An Insider’s Look at the Exceptional Viking Sun Cruise Ship

For those of us that live stateside, you may have heard of Viking River Cruises, but what you may not know, is that Viking has now ventured into ocean cruising. At the Art of Travel Company, we were recently invited to Miami to tour one of their new ships, the Viking Sun, and what we experienced was a work of art, steeped in Nordic tradition, with the beauty and simplicity Scandinavian design is known for.

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The Atrium on the new Viking Sun

The ship itself is stunning. With tall, bright windows, and a neutral décor, when you board the ship, you enter the Viking Living Room. Featuring comfy couches and chairs, it makes you feel as though you’ve entered the home of a Scandinavian relative. Every detail was thought through—from the leather wrapped hand railings, to the incredible woodwork of the Winter Garden—each fine touch has a purpose. The carefully selected artwork lining the ships walls even has a story to tell. The art is numbered, and guests who download the app, can look up the description on that particular piece. Other unique attributes include the retractable roof in the Winter Garden and heated pool area, the Explorers’ Lounge complete with telescope for stargazing, and the infinity pool and spa. For the food adventurous, try Mamsen’s, a gourmet deli featuring true Norwegian cuisine, and the World Café with selections from around the world. There are two specialty restaurants on board, The Chef’s Table providing a multi-course tasting experience, and Manfredi’s specializing in the fine art of Italian cuisine. In the evening, head to Torshavn 1920’s style bistro providing a very intimate setting for entertainment. And for those of you on extended cruises, leave the heavy suitcase at home; the ship even has a self-service laundry on board at no additional cost. It automatically dispenses detergent and fabric softener so no need to bring your own. For a small class ship, the Viking Sun is packed full of features.

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The spa facility is very unique. As you enter the spa, a gorgeous modern, gas fireplace greets you. Surprisingly, the same fireplace overlooks the spa pool on the inside, creating a focal point and ambiance for peace and relaxation. The spa is also home to the snow grotto, where guests can experience chilling temperatures and actual snow, and then hop on over to the sauna just across the way. It’s beautifully and comfortably appointed and the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day at sea. Guests on the Viking Sun can use the spa facilities at no extra charge and spa treatments are extra.

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Viking Ocean Cruises has taken what they learned on the rivers and expertly applied it to ocean cruising. With sixty-two ships in their river fleet, and four ocean ships currently, they plan to have ten by 2022. As we stood at the infinity pool, overlooking the ocean, we couldn’t help but envy the passengers about to embark on their journey to Cuba, as the Viking Sun is truly in a class all by itself.

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The Viking Sun offers:

  • Year built 2017
  • Double occupancy only
  • No children under 18
  • Every stateroom has a veranda (270 sq ft minimum)
  • Only 930 passengers (for those who don’t find megaships appealing)
  • Small class ship
  • No casino
  • Two specialty restaurants on board, no upcharge fee
  • Beer, wine and soft drinks at lunch and dinner are complimentary and specialty coffees, teas and bottled water are included
    • Unlimited cocktails beverage package is available for a minimal charge
  • Includes one excursion per port per passenger
  • Complimentary Wifi
  • 24 Hour Room Service

Viking Sun offers extraordinary, carefully curated, cruising itineraries to the Caribbean, Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, The Adriatic, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Russia and the Baltic Sea. To book a cruise vacation on this beautiful ship, please Contact us.  For more information on the Viking Sun, visit https://www.vikingcruises.com/oceans/ships/viking-sun.html.

Why We Travel

Why We Travel

Sarah and I are cousins.  Our mutual grandmother (who was awesome by the way), never learned how to drive.  Her view of the world was through television or what was going on immediately around her.  Perhaps, this is the reason for our wanderlust or is it something genetic, something brought on by our curious natures and insatiable sense of adventure from our youth?  They say, you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family.  Sarah and I are lucky to be both and we’ve often talked about our mutual love of travel as one of the things that binds us.  This is why, for our first post on The Art of Travel Company Blog, we thought we’d answer the question that many people ask us. ”Why we travel?”

The Art of Company Travel Blog Why We Travel
Sarah and Paula enjoying a night out in Edinburgh Scotland

From Paula’s Perspective

I don’t know who wrote it, but I recently read a quote about adulthood that stuck with me, “I hereby resign from adulthood. Decisions will be made using the eenie-meeni-minie-moe method and arguments will be settled by sticking out my tongue. I’ll be at recess if you need me.”

We live in a society where we are inundated with information and pressed for time. When you travel, time is your own. You are not anywhere where you have obligations. The only thing you are obligated to do is to explore—act like a kid again. This is why I travel and what travel does. It frees you and exposes you to new experiences, people, and sites so beautiful you couldn’t even imagine they’re real (my husband refers to this “nature’s art”). From the moment you open your eyes, wherever you are, it’s your day to do what you want, when you want, ALL day long. I leave all my adult responsibilities—the vacuuming, laundry, paying bills, work stress–at home. Good-bye adulthood! The world is my oyster and the days are my own. Shall I sleep in today? Should I tour that museum? Can I have a cup cake for breakfast? There is no one to tell me what to do, no obligations (unless I decide), and it truly is the freedom to explore and regain the sense of adventure I once had as a kid.

The Art of Travel Company Blog Why We Travel
Paula and her husband during their Hawk Walk at the Ireland School of Falconry, Cong, Ireland

I travel because it gets me out of my comfort zone. It exposes me to new things I would not see otherwise and it breaks me free of the routine that binds me. In our everyday lives, we don’t get this luxury very often. It’s off to work or to bring the kids to school or an activity. In life, AKA “adulthood”, there will always be bills and responsibilities, but the last thing I want to do is look back on life and say, “I wish I had traveled to that white sand beach in the Caribbean or I wish I had gone to Italy to explore my roots. Life is short. Just because we are not kids anymore doesn’t mean we can’t have fun and feel that sense of adventure with no responsibility…and this my friends, is why I travel.

Sarah’s Point of View

Our friends and family think we are crazy.  There are times I agree.  We travel. We love it, most of the time.  We travel at a frenzied pace.  There are times I feel I am sprinting for that gold medal prize, trying desperately to see everything on my bucket list before our trip ends. My husband recently announced he had finally figured me out after all these years. He realized that I secretly love stress and the uncertainty of traveling with children. At first, I was angry, but I realize now it must be true.

The Art of Travel Company Blog Why We Travel
Taking a break on El Caminito del Rey ( The King’s Bridge), Ardales, Spain

I am not really sure why I feel this way. It may be that I can count on one hand the number of vacations I took with my family.  I am not begrudging my parents and the lifestyle choices they made, it is merely an observation that this lack of travel and experience may have fueled my constant need to see and do.   We also live busy lives, with three children, lots of activities and schedules to adhere to. Even on vacation, I continue to strive to stay on schedule and adhere to an itinerary.  I feel more comfortable when a plan has been established and I can tick the boxes as we move on in our plans.

The Art of Travel Company Blog Why We Travel
The face of a smiling teenager–Sarah and her daughter on vacation in Maine

I have felt guilty about the expectations I place on our children to bend and sway with our travel plans.   But recently,  I encountered  a very sullen teenager, while on visit in Washington DC. Our 13 year old was pouting because she felt I had not scheduled enough museum time and historical touring to suit her.  (Ahhh, a girl after my own heart.)  I know our travel plans are not for every family, and I completely understand the need to relax, unplug, and travel at a snail’s’ pace for rejuvenation—that is just not my family.  We travel hard, but in the evening, we gather around our rented living area and we talk about our favorite moments and relive our experience over a board game or deck of cards.  We laugh over the mishaps of the day, rehash the highlights, and discuss our plans excitedly for the next day.  We are building memories together as a family.  Our children’s experiences are my husband’s and my experiences as well.  We aren’t living vicariously through our children, we are living simultaneously…and this is why I travel.

Why do you travel? Send us your story and photos to why@theartoftravelcompany.com, We’d love to hear from you.

 

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