On 31st August, Viking® guests embarked on the new Ultimate World Cruise itinerary, a 245-day journey spanning six continents, 51 countries and 111 ports. Sailing from London on Viking’s award-winning 930-guest Viking Sun® , the longest-ever continuous cruise will fully circumnavigate the globe bringing guests to some of the world’s most legendary cities, iconic landmarks and far-flung destinations, before returning to London in May 2020.
In beginning this journey, Viking will attempt to set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD for the “longest continuous passenger cruise;” upon the return of Viking Sunto London next year, an official GUINNESS WORLD RECORD Adjudicator will confirm the successful attempt with a certificate presentation.
“For more than 20 years we have been committed to connecting travelers to culturally immersive experiences that allow them to explore the world in comfort,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “Our Ultimate World Cruise is the most extensive itinerary available in the industry, nearly double the length of our previous world cruise itineraries. I am pleased to offer such a unique experience for our guests.”
Viking’s Ultimate World Cruise offers an eight-month journey, allowing guests to explore Scandinavia, the Caribbean and destinations throughout South America before calling on the remote tropical islands of the South Pacific. Viking Sun will then continue its journey along the coast of Australia and through Asia before returning to the Mediterranean and Europe.
Like all Viking itineraries, Ultimate World Cruise guests will enjoy an included excursion in each port of call and free unlimited Wi-Fi; they also receive Business Class airfare and all gratuities and service fees, along with an extensive list of added-value inclusions in their cruise fare.
The Viking Way of exploration offers additional, optional excursions that provide insight into Local Life, Working World and offer Privileged Access® visits to cultural institutions. Overnight stays in 23 cities allow guests to delve deeper into destinations; and Viking’s Culture Curriculum® offers additional enrichment on board with regional entertainment and lectures, as well as learning opportunities as part of the Viking Resident Historian® program. Full details on the Ultimate World Cruise can be found on Viking’s website here ; highlights include:
- Greenwich: London at Your Door – Dock in the historic Royal Borough of Greenwich, London, which allows guests easy access to the regal capital’s iconic sights, including the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Peak of Brazilian Culture – One of the 23 overnight stays on this itinerary occurs in the historic city of Rio de Janeiro, where guests can witness the larger-than-life Christ the Redeemer statue or relax on the scenic Copacabana and Ipanema beaches of this coastal metropolis.
- Ushuaia, Argentina: “End of the World” – Commonly referred to as the “End of the World,” guests will visit Ushuaia, a city perched on a steep hill on the southernmost tip of South America, and explore its lush scenery through excursions to the nearby Escondido and Fagnano Lakes or the Tierra del Fuego National Park, which was first inhabited by humans 10,000 years ago.
- Hobart, Tasmania: An Island of History and Wilderness — The capitol of Australia’s island state of Tasmania, Hobart offers guests the chance to learn about its aborigine history and explore its unique wilderness area, including Mt. Wellington, which the city is nestled under.
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Vibrant Saigon – This eclectic city, home to a mix of modern skyscrapers, French colonial buildings and ornate palaces, offers a variety of experiences for guests, including the Cu Chi Tunnels, the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Reunification Palace.
- Mumbai, India: The Front Door to India – The bustling city of Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India. While in port, guests can learn about the iconic activist Gandhi at the Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum and visit the Hanging Gardens, one of the prized few parks found in the busy metropolis.
- Luxor, Egypt: Temples and Tombs – The site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, Luxor is dense with historical monuments for guests to explore, including the Temple of Karnak and the Valley of the Kings & Valley of the Queens, which house the tombs of the Pharaohs and their wives.
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.
On board, guests find serene Scandinavian spaces, where every room is both beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light. With the most al fresco dining opportunities whether on the rivers or at sea, featuring regional cuisine and always-available American classics, Viking’s guests can truly dine in their destination.
A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences on shore, on board, and even at home, through premier partnerships such as National Geographic, PBS’ MASTERPIECE, Downton Abbey: The Exhibition and the upcoming new film Downton Abbey from Focus Features and Carnival Films, only in theaters this September.
And only The Viking Way® of exploration provides guests with itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences. Local Life excursions shine a light on everyday activities and include experiences such as Viking Chef-hosted trips to local farmers markets, tea at home with local residents and visits with local schoolchildren.
Working World excursions feature behind-the-scenes “making of” experiences, illuminating destinations through their most famous exports, such as factory and farm visits. Privileged Access excursions include experiences such as a behind-the-scenes tours at Highclere Castle, the “real Downton Abbey;” visiting St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum “behind closed doors;” a private cooking class in a Tuscan castle; an intimate organ concert in the Berlin Cathedral; and an exclusive dinner in the Churchill War Rooms in London.
In addition, Viking offers a compelling value compared to other cruise lines. Every cruise fare includes an outside stateroom, a complimentary shore excursion 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; alternative restaurant dining; free Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service.