Viking Sun sailed into Sydney Harbour on the weekend of 12 February on its 141-day world cruise from Miami to London. Celebrating the line’s first visit to the country in its 20-year history, Viking Cruises hosted over 300 Sydney agent inspections and a glamorous industry event at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Saturday night. By the time the cruise departs Australia on 21 February, over 1200 agents will have inspected their first Viking ocean ship.
More than 150 people, including Signature Media Group Editor & CEO, Cathy Wagstaff, attended the event, where speakers Michelle Black, Managing Director Viking Australia and New Zealand, and the Ambassador of Norway, Her Excellency Ms Unni Kløvstad, addressed media and travel industry attendees. The ship’s captain, Atle Knutsen, also proposed a celebratory toast with Aquavit, a traditional Scandinavian liquor distilled in Norway and matured at sea, crossing over 360 degrees of longitude while circumnavigating the globe.
Viking has long celebrated the heritage of Aquavit, even naming the shipboard al fresco terrace after it. Viking Sun is currently home to six casks of Aquavit which will have crossed the Equator twice by the end of the inaugural world cruise.
Michelle commented: “We have been looking forward to Viking’s debut and this weekend has been a huge success. It was great to celebrate with industry colleagues and say thank you to those that are hugely important to the ongoing success of our business and a fantastic 2017. We really do appreciate their support and loyalty to our brand as we continue to expand our ocean offering and as we begin homeporting from Sydney later this year.”
The 300+ agents that inspected Viking Sun in Sydney were given a tour of the gleaming, all-verandah ship, viewing the serene Scandinavian spaces, Spa with Snow Grotto and the glass-backed infinity pool, which is unique to Viking (as well as a larger pool with a retractable roof for sailing in colder climes). Although the cruise line does not promote its ocean cruises as a traditional luxury product, Signature Media found the clean, sleek, clever design in blues and creams certainly appeals to five-star travellers seeking understated luxury and excellent value. The leather handrail is indicative of the attention to detail, with quality and workmanship lavished on every texture. The bathrooms are extremely large for those at sea, and suites include bathtubs. There is also an age limit of 18 years, and there are no casinos, attractions or formal nights, ensuring each ocean ship in the fleet is a place of serenity.
Richard Marnell, Senior Vice President of Marketing, and Sara Conley, Senior Director, Corporate Communications & Customer Engagement, both from the LA head office, joined media guests over a lunch in one of the onboard restaurants to celebrate Viking’s debut in Australian waters.
Further inspections continued over the week as the ship headed north to Brisbane and Cairns. After uncovering the natural wonders and dynamic cities of Australia, guests on board Viking Sun will depart Darwin on 21 February to set sail to Southeast Asia. When the ship finally arrives in London on 5 May, she will have visited five continents, 35 countries and 64 ports. The ship will again sail the globe during its second 128-day world cruise from Miami to London, departing 3 January 2019.
Viking Orion, the fifth ship to join the award-winning ocean fleet, will begin cruising from Sydney to Auckland in December 2018.