All aboard Viking Sun

Having ‘another player’ in the upper-end of the cruising market is exciting New Zealand travel agents and was a factor in attracting some 120 of them to a ship inspection in Auckland over the last two days.

Viking Sun is continuing its New Zealand journey now, with stops in Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

‘The (Viking ocean) cruises are selling already for 2018-9 and we had good sales for 2017-18,’ says Katrina Cole, House of Travel Botany Junction – one of the agents on a ship inspection on Monday.

‘The brand is making a real impact and I think it is because it is smaller and inclusive and has attractive itineraries and ports. Viking also operates both river and ocean cruising so people can combine both.’

Michelle Black, managing director Viking Cruises Australia and New Zealand, was pleased with the uptake and interest from agents.

The ship inspections were taking about one hour and 10 minutes (‘we had hoped to get people through in 45 minutes’) because of the photo and question stops.

Black says the ships are designed with the over 55 markets specically in mind.

‘Once consumers have cruised one or more times they realise what they like and what they don’t like – we don’t have the things they say they don’t like.

‘We are all-inclusive, we don’t have children under 18, we don’t have casinos or photographers or art auctions. We don’t have speciality restaurant charges and our wi is complimentary throughout the ship.