CRUISE HOLIDAY

A Pixelled Ship upon a Pixelled Ocean!

It’s an image, not a photo, of Viking Star – for the moment just a “painted ship upon a painted ocean”. When launched, in 2015. she will be the first ocean cruise vessel in the Viking fleet – marking a new step for a cruise line currently known only for river cruising.
Last year (2013) Viking River Cruises made a splash by christening 10 new Viking Longships – river cruise vessels – on the same day. Something of a pointer to the remarkable success of this company founded only 15 years before.

Owner, Torstein Hagen, wants to ensure this venture into ocean cruising is every bit as successful. Mr Hagen has decided that Viking Star will ensure passengers have a luxury experience by offering a beautiful ship with top-class amenities and cabins, all covered by all-inclusive fares – including an excursion in every port, specialty dining options, wi-fi service and wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner. Taking a look at the cabin options we see that passengers will have a generous allocation of space whatever category they choose. You could say that there is less cabin choice than in other cruise lines… Since there are no inside cabins, and no ocean-view cabins the choice is limited to veranda cabins. But this is not a negative! And although you may always have been happy not to “swing a cat” as the sailor’s saying goes, when aboard Viking Star passengers should always have enough space as the smallest cabin size is a generous 270 square feet. So there it is – Viking Star: a new luxury-level contender for your 2015 cruise holiday! If you want to consider booking Viking Star we have a thousand-dollars per couple saving on bookings deposited by 31st January 2014. And a range of itineraries that offer new alternatives in Scandinavia and Europe. “Another good reason to organise your 2015 cruise holiday soon! Enquiries to Mosman Cruise Centre at 02 9968 1600 or email travel@travelchoice.com.au

A day on the Queen Mary

Cruising for Good Health… Well here we are on Day 6 of our cruise from Auckland to Osaka aboard QM2 and now feeling the benefits of a good holiday: we’re easy-going, relaxed, and a few kilos heavier! No – I’m just kidding, but with food available at all hours you really need to be disciplined about diet and health… And of course we were (!) but then… another superb meal – Gloucestershire Old Spot pork – in The Carvery last night and our good resolutions were blown to smithereens! But what the heck- we’re on holiday and in good, like-minded, food and drink-loving company!

Thank goodness for Deck 7, whose handsome teak promenade we stride each morning in a kind of penance for the night(s!) before. Three laps and you’ve covered well over a mile – QM2 is 1132 feet, just under 350 metres, long!

The big decisions – we have learned – must be taken early. Boarding in Auckland we found excursions in Guam (we arrive there Monday 7th at 0700) already fully booked. And some acquisitive blackheart has purloined the only Guam guidebook, to the librarian’s great annoyance. But we are Aussies, resourceful travelers, so we are confident we will find our own way about – and wary of being gleefully fleeced by predatory taxi drivers and “guides” of the second rank. Such must be the lot of the last-minute traveller!

But at the end of our day ashore we’ll scurry back on board to enjoy the real reason for our trip: the QM2 and all the facilities on offer. The Mark Hodginson Trip will serenade us as we try another cocktail in the Chart Room, and our conversation will be about nothing weightier than our next meal and whether to see the show or the movie or just stay put. Holidays are such hard work…