LOS ANGELES, Dec. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Viking® (www.vikingcruises.com) today celebrated new accolades from Cruise Critic®, the world's largest online cruise resource. In the 2019 Editors' Picks Awards, Cruise Critic honored Viking with five awards in the luxury ocean and river categories, marking the third consecutive year Viking has won more Editors' Picks awards than any other river or ocean cruise line. Three of the awards are in the prestigious luxury ocean categories and include Best Luxury Value for Money and Best Spa – both of which Viking has won every year since introducing its ocean cruises in 2015 – as well as Best Enrichment. The company was also recognized in two river categories: Best Itineraries and Best for First-Timers for the second and third consecutive year, respectfully. The full list of Editors' Picks Awards can be viewed on Cruise Critic here.
"We are honored to be recognized by the editors of Cruise Critic for our leadership," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "I want to thank Cruise Critic's editors, who are true industry experts that continue to appreciate 'The Viking Difference' we offer with our travel experiences. I would also like to thank our guests for their continued enthusiasm and participation in the Cruise Critic community."
Cruise Critic Editors' Picks
Cruise Critic boasts the world's largest online cruise community, with more than 650,000 cruise reviews, covering approximately 700 cruise ships and nearly 500 worldwide ports. The Editors' Picks Awards combine Cruise Critic editors' impartial cruise expertise – based on firsthand experiences and industry knowledge – to help travelers select the best cruise vacation from an increasing number of cruise options. In ranking Viking in the top spot for five different awards, Cruise Critic's editors commented with the following:
- Best Value for Money – Luxury Ocean: "A cruise on a Viking ship means rarely having to reach for your wallet once onboard. With included perks like specialty dining and shore excursions, it's easy to feel spoiled. Viking's no nickel-and-diming policy means passengers know what they're paying upfront and appreciate the value of a cruise that includes excellent dining, large staterooms and friendly, intuitive service."
- Best Spa – Luxury Ocean: "It doesn't get any better than Viking's sublime LivNordic Spa. The highlight of any Viking cruise is the wonderful thermal suite, which is tranquil, gorgeous and absolutely free. Packed with amenities like a thalassotherapy pool, snow grotto and heated ceramic lounge chairs, the thermal suite is the best place to spend a sea day. Viking has redefined the cruise ship spa experience."
- Best Enrichment – Luxury Ocean: "Not surprising for a cruise line that partners with PBS, Viking takes enrichment seriously. Each ocean ship has a resident historian, who gives entertaining and informative destination-based lectures and leads Q&As about regional current events. New-this-year Viking Jupiter and Viking Orion also have onboard planetariums, technologically powerful enough for 3D shows, and resident astronomers to make sense of what you've seen."
- Best for First-Timers – River: "New to river cruising? Then Viking should be your first stop. Perhaps the best-known river cruise line, Viking is also one of the most expansive; the company's vast fleet of Longships means it's easy to find the perfect sailing. Smart inclusions, such as beer and wine at lunch and dinner, Wi-Fi and a shore excursion in every port, mean few extra fees once onboard."
- Best Itineraries – River: "From the Mekong to the Yangtze, the Danube to the Douro, the Nile to the Volga, you'll find a Viking riverboat. The line has pioneered cruises on many of the world's rivers, offering insightful and in-depth itineraries exploring the culture, heritage and sights of the destinations. The sheer amount of ships means that it's easy to find a river cruise to suit any taste."
Today's announcement from Cruise Critic builds on to the impressive list of recent accolades for Viking. For the fourth consecutive year, Travel + Leisure readers voted Viking to the top of its categories in the 2019 World's Best Awards. Earlier this year, the company's first five 930-guest sister ships, Viking Star®, Viking Sea®, Viking Sky®, Viking Sun® and Viking Orion® dominated the Cruise Critic® 9th Annual Cruisers' Choice Awards, receiving 11 First Place honors. All six of Viking's ships have been awarded a top rating of five stars by Cruise Critic.
The Viking Difference
Designed for discerning travelers with interests in history, art, music 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. On board, guests find serene Scandinavian spaces, where every room is both beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light. With the most al fresco dining opportunities whether on the rivers or at sea, featuring regional cuisine and always-available American classics, Viking's guests can truly dine in their destination. A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences on shore, on board, and even at home, through premier partnerships such as National Geographic, PBS' MASTERPIECE, Downton Abbey: The Exhibition and the new film Downton Abbey from Focus Features and Carnival Films. And only The Viking Way® of exploration provides guests with itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences. Local Life excursions shine a light on everyday activities and include experiences such as Viking Chef-hosted trips to local farmers markets, tea at home with local residents and visits with local schoolchildren. Working World excursions feature behind-the-scenes "making of" experiences, illuminating destinations through their most famous exports, such as factory and farm visits. Privileged Access excursions include experiences such as behind-the-scenes tours of Highclere Castle, the "real Downton Abbey;" and of Lobkowicz Palace in Prague, an experience developed with Prince William Lobkowicz and Princess Alexandra Lobkowicz; a special concert with the Vienna Boys' Choir at Schönbrunn Palace; a private tour and wine tasting at Schloss Löwenstein in Lower Franconia; a private Cognac Blending experience at Camus near Bordeaux; and an exclusive dinner in the Churchill War Rooms in London.
In addition, Viking offers a compelling value compared to other cruise lines. Every cruise fare includes an outside 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 cultural performances as part of the Viking's Cultural Curriculum® onboard programming.
From now through December 31, 2019, U.S. residents can take advantage of special savings on cruise fares, and up to free air on select 2020 and 2021 ocean and river itineraries.
About Viking Cruises
Viking was founded in 1997 with the purchase of four ships in Russia. 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 four years of operation, Viking has been rated the #1 ocean cruise line in Travel + Leisure's 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 "World's Best" Awards. Viking currently operates a fleet of 78 vessels, offering scenic cruising on rivers and oceans around the world. 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 2018 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.