You will not find a casino on this cruise ship. I repeat: You will not find a casino on this cruise ship. For some folks, that might be a turn off. But for many, it’s an enticement, and it is certainly an indication of the kind of tone the Viking Sea is trying to set. Quiet. Restrained. Calming. This is the type of ship where you forgo staying up late at the bar or playing blackjack, because you know in the morning you’ve got a great shore excursion ahead of you, or a plate of incredible Norwegian-style waffles to enjoy (more on that later).
Viking Sea is the second oceangoing vessel from Viking Cruises, a company better known for its river cruising product. Their first 930-passenger vessel, Viking Star, which is identical to Viking Sea, launched last year with much fanfare thanks to a slew of unique amenities like an infinity-edge pool cantilevered off the edge of the ship, a spa complete with a snow grotto, and yes, free WiFi, the holy grail for cruisers. But amenities aside, what really shines on board the Viking Sea are the thoughtful touches and details that signal a well-designed space. Things like a soft grey and white throw draped on the back of a chaise longue, perfect for when you get chilly in the late afternoon. Or the blue-and-yellow folkloric plates and mugs in Mamsen’s, the casual café; the pattern is the same one used by Viking chairman Torstein Hagen’s mother, Mamsen.
Rather, by forgoing big, bold furniture and lights in favor of sleek, midcentury Scandinavian décor, the ship has a mood and atmosphere that puts you at ease. In terms of the crowd, Viking caters to travelers 55 and older, and no children are allowed on board.
Travel + Leisure was recently invited as a guest by Viking Cruises to experience Viking Sea as it made one of its maiden voyages, sailing from Le Havre, France, to Bergen, Norway. Here are some of the standout features on the ship.