ocean Cruises” and “Best Luxury River Cruise Company” in Luxury Travel Advisor magazine’s 2018 “Awards of Excellence” for a second consecutive year.
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 whether on the rivers or at sea, featuring regional cuisine and always-available American classics, Viking’s guests can truly dine in their destination. A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences on shore, on board, and even at home, through premier partnerships such as National Geographic, PBS’ MASTERPIECE, Downton Abbey: The Exhibition and the upcoming new film Downton Abbey from Focus Features and Carnival Films, only in theaters this September. And only The Viking Way® of exploration provides guests with itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences. Local Life excursions shine a light on everyday activities and include experiences such as Viking Chef-hosted trips to local farmers markets, tea at home with local residents and visits with local schoolchildren. Working World excursions feature behind-the-scenes “making of” experiences, illuminating destinations through their most famous exports, such as factory and farm visits. Privileged Access excursions include experiences such as a behind-the-scenes tours at Highclere Castle, the “real Downton Abbey;” visiting St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum “behind closed doors;” a private cooking class in a Tuscan castle; an intimate organ concert in the Berlin Cathedral; and an exclusive dinner in the Churchill War Rooms in London.
In addition, Viking offers a compelling value compared to other cruise lines. Every cruise fare includes an outside 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; free Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service.
From now through July 31, 2019, U.S. residents can take advantage of Viking’s special Explorers’ Sale®, featuring up-to-free airfare, a new 2-for-1 deposit, and additional bonus savings on all 2020-2021 ocean cruises and 2020 river cruises.