Viking Homelands; Copenhagen; sisters who travel together

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50“Welcome aboard Viking Star! We are looking forward to sailing with you on our award-winning Viking ocean fleet,” said the Viking team as I settled in for what would be a fascinating journey through some of the most beautiful countries in Viking Homelands.

Having never been to this part of the world, I was excited to explore all that it had to offer. Plus, unlike my other river and ocean cruises compliments of Viking*, this time I would be sharing the experience with a group of very talented travel media and influencers. Ooh, ooh, ooh, wait until I tell you who you should be following on Instagram, especially if you like travel photography, and food blogs, if you like to cook. 

Viking Ocean Cruises; Viking Star; #1 Ocean Cruise Line

Viking has been voted a #1 Ocean Cruise Line every year since its launch.

This trip would also be different because I was leaving my boyfriend L behind. This time my sister N would be joining me as my lucky travel buddy. N and I have vacationed many places together, often navigating new spots by foot and window-shopping till we drop.

Viking Homelands; Copenhagen; sisters who travel together

My sister N was my travel buddy for the Viking Homelands trip.

A Great Way To Discover Scandinavia
Cruising is a great way to discover Scandinavia. Once on the ship you’re right in the middle of the breathtaking scenery. You don’t have to move your luggage to get from spot to spot. Viking makes everything so easy. The ocean itineraries have been carefully designed to access the best destinations up close, with more time in the port than other cruise lines.

Viking Ocean Cruises

Rainbows greeted us in Eidfjord, Norway.

Unlike large ocean liners that have thousands of passengers, Viking Star is classified as a small ocean liner. It houses 930 guests and 500 staff. That’s about one staff member for every two guests — delivering stellar service from cabin rooms to the concierge. N was quite impressed with the organization for each day’s excursion. Rain or shine we were left on time.

Viking Star rooms

Every room on the Viking Star has a veranda.

An Award Winning Cruise Line
Recent accolades attest to their positive appeal. For example, for the third year in a row, Viking was named a #1 Ocean Cruise Line by Travel + Leisure readers in the World’s Best Awards 2018. They also swept the Cruise Critic small ship cruise line category, winning Best Cruise Line for the following destinations: the Baltic and Scandinavia (that’s the cruise I was on), western Mediterranean, the British Isles and Western Europe, and western Caribbean and Riviera Maya. The 2018 AFAR Travelers’ Choice Awards honored Viking Ocean Cruises for its “luxurious” amenities, in-depth cultural experiences and picturesque itineraries.

Teatime on the Viking Star

Tea time is every afternoon in the Wintergarden lounge.

A Preview of Viking Homelands
After my first-ever ocean voyage last fall on Viking’s Cities of Antiquity & The Holy Land to Greece, Cyprus, Israel, and Italy, I knew this year’s cruise to Denmark and Norway would be equally ah-may-zing.

From our pre-trip in the historic city of Berlin…

Brandenberg Gate; Berlin

Brandenberg Gate is a well-known landmark in Berlin.

to our first port of call in the fairy-tale land of Copenhagen,

Little Mermaid; Copenhagen

Hans Christian Anderson’s Little Mermaid sits in the harbor in Copenhagen.

from visits with ancient Vikings in Alborg…

Alborg Viking dungeon

In the days of Vikings there were dungeons.

to sailing through the fjords to Stavenger, Norway,

Fjords of Norway

Sailing through the fjords of Norway was full of mindful moments.

from viewing nature up-close in Eidfjord…

Eidfjord's Nature Center

A first-hand view of the Nordic moose in Eidfjord’s Nature Center.

to awakening to the colorful wooden buildings of Bergen.

Bergen port

Quaint historic wooden buildings line the village of Bergen.

— I can’t wait to tell you about my magical week discovering these Scandinavian cities.

Viking Homelands Cruise; Viking Ocean Cruises

Imagine waking up to this beautiful scenery outside your window.

I know you’re going to love these cities as much as N and I did. That’s why you should continue to fill your piggybanks so you can take a Viking Ocean Cruise during your life after 50, after 60, after 70, and maybe into your 80s and 90s. Viking said the demand from baby boomers is so great that they are building more ocean and river ships to accommodate the growing number of travelers.

Following The Best Food And Travel Influencers
To get you revved up to travel, I want to share a sampling of handles from the creative influencers who were part of our media group. Many have huge followings and when you check out their Instagram pages you’ll understand why Viking invited them along on this journey – each tells a unique #myvikingstory.

Stavenger

The quaint streets in Stavenger were prime for picture-taking.

If you’re a foodie like me, you’ll also enjoy the tasty recipes from the food bloggers who combine their love of travel with their love of cooking. Go take a peek, I guarantee you’ll be hooked.

Viking Homelands; Viking Ocean Cruise; Viking Star

We traveled with a group of creative photographers.

Follow these photographers extraordinaire:
Christine @cy_eats
Jacob @jacobsantiago
Sam @samhorine
Morgane @Morganetgy
Natalie @Misshattan
Paola @monaris 

Check out these food and travel bloggers:
Lori @recipegirl and her Recipe Girl blog
Michele @atastefortravel and her A Taste For Travel blog
Monte @montemathews and his Chewing The Fat blog
Sandy @sandycoughlinre and her Reluctant Entertainer blog

Did you click on the links? What do you think? Ah-may-zing, right?

Apple Strudel

What treat did N and I eat in Berlin? Find out in my upcoming post.

See you soon for a tour of Berlin. Ooh, ooh, ooh, if you find this pastry pic appetizing, wait until you hear all about our other foodie adventures in Berlin.

Judi

*Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” Viking Cruises provided me with a complimentary press trip on the Viking Homelands Ocean Cruise. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.