Viking’s Latest Oceangoing Ship Showcases The Best of Cruising

Cruising the North Sea aboard Viking Cruises’ brand-new Viking Sea, en-route to Bergen. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

I’ve been sitting in the Viking Bar on Deck 1 aboard Viking Cruises’ Viking Sea now for over an hour. I’ve already finished Cappuccino No. 1 and I’m disturbingly close to finishing Cappuccino No. 2. And I have very little to show for all that caffeinated power.
See, I’m trying to put into words why this ship just checks all the boxes for me – and why it should check all the boxes for you, too. It seems like such an easy task, because this ship embodies the best traditions of both classic and modern cruising. It should appeal to a wide segment of the population, from first-time cruisers to experienced aficionados who bemoan the death of the way “cruising used to be.”

I'm being lulled into a calm sense of relaxation in The Living Room on Deck 1. How could you not be? Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

I’m being lulled into a calm sense of relaxation in The Living Room on Deck 1. How could you not be? Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

And yet I sit here, watching the cursor in Microsoft Word blink at me. Mocking me. I’m getting annoyed with myself. Writer’s block is on the verge of taking over my body, and I fear seeing my writer colleagues pass the coffee bar. I’ve already thought of my reply: “Yep!”, I’ll say. “Really crankin’ it out today!” I won’t mention the four deadlines I’m on the verge of blowing because my fingers have somehow stopped pressing keys.
And then, it hits me. I have no idea what to write because Viking Sea has lulled me into its relaxing embrace. I’m actually allowing myself to do something I normally don’t on most ships: relax. I’m sitting in the atrium, people watching. I’m sipping my coffee. I’m feeling the ship vibrate gently as we cross the North Sea, bound for Bergen, Norway.
I am in my happy place.

Viking Sea: my oceangoing happy place. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Viking Sea: my oceangoing happy place. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Viking Sea is a ship that is devoid of distractions. I don’t mean that disparagingly against big, busy, mainstream ships, because they have their place. I’ll happily book a big-ship cruise, content in what it offers. But those ships are full of ways to blow through your time onboard: mini-golf courses, loud shows, ringing casinos. It’s less about you and more about the activity.
Viking Sea, however, will have you relaxing before you know it – and before you even realize it’s happening.
Here’s my list of ten reasons Viking Sea is sabotaging my productivity – and ten reasons it will have you in vacation mode in no time.

It’s Your Own Personal Library

Head on up to the Explorer's Lounge on Decks 7 and 8...Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Head on up to the Explorer’s Lounge on Decks 7 and 8…Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

...and step into your very own personal library. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

…and step into your very own personal library. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 may officially have the largest library at sea, but Viking Sea might just best her in terms of sheer number of titles onboard. Every public room aboard Viking Sea is crammed full of amazing books on all subjects – so much so that I blew through an hour in the Explorer’s Lounge yesterday, admiring the massive collection of books on polar exploration.
Save yourself a few kilos on your luggage and leave the books at home; Viking Sea is the greatest floating library you could ever ask for.

The LivNordic Spa Is One Of The Best at Sea – And It’s Free.

Luxury touches are everywhere throughout the Viking Star. Did you know the pool in the LivNordic Spa is offered for no extra charge? Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

The hydrotherapy pool aboard Viking Sea sister-ship, Viking Star. What would cost hundreds of dollars on other ships is free here. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Okay, so a 50-minute Swedish Massage is going to run you $139. But the LivNordic Spa’s impressive Nordic Bathing Ritual complex is provided completely free of charge.
This is how I spent nearly 90 minutes this morning: working my way through the traditional Nordic bathing ritual. I started with a relaxing warm-up in the steam room before transitioning to the large hydrotherapy pool. I then relaxed on the heated thermal loungers before running into the steam room once again. Finally, I ended my ritual with a few minutes in the Snow Room – featuring real, honest-to-gosh-Snow.

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