Cruising the North Sea with Viking

My favorite piece of art onboard Viking Cruises' new Viking Star: "Nordic Sunset" by Norwegian-born Ulf Nilsen. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

My favorite piece of art onboard Viking Cruises’ new Viking Star: “Nordic Sunset” by Norwegian-born Ulf Nilsen. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Viking Cruises Viking Star was greeted by cold temperatures and grey skies for the first time on our journey so far. Still, at 7:00a.m., I braved the wind and the chill and went for a two-mile walk around the Promenade Deck on Deck 2 – and I wasn’t alone. Other guests were also using the Promenade for an early morning jog. I liked that. It convinces me of the worth of one of my favorite spaces, in an age where so many lines seem eager to get rid of it entirely.

Viking Star's spacious promenade deck, photographed during our evening in Greenwich, England. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Viking Star’s spacious promenade deck, photographed during our evening in Greenwich, England. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Despite the cold temperatures and moderate swell, guests were undeterred. With the magrodome cover fully shut, the midships pool area and adjacent Wintergarden were comfortably warm. It’s such smart space – and so rare that it can be enjoyed in beautiful weather like we’ve had for the last two days, and in inclement weather like today.

Unlike other cruise ships I’ve been on that have had magrodome-covered pools, the one aboard Viking Star almost completely lacks humidity. It also doesn’t have that heavy chlorine smell that can be prevalent on other ships. Credit here goes to a massive number of recirculating vents that pull the air from the entire midships pool area and exchange it. The end result is a public space that is comfortable to sit in and enjoy at any time.

Strolling along Viking Star's uppermost decks this morning. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Strolling along Viking Star’s uppermost decks this morning. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

The lack of humidity in the pool is just one of many technological enhancements that occur behind-the-scenes. But the biggest has been reserved for how Viking Star moves through the water in the first place.

Rather than utilising the pivoting Azipod propulsion systems that many newbuilds feature, Viking Star has become the first-ever cruise ship to feature the Rolls-Royce Promas propulsion system.

Viking Star is the first newbuild cruise ship to feature the Rolls-Royce Promas propulsion system. Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce

Viking Star is the first newbuild cruise ship to feature the Rolls-Royce Promas propulsion system. Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce

Essentially, Rolls-Royce Promas is made up of two traditional, shaft-driven propellers that operate on a variable-pitch arrangement. This means that the blades can be “feathered” or rotated to increase, decrease, or reverse the motion of the ship, all without changing the direction of the shaft itself.

What makes Rolls-Royce Promas different from other systems is that the flap-style rudders are positioned within centimetres of the end caps of the propellers and fitted with a prefabricated “bulb” that bows out like a jet engine. In fact, at first glance it nearly looks as though the two are connected – but they’re not. Instead, this arrangement allows the flow of water to pass more cleanly between the spinning screws and the rudder flaps. This reduces drag and wake turbulence, which can result in fuel savings of between five and fifteen percent. The reduction in wake turbulence and cavitation means that guests experience a smoother ride.

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Our Live Voyage Report aboard Viking Cruises oceangoing Viking Star continues tomorrow as we arrive in and explore Bergen, Norway! Be sure to follow along on twitter by following @deckchairblog or the hashtag #LiveVoyageReport.

 

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