I began my journey where the Age of Discoveries blossomed, in Portugal’s capital of Lisbon. The Time Out Market Place is definitely a must for local and travellers alike! Here there is an array of local cuisine on offer. I also explored the Scenic towns of Sintra and Casscais where the old world meets the new during a stunning day trip.Our Transatlantic Crossing then began on board the impeccable Viking Sun. Following Columbus’s journey across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492, countless explorers set sail for the New World. We first enjoyed two days on board the beautiful Viking Sun, taking in all the wide-open spaces on board, dining on some exquisite cuisine and enjoying some on-board lectures and entertainment before reaching the emerald-hued Azores.
Here we enjoyed our included excursion with our guide to the western reaches of São Miguel, renowned for the many shades of green that drape its countryside and mountains. Heading up the slopes of the Sete Cidades massif, once a soaring volcano until an eruption in the 1440s blew off its summit. Pause at the Vista do Rei, the “view of kings,” this crater, formed by the long-ago eruption, is today home to a trio of dark green-blue lakes, lush vegetation and the tiny village of Sete Cidades. We then continued on to another volcanic crater to marvel at a deep-green lake, Lagoa de Santiago.
Next up, we indulged in our ship’s cultural offerings as mid-Atlantic waters unfurl before you. During the next four sea days we were able to really take advantage of this beautiful Ships offering. Taking in a Traditional Nordic Spa Night, where we enjoyed both the sauna and snow-grotto the traditional Norwegian way. We also learnt all about each facet of the Ship and the way all staff on-board work to keep this well-oiled machine sailing smoothly. We also enjoyed Norwegian Waffles in Mamsen’s and of course High Tea in the Picturesque Winter Garden. There was never a shortage of activities and enrichments programs available on board, or you could simple take a dip in the infinity pool off the bow of the Ship and watch the World go by!
Take in the pastel shades of British-flavoured Bermuda. Here we docked in the heart of Hamilton, the capital and cultural centre of the British Territory of Bermuda. Breathtaking pink-sand beaches and a distinct English ambience greet you at every turn as you walk the pastel-hued streets, tour the historic town of St. George, the longest continuously inhabited English settlement in the New World.
We then relaxed on board for a few days before the crossing concluded in Miami, Florida. Miami boasts sea-kissed breezes, lively and varied cultures, and a fresh, modern cuisine. Here in Miami I took a food tour where the delectable Cuban cuisine we sampled during our walking tour of Miami Beach matched perfectly with South Beach lively Cuban-American culture and the vibrant art deco architecture. I finished my time with a quick day trip to the famous Everglades and I couldn’t go past a Cuban empanada and cerveza in Little Havana to wrap up my trip!
Viking Ocean Cruises far surpassed my expectations and I believe they are a Cruise Line like no other with their focus on YOUR experiences. The offerings of stunning food, wine, wellness experiences, enrichment programs and lectures and captivating entertainers. As well as the abundance of comfortable areas dotted throughout the ship for passengers to stop and relax where ever they like. The no casino and no children policy are definitely key to the Ships enticement. I can honestly say I will be cruising on board a Viking Ocean Ship sooner rather than later!
Personal TravelManager – Anna Bay