PHOTO: New seating areas and hedges on Viking Ocean Cruises’ Viking Sky. (photo by Jason Leppert)

Viking Ocean Cruises already had a fantastic ship design with its first Viking Star and Viking Sea sister-ships, but the line did make some minor changes for the third Viking Sky.

They are so subtle, however, that most are likely to go unnoticed without being pointed out.

The biggest difference was made to the LivNordic spa, fitness center and salon facilities. The popular thermal suite and changing areas of the previous ships remain untouched, but per guest feedback, the fitness center has expanded. In order to make it fit, the men’s barber shop was removed entirely and the salon was dramatically reduced in size.

Next door on the Viking Star and Viking Sea is both a perfumery and a small sundries shop. Aboard the Viking Sky, the sundries shop has been rolled into the general logo item store on the upper deck, making it hard to miss.

In place of the exercise equipment that used to on the sports deck are additional padded seating areas with tables divided by topiary hedges. They add extra greenery as well as pleasant rest areas for those engaged in games of golf or bocce ball.

READ MORE: 10 Off-the-Beaten-Path Viking Sky Cruise Tips

Just below the sports deck the fantastic double-decker Explorers’ Lounge observation venue is still where it has always been. Nestled within is still the Norwegian deli Mamsen’s, named after Viking Chairman and CEO Torstein Hagen’s mother. The bar has also been newly titled Paps, the Explorers’ Bar in honor of his father. Just as the story of Mamsen is told at the deli, Paps’ story is told in the drink menu, which also features Paps’ Brandy Special. Slightly less personalized this time around is the Manfredi’s Italian restaurant. Of course, it’s still named after Hagen’s friend and chairman of Silversea Cruises, Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio.

The unique celebrity portrait pillows showcased in the Star Theater have also been updated some with new faces since the Star and Sea.

READ MORE: The Simple Pleasures of Adult-Only Viking Cruises

Other than that, the Viking Sky is pretty much identical to the Viking Sea and Viking Star. Though, something both the Sky and the Sea have over the Star are USB charging outlets at cabin nightstands in addition to the desk. The Star only has them at the desk.

Over time and during dry-docks, it’s likely that some of the evolutions introduced on the newer ships will roll back to the older ones as well.

This post first appeared on TravelPulse.

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