I’m the type of traveler who loves to dive straight into the cultures and history of the places I visit. Whether it be Shanghai or Istanbul, I don’t want to be a tourist – I want to learn something, find myself captivated by the local architecture, taste food I would never find in Boca Raton – I want to travel. And Viking Cruises is rolling out an awesome new program to offer the kind of cultural immersion I seek when traveling.
Launching aboard Viking Ocean’s fleet of three ships, the Viking Resident Historian program will offer a host of programs and events tailored to further immerse guests in the culture and life of the ship’s itinerary. Each of Viking Ocean’s ships, Viking Star, Viking Sea, and Viking Sky, will host one of Viking’s Resident Historians, each hand selected to offer an in-depth look to the destinations visited by the Viking fleet.
From lectures on the rise and fall of great civilizations, to intimate round table discussions on Venetian Naval prowess, and historian-hosted dinners, the Viking Resident Historian program will offer a unique opportunity to spend more time learning about your destinations, even while back onboard your Viking ship. And, personally, my favorite aspect of the entire program – the Viking Resident Historians will host office hours to spend one-on-one time with guests. Yes, they will literally be waiting for you and your questions about Rome, the sultans of the Ottoman Empire, and the glorious age of Vikings. And yes, I am already assembling my list of questions for my next sailing with Viking.
But there’s more – these Resident Historians are only a part of the Viking experience. Guests will still enjoy lectures and performances from local guest lecturers and musicians alongside this new program. Shore excursions will continue to offer Viking’s focus on immersing guests in their destinations, offering every experience from walking tours, to cooking classes, and treks through historic battlegrounds.
Viking has always focused on offering not just a cruise, but an experience, an experience rooted deep in the places you visit and the people you meet. Their mission to offer immersive, meaningful, local experiences is literally conveyed in their slogan, “Spend less time getting there, and more time being there.” My experiences with Viking have been like no other cruise, I’ve never felt as connected or immersed in my destinations than with Viking. With Viking, I’ve walked the streets of Istanbul, learning little known facts about the city from fantastic local guides, I’ve stood beneath huge windmills in Dutch polders, and enjoyed a warm bowl of goulash as a midnight snack under the iconic Széchenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest. These experiences are what traveling is all about, discovering the soul and character of a destination, and leaving with memories that regular tourists would never have the chance to know. Viking truly understands what traveling is about – discovery. And the Viking Resident Historian program offers a new way for travelers to discover the world.