Why Viking is heading northwards for Viking Saturn’s maiden season

Wendy Atkin-Smith reveals why Viking UK has chosen to create three new Iceland-based itineraries for its latest ship

Why Viking is heading northwards for Viking Saturn’s maiden season
Viking’s newest itineraries will explore places such as Iceland, Norway and Greenland

Viking’s upcoming vessel, Viking Saturn, is scheduled to debut in April 2023 with a maiden season in the Mediterranean and around Northern Europe.

As an identical sister ship to the cruise line’s eight other ocean vessels, the ship will host 930 guests across its 465 staterooms. Its onboard features include a main swimming pool with a retractable roof for year-round swimming, a glass-backed infinity pool at its stern and eight dining options.

Its spa facilities, in particular, will link Viking Saturn to the line’s northern roots with a traditional sauna and Snow Grotto.

“The main difference between our ocean vessels is the variety of art collections onboard,” says Wendy Atkin-Smith, managing director of Viking UK. “The artwork across all the vessels is very much an ode to our Nordic heritage but Viking Saturn’s art collection will be entirely unique. We carefully select a diverse spectrum of work for each ship with a combination of established and emerging artists, most of whom are Norwegian.”

The pieces will encompass a variety of media and approaches – from digital to print and from oil paintings to photography and sculpture, and aim to make guests feel relaxed and inspired by the destinations that they visit.

One of the standout destinations in Viking Saturn’s maiden season is Reykjavik, Iceland. The popularity of the Icelandic capital is reflected in the line’s newest itineraries ‘Iconic Iceland, Greenland & Canada’, ‘Iceland & Norway’s Arctic Explorer’ and ‘Greenland, Iceland, Norway & Beyond’, which Viking Saturn will offer between May and August 2023. The ship will travel from Rome, Italy, to Barcelona in Spain before heading northwards for its Iceland-based voyages for the summer season.

“Reykjavík is a unique place as it is the world’s northernmost capital city yet captures the distinctive feel of a fishing village,” says Atkin-Smith. “Just outside of the city there is an abundance of breathtaking natural sites, from towering waterfalls and soaring mountains to blue thermal springs.”

As a smaller ship, Viking Saturn will be able to visit remote areas that travellers are less likely to access on larger cruise vessels. One of these remote locations is the Westman Islands, an archipelago characterised by its volcanic landscapes, moss-covered clifftops and picturesque homes, south of Iceland’s main island.

“Sailing between New York City and Reykjavik, guests will be able to admire the Westman Islands, enjoy the relaxed pace of Icelandic life in Djúpivogur, and stroll the streets of picturesque towns like Seydisfjördur and Akureyri during our upcoming ‘Iconic Iceland, Greenland & Canada’ itinerary,” says Atkin-Smith. “Alternatively, they have the option to travel further northwards on our ‘Arctic Explorer’ trip, which will involve sailing across the Arctic Circle and along the shores of Norway and Iceland. After enjoying an overnight stay in Viking Saturn’s homeport of Bergen, Norway, guests will follow the footsteps of Vikings and visit Honningvag’s remote North Cape and explore Longyearbyen, which is home to more polar bears than people.”

The northern theme throughout the new itineraries is epitomised in the 29-day voyage across Greenland, Iceland and Norway, before heading to Greenland and Canada’s eastern coast and concluding in New York, USA.

“The ports in Iceland and other North Atlantic destinations seem to be real favourites amongst our guests,” adds Atkin-Smith. “I think travellers love the natural beauty and unique landscapes in these countries and we’ve seen a growing demand for these itineraries over the past year.

“By the end of 2022 we will have launched two new ocean ships, Viking Mars and Viking Neptune, so it is an exciting time of growth for us as we move into 2023 and welcome Viking Saturn to the family. Viking Saturn will allow us to meet the growing demand that we are seeing from guests who want to explore Iceland and other North Atlantic destinations.”

During the winter season, Viking Saturn will also operate on Mediterranean-based itineraries with focal points in Spain, Italy and Greece. 

En route…
A few of the destinations that Viking Saturn will travel to in 2023 before setting sail on its Northern itineraries

Port of Sète, France
Known as the ‘Venice of the Languedoc’, Sète boasts charming canals and a picturesque fishing port. From here, cruise guests can take day trips to five Unesco World Heritage sites including the Medieval City of Carcassonne, Saint Guilhem le Désert Abbey, the Pont du Gard, the Roman town of Nimes and the Aigues-Mortes towers and ramparts. Viking has 20 calls scheduled at Sète in 2023, with Viking Saturn set to return on 10 November 2023.

Valencia, Spain
Valencia is a medium-sized cruise port that offers all the services and attractions of a large cruise destination. The Spanish city is committed to providing a variety of shore excursions, while prioritising the safety and the needs of cruise passengers. In addition to the wide range of urban and countryside activities, new alternative trips for lovers of the open air, sport or hiking, and more sustainable options such as bicycle or skateboard tours have been added to its ever-growing list of experiences. At the same time, Valencia port promotes gastronomic, cultural, wine-tasting, musical and historical experiences that contribute towards its unique destination.

Dubrovnik, Croatia
Another Unesco World Heritage site scheduled for Viking Saturn’s maiden season is the Old City of Dubrovnik, which is nestled within the city’s medieval walls. The Old City has been identified as a place of interest by Unesco since 1979 and is a cultural destination that offers a variety of festivals alongside its monuments. In recent years, Dubrovnik has been a popular filming location for television series and films such as Game of Thrones and Netflix Original historical drama Vikings: Valhalla. Viking Saturn will call at Dubrovnik on its way to Athens, Greece, from Venice, Italy.

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

 

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Alice Chambers
By Alice Chambers
11 November 2022

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