Q – We are looking at several options including the Viking Sky in Europe next summer. After spending countless hours searching for some really helpful information we were led to your site. We are really glad we found you but we can’t figure out why Viking Cruises does not appear at all in your ratings, leading us to assume that, for whatever reason, they do not merit placement in the “Top Ten”. We would love to know your thoughts about this line and why they are notably absent from your ratings given the awards they have won, most recently from Travel + Leisure and Cruise Critic. Given all the advertising they do, we are sure there are others who would like to solve this mystery.
A – You have asked an excellent question. It is not anything sinister – it is just that we have been waiting until we have a sufficient amount of our own, certified, inspection reports to validate placement and a review. We are almost finished with this work and you will shortly see Viking Cruises added to the list of the world’s top ten cruise lineS. We think Viking has an excellent feel for what its core customers want; modern, clean design, some complimentary shore excursions in every port, casual dress, and overnights at the beginning and the end of most itineraries. We also think it represents real value when compared to the five-star inclusive ships. The negatives seem to be that beverages are only included at meals, only one shore excursion is complimentary, and the ships hold close to 1,000 guests. But, quite frankly, we can address the other side of each of those perceived negatives.
Simply adding Viking to the Top Ten List is challenging for several reasons. First, if we place them on the list who do we eliminate? We have to be certain that they offer a better all-around cruise experience than one of the lines currently listed. Our ratings are going to change in the next 24 months for certain. We can assume that The Ritz Carlton cruise line will end up with a superior rating once inspections and our research overseas is completed. What about Virgin Voyages? We would be surprised if they did not merit consideration. Where will Crystal’s new ship products place the line in the ratings? And what of the Cunard liners? If you are in Queen’s Grill Class or above, it would seem that your cruise line is certainly worthy of being included in our list of the World’s Top Ten Rated Cruise Lines.
Finally, the ranking given in reader’s polls in a magazine or by self-professed “critics” with no professional background in the industry or means of comparison can’t be taken too seriously. We do try to get it right and sometimes that is not a quick process. Thanks for your question and your understanding and, from what we are seeing to date, you should go ahead with Viking Cruises without hesitation.