LOS ANGELES, Dec. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Capping off its 20th anniversary year, Viking® (www.vikingcruises.com) today celebrated new accolades from Cruise Critic®, the world's largest online cruise resource. In its 10th annual Editors' Picks Awards, Cruise Critic honored Viking with five awards, more than any other river or ocean cruise line. Viking was recognized in the river and luxury ocean categories, with awards that point to key differentiating factors for the brand: Best for First-Timers, Best Enrichment, Best Shore Excursions, Best Spa and Best Value for Money. The full list of Editors' Picks Awards can be viewed on Cruise Critic here.
"For 20 years we have helped our guests explore the cultures of the world in comfort, at a price that includes more amenities and a better value than any other cruise line. It is an honor to have the editors of Cruise Critic recognize what makes Viking different in the travel industry," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "In a single year, we have been named the #1 Ocean Cruise Line, the #1 River Cruise Line, and we have dominated both Cruise Critic's Editors' Picks and Cruisers' Choice Awards. As we begin another new year that will see us launch new river and ocean ships, as well as cruise itineraries around the world, we look forward to even more travelers experiencing the 'Viking Difference.'"
Cruise Critic Editors' Picks
The Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards are chosen by Cruise Critic's international team of editors, based on the lines and ships they feel best represent excellence in each of the designated categories. In ranking Viking in the top spot for five different awards, Cruise Critic's editors commented with the following:
- Best for First-Timers – River: "With its vast fleet of Longships, Viking has the most choice of cruising dates in Europe and beyond, and offers many of the features that have become the hallmark of river cruising, such as beer and wine at lunch and dinner, an included shore excursion at each port, onboard enrichment sessions, free Wi-Fi and alternative terrace dining."
- Best Enrichment – River: "Viking remains committed to creating journeys that immerse passengers in the culture, history and cuisine of destinations when they're onboard. The 'Culture Curriculum' program showcases music and dance performances, cooking demonstrations and guest lectures. One day cruisers might be watching a glass-blowing demonstration and the next, learning how to paint like Van Gogh or tasting Dutch cheese."
- Best Shore Excursions – River: "Drawing a page from their successful ocean cruises, Viking has added more…options to the usual city walking tours and bus trips. Local Life excursions might visit a local market on a culinary tour, while Working World tours help passengers understand the local economy. Privileged Access tours give small groups of people a special experience, such as a winery tour with a princess."
- Best Spa – Luxury: "Viking's spa [onboard its ocean cruise ships] is beautifully appointed, uniquely designed and wonderfully relaxing. The spa offers a Nordic experience, which combines a variety of hot and cold treatments, as well as a massive thalassotherapy pool, ceramic lounge chairs and peaceful changing rooms. Best of all, the spa complex is free to all passengers. Viking has set the bar high; its ocean ships offer the best spa at sea."
- Best Value for Money – Luxury: "You get a lot for your money with Viking – drinks with lunch and dinner, Wi-Fi, one tour in every port, thermal spa access and meals in main and specialty restaurant venues. But more than fare inclusions, Viking cruisers benefit from smartly designed cabins; gorgeous top-deck, all-weather hangouts; and destination-intensive itineraries. That's what we call value!"
Viking's Awards in 2017
This week's announcement from Cruise Critic rounds out an impressive year of accolades for Viking. Earlier this fall, Viking was voted the Best River Cruise Line by Condé Nast Traveler in the publication's 2017 Readers' Choice Awards, and in the summer, Viking was named the #1 ocean cruise line in Travel + Leisure's 2017 World's Best Awards. Town & Country named Viking's ocean cruises "Best for Design" and "Best Overall, Contemporary Luxury" in the magazine's recent Cruise Awards. It also named Viking's river cruises "Best for Suites" and "Best for Design." And Viking's ocean ships won the top two placements in nearly every category where they were eligible in Cruise Critic's 2017 Cruisers' Choice Awards, including "Best Overall" and "Best for First-Timers."
The Viking Difference
Designed for discerning travelers with interests in science, history, culture and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests "the thinking person's cruise" as an alternative to mainstream cruises. Ships are small to get guests closer to their destination, with more time in port and more overnights. 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 Value provides a small ship experience and no nickel-and-diming – with every cruise fare including an exterior stateroom, a complimentary shore excursion 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; Wi-Fi; and coffee, tea and bottled water available 24 hours a day. Viking's ocean guests also enjoy additional complimentary amenities, including: alternative restaurant dining, self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service.
From now through December 31, 2017, Viking is offering U.S. residents 2-for-1 cruise fares on select 2018 ocean and river cruise itineraries, with additional savings on international air. Call Viking toll free at 1-855-8-VIKING (1-855-884-5464) or contact a travel agent.
Viking was founded in 1997 with the purchase of four ships in Russia and is now celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017 as the leader in river and small ship ocean cruising. Designed for discerning travelers with interests in science, history, culture and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests "the thinking person's cruise" as an alternative to mainstream cruises. In its first two years of operation, Viking has been rated the #1 ocean cruise line in Travel + Leisure's 2016 and 2017 "World's Best" Awards. Viking currently operates a fleet of 63 vessels, offering scenic cruising on rivers and oceans around the world. By 2022 the company will operate eight 930-guest ocean cruise ships and will be the largest small ship ocean cruise line. In addition to the Travel + Leisure honors, Viking has also been honored multiple times on Condé Nast Traveler's "Gold List" as well as recognized by Cruise Critic as "Best Overall" Small-Mid size ship in the 2017 Cruisers' Choice Awards, "Best River Cruise Line" and "Best River Itineraries," with the entire Viking Longships® fleet being named "Best New River Ships" in the website's Editors' Picks Awards. For additional information, contact Viking at 1-855-8-VIKING (1-855-884-5464) or visit www.vikingcruises.com.