LOS ANGELES, July 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — In its first year of service, Viking Ocean Cruises® (www.vikingoceancruises.com) – the first entirely new cruise line in a decade – has been named the #1 Ocean Cruise Line by Travel + Leisure readers in the 2016 World’s Best Awards. Viking launched its first ocean ship, Viking Star®, in April 2015, and this win comes on the heels of the new cruise line launching its second ocean ship, Viking Sea®, in April 2016.
Viking’s win of the #1 Ocean Cruise Line unseats luxury cruise line, Crystal Cruises, which held the title in the category for 20 years in a row. Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards are based on results from an annual survey, where readers are asked to cast their votes for the very best in cruising with considerations in the following cruise features: cabins/facilities, restaurants/food, service, itineraries/destinations, excursions/activities and value. Viking will also be featured in the magazine’s World’s Best issue, which will be on shelves in July; the full results of the awards can be found at http://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best.
“Viking is the world’s leading river cruise line, and we are pleased to now be the world’s best ocean cruise line,” said Torstein Hagen, founder and chairman of Viking Cruises. “We launched Viking Ocean Cruises to reinvent the category. We have a unique approach to destination-focused ocean cruising that is built upon our success in river cruising, and awards like this demonstrate that our approach is working. Thank you to our guests and the readers of Travel + Leisure for this great honor.”
Viking Ocean Cruises is quickly amassing industry awards. The company’s second ocean vessel, Viking Sea, was recently awarded a top rating of five stars by Cruise Critic, a distinction previously bestowed to Viking Star – which was also named “Best New Ocean Ship” of 2015 in Cruise Critic’s Editors’ Picks Awards. Additionally, the ship received three top awards in the 6th Annual Cruisers’ Choice Awards and was the highest rated ship in its category in the 2016 version of “cruising bible,” Berlitz’s Cruising and Cruise Ships guidebook. Viking will welcome two additional ships in 2017, Viking Sky® and Viking Sun®, whose maiden voyage will be a 141-day world cruise spanning 5 continents, 35 countries and 66 ports. Two remaining, yet-to-be-named ships will be delivered in 2018 and 2020.
The Viking Difference
Designed for discerning travelers, Viking offers guests “the thinking person’s cruise” as an alternative to mainstream cruises. The Viking difference is providing guests with extraordinarily well-designed cruises that facilitate engagement with the cultures of the world. Ships are small allowing privileged access to smaller ports and getting guests closer to their destination, with more time in port, more overnights and fewer days at sea. Onboard, guests find serene Scandinavian spaces, where every room is beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light. All-veranda ships mean that guests experience every day with a new, expansive vista. With the most al fresco dining at sea, featuring regional cuisines and always-available American classics, Viking’s guests can truly dine in their destination. A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences onshore and onboard. And only The Viking Way brings guests itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences.
In addition, Viking Inclusive Cruising provides a small ship experience at a big ship value—with every cruise fare including a veranda stateroom, shore excursions in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including: beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; premium dining reservations; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service—an included value of more than $200 per person, per day.
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