Viking Cruises continues to make waves and now it is on the high seas with its new Viking Ocean Cruises ships. The company’s mission is simple: luxury level cruise travel offered at an astounding value.
At first glance, Viking cruises aboard the new Viking Star and Viking Sea are approaching luxury pricing, and certainly quality, but when one considers the breadth of inclusions, the per diem breakdown puts it much closer in line to lower premium level cruise costs. Inclusions start with the usual meals and basic drinks but extend well beyond to alternative restaurants; 24-hour specialty coffees, teas and room service; wine, beer and soft drinks during lunch and dinner; self-service laundry (full-service for suites); Wi-Fi internet and one shore excursion in every port. The latter two are usually only included with the upper echelon of cruising.
Even all port charges and government taxes are bundled in, and the spa and fitness center facilities are also free of charge. Only treatments cost extra. Otherwise, the ships fantastic thermal suite, therapy pools, snow room, steam room and sauna are available gratis.
Perhaps the biggest factor is how the it compares to upscale cruise lines like Azamara Club Cruises and Oceania Cruises. Viking Ocean Cruises already has two brand new ships sailing, with another four scheduled through 2020. Viking ships with fresh amenities such as all-veranda accommodations and more spacious showers.
Viking Cruises founder and chairman Torstein Hagen said, The thing that differentiates ourselves from competitors is what incredible value we are. Its not immediately obvious to everybody because so much is included in what we offer.
They really defies categorization, sitting somewhere between upscale and luxury companies at premium line prices. In reality, Viking is defining its own version of luxury that is more casual and homey. Viking is wise to avoid classifying itself as a luxury line, however, realizing that luxury means different things to different people. Of course, the service standards onboard are so high though that guests feel greatly pampered regardless.
The bottom line is consumers need to look, well, beyond the bottom line, to recognize the Viking value found in its remarkable inclusions, hardware and software alike.
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