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Oceania vs Viking Cruises

Compare ships, pricing, destinations, onboard facilities and shore excursions between Oceania Cruises and Viking Cruises.
Oceania Cruises Viking Cruises
Where do they cruise?
What type of ships do they have? Small & Mid-Sized Ships Mid-Size & Expedition Ships
How many passengers are on board? R-Class: 684 / O-Class: 1250 930 & 378
What type of cruise line are they? Premium Premium
What are they known for?
  • Longer stays in port & more overnights
  • The Finest Cuisine at Sea
  • Elegant-Casual, no ties required
  • No Casinos
  • No Children
  • The Thinking Person’s Cruise
What is the average cost per day?
  • Interior: $419
  • Oceanview: $474
  • Balcony : $621
  • Suite: $1,034
  • Balcony : $757
  • Suite: $1,293
Are fares all inclusive? No Viking position themselves as an all-inclusive line, however, house beers and wine are only included at mealtimes (premium beverages are at additional cost) and there are optional paid excursions as well as included experiences.
Are gratuities included? Yes Yes, for Australian and New Zealand Passengers
Are there any additional gratuities payable on board? Yes. 18% gratuity added to spa services, bar bills, & the bill for extra-charge eatery La Reserve No. Only at guest discretion
Can I get any reciprocal loyalty club benefits? No. Guests only accrue Oceania Club benefits No. The Viking Explorer Society offers credit and referral rewards to past passengers of Viking Cruises only
What is the onboard currency? USD USD
What language is spoken on board? English English
Who cruises with them?
  • Semi-retired or retired
  • World travellers, appreciate good food and wine
  • Primarily couples & solos
  • Retired and semi-retired
  • World travellers
What is the average passenger age? Primarily 50+ Primarily 50+
Are they good for families? Children are accepted from 12+ months, however, Oceania does not provide for the care, entertainment or supervision of children on most cruises. Select journeys offer the Alaska Explorer Youth Program for 5 – 12 years No. No children under 18 years of age
Are there children’s programs? No, except on select Alaska sailings where the Alaska Explorer Youth Program is available No
Is there childcare and/or babysitting? No No
What are the accommodation options? Interior, Oceanview, Balcony & Suites
  • Mid-Sized Ships: Balcony Staterooms & Suites.
  • Expedition Ships: Nordic Balcony Staterooms & Suites.
Are there accessible staterooms? Yes Yes
Are shore excursions included? No. However, guests can select ‘Free Shore Excursions’ as their chosen benefit under Oceania’s OLife Choice Program (the number of ‘free excursions’ depends on length of sailing). A complimentary shuttle is also offered in select ports
  • Classic Cruises: One included excursion is offered at every port and optional excursions are available for purchase.
  • Expedition Cruises: A minimum of one shore excursion per landing day is included; there may be two on some days. On some expeditions, there may also be optional excursions available for purchase.
What types of onboard activities are available for free? Guest lectures, seminars, and destination-focused activities
  • Classic Cruises: Enrichment programs such as guest, historian and port lectures, onboard cooking demonstrations, local performers in destination, exclusive access filmed opera performances and Ted Talks.
  • Expedition Cruises: Activities such as lectures, film screenings, presentations and daily briefings from the expedition team as well as scientific programs hosted in The Laboratory.
Are there any onboard activities that I need to pay for? Specialty onboard seminars, classes in the Culinary Centre (available on select ships) incur additional charges Yes. Experiences such as The Kitchen Table (excursion and onboard cooking class) will incur additional charges
Is there free evening entertainment? Yes Yes
Is there any paid evening entertainment? No. All shows and entertainment are included in the cruise price No
Are there complimentary dining options? Yes Yes
Are there specialty restaurants? Yes. Complimentary. A surcharge applies only to La Reserve and private dining in Privee Yes. Complimentary
Are there dining packages for purchase? No No
Are non-alcoholic beverages included? Yes. Bottled water, soft drinks, fresh juices, specialty coffees and teas Yes. Purified water is provided in all staterooms. Soft drinks are included with lunches and dinners onboard. Specialty coffees and assorted hot teas are available 24 hours a day
Are alcoholic beverages included? No. However, guests can select a ‘Free House Select Beverage Package’ as their chosen benefit under Oceania’s OLife Choice Program Complimentary house wines and beers are served with lunches and dinners on board
Can I purchase a beverage package? Yes Yes. For premium cocktails or wines and spirits, Viking offers the Silver Spirits beverage package
Is there room service? Yes. Complimentary 24/7 Yes. Complimentary 24/7
Is there Wi-Fi on board? Yes. Free internet is included as part of the OLife Choice Program (one login per stateroom) Yes. Complimentary
Can I purchase Wi-Fi packages? Yes No
Is there a Spa? Yes Yes. Access is complimentary
Are spa and salon services available? Yes. Charges Apply Yes. Charges Apply
Is there a gym? Yes Yes
Are there group fitness classes? Yes. Included complimentary. Some specialised training programs may incur additional charges Yes. Specialised classes such as yoga may attract a charge. Classes may include; yoga, Zumba, TRX, and Body Conditioning. There may be less services available on expedition ships
Is there personal training available? Yes. Charges Apply Yes, on classic ocean cruises. Charges apply
Is there a self-service laundry? Yes. Complimentary Yes. Complimentary
Is a laundry service available? Yes. Charges Apply Yes. Charges Apply
Is there a casino on board? Yes. Oceania Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Regent Seven Seas Cruises share the same Casinos At Sea rewards program No

Please Note: There may be additional inclusions and privileges for select stateroom and suite guests or select loyalty member tiers. Activities and entertainment vary by ship, itinerary and departure and are a guide only.

Which ships will suit me best?

Oceania and Viking operate fleets of six and seven ships apiece, bringing a premium cruise experience to the seas with some luxurious touches.

Viking’s mid-sized ships are all practically identical, with a capacity of 930 guests accommodated in all balcony staterooms and suites throughout. On board guests can enjoy seven complimentary restaurants, lounges with an emphasis on the sweeping views, and facilities such as a theatre for evening entertainment and movie theatres to enjoy film screenings and lectures. There are no casinos on Viking ships, an omission that is part of their identity. Throughout the social spaces and private accommodations guests will notice a Scandinavian design hailing from Viking’s Nordic roots, and there is plenty of natural light throughout the ships.

Oceania’s fleet offers both a smaller ship cruising experience, and a larger one. With four R Class ships accommodating roughly 700 cruisers and two O Class ships with a capacity of 1,250 guests, you can opt for the vessel that suits you best (see how the R and O Class ships stack up here). There are various accommodation options across the fleet, from inside staterooms to suites designed in the finest residential style, along with classically elegant social spaces. Unlike Viking, you will find a casino on each Oceania vessel. While there are elements of luxury throughout all Oceania ships, they are designed to feel ‘country club casual’ and no jackets or ties are required.

On Oceania’s smaller ships, guests will find four open seating dining venues while the larger ships boast two additional complimentary options as well as two for-fee venues (wine pairing dinners at La Reserve and private dining experiences in Privée incur a surcharge). Oceania prides itself on its trademark offering, The Finest Cuisine at Sea, and its culinary program attracts connoisseurs with an appreciation of all things food and wine.

On board both an Oceania or Viking cruise you will find a similar demographic of retired or semi-retired globetrotters, with most travellers being primarily 50+ years. Viking doesn’t accept children under 18, so they are a great option if you want an adult-only cruise experience. Oceania isn’t heavily family focussed either, but they do accept children from 12 months on all journeys and operate the Alaska Explorer Youth Program on select holiday sailings. You’re likely to find more families on these departures, but they are welcome on all Oceania cruises.

Who provides the best value - Oceania Cruises or Viking?

Weighing up the best value option between an Oceania and a Viking cruise comes down to the inclusions that matter most to you, and each lines’ promotions at the time you are booking.

Every guest on Viking will have their own private balcony and can dine complimentary at any venue on the ship, enjoy beer and wine with lunch and dinner, participate in one courtesy shore excursion at each port, and take advantage of the free Wi-Fi.

If guests choose, there are also options to upgrade their beverage inclusions with a Silver Spirits Package (or bring their own alcohol on board to consume free of charge), as well as purchase a selection of for-fee excursions that offer a range of local and active experiences or a specialist focus. Viking also regularly run promotions that may offer bonuses such as cabin upgrades, fly deals, or free port extensions.

When cruising with Oceania, guests can opt for an inside or oceanview stateroom to save on their cruise fare. For the price, Oceania guests enjoy complimentary dining (except specialty experiences in two O Class exclusive venues), but have to pay for alcohol, shore excursions and Wi-Fi.

Oceania also routinely offers promotional fares that include value adds, such as the OLife offer that tends to be a staple for the line. When booking an OLife promotional fare, guests may be entitled to free Wi-Fi as well as a choice of three perks – some free shore excursions, a house beverage package (champagne, beer and wine with lunch and dinner), or shipboard credit.

Who has the right itinerary and shore program for me?

Both Oceania and Viking itineraries blend popular cruise destinations with smaller ports. With a strong destination focus across both brands, guests can expect more time in port with evening departures and overnights, as well as rich experiences both on board and on shore.

Shore excursion programs are designed to highlight destinations from a local perspective, with Viking’s paid excursion range including ‘Local Life’ experiences, ‘Working World’ tours to showcase local artisans and producers, and access to cultural treasures and performances granted by Viking’s ‘Privileged Access’ collection. Viking’s free excursions, one of which is offered in each port, give guests an overview of the destination and may consist of a walking or coach tour of the port city or surrounds.

Similarly, Oceania offers a collection of ‘Go Local’ tours to immerse travellers in the regions visited, as well as options that focus on wellness or epicurean experiences. With an emphasis on gastronomy, Oceania offers food and wine tours on many journeys, plus their standout Culinary Discovery tours exclusively on Marina and Riviera itineraries.

There are a variety of itinerary lengths available with both lines, however, you generally won’t find sailings of under a week. Most sit between one and three weeks, and you’ll also have a reasonable selection of longer journeys to choose from. Both lines cover similar regions, but you’ll generally find more trips to choose from with Oceania in destinations such as Alaska, Africa and South America, while Viking has a strong offering in its Scandinavian homeland and also offers quiet season sailings in the Mediterranean when few other lines do.

The Bottom Line

If you want to cruise on an intimate ship and delve deeply into destinations throughout your journey both onboard and onshore, then either Oceania or Viking will tick your boxes. If you’re looking for an adult-only cruise, a private balcony regardless of category booked, and appreciate a fare inclusive of shore excursions and alcohol at mealtimes, then Viking is the way to go. Alternatively, if you are happy to forgo some upfront inclusions and add those that matter to you in an à la carte manner, then Oceania could be the line for you.