CRUISE REVIEW + 18 PHOTOS + VIDEO: Viking Cruises Orion offers pleasing serenity and an all-inclusive experience for its 930 passengers.
Orion (and sister Jupiter) are slightly different from their sister ships by having a 26-seat planetarium with 3D movies. Enjoy ‘virtually’ swimming with whales and dolphins, seeing the Northern Lights, studying the stars and more.
Here are many other reasons why Viking is so popular.
- Free wine, beer and soft drinks during meals
- Free coffee, tea, bottled water, suite mini bar
- Free specialty restaurant dining
- Free room service
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free spa and gym access
- Free COVID testing (call to confirm due to pandemic updates)
- Free basic shore excursion in each port
- Expert guest speakers ranging from authors to astronauts
Viking estimates this is worth more than $200 per guest, per day.
What Viking doesn’t have that passengers appreciate is:
- No casino
- No art auction
- No photography sales
- No formal night
- No razzle-dazzle shows, just high-quality performers
Soothing minimalistic decor
Viking passengers take great comfort knowing they’ll be surrounded in soothing and simple upscale Scandinavian decor with exceptionally interesting artwork befitting of a boutique hotel.
Decor tones include creamy beiges and clean whites, punctuated with pleasantly calm orange and blue hues to add a few pops of colour. Glass, brass and marble add subtle shine, plus light woods, teak and greenery bring a healthy vibe.
Simply walking around Orion creates a soothing spa-like effect that inspires you to exhale and relax.
The iconic favourite feature of the Orion, as with all Viking’s ships, is the gorgeous infinity pool that hangs over the stern. This area is called the Aquavit Terrace and the view of the wake is mesmerizing and draws you in.
The main pool is another popular place. Since the ship has a retractable dome, the area can be enjoyed in any weather. Large couches offer plenty of comfortable seating and padded double loungers face the floor-to-ceiling glass walls for sea views.
The top deck has similar cozy seating areas, as well as a putting green, lawn bowling, shuffleboard and ping pong.
The heart of the ship is the atrium where a grand staircase is graced at the top by an enormous digital screen featuring a changing array of destination and art photos. At the bottom is a grand piano where musicians entertain.
The surrounding seating area is simply called the Livingroom. There are upscale couches and chairs, a bar, library corner, tables for playing games, guest services (with desks rather than counters) and an interesting display of Viking artifacts.
The two-storey Explorers Lounge at the bow is a prime location for its beauty. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows present panoramic views of the ocean ahead. Leather couches and chairs are graced with fur throws and a modern gas fireplace features lovely flickering flames. Wall shelves showcase intriguing nautical art and books.
The Wintergarden Lounge is another iconic Viking space known for its wooden trellis work on the ceiling and pillars. It’s also where of one of the best afternoon teas at sea is served to soothing piano music.
Restaurants and bars
Viking has consistently delicious cuisine across the fleet at their eight dining venues. The Restaurant is the main dining room and offers a range of international tastes. World Café is the buffet area (served by crew) for indoor and outdoor dining. The Pool Grill offers gourmet burgers and salad bar. Mamsen’s is famous for its waffles and deli-style offerings.
There are two free specialty restaurants. Manfredi’s is the Italian restaurant and the Chef’s Table features a multi-course set menu of cuisines from Pan Asian to Mexican with wine pairings. There are many bars throughout the ship, so drinks flow freely.
The Star Theatre features simple shows of musicians, singers and dancers – but not in glitzy Las Vegas style. Torshavn is a popular entertainment venue nearby where bands play in a more intimate setting and there’s a dance floor.
Spa and Fitness Centre
The LivNordic Spa highlights the Nordic tradition of hot and cold to stimulate circulation and detoxify. Enjoy a large, heated hydro pool, hot tub, steam room, sauna and heated loungers, and alternate with an ice-bucket shower and snow grotto to cool off.
Spa treatments are plentiful including an unusual Cranberry Scrub and Blueberry Body Wrap if you don’t mind being rubbed with fruit. The gym is fully equipped and rarely used.
All the suites have balconies and range from about 270 to 1,300 square feet. The desk with built-in drawers and mini fridge also features an ingenious hidden vanity. Lift the lid to reveal a lighted mirror and compartments for cosmetics. This detail gets rave reviews.
There’s plenty of closet space (lights turn on when you slide open the doors) and drawers. Bathrooms have heated floors, mirrors that don’t fog up, and spacious showers with glass doors. The leather-wrapped door handles give a luxe feel.
Viking has won more than 250 awards and this year won both Best Ocean and Best River cruise line in Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice awards – a first dual win in the industry.
The cruise line continues to offer a calm, relaxing, upscale experience wrapped in safety that provides passengers with confidence.
A version of this article by Cruiseguru first appeared in PAX News on October 28, 2021.
YOUTUBE VIDEO LINK:
Also check out Cruiseguru’s YouTube Ship Tour of Viking Orion