The Owner’s Suite on the Viking Sun is three times bigger than the average new house in the UK.
It includes a living room, adorned with original artwork, a veranda, an ocean-view dry sauna, a 12-person boardroom, dining room, kitchen, extensive wine collection and in-suite chef. As the occupants are likely to be spending 245 days on board, it’s probably just as well they have a full complement of amenities and a reasonable amount of room to stretch their legs.
This is what Viking Ocean Cruises bills as the Ultimate World Cruise. To experience it in full, you will need to find not only a spare eight months in your diary, but also the ticket price of £194,390 per person.
To experience Viking Ocean Cruises’ Ultimate World Cruise you will need to find not only a spare eight months in your diary, but also the ticket price of £194,390 per person
But only lottery-winners and plutocrats need apply for the entire trip — you can join the cruise for as little as a week at a time.
To book a more standard room for the whole trip, prices start at £66,990, though, it has to be said, for top dollar, you do get the experience of a lifetime.
And unless your travel bucket list includes a visit to the International Space Station, you are likely to tick off everything on it.
The itinerary — which takes in 53 countries on six continents — includes explorations of the world’s most thrilling landscapes, from the Great Barrier Reef to the Amazon rainforest, as well as visits to architectural wonders such as Machu Picchu in Peru, and Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
A complimentary shore tour with private car and chauffeur in a port city of your choice is thrown in for Owner’s Suite passengers, and you won’t be expected to do anything as pedestrian as strolling round local markets or tourist hotspots.
Perks on offer include behind-the-scenes access to the Met Opera in New York and Hollywood Studios in Florida, and learning the tango in Buenos Aires. Overland trips are available too — for a price — such as a six-day venture to Alice Springs and Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Australia’s Northern Territory.
To book a more standard room for the whole trip, prices start at £66,990
That’s if you can tear yourself away from the myriad attractions offered by the mother ship.
All guests can go for a swim in the infinity pool, take advantage of the sumptuous spa with thermal suite and snow grotto, join yoga and cookery classes, go to the theatre or listen to jazz in the bars, as well as admiring original artwork, including paintings by Edvard Munch. Come the evening, there’s no danger that you will be fobbed off with the same old bill of fare you had the week before.
You are on board for 245 days, and so 245 different menus you shall have.
‘We have a different menu for every day, and some surprises along the way, too,’ says Anthony Mauboussin, Viking Cruises’ culinary director. ‘We keep meals exciting and varied, while creating delicious food.’ This means destination-themed choices and appearances by guest chefs.
In all, the ship’s eight dining venues and three bars will get through 10,000 bottles of Champagne and 90,000 bottles of wine on each trip, as well as 160,000 lb of fish and seafood, 900,000 eggs and 10,000 lb of prime steak.
By the time passengers disembark the Ultimate World Cruise, they will be considerably richer in knowledge because art and history programmes will shed light on the architecture and music of upcoming destinations, as well as their geopolitics and wildlife
Of course, as a resident of the Owner’s Suite, there’s no need to dine with the other 930 mere mortals on board. Why not throw a private dinner party in your suite and invite your guests to dance with you under the stars on your private veranda?
Despite all the privileges and extravagance, the ship itself is all about friendliness, according to regular passenger Ro Davies, from Wales.
‘The big smiles and cheerful greetings from all the crew make me shout: “I’m home!” as soon as I get on board,’ she says.
By the time passengers disembark the Ultimate World Cruise, they will also be considerably richer in knowledge because, while sailing two-and-a-half times the circumference of the globe, art and history programmes will shed light on the architecture and music of upcoming destinations, as well as their geopolitics and wildlife.
So, after eight months of forgetting how to live a normal life — never having to make a cup of tea, let alone cook, iron or clean the windows — there’s only one thing to do: book another cruise to Antarctica to complete the seven continents. Job done.
Viking Cruises’ 245-day Ultimate World Cruise departs from London Greenwich on August 31, 2019, and visits six continents, 53 countries and 112 cities with 22 overnight stays. Top price Owner’s Suite costs £194,390 pp. Veranda and Penthouse Veranda Staterooms from £66,990. Shorter stays also available. Visit vikingcruises.co.uk or call 0800 298 9700.