Q – Another couple we met at our club wants us to join them for a cruise to Northern Europe aboard the Viking Star boat which I understand is new. You don’t include Viking Cruise Line in your ratings at all and we wonder why? My main question concerns Spa Treatments. I have not cruised before but my friend has and she insists their spa is totally free. Does that sound right?
A – Well we thought we heard Donald Trump say that all shipboard Spa Services will be “terrific and free” if he is elected. But for now – No. But we can see your friend’s confusion.There is an unusual relaxation space in the spa area on the Star that includes a hot and cold area with a heated thalassotherapy pool, a hot tub, a cold ice water plunge, and a Nordic snow grotto with snowflakes falling from the ceiling. The rest of the spa services aboard the Star come at an additional charge as they would on any other ship including those in the luxury category. Spa services are, for purposes of liability, almost always outsourced and come at a hefty charge.
Viking Cruises is owned by the same group that owns Viking River Cruises, a 60+ fleet making them the world’s largest river boat operator. Their new cruise division is still in its infancy and the cruises are not at all inclusive. They are a company on our “Watch List” but there is just not enough empirical evidence to recommend them yet. We will say that there are aspects of their Scandinavian modernism that we just love. If truth be told, we would likely sail the Viking Star just for Mamsen’s, a Norwegian Deli named after the mother of Tor Hagen, the line’s owner.. You can get pea soup here with salmon and other appetizers at no additional charge. Perfect during a windy day in the Baltic.