Travel Blog

IMPORTANT – Travel, Testing and Health Requirement information is provided by your Travel Advisor as guidance only and can change without notice. Always reconfirm information by checking government & airline websites before booking and traveling.

Traveling to Bermuda has always been on my “Bucket List” and sailing with Viking Ocean Cruise was a dream come true!

The thought of traveling with all of the COVID requirements was a bit daunting and Bermuda has a lot of restrictions in place. Viking was completely on top of the situation and provided a step-by-step timeline of all of the requirements needed to travel. They sent multiple emails & reminders along with a personal phone call to ensure we understood all of the requirements and would be completely prepared to travel.

In order to ensure a safe sailing for all guests Viking Ocean Cruise also had onboard COVID requirements in place including a daily PCR test and temperature checks. The requirements onboard the ship were handled with grace and never felt intrusive. Viking Ocean Cruise ships have onboard LABS to process the PCR tests so results are processed the same day. Having this extra layer of protection onboard the ship put all of our worries at ease and we were able to relax and enjoy!

Once we arrived in Hamilton to board the stunning Viking Orion our vacation truly began. We were escorted to our beautiful Verandah Stateroom. The king size bed was plush and comfortable and the bathroom was beautiful with a large glass shower and heated floors.

We settled into our room and headed out to explore the ship and soon realized just how elegant and inviting it was. Viking Ocean Ships include all verandah staterooms and suites with only 930 adult only guests. Throughout the ship we found spacious and tucked away seating areas perfect for relaxation or meeting up with friends.

Dining and Service are where Viking Cruises really stands apart. The quality of service we experienced with Viking exceeded all of our expectations. By the 2nd day most of the staff knew us by name and went out of their way to greet us and ensure that everything was perfect for our vacation.

The main dining venue, The Restaurant, and The World Café including indoor dining or al fresco were available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The food was always fresh and delicious! We also enjoyed a Norwegian Breakfast at Mamsen’s which offers Norwegian specialties for breakfast, lunch, & afternoon snacks. Our favorite spot for lunch was the Pool Grill which had a small salad bar and absolutely delicious sandwiches, burgers, chicken wings, and onion rings.

The 2 included specialty restaurants, Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant and The Chef’s Table were the highlight of the cruise. The food and service in both restaurants was amazing!

Viking includes an excursion at each port. In Hamilton we joined the Famous Homes & Hideaway Cruise with a glimpse of how the rich and famous live. At Kings Wharf we enjoyed the Great Sound Catamaran Rally which included sailing, swimming, snorkeling, paddle boards & canoeing. We also chose an optional ship wreck snorkeling tour at Kings Wharf. The water was crystal clear and the snorkeling was spectacular.

Days at sea consisted of relaxation in either the heated main pool with retractable roof or outdoor infinity pool and hot tubs. Then we would meet up with friends for a game of Trivia in the Star Theatre followed by a delicious lunch and more relaxation. There was a beautiful Spa and Fitness Center and there were lectures to choose from, movies in the cinema, and afternoon Tea in Wintergarden.

Bermuda is known for pink sand and beautiful beaches. The mid-Atlantic Islands are overflowing with opportunities for adventure including bays, beaches, cliffs, caves, parks & preserves.

I would love to help you plan your next Viking Ocean or Viking River Cruise or Bermuda Adventure.

ValRee Lowe

If I can help plan your next vacation, please contact me:

Phone: 801-483-5245
Street: 1212 E 4800 S
City: Ogden, UT 84403

Business Days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

   

I noticed a lot of interest in travel to Portugal a few years ago. I had been myself around 20 years ago but only as an ending to a trip to Spain. I had done a lot of research for my client’s trips and was eager to travel there myself. Portugal is a country with very diverse scenery and climate. We started our trip by flying into Lisbon. Our intent was to rent a car and drive 3 hours to Porto to begin our adventure. One can take very short flight from Lisbon to Porto but I figured that we needed a car eventually and flying was around the same amount of time as driving. Looking back I really should have considered flying to Porto. We arrived in Lisbon to see a couple thousand people waiting for immigration and passport control After 14 hours travel time, jet lagged and hungry that is the last thing you want to see. After 2 ½ hours in the line we finally made it to the car rental which was unorganized and crowded as well. 3 ½ hours after we landed we were on the road for our 3 hour drive. If we had connected in Lisbon we could have easily gone through the short line for connecting flights, been on the plane within an hour and in Porto in another hour. Lessons learned! Apparently there has been a boom in travel to Portugal and immigration told us that since everyone had put off summer travel to Portugal, everyone was going now.

The drive to Porto was very easy. Road signs in Portugal are in English as well as Portuguese. We were rewarded for our difficult time traveling to Porto by this beautiful city. We stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel, which I highly recommend because of it’s wonderful location to the old city, beautiful rooms, amazing service and beautiful historical building. We explored a bit that evening, finding an excellent seafood restaurant. The next day we took a walking tour of the city which included a Douro River cruise. This was a fun way to get to know Porto and the scenery along the river. The city itself is a exquisite city with historic, amazing architecture. One thing you notice is the colorful blue tiles on the buildings. There was a great street market along the river and we enjoyed browsing the city after our tour. We had wonderful Portuguese food that evening which consist mainly of seafood since Porto is a fishing port. Get ready to have the whole fish or whole prawn ready to dissect, but once you finish it’s well worth it for the freshest seafood you may ever have.

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I just returned from a 7 nights cruise to Bermuda on the SS. Viking Orion. It was a double experience for me since it was my first time on a Viking Ocean ship and my first time to Bermuda. Both turned out to be a wonderful experience.

As we all know, travel these days is not what it used to be. The preparation can be stressful due to the ever-changing requirements, but I can attest, once you reach your destination, you realize it was worth the trouble.

Four days before my arrival on the island I had to do a PCR test. Upon arrival at the airport in Bermuda I had to do another PCR test and once on board I did one more saliva test. Believe me after all these tests I felt very safe being on a cruise. During the cruise mask was always mandatory everywhere. You had to do a saliva test every morning and have your temperature checked once a day.

The SS. Viking Orion is my kind of ship, sober and elegant. There are many open spaces, lots of light and lots of very inviting sitting areas. It is quite easy to find a lovely intimate, quiet alcove to read a book or even meditate. Cabins are well designed. The bathrooms are really great with heated floors, fog free mirror and glass door to a good size shower. The staff is always eager to help and make sure you are comfortable and happy. Viking Ocean exceeded my expectations.

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I typically try to go on two big trips and as many little trips as possible every year as I have a major addiction to traveling and new experiences. Needless to say the Pandemic put a damper on everyone’s life to say the least and being a travel advisor and my love of travel was a challenge to sit home for many reasons, my job setback and industry setback being the big one after health and safety.

I jumped at the opportunity to go on the Norwegian Encore Alaska Cruise as soon as the cruise lines figured out how to salvage the Alaska Season after Canada had kept it’s borders tightly closed. I was already vaccinated as it was pretty clear early on that to travel anywhere would be requiring proof of vaccinations and I mainly got vaccinated for health and my families safety.

I also had never been on Norwegian Cruise Lines, nor had I experienced Alaska’s beauty in person. I do have experience on creating great vacations for my clients with NCL and to Alaska, but now it was time to see it for myself!

As everyone is, I was very apprehensive about traveling during COVID and also with all the testing requirements – what would happen if I tested positive? What if the cruise cancelled? What if I flew there and had issues and couldn’t board the ship? I can be a nervous Nelly even at small things, so this was going to have me use all my calming techniques I have learned over the years. Besides, the opportunity to travel is too great to resist (answer to all those questions is through your travel professional of course! Know before you go).

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