Did you know that all cruise line ships have morgues aboard? Or that people can actually purchase a retirement property on a cruise ship? Take a look at some other fun facts that you may not have known. Ocean and river cruise company Viking has revealed it is dropping the word "Cruises" from its name as it continues to grow and focus on destinations. Viking founder Tor Hagen announced during a speech in Los Angeles last week the cruise line's website has been changed from VikingCruises.com to Viking.com,
If you're planning a cruise during the coming year, there are a lot of things to consider: Is the price right? Does the cruise line sail to the destination you're longing to see? Does it cater to couples or families? U.S. News & World Report may offer some insights. The magazine announced its 2018 Best Cruise Lines rankings Tuesday, evaluating 165 ships in 17 cruise lines across six categories.
The cruise industry is growing by leaps and bounds, with companies regularly announcing the upcoming launch of new ships. But none can compete with the marathon efforts of Viking, which is adding two new ships to its fleet in 2018, another ship in 2019 and seven new river boats. Viking, which currently operates a fleet of 62 vessels, offers scenic cruising along the rivers and oceans of the Americas, Europe, Russia, Egypt, China and Southeast Asia. By 2019, the company will operate six 930-passenger ocean cruise ships and will sail itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic, the western and eastern Mediterranean, Asia, Australia, North America and the Caribbean. Upcoming additions to its fleet include the Viking Ra, which will launch next March, sailing on the Nile River in Egypt; and the Viking Orion, which will become the company's fifth ocean ship when it launches in July 2018.
The winners of Cruise Critic's reader favorites were announced Wednesday, anointing four ships of varying sizes in the best overall category. The Best Cruises Overall awards went to Celebrity Cruises' Equinox, in the large-ship category; Oceania Cruises' Riviera, in the midsize category; Viking Cruises' Sun, in the medium-small category; and Silversea Cruises' Galápagos, in the small-ship category. Winners were chosen based on consumer reviews and ratings during the last year. Although some of these ships are less accessible to Southern California cruisers -- Equinox and Riviera, for instance, are sailing in the Caribbean -- some winners sail from San Pedro, making departures simple and decreasing the overall cost of a cruise. Princess Cruises' Coral Princess, for example, sails regularly from the World Cruise Center, based in San Pedro.