TAKE A SEAT, AND THE CHAIR

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - WELCOME EXPLORERS’ LOUNGE, VIKING SUN -

Chairs are not the tra­di­tional re­cip­i­ent of love at first sight, but the minute I hop on to Vik­ing Sun for a ship in­spec­tion, it is the fur­ni­ture that be­sots me. The bar stools are made of dark grey felt with a splash of tra­di­tional Nor­we­gian rose­ma­l­ing em­broi­dery on the back, and are the first of many finely crafted Scan­di­na­vian in­te­rior de­sign touches through­out the ship that would look per­fectly com­fort­able in the pages of Vogue Liv­ing.

The next ob­ject of my af­fec­tion, the spa’s Snow Grotto, high­lights more of the ship’s Nordic her­itage: wa­ter and ex­tremes of tem­per­a­ture for the ben­e­fits of good health. The op­po­site of a sauna, in­stead of mak­ing you sweat it’s a room of subzero tem­per­a­ture with ice for­ma­tions to prove it. Hop from hot to cold and back again to give your body a dose of an­cient Scandi in­vig­o­ra­tion.

Then there were the small but sim­ple things. The TV re­mote con­trol in the cab­ins has nine-but­tons only, all of which make sense to even the most tech­no­log­i­cally naive among us. The easy-to-open toi­letries are marked with ex­tra large let­ter­ing so the fo­cally chal­lenged can in­stantly see which is the sham­poo and which is the con­di­tioner. Both were in­sti­gated di­rectly by the com­pany’s chair­man who, af­ter spend­ing more time than most in ho­tels, wanted so­lu­tions to all the things that frus­trated him. Who hasn’t given up on watch­ing telly be­cause the re­mote needs a PhD to op­er­ate?

Vik­ing Sun was the first ship from this cruise line to visit Aus­tralia. It’s an­other mile­stone in the growth and so­phis­ti­ca­tion of the cruise in­dus­try and a plus for travellers look­ing for new ways to add to their days at sea.

JANA FRAWLEY, NA­TIONAL TRAVEL ED­I­TOR

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