TRAVEL ADVENTURES . . .
VIKING ANNOUNCES NEWEST WORLD CRUISE
New 161-Day Voyage Visits Six Continents and 75 Ports, Including Viking’s First-Ever Call on Hawaii
Viking® (www.vikingcruises.com) today announced its new 2020-2021 Viking World Cruise, which will span 161 days, six continents and 75 ports, with overnight stays in 13 cities. Setting sail on December 14, 2020 from Miami, the itinerary will include six new ports of call for Viking, including Honolulu and Nawiliwili, marking the company’s inaugural visit to the Hawaiian Islands.
Sailing on Viking’s award-winning 930-guest all-veranda Viking Sun®, this grand voyage will allow guests to explore islands of the Caribbean and the South Pacific; call upon ports in Asia, from Hong Kong to Bangkok; explore countries of the Middle East, including Oman, Jordan, Egypt and Israel; and sail through the Mediterranean before concluding in London. Guests can also choose a shorter, 140-day segment of the sailing, 2021 Viking World Discoveries, which departs from Los Angeles in January 4, 2021, and visits 27 countries and 66 ports.
Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking
“With the announcement of our newest World Cruise, we remain firm in our commitment to offer travelers the most immersive and culturally enriching itineraries available,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “We are a destination-focused travel company, and it has always been our priority to help our guests connect to the destination. It is evident in everything we do – it is why we offer an included excursion in every port; why we have the most extensive Resident Historian program in the industry; and why our ships are smaller to bring travelers to more intimate ports.”
2020-2021 Viking World Cruise Highlights:
Viking’s newest World Cruise itinerary visits dozens of the world’s preeminent cities in one seamless itinerary. Overnight stays in 13 cities allow World Cruise guests to delve deeper into the destination, and Viking’s Culture Curriculum® offers additional enrichment through onboard lectures and entertainment – such as Viking’s Resident Historian® program, which provides guests with a high-level historical and cultural education specific to their journey. Guests will immerse themselves in the world’s rich cultures during included excursions that provide unmatched insight into daily life, as well as Privileged Access® visits to cultural institutions.
Highlights of the new 2020-2021 Viking World Cruise itinerary include:
- Oahu (Honolulu), Hawaii (NEW): The Heart of Hawaii: Guests can enjoy everything from historic landmarks to world-class shopping on the island of Oahu. Soak up the sun along Waikiki Beach’s pristine beaches or visit Pearl Harbor to see where the tragic events of December 7, 1941 unfolded.
- Kauai (Nawiliwili), Hawaii (NEW): The Garden Island: Nicknamed Hawaii’s “Garden Island,” guests will explore the lush vegetation and wildflowers of tropical Kauai while in port. Visit the Na Āina Kai Botanical Gardens & Sculpture Park, an infusion of beautiful flora and art and home to one of the largest collections of bronze sculptures in the U.S., or follow the footsteps of Captain James Cook, the British explorer credited with the first recorded European contact with the Hawaiian Islands.
- Moorea (Opunohu Bay), French Polynesia (NEW): Paradise in the Tropics: This tropical island is famed for its unprecedented beauty and its cuisine is as colorful as its landscape, drawing on influences from both European and Chinese settlers. Guests can take in this idyllic paradise from the water onboard a catamaran or immerse themselves in Polynesian traditions and customs by engaging with locals.
- Hue (Chan May), Vietnam (NEW): Palaces and Temples: Discover the ancient Imperial City of Hue, a rich repository of palaces and temples and seat of the Nguyen Dynasty for 150 years. Guests can experience the locals’ morning trading activities during a visit to a traditional food market or explore the crumbling stone walls of the citadel, which holds stories of long-fought battles.
- Sydney, Australia: Iconic Harbor: Guests will sail into Sydney’s magnificent harbor, the world’s largest, and enjoy an overnight stay allowing ample time to explore this culture-rich city. Guests can enjoy an insider’s view of Australia’s world-class opera house or experience the natural wonders of the nearby Blue Mountains.
- Mumbai, India: A City of Old and New: Formerly Bombay, the bustling city of Mumbai is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India. While in port, guests can learn about the iconic activist Gandhi or enjoy the Hanging Gardens, one of the prized few parks found in the city.
- Istanbul, Turkey: Where East Meets West: An overnight stay in Istanbul gives guests more time to experience this historic city that straddles two continents across the Bosporus Strait. Explore a wealth of religious sites such as the spectacular Blue Mosque or the legendary Hagia Sophia, or sample delicious fusion cuisine, combining fresh Mediterranean fare with spices from the Far East and Asia.
- London (Greenwich), England: The Royal Borough: Guests will end their sailing in the historic Royal Borough of Greenwich, London on the Thames River, allowing easy access to the regal capital’s iconic sights, including the Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Viking’s ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, with 465 staterooms that can host 930 guests. Viking Sun is part of Viking’s award-winning ocean fleet of sister ships, which also includes Viking Star®, Viking Sea®, Viking Sky® and Viking Orion®. Viking’s sixth ocean ship, Viking Jupiter®, is scheduled for delivery in February 2019. Classified by Cruise Critic as “small ships,” Viking’s ocean fleet features modern Scandinavian design with elegant touches, intimate spaces and attention to detail. Highlights include:
- All Veranda Staterooms: Guests can choose from five stateroom categories, starting from 270 sq. ft. Veranda Staterooms, all with private verandas, sweeping views of the destination and premium amenities that include king-size beds with luxury linens, generously proportioned closets, large interactive flat-screen LCD TVs with movies-on-demand, free Wi-Fi and award-winning bathrooms with large showers, premium Freyja® bath products and heated floors.
- Explorer Suites: The ships feature 14 Explorer Suites, which are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,163 sq. ft. With expansive views from wraparound private verandas, as well as the most amenities and privileges of any category on board, Explorer Suites offer the ultimate sanctuary for World Cruise guests.
- Two Pool Choices: In addition to the Main Pool with a retractable roof permitting any-season swimming, the ships feature a first-of-its-kind glass-backed Infinity Pool cantilevered off the stern, allowing guests to swim surrounded by their destination.
- LivNordic Spa: In keeping with Viking’s Nordic heritage, The Spa on board is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind—from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a Snow Grotto where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air. Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 named it one of the “5 best cruise ship spas.”
- Explorers’ Lounge and Mamsen’s: Share a cocktail with friends. Linger over a Norwegian breakfast and a nautical history book. The Explorers’ Lounge and Mamsen’s gourmet deli are thoughtful spaces located at the bow of the ship and designed to represent the Scandinavian spirit for complete relaxation and for marveling at sweeping views through double-height windows.
- The Wintergarden: Guests looking for serenity will find it in the Wintergarden. In this elegant space under a canopy of Scandinavian trellised wood, guests can indulge in afternoon tea service.
- Dining Choices: Viking’s ships offer eight dining options, all with no additional charge or fee—from fine dining in The Restaurant, which serves three full meals and a variety of culinary options, and the World Café, which features international fare and regional specialties including a sushi and seafood cold bar—to intimate alternative dining experiences at The Chef’s Table, which offers a multi-course tasting menu with wine pairings, and Manfredi’s, which features freshly prepared pastas and Italian favorites. The Pool Grill specializes in gourmet burgers, while afternoon tea and scones are available in the Wintergarden. Mamsen’s serves Norwegian deli-style fare, and complimentary 24-hour room service allows all guests to enjoy many signature dishes in the comfort of their stateroom. Furthermore, with multiple choices for outdoor seating during meals, Viking’s ocean ships offer the most al fresco dining at sea. Additionally, The Kitchen Table specializes in regional dishes from market to table.
- Cultural Enrichment: Viking experiences from ship to shore are designed for unparalleled access and cultural enrichment. Viking Resident Historians deliver high-level historical and cultural education specific to the journey, offering invaluable insight in to the rich history of the destination. Guest Lecturers who are experts in their fields shed light on the destination’s art, architecture, music, geopolitics, natural world and more. Destination Performances represent the most iconic cultural performing arts of the region—whether it be Italian opera or Portuguese fado. Resident Classical Musicians—pianists, guitarists, violinists and flautists—perform classical compositions throughout the ships. And Culinary Classes in The Kitchen Table, Viking’s onboard cooking school, focus on regional cuisine.
- Nordic Inspiration: Even the smallest details take their inspiration from the exploratory spirit of the original Vikings, reflecting deeply held Nordic traditions. Light wood grains, touches of slate and teak, Swedish limestone and fragrant juniper appear throughout the public spaces and Spa. The Clinker-built design of the Viking Bar mirrors the construction style of the original Viking Longships. A Viking Heritage Center provides history and context from the Viking Age. And characters from Norse Mythology are subtly incorporated into the design, providing curious guests with inspiration to further explore Viking’s Nordic heritage.
- Sustainable Features: Designed to be environmentally friendly, Viking’s ships feature energy-efficient hybrid engines, hydro-dynamically optimized streamlined hull and bow for maximum fuel efficiency and equipment that reduces exhaust pollution and meets the strictest worldwide environmental regulations.
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 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 and on board. And only The Viking Way® of exploration provides guests with itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences.
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; alternative restaurant dining; free Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service.
Pricing for the 2020-2021 Viking World Cruise starts at $59,995 per person and 2021 Viking World Discoveries starts at $52,995 per person, based on double-occupancy. Both of Viking’s new world cruise itineraries include Business Class international air, transfers to and from the ship, all gratuities and service fees, complimentary visa services, the Silver Spirits Beverage Package, and free luggage shipping services for embarkation. Guests who book between now and December 31, 2019 will receive an additional $2,000 per person in shore excursion credit for any optional land programs and $1,000 per person in shipboard credit which can be used toward optional tours, spa services, onboard shops and beverages. Viking Explorer Society members who book the 2020-2021 Viking World Cruise or 2021 Viking World Discoveries through December 31, 2019 will receive an additional $1,000 in shipboard credit per person.
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 three years of operation, Viking has been rated the #1 ocean cruise line in Travel + Leisure’s 2016, 2017 and 2018 “World’s Best” Awards. Viking operates a fleet of 78 vessels (in 2019), 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.
Come celebrate Canadian winter fun during Winterlude in Canada’s capital region, February 1 to 18, 2019! This year, you’ll find your iconic festival favourites, as well as new experiences and locations. As always, you’ll be able to marvel at the sculptures created during the International Ice Carving Competition, skate on the world-famous Rideau Canal Skateway, and go crazy at Snowflake Kingdom. But many more indoor and outdoor activities await, all highlighting Canada’s cultural, artistic and culinary diversity!
Most festival activities are free and take place in the urban Ottawa-Gatineau region during the first three weekends of February (including Family Day, Monday, Feb. 18). Here’s your guide to the main festival sites in 2019.
Rideau Canal Skateway: epic skating memories
Grab your skates or rent a pair and glide along the Rideau Canal Skateway – the world’s largest naturally frozen ice skating rink. This 7.8 kilometre (4.8 mile) UNESCO World Heritage Site conveniently winds through downtown Ottawa within walking distance of most hotels! The Skateway is weather dependent, but when it’s open to skating, it’s free day and night! To check the status and see current ice conditions, visit the Rideau Canal Skateway website. If the Skateway is closed, don’t despair! There are many other places to ice skate in Ottawa.
During Winterlude, special programming is offered at sites on or near the Skateway, including these two big events:
- Winterlude Triathlon:On Feb. 3, cheer on brave athletes who skate, ski and run at Dows Lake.
- Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival: On Feb. 8, dragon boats outfitted with special blades race down the frozen Rideau Canal Skateway at Dows Lake.
Jacques Cartier Park: giant winter playground
During Winterlude, Jacques Cartier Park in downtown Gatineau – just across the Alexandra Bridge from downtown Ottawa – becomes a giant winter wonderland for all ages. Snowflake Kingdom is packed with fun activities, including:
- Snow slides
- Skiing and snowboarding lessons
- Kiddie Zone for toddlers
- Lacrosse lessons and demos
- Zip line
- Snow sculptures
Programming is offered during the week (though usually closed for maintenance Tuesday and Wednesday) and on weekends.
The Winterlude mascots – the Ice Hogs family – are reputed to live in Snowflake Kingdom where they love to play in the snow and meet families. Give them a hug when you see them! (They also like to visit the other official Winterlude sites.)
The ByWard Market neighbourhood: fancy ice, comfort food and cool art
Within strolling distance of Parliament Hill and the Rideau Canal Skateway is the historic ByWard Market district – a popular daytime and nighttime destination with boutiques, restaurants and bars all packed into a four-block square area.
As a new Winterlude site in 2019, this vibrant area will be the hub for a variety of programming, including:
- 32nd Tim Hortons Crystal Garden International Ice Carving Competition: Watch professional ice carvers from around the world as they create dazzling ice sculptures.
- Guided ByWard Market Walking Tours: Join a free walking tour for insight into the area’s rich history.
- Taste of the ByWard Market – Winter Warm-up Edition and Maple Lover’s Tour: Enjoy local treats during one of C’est Bon Cooking’s gourmet food tours.
- ByWard Market 28th Annual Winterlude Stew Cook-Off: At lunchtime on Feb. 8., fill up on delicious hot stews while supporting local charities.
- 39th Accora Village Bed Race for Kiwanis: In the early afternoon of Feb. 16, watch 50 costumed teams race modified beds down York Street for charity.
- Chimes – Interactive Light & Sound Installation: Activate a set of 30 illuminated tubes and eight loudspeakers.
Sparks Street: pedestrian pride
Just one block south of Parliament Hill, Sparks Street is a historic and pedestrian gathering place for events in Ottawa.
This new Winterlude site blends family fun with programming that hightlights cultural diversity, like the first-ever winter edition of Capital Pride which will celebrate the LGBTQ2+ community. Most programming takes place during the last two weekends of Winterlude and includes these highlights:
- Ice-Cade: Try classic carnival games with a winter twist and enjoy warm beverages.
- Ice Cabaret featuring Mado: Join Montréal’s most famous drag queen as well as Capital Tease Burlesque and DJs for performances on the evening of Feb. 8.
- Saturday Night Divas: Enjoy entertainment by drag performers from Toronto and the Ottawa region on the evening of Feb. 9.
- Standing Up, Standing Out: This photo exhibit commemorates the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada.
- Bank of Canada Museum: Enjoy special programming and activities at this free museum located on Sparks Street.
Downtown Rideau: arts and culture
Located between big attractions like Parliament Hill and the ByWard Market district, the Downtown Rideau area is a prime spot for shopping, arts and entertainment.
When it’s time to get cultured, consider this new Winterlude site which features lots of indoor as well as outdoor programming. Consider these highlights:
- Culture Walk: Explore the area by taking a free, self-guided walking tour.
- Bytown Museum: Ottawa’s local history museum is hosting special events like trivia and ice carving demonstrations.
- National Arts Centre (NAC): Enjoy theatre, music and dance performances for all ages throughout the year and during Winterlude, including the Big Bang Festival for ages 5 to 12 (Feb 17-18).
- Ottawa Art Gallery: Drop in and take part in creative art activities for all ages.
The Glebe: snow, beer and food
The Glebe neighbourhood has a welcoming mix of historic homes, a village-like main street, as well as entertainment venues. Plus, it’s conveniently located just south of downtown Ottawa and along the Rideau Canal Skateway!
Winterlude festivities in this area include:
- Snowmania: Stroll along the Glebe’s section of Bank Street to see snowmen of all kinds.
- Ottawa Farmer’s Winter Market: Discover the products made and harvested by local farmers and artisans at this weekly Sunday market at Lansdowne.
- Winter Brewfest: Taste beers and other craft beverages from Ontario and Quebec at this popular annual event inside the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne (Feb. 15-16).
- Unikkaaqtuarniq: Stories from the North: Indigenous filmmaking from the Arctic is projected in a theatre made of snow at Lansdowne Park (Feb 1-3).
Additional programming throughout Ottawa
There is tons more fun to be had throughout the city as Winterlude partners host events and activities throughout the festival, such as a Winterlude pow wow at the Canadian Museum of History (Feb. 3), the annual Winter Celebration at Rideau Hall (Feb. 9), and special spy activities at the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum each weekend.
For more information about all of the events mentioned above, see the full schedule on the official Winterlude website.
Free bus shuttle between official sites
The free OLG Sno-Bus provided by OC Transpo and the Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) are a great way to get between official Winterlude sites on weekends and on a Family Day (Feb. 18).
Special services on the Rideau Canal Skateway include: ramps to access the Skateway, accessible heated change facilities and accessible portable toilets.
A limited number of accessible parking spots are available for people with disabilities at these paid parking lots:
- National Arts Centre (NAC)
- Ottawa City Hall
- Dows Lake parking (corner of Preston Street and Prince of Wales)
- Bronson Avenue’s National Capital Commission parking space
Not sure what to bring to Ottawa to make the most of your Winterlude experience? Consult our handy Winterlude Packing Guide.