What life is like onboard the Viking Sun

Ever arrived home from a holiday wishing it went for just a little (or a lot) longer?

Viking Cruises has formed the perfect solution for eager travellers not scared of committing to the ultimate long-haul, with its 245-day Ultimate World Cruise onboard the Viking Sun. Yes, 245 days.

>> Scroll down to enter a competition to win the cruise of a lifetime!

Viking Sun cruising into Sydney.

VIKING CRUISES

Viking Sun cruising into Sydney.

The eight-month cruise visits six continents, 59 countries and 113 ports with an itinerary that allows guests to explore the most beautiful parts of the world, from the Amazon to the Middle East.

Viking’s Ultimate World Cruise is due to set sail in August later this year, but earlier this year we had the chance to sample life on the ship as it embarked on its 128-day journey from Miami to London.

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Touring to luxury locations like Bora Bora.

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Touring to luxury locations like Bora Bora.

9Honey Travel spoke with passengers onboard the Viking Sun – some of whom have been sailing non-stop since December, 2018 – to get a sense of what you’re really in for when you embark on such an extensive sea journey. This is what they had to say about it.

128 days on the Viking Sun

It’s no secret that 128 days is a bloody long time to be on a boat – enough to scare some travellers away. But when chatting to the world travellers – dubbed ‘Worldies’ by crew – the lengthy trip doesn’t feel like such a chore.

Poolside on the Viking Sun.

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Poolside on the Viking Sun.

“It feels like home,” Karen Koleceski told 9Honey Travel. “How could you ever get sick of home?”

Sounds hard to believe that a ship could ever truly feel like home, but the Viking Sun, comes close.

The nine-deck vessel comes with all the comforts of land, kitted out with restaurants for every kind of diner, bars, free Wi-Fi, an impressive fitness centre, spa, cinema and pool – that’s not even mentioning the on-shore excursions and countless onboard activities.

Your room for possibly several months.

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Your room for possibly several months.

It also helps that the Viking Sun is an all-veranda ship, with a wide variety of staterooms to choose from, each featuring their very own veranda space.

Solo traveller Dietmar Georg is travelling the entire leg from Miami to London, and stressed the importance of finding your own sense of home onboard the ship.

“This is my first cruise longer than one week and my first solo cruise,” said Georg. “For such a long journey you need to be prepared to make the ship – and especially your cabin – your home for four-and-a-half months. That is the only way.”

The Viking Sun in Venice.

VIKING CRUISES

The Viking Sun in Venice.

If 128 days sounds a bit much, you may prefer a capped itinerary – Viking allows guests to select certain legs to cut your journey down to a more suitable length.

“The whole journey was probably too long for us,” said Jean Loussarian from South Carolina, who travelled on the Viking Sun from Chile to Australia. “Our trip was just 32 days.”

Keeping busy at sea

The thing about world cruises is that the distance between ports are lengthy and sea days are inevitable.

Luckily, the ship is designed so guests will never be strapped for something to do with a range of activities on rotation, from fitness classes and bridge walks to history lectures or learning an entirely new skill.

“One of my favourite things on the boat was the enrichment talks,” said traveller Jean Loussarian. “I guess I learned a lot about the history of the areas we were visiting, and the voyages which happened in the same places many years ago.”

Solo traveller Dietmar shared his favourite ways to stay busy on sea days. “I enjoy the nightly get together and dinners with fellow solo travellers,” said Georg. “There’s also my daily gym and sauna routine and friendly team trivia competition.

“Oh, and of course the glorious food in all its variety.”

Choosing the right long-term cruise

There’s a real thirst for world or long-term cruises right now, particularly among the retiree market, with more and more cruise companies crafting extended itineraries to meet growing demand. Of course it goes without saying, when you’re in it for the long-haul it’s important to choose the right one for you.

When Viking launches its 245-day Ultimate World Cruise itinerary later this year, they will officially hold the record for the world’s longest sea journey, a milestone years in the making. And it’s not hard to see why the company have cornered the market in this space.

“We have been on about 20 cruises, and three times with Viking,” said Jean Loussarian. “We have sailed on Princess, Norwegian, Costa, Queen Mary II, NCL, Holland America and Royal Caribbean, but to us, Viking is number one.”

“On other ships you have too many people and children, we like that there are only 930 guests onboard the Viking Sun. Plus, the WiFi and excursions are free – that’s important to us.”

Dietmar saw the itinerary and was sold.  

“Most of all I chose this itinerary because of the 44 scheduled ports and cities, of which I had previously seen only three – Miami, London, Sydney.

“All of South America, New Zealand, Southern and Western Australia, all of Sub-Saharan Africa, French Polynesia, was – is – virgin territory to me.”

And would he do it again? “I would look forward to it.

“There are many, many parts of the world for me to still discover.”

The writer was a guest of Viking Cruises.

This article was originally published on 9Honey Travel and is republished with permission.

WIN THE CRUISE EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME

Enjoy a fully inclusive cruise package for two valued at $16,000 on board the Viking Sun. Sail between New York, Bermuda & the West Indies and experience 7 countries in 15 days. To enter head to stuff.co.nz/vikingcruises


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