The strength of Viking's existing river cruise brand meant that its announcement in 2013 that it was moving into the ocean cruise market was met with considerable excitement and expectation. By the end of 2017, Viking will have four ships in its ocean fleet, all virtually identical to each other, and all accomodating just over 900 passengers in luxurious and contemporary surroundings. Designed from scratch to Viking's exacting specifications, each is designed to offer high quality on board accommodation, yet be small and nimble enough to access less common ports that bigger ships would struggle to reach.
Viking has positioned itself squarely at the luxury end of the market, and its reputation for excellence means that it can demand premium prices for its cruises. Those prices do however include a lot of little extras like free drinks, free wifi and complimentary access to speciality restaurants that other lines often charge extra for.
One thing that Viking doesn't pretend to be is a family resort. Guests choose the line because of the quality of its service and its focus on interesting port-intensive itineraries, and there simply isn't the same focus on onboard leisure and entertainment facilities that you might find elsewhere.
Elegance and sophistication are the order of the day when it comes to Viking, and its ships have the feel of a luxury boutique hotel. The style is a primarily modern one, but draws on inspiration from all the proudest traditions of ocean cruising and blends them with the same subtle Scandinavian twists that guests have come to enjoy on the line's river cruise ships.
Viking prides itself on the quality of its service and its attention to detail, but it certainly isn't a line that demands formality for the sake of it. There are opportunities for guests to dress up for special occasions, but otherwise the general ethos is a casual yet sophisticated one.