If you want to head out to sea, consider doing so on a Viking ship. For the World’s Best Awards for 2018, Travel + Leisure readers chose Viking as the World’s Best large-ship ocean cruise line.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated individual cruise ships on their cabins/facilities, food, service, itineraries/destinations, excursions/activities, and value. Those assessments were combined to generate results for the cruise lines in five categories; large-ship ocean cruise lines have vessels that can carry 600 to 2,199 passengers.
Related: The 2018 World's Best Awards
This is the third year in a row that our readers have ranked Viking as No. 1 in this category. For years, the brand sailed exclusively on the rivers, in Europe, Russia, and beyond. But since Viking added ocean cruises in 2015, it has racked up numerous accolades for its unique experience. The brand now has five identical 930-passenger ships in its fleet: Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Sun, and Viking Orion.
On board, passengers will find neither casinos nor kids. Instead there are stately dining rooms, a library, and a sprawling, Nordic-inspired spa complete with a thalassotherapy pool and snow room. Other major highlights are the ships’ serene Scandinavian design and private verandas for every stateroom.
Once docked at port, Viking guests can hike to notable landmarks or take part in cultural activities like museum visits, depending on the cruise. Resident historians can further provide context for the destination.
Viking sails around the world, visiting northern Europe, the Mediterranean, Alaska, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. Voyages typically last from eight to 15 days, but the longest is the “Ultimate World Cruise,” which lasts an astonishing 245 days.