Viking Line's Viking Grace: ten years young

Johan Nordberg discusses renovations carried out during a three-week project 

Viking Line's Viking Grace: ten years young

Viking Line

Modified playroom equipment, supplied by Lappset and Tygroup, will improve the experience for young guests onboard Viking Grace

By Alice Chambers |

Viking Line prides itself on designing and operating ferries that are made to last, so it only needed to carry out minimal interior upgrades when it completed a three-week renovation project on the 10-year-old Viking Grace in February 2023.  

“In general, no new design concepts were brought onto Viking Grace,” says Johan Nordberg, senior architect at Viking Line, discussing the project, which was carried out in Odense, Denmark. “However, we have introduced a new self-service payment system in the tax-free shopping area and a new service counter in the Oscar restaurant to help improve the onboard buffet service for passengers.” 

The new service counter in Oscar allows kitchen and bar staff to easily display seasonal food and drinks, which reflect the destinations Viking Grace travels to and from. “The modification also means the process for ordering and paying for food is smoother,” says Nordberg. “All this added benefit, and the look of the area is still the same as before, with the general colour scheme and feel of the restaurant reflected in the new service counter. As most of the work carried out onboard Viking Grace has been relatively small, I think the new service counter in Oscar will deliver the biggest wow.”  

Modified bar counters from Scan Marine have also been added to the other onboard restaurant, Frank’s, which is an open-kitchen dining concept. “The new play equipment in the children’s playrooms will improve the experience for our young guests, too,” adds Nordberg. “After all, happy kids mean happy parents!” 

The modified playroom equipment, supplied by Lappset and Toygroup, allows children to climb, swing and take part in sport activities like hula hooping during long sailings. “The bright colours and new door from the deck 11 arcade makes the playroom much more inviting and accessible,” says Nordberg.  

According to Nordberg, Viking Line decided which elements of the ship to refit after seeking feedback from customers. “Our crew has been collecting feedback from our guests on our interiors,” he says.  

Nordberg opted to accentuate the original design onboard Viking Grace during the renovations. For example, the brand kept to a similar colour scheme when choosing new carpets for all cabin corridors, the aft stairway, Frank’s, the lower level of the nightclub, and in the arcades on decks nine, 10 and 11. They were designed and supplied by Ege Taepper and Tarkett, and installed by Wall-to-wall. Meanwhile, Kerabit Pinta supplied new decking for the spa area, and new vinyl flooring was installed inside the 28 cabins dedicated to guests travelling with pets.  

The old carpets were taken by Tarkett for reuse. “This is something we’ve done for several years,” says Nordberg, noting that reducing waste is part of Viking Line’s sustainability commitment. “We also keep old furniture in our interior store to repurpose and reuse onboard our ships. This way of working was my idea to save on cost and reduce waste.” For example, Viking Line has reupholstered chairs using old velour fabrics on Viking Grace that were bought 25 years ago. “Now, the colours are trendy again,” says Nordberg. “The quality of these fabrics is outstanding and the designs are fun. It goes to show how sustainable interior design practices bring huge benefits for ferry operators!” 

This article was first published in the 2023 issue of Cruise & Ferry Interiors. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe to Cruise & Ferry Interiors for FREE here to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox or your door.

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