Mediterranean Voyage Aboard Viking's Newest Ship: Saturn
8 min read
Having never experienced a Viking Ocean product before, I was unsure of what to expect. Because I had sailed on a Viking River ship in 2018, I anticipated excellent service, and I was not disappointed, but I wasn’t sure what to expect with the vessel itself. With its chic Scandinavian design, muted tones and sleek interior décor, I was more than impressed. If you’re looking for snazzy casinos and flashy nightclubs, you won’t find them here. Instead, you can expect to experience an elegant ship that offers delicious food, wonderful entertainment, and outstanding service.
My husband Rob and I eagerly jumped on the opportunity to sail on Viking's newest addition to their Ocean fleet, the Viking Saturn. As it was fresh out of the shipyard, our itinerary was somewhat unique and is often referred to as a "shakedown" cruise. We embarked in Ancona, Italy, and visited Dubrovnik, Croatia; Corfu, Greece; Sicily (Messina), Italy; Naples, Italy; and concluded our journey in Rome, Italy. A similar itinerary can be found on the JOURNEYS TO ANTIQUITIES cruise aboard the Saturn.
Since this specific itinerary is not regularly offered, I want to emphasize the magnificence of the ship. If you have been fortunate enough to sail on Viking Ocean before, then you already know how stunning it is. All their Ocean ships are virtually identical, except for the Orion and Jupiter, which boast a planetarium. This intentional uniformity aims to provide guests with a feeling of being at home, regardless of the chosen itinerary. I must say that this was exactly how we felt. After a fulfilling day exploring the sights and cultures of the countries we visited, it was comforting to return to our "home" on the ship.
Every cabin category on this all-balcony ship is equipped with 24-hour room service, a mini fridge filled with snacks and beverages (replenished daily for Deluxe Veranda and above), a king-size bed, spacious bathrooms with heated floors and so much more. It is worth noting that our balcony provided ample space to savor our morning cup of coffee and enjoy a full breakfast served to us daily, according to our preferences. The point here is that, regardless of the chosen cabin category, comfort is guaranteed throughout your voyage.
Now, let's talk about food. Rob and I had the pleasure of dining in several restaurants on board. The World Café offered a buffet-style option with a wide variety of dishes, including pizza, seafood, sandwiches, pasta and a section dedicated to sweet treats. As we dined, servers were always on hand to replenish our drinks. That said, I highly recommend upgrading to the Silver Beverage Package. You never have to worry about your final bill, but instead enjoy the endless Italian wine being poured anytime you desire (or in my husband’s case, the Norwegian IPAs). You can choose to dine indoors or on the Aquavit Terrace, which is a delightful option on a pleasant day. We also had the opportunity to dine at The Chef's Table, where the menu changes every three days and is left to the chef's creativity. On our visit, we enjoyed an Asian-themed menu. Throughout the meal, a sommelier visited our table multiple times to introduce wines that perfectly complemented each course. Additionally, we tried The Restaurant, which not only offered regional cuisine corresponding to the countries we visited but also featured classic dishes that were consistently available. Lastly, we savored the delights of Manfredi's, an Italian cuisine restaurant. When in Rome, you eat Italian. This turned out to be our favorite meal by far, as the food was absolutely delicious. I do offer a word of caution, be sure to make your reservations in advance, as Manfredi’s and The Chef’s Table tend to fill up quickly.
I would be remised if I didn’t also mention the entertainment. On a couple of evenings, we enjoyed Torshaven. This jazz lounge is perfect for a pre-dinner cocktail or after-dinner entertainment. Rob and I had the best time here listening to a cover band play all sorts of music from the 80s and 90s while enjoying an after-dinner drink.
In summary, my review of the ship and the service is a resounding 5 out of 5. The ship was immaculate, spacious, and exquisitely designed. The service left us wanting for nothing, as we felt pampered throughout the entire trip. I now understand why Viking continuously receives such high praise. And with so many destinations to choose from all over the world, I highly recommend trying Viking Ocean.