Fodor’s Expert Review

Ship Overview

Viking
Cruise StyleLuxury
Ship SizeMidsize
Prince Range$$$
Sails To

The...candinavia

The Mediterranean and Northern Europe, including Scandinavia
Sails From

The...candinavia

The Mediterranean and Northern Europe, including Scandinavia
Duration8-29 days

The Viking Venus is the sixth ocean ship in the Viking line. It was built in 2021 and debuted the same year, traveling on itineraries through Northern Europe, including Scandinavia, and the Mediterranean. Viking proudly calls itself “The Thinking Person’s Cruise®,” and voyages on Viking Venus emphasize historic landmarks, natural wonders, and immersive onshore experiences with local culture and cuisine. At the end of the day, curious-minded passengers can curl up in cozy onboard libraries curated by London’s Heywood Hill bookshop.Read More

Signature amenities aboard Viking Venus are also found on Viking Venus’s nearly identical sister ships: Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Orion, and Viking Jupiter (with Viking Mars and Viking Neptune sailing onto the scene in 2022). The ship is designed so that all categories of stateroom have private verandas. In the Nordic Spa, guests can experience Scandinavian-style wellness in the Thermal Suite’s steam room, sauna, and frosty Snow Grotto. The resort-worthy Aquavit Terrace offers laid-back outdoor lounging beside a hot tub and infinity pool, and the two-level Explorers’ Lounge has towering glass windows for sea- or star-gazing. Décor on the ship is elegant, soft contemporary, with plenty of wood tones and shades of sea blue, and spaces are enriched with a curated collection of Norwegian art.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Pros
Cons
All staterooms have private verandas
Cruise price includes one shore excursion per port, plus a host of other not-always-standard amenities 
Outdoor amenities include al fresco dining options, pools (including one with a retractable roof), hot tubs, a walking track, and sports deck
No children are allowed (the minimum age is 18)    
Shore excursions sometimes fill up quickly, so registration in advance is essential, and you may not get your first choice  
The ship’s restaurants (six in total) and the spa can be busy during popular times, and advance reservations are strongly suggested

What to expect on board

Staterooms & Cabins

Editor Rating
Cabins
Accessibility

You won’t find any interior staterooms on Viking Venus. All staterooms open onto private verandas for easy fresh-air access. Categories range from the 270-square-foot Veranda Stateroom to the 1,448-square-foot, multi-room, Owner’s Suite, complete with its own ocean-view sauna, 12-seat boardroom, private library, six-guest dining area, and walk-in closet. Guests can also choose a 270-square-foot Deluxe Veranda Stateroom, 338-square-foot Penthouse Veranda Stateroom, or 405-square-foot Penthouse Junior Suite. Two-room Explorer Suites vary in size from 757 to 1,163 square feet, with two TVs, sliding glass doors leading to an extra-large veranda, a four-person dining table and living room, and a bathroom with both a shower and tub. There are no specially designated single-occupancy staterooms.

All stateroom categories feature king-size beds (that can also be configured as two twins), and sleek, modern bathrooms with glass showers, anti-fog mirrors, heated floors, and premium Freyja toiletries. In the closet, guests will find comfy robes, slippers, a safe, and storage drawers. All staterooms provide a seating area with a coffee table, a desk, and mini-bar as well as a 42-inch, flat-screen TV (offering a mix of live TV, in-house programs, and on-demand films), USB ports, both 110- and 220-volt outlets, direct-dial satellite phones, cell service, and free Wi-Fi. Individual climate controls in each stateroom can be adjusted to guests’ preferences.

Guests with a disability that requires special attention must file a Fit to Travel form and letter from a physician when making their cruise reservation. Certain staterooms are designated as wheelchair accessible, and there are two sets of elevators on the ship, although some may have thresholds that hamper accessibility. Viking requires passengers with disabilities to travel with an able-bodied companion as an assistant, and guests must file an Accessibility Form prior to departure if they wish to bring a wheelchair onboard. Wheelchairs cannot exceed a width of 22 inches, and motorized scooters are not allowed.

Food & Drink

Editor Rating
Dining
Bars

All of Viking Venus’s dining options are included in the price of the cruise. House wines, beers, soft drinks, assorted teas, and specialty coffees are also included. For an additional daily fee (paid prior to departure), passengers can opt for a Silver Spirits beverage package with a premium drink selection.

The World Café offers a variety of international foods in a casual setting for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a self-service buffet complemented by circulating waitstaff. Mamsen’s is devoted to Norwegian cuisine, serving waffles, pea soup, and other traditional specialties for breakfast and lunch. The Pool Grill is a low-key lunchtime stop for a burger or salad, and the airy Wintergarden hosts the ship’s afternoon tea, with live classical music accompaniment. The Restaurant is the ship’s main dining venue, serving breakfast and an evening menu featuring both classic dishes and regional culinary specialties inspired by the port of the day. Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant is a popular dinner choice for traditional trattoria fare, and The Kitchen Table is an interactive space used for onboard cooking lessons. The ship’s most sophisticated culinary experience is The Chef’s Table, with multicourse tasting menus and wine pairings based on a theme that changes each night.

The Viking Bar is open from morning until night, transitioning from coffee and breakfast snacks right through to evening cocktails, making it a convenient gathering place for passengers relaxing in the comfort of the adjacent Living Room or three-level Atrium. The Pool Bar offers midday refreshments for guests taking a splash, and the Aquavit Bar serves outdoor drinks on the Aquavit Terrace. The Explorer’s Lounge is a cozy perch for a nightcap, with live guitar or piano music, a fireplace, and sofas draped with soft reindeer hides. Dark and intimate, Torshavn is both a nightclub and a bar, with a vintage jazz club vibe that includes a small stage for late-night performances by the house band.

Entertainment

Editor Rating

Some entertainment options on Viking Venus are just for fun, and others add a dash of destination-education to the mix. The ship’s Star Theater is the main multi-functional entertainment space. It has its own bar, and it can be sub-divided to create two movie theaters in addition to the main auditorium. Classic and contemporary films, always with a connection to the itinerary (such as “Zorba the Greek” or “Grace of Monaco”), are shown in either the Star Theater or on the pool deck. 

The ship’s crew give daily Port Talks, providing historic and cultural background for the next destination, and the ship’s Resident Historian and a small team of academics and storytellers share rollicking Guest Lectures that bring each location to life (these talks are also available for in-room TV viewing). Live variety shows by resident song-and-dance performers are crowd-pleasers devoted to pop icons such as The Beatles and Abba, and guest vocalists sometimes offer solo concerts. For a more contemplative entertainment alternative, Munch Moments is an evening encounter during which the Viking Classical Duo plays traditional Norwegian music as images of paintings by Edvard Munch are projected onto a large screen in the Atrium. 

While these are all free, other special events, such as the occasional cognac tasting or wine tasting, may be enjoyed at an additional cost.

And, for those who just can’t leave work behind, the ship’s Business Center offers computers for guests to use at no extra cost.

Spa & Fitness

Editor Rating

Guests are welcome to use the fitness center or Nordic Spa for no additional charge. Guests will find ellipticals, treadmills, circuit training machines, free weights, stationary bikes, and an open space for yoga or Pilates at the Fitness Center. Some classes and training sessions are available for an extra fee. The Nordic Spa’s Thermal Suite features a pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room, and oh-so-icy Snow Grotto. It’s an invigorating challenge that’s well worth the shiver. A menu of soothing spa treatments — including a Nordic bathing ritual, Swedish mindful massage, and Arctic detox body treatment — are available for an added charge.

A quarter-mile promenade deck encircles level two for guests who feel like walking, and they can play shuffleboard, skittles, and mini-golf on the level nine sports deck.

Key cruising tips

Health & Safety

Viking Venus adheres to a stringent set of COVID protocols. All passengers must be fully vaccinated (with boosters strongly recommended), and they may be asked to provide proof of vaccination prior to embarkation. Viking also recommends, but no longer requires, a pre-departure COVID test for all passengers within three days before traveling. Once on board, face masks are optional, although the ship’s medical team may decide to require them during the cruise, as necessary. On shore excursions, passengers are encouraged, but not required, to wear masks.

The ship’s air purification and filtration processes have been upgraded, and hand sanitizing stations have been added on all decks. Roving sanitization robots treat surfaces in the ship’s public spaces with UV-C light, and staterooms are sanitized each day.

Viking also requires the ship’s crew to be up-to-date with COVID immunization, to wear masks, and to have frequent COVID tests.

Dress Code

Casual dressing (including shorts and jeans) is fine for daytime activities, and “elegant casual” is right for night (including collared shirts and long pants for men; dresses/skirts or pants for women). The exception to that rule is the World Café, where casual dress is acceptable all day and evening. Wearing swimwear and exercise gear is discouraged unless passengers are in the fitness center, sports deck, or pool areas. For shore excursions, Viking advises passengers to be mindful of local customs regarding modesty that may prohibit entry to some religious sites for clothing choices such as bare shoulders for women or shorts for men.

Junior Cruisers

Passengers under the age of 18 are not allowed on Viking cruises.

Service

The service aboard Viking Venus is attentive, professional, and friendly. Don’t be surprised if bartenders remember your favorite drink and staff in various locations can recall your name in the space of a day. All cabin levels include dedicated stateroom stewards and twice-daily housekeeping services, with a carafe of purified water that’s replenished daily (some cabin levels also include daily mini-bar restocking).

Viking also offers a Viking Service Guarantee ensuring a 24-hour resolution or full refund for guests who register their dissatisfaction with Viking’s service within the first 24 hours after checking in for their cruise.

Tipping

Viking automatically adds a $15 US charge per day to the shipboard account of each passenger for tips that are divided between the stateroom stewards, buffet and galley workers, waiters, and laundry staff. Guests can also choose to pre-pay gratuities at a standard recommended rate prior to embarkation. A 15% gratuity is also automatically added to bar and deck service tabs. Passengers may choose to provide extra cash tips for local drivers and tour guides at the end of each shore excursion.

QUICK FACTS

SHIP STATS
Entered Service
2021
Number of Cabins
465
Passenger Capacity
930
Crew Members
458
Passengers to Crew Ratio
2.03
Gross Tons
47800
Width
94.5 feet
Length
745 feet

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