Vikings storm Australia

Last month saw the maiden visit of Viking Cruises’ Viking Sun to Australian shores, providing a key opportunity for the local industry to experience the Viking ocean cruise product. The company pulled out all stops to celebrate the momentous occasion, taking hundreds of agents on board in various ports as well as hosting a sensational industry event at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art — complete with a tribe of Vikings and plenty of Nordic glamour. Viking Sun was undertaking her maiden world cruise from Miami to London, a 141-day sojourn taking in five continents, 35 countries and 64 ports.

Viking Sun carries just over 900 passengers in all-verandah staterooms, with a range of unique features including a glass-backed infinity pool and a spa complete with a Snow Grotto. Highlights of the Viking offering include a complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, unlimited free wi-fi, beverages with onboard lunch and dinner and 24-hour room service.

The visit saw a number of senior Viking executives take part in the celebrations, some visiting Australian shores for the first time, despite the company having had a local office since the mid-2000s. The unique Viking ocean product is seen as resonating strongly with the Australian market, and this is expected to see strong growth locally — and also further drive interest in Viking’s extensive European river cruise offering which comprises more than 60 vessels. Momentum will continue to build throughout this year in the lead-up to the arrival of Viking Orion, the company’s fifth ocean ship which will be homeported in Australasian waters for three months from December this year on a series of trans-Tasman cruises — further evidence of the global cruise industry’s enduring confidence in the strength of the local cruise sector.