Cruising the seas on a newfangled Viking ship

When the chairman of Viking River Cruises set out to build his first ocean-going ship, he followed the theme song of many an aging free-thinker: Torstein Hagen did it his way. Hagen’s new ship, the 930-passenger Viking Star, now is cruising to ports from Northern Europe to the Mediterranean Sea, following a May naming ceremony in Bergen, Norway. If you want to cruise on this ship during the next year, you will have to go to Europe, …

Read moreCruising the seas on a newfangled Viking ship

Cruising Viking Star with lessons on Viking history from the Bayeux Tapestry

Several times a day, on a cruise in Europe aboard the new Viking Star, I paused at one of the landings on the fore or aft stairwells to gaze at a scene from the famed Bayeux Tapestry. Reproductions from this amazing work of art tell one of Europe’s great stories of conquest. It is no coincidence that a major Viking victory is represented as the core artwork on Viking Star, which is based in Bergen, Norway. The …

Read moreCruising Viking Star with lessons on Viking history from the Bayeux Tapestry

Eccentricities and itineraries on new Viking Star, cruising in Europe

Walking in the snow like a Viking A cruise line that will remain nameless used to advertise its ships as opportunities to cruise like a Norwegian. Most people are not sure exactly what that meant. But on the new Viking Star, registered in Norway, passengers may cruise like a Viking — by walking in snow. In its impressive Nordic spa, Viking Star has a snow grotto. Flakes fall and the floor provides a bit of shock to …

Read moreEccentricities and itineraries on new Viking Star, cruising in Europe

Cruising Europe’s seas and ports on the new, sophisticated Viking Star

A new cruise line, starting with a new ship, seldom happens, perhaps once in a decade. Huge obstacles include vision and investment, design and itineraries, marketing and selling to new clients. So, the debut of the Viking Ocean Cruises’ Star Viking is a big deal. That the ship’s home port is in Norway, where much of the modern cruise industry began, but left, is remarkable. The 930-passenger Viking Star, now cruising on itineraries to Northern Europe, the …

Read moreCruising Europe’s seas and ports on the new, sophisticated Viking Star

Truffle hunting in France highlights Bordeaux river cruise

Truffles, the fruit of a fungus, are an acquired taste, which is much easier to acquire than the truffles themselves. These delicacies cost a pretty penny in restaurants, and finding their natural wooded whereabouts, hidden just below the surface of the ground, is a learned and lucrative craft. Searching in the wilds of Europe for free truffles is a highly elusive activity. So, when Viking River Cruises offered truffle hunting as an optional excursion (at about $120) …

Read moreTruffle hunting in France highlights Bordeaux river cruise

Cruising on Bordeaux’s capricious rivers, with wine, of course

When your riverboat cruises past road signs that remind you of high-priced bottles in a fancy wine store, you know you are in France. A week on the 190-passenger Viking Forseti, for instance, begins and ends in Bordeaux, a city in the center of one of the world’s great grape-growing regions. On a voyage last spring, the Forseti floated by Margaux and vineyard-laden fields of villages with names that end in Medoc. One night, we tied up …

Read moreCruising on Bordeaux’s capricious rivers, with wine, of course

CLOSE
CLOSE