Crossing the Tasman aboard Viking Orion

Taking the scenic route to New Zealand via Tasmania

Main Pool, Viking ocean ship

Since launching its first ocean ship in 2015, Viking has amassed an impressive array of prestigious awards in just a short space of time, and if you want to see why they’ve notched up so many accolades, try one of their luxury cruises close to home.

LATTE did just that, boarding the Viking Orion for a 15-day Sydney to Auckland voyage. No, not across the ditch, Orion headed south taking a very scenic route past Victoria’s Gippsland coast stopping at vibrant Melbourne. From there it was across Bass Strait and a day in historic Hobart. Guests took excursions to Port Arthur, the best preserved penal colony and visited wineries to sip some fine Tasmania wines.

Orion then embarked for Dunedin, a two-day crossing of the Tasman Sea which gave the 800-plus passengers a chance to explore the ship and relax and unwind on lounge chairs by the pool, or grab a book from the extensive library and find a quiet nook to read or take a nap.

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The first thing you notice about Viking Orion is that it’s adults only. There are no kids, no casinos and it’s very quiet and uncrowded on board. Even the lifts arrive empty most of the time.

Everywhere you look there’s Scandinavian understated elegance, in the all-veranda Staterooms as well. There’s a King bed with lots of storage. Suitcases can fit under the bed. Bathrooms are spacious and beautiful. The shower is big and your tootsies will love the heated floor and fog-free mirror.

Viking ships are renowned for their exceptional cuisine which can be found in the eight dining venues. There are two specialty restaurants definitely recommended – Manfredi’s for classic Italian fare and The Chef’s Table. Best of all, there’s no extra charge at both. For breakfast and lunch, head to the World Cafe on deck 7. The selections here are bountiful.

Living Room seating area, Viking ocean ship

Not to be missed is the Planetarium which seats 26 in a dome theatre linked to the ship’s telescope and shows vivid 3D programs.

LATTE‘s still got a few more days on Orion as the ship continues its journey along New Zealand’s east coast with some exciting ports-of-call. Stay tuned.

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