TRAVEL ADVENTURES . . .
RE-VISIT VIKING SUN 2021-22
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.Due to the Corona Virus Pandemic cruise dates have been postponed and cruise schedules moved forward. Please check their website for up-to-the-minute information.
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:
NOTE: Due to the CoronaVirus these schedules have changed - Please go to Viking site to review cancelations and changes for 2020-2021.
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 2021-22 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.
Booking Details - Check with Viking for Pandemic Changes.
Pricing for the 2020-2021-2022 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.
Magical Lunch at Hotel Dvorak in the Czech Republic
By Bonnie Carroll
Located next to the Church of St. Vitus which was built in the 14th century with views of Cesky Krumlov Castle, this delightful twenty-two room, four-star hotel in the historical heart of Cesky Krumlov offers access to all the wonderment of this story-book like destination, including the Museum Fotoatelier Seidel. The Castle, governed by the Von Rosenberg family for centuries, is home to forty Renaissance buildings standing on medieval streets overlooking the Vltava River and was designated a UNESCO Heritage site in 1992.
Hotel Dvorak on the Vitava River
The hotel has a rooftop terrace, an amazing river & castle view from the outdoor restaurant. The Cafe and petit bar at the entrance of the hotel provide a twenty-four hour desk clerk who assists guests with dry cleaning, laundry, luggage storage and security of valuables. The lobby bar offers coffee and tea, free newspapers and a computer station for guest use. Rooms vary from standard double to single, family suites, and deluxe double suites. A buffet breakfast is served daily from 7:30 a.m. til 10:00 a.m. and they do offer room service. The charming rooms and suites offer free in-room WiFi and there is a free hotel airport shuttle.
The main city entrance and passage through Cesky Krumlov begins with the castle, featuring amazing views of the seven hector (nearly eighteen acres) property, and leads all visitors to the Church of St. Vitus and the bridge located next to the Hotel Dvorak, where a statue of Saint Martin holding a cross stands to overlook the Vltava river. From this bridge, visitors have an outstanding view of the Castle and Hotel Dvorak, with it's charming and inviting outdoor riverside restaurant. While dining guests may relax over lunch while watching tourists kayaking along the river running through Cesky Krumlov past the Castle.
Cesky Krumlov Castle
Cuisine at the hotel restaurant is authentically delicious and is overflowing with Czech favorites. Cesky Krumlov dishes have Germanic influences and in some instances a bit of Italian, but I found them to be rich and satisfying. The sauerkraut was sweetened with honey and I loved it. I found these dishes to be some of the best I've tasted traveling through five countries in Europe during a recent trip. Menu favorites include roast chicken steak with fresh herbs or with basil sauce, roast pork knuckle with pickled vegetables mustard and horse-radish, roast duck with old Bohemian sauerkraut and home-made dumplings, roast pork ribs on honey, divine soup with home-made breads and my favorite entree was named Gourmet Delicacy Krumlov, a roast pork, and roast sausage with cabbage to be enjoyed with your choice of local beer or wine. Local beer is very popular and Czech wines pair perfectly with the Dvorak lunch plates. The service is outstanding and the ambiance is pure magic.
Delicious Duck Entree with sauerkraut & dumplings
Shopping along the historic cobblestone streets is fascinating and includes everything from a pharmacy serving champagne, to a collection of unique gift shops filled with china, crystal, food products, art and a bevy of Cesky Krumlov souvenier items to take home. Chocolates and "certified regional" gingerbreads are sought after by visitors. Many of the cozy restaurants and tea rooms sit above the river and feature dining on their patio with Castle views.
Food and beverage venues line the streets and include Czech specialty cafes, sausage houses, as well as creperies near parks with beautiful views that create gathering places for tourists to rest, have a picnic, take photos and enjoy the delightful musical entertainment of local musicians. For adventurers who want an especially unique view of the beautiful Bohemian city try the air ballooning rides available to tourists.
The main square features small hotels with bars and a torture museum which was attracting quite a crowd. The local ice cream shop offered huge cones of colorful creams to keep everyone cool as they sat and watched people in front of the square fountain. The Czech Republic and Germany are both known for their fine beers and Budvar Beer is a favorite in Cesky Krumlov, where the Svachovka Spa offers a unique Beer Bath treatment. From October 26 through November 30 the annual wine festival features 300 wineries and begins with St. Martin riding a white horse through the streets in honor of Moravian Vineyards. For 2021 information visit www.festivalvalvinack.cz
By Bonnie Carroll
About Bonnie Carroll
Bonnie Carroll has been a food/travel/lifestyle writer since 1983. She is the founder & publisher of Bonnie Carroll's Life Bites News - www.lifebitesnews.com, does travel and food reporting on KZSB1290 radio, and contributes to a variety of national and international travel/lifestyle publications. Her first children's book C.C. Charles was published in 2002 and she is currently working on a second book. Contact her at email@example.com.