Launching in 2019, “In Search of the Northern Lights” is the First Winter Arctic Circle Route from a U.S. Cruise Line
June 28, 2017 – Viking Cruises® (www.vikingcruises.com) today announced a new ocean cruise itinerary that will allow guests the rare opportunity to explore the far north in Norway’s winter, during a peak period for aurora borealis sightings. Sailing between London and Bergen starting in January 2019, In Search of the Northern Lights will establish Viking as the first U.S. cruise line to offer a full-length itinerary in the Arctic Circle in the winter season.
“Our Nordic heritage is evident in all that we do, from our spirit of exploration to the serene, understated elegance of our ships. Scandinavia is Viking territory, and no other cruise line can show guests this part of the world like we can,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. “Norway’s landscapes in the winter are truly magnificent, something few North Americans get to witness. I am pleased to offer this exclusive opportunity for our guests to explore my homeland.”
Sailing on Viking’s third 930-guest ocean ship, Viking Sky®, guests will experience Norway’s pristine beauty and dramatic snow-dusted wilderness, with a chance each day to stargaze and scan the dark skies for the northern lights. On the 13-day itinerary, guests will be able to immerse themselves in the rich culture of northern Europe, visiting seven destinations – with overnights in Tromsø, Alta and Bergen, Norway, and a complimentary excursion in each port. Highlights of the new In Search of the Northern Lights itinerary include:
- Experience the Northern Lights in Alta: Home to some of northern Europe’s most magnificent natural beauty, Alta’s frequent clear skies make it an ideal place to view the luminous aurora borealis during the height of the viewing season.
- Experience Nordic Life with the Sami Community of Máze: While in Alta, visit the nearby native Sami community of Máze for an authentic lunch of local dishes and an exciting ride in a reindeer-drawn sleigh.
- Visit the Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø: Home to the largest concentration of wooden houses in northern Norwaydating back to 1904, marvel at the classic architecture contrasted with modern buildings, including the Arctic Cathedral, a stunning triangular building in white and icy blue often called the “Opera House of Norway” for its resemblance to the Sydney Opera House.
- Step into the Viking Age in Stavanger: Visit the Archaeological Museum, where a host in traditional Viking dress will demonstrate essential tools and artifacts of the time period, then stop at the Swords in Stone monument commemorating the Battle of Hafrsfjord in 872.
- Ascent of Mt. Ulriken in Bergen: A panoramic tour of Bergen takes you to the beautifully preserved wharf of Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was central to Bergen’s role in the Hanseatic League. Afterwards, embark on a gondola ride for a scenic ascent to Mt. Ulriken, the highest of Bergen’s famous Seven Mountains.
The Viking Difference
Designed for discerning travelers with interests in history, art, music and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests “the thinking person’s cruise” as an alternative to mainstream cruises. Ships are small to get guests closer to their destination, with more time in port and more overnights. Onboard, guests find serene Scandinavian spaces, where every room is beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light. All-veranda ships mean that guests experience every day with a new, expansive vista. With the most al fresco dining at sea, featuring regional cuisines and always-available American classics, Viking’s guests can truly dine in their destination. A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences onshore and onboard. And only The Viking Way brings guests itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences.
In addition, Viking Inclusive Value provides a small ship experience at a big ship value and no nickel-and-diming – with every cruise fare including a veranda stateroom, shore excursions in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including: beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; premium dining reservations; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service—an included value of more than $200 per person, per day for an average cruise.
Pricing for Viking’s new In the Search of the Northern Lights cruise starts at $4,999 per person. From now through June 30, 2017, Viking is offering U.S. residents an Early Booking Discount on the itinerary, with 2-for-1 cruise fare and $500 off international air. Call Viking toll free at 1-855-8-VIKING (1-855-884-5464) or contact a travel agent.
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About Viking Cruises
Viking Cruises was founded by Chairman Torstein Hagen in 1997 with the purchase of four ships in Russia. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017, Viking is the leader in river and small ship ocean cruising, offering destination-focused itineraries designed for experienced travelers who have an interest in geography, culture and history. In its first year of operation, Viking Ocean Cruises was rated the #1 ocean cruise line in Travel + Leisure’s 2016 “World’s Best” Awards, which came on the heels of being rated the highest of all cruise lines in the 2015 “World’s Best” Awards. Viking currently operates a fleet of 62 vessels, offering scenic cruising on rivers and oceans around the world. By 2022 the company will operate eight 930-guest ocean cruise ships and will be the largest small ship ocean cruise line. In addition to the Travel + Leisure honors, Viking has also been honored multiple times on Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” as well as recognized by Cruise Critic as “Best Overall” Small-Mid size ship in the 2017 Cruisers’ Choice Awards, “Best River Cruise Line” and “Best River Itineraries,” with the entire Viking Longships® fleet being named “Best New River Ships” in the website’s Editors’ Picks Awards. For additional information, contact Viking Cruises at 1-855-8-VIKING (1-855-884-5464) or visit www.vikingcruises.com.