Viking Glory turns one, but I’ve yet to sail her seas


Viking Glory, the ferry that sails between Turku and Stockholm, is celebrating its first birthday today on March 1st 2023. Over the course of the year, the vessel has served over a million passengers, breaking Viking Line’s market share record on the Turku route. The launch manager of the ship knows exactly what makes Viking Glory appealing.

Viking Glory set off on its maiden voyage to Stockholm on March 1st, 2022, to great interest. The millionth passenger was celebrated exactly eleven months later, on February 1st.

“Finnish people are cruise enthusiasts, and a new ship is always a big deal. Now, with a year of experience, we can say that our novelty ship has exceeded our own and our passengers’ expectations. Our market share on the Turku route has risen to an unprecedented 68%, and Glory has also inspired Swedish people to cruise to Turku. The experientiality that is apparent in our flagship, the proximity to the archipelago’s nature, and the ability to customize each trip to one’s own liking have clearly struck a chord with current trends,” says Johanna Boijer-Svahnström, Viking Line’s head of communications.

Viking Glory began operating just as coronavirus restrictions were being lifted and pent-up demand was beginning to be released. On the other hand, the war in Ukraine and its collateral effects have made the past twelve months in many ways exceptional.

“Glory had a significant positive impact on all of Viking Line’s business last year. The new vessel was a real boost for both our customers and our entire staff after the long coronavirus years. Even in uncertain times, cruising is a safe way to take a break from everyday life, and good demand compensates for the effect of rising fuel costs,” says Johanna Boijer-Svahnström.

“Our new ship is also a major investment from us in reducing our environmental impact in the long term and securing our future operating conditions. The emission criteria set by the EU are becoming significantly stricter, making environmentally friendly ships key factors in our competitiveness. In November, we were selected as the Finnish Travel Gala’s Responsible Operator of the Year and Transport Company of the Year, with our new flagship playing a significant role in this double victory.”

Glory’s year through the launch manager’s eyes

Launch manager Lotta Lindroos was involved in designing Viking Glory and has been closely involved in its first year. Here’s how she analyzes the novelty ship’s great popularity among ferry passengers:

Experiences and details that people want to share

“The main focus of Viking Glory’s interior design is the stunning sea views and archipelago nature that can be seen throughout the ship. Architecture firm Koncept has also designed numerous spaces that are worthy of being shared on Instagram. The Vista Room entertainment center with its glass floor above the sea and its color-changing light pillars, the rotating Fyren cabinet’s stunning seascape, and the three-story lobby of Torget are undoubtedly some of the most photographed interiors in the Baltic Sea right now.

Relaxation and well-being instead of partying

“Previously, a cruise required many days to recover from it, but now people come aboard to recharge their batteries, and Glory offers excellent facilities for that. The spa section with saunas, pools, and treatments is one of the ship’s main attractions, and visitors have also enjoyed the fitness and yoga studios. The demand for non-alcoholic cocktails and beverages is increasing in bars and restaurants.”

Customizing the sea journey

“Glory is a ship that offers passengers many options. After the buffet, our most popular dining spot is the Market food court, where members of the group can choose their favorite dishes from several different restaurants. Perhaps the ship’s versatility is best demonstrated by the fact that people also come to work remotely on Glory – alone or as a team.”

Quality appeals

“Passengers now want a complete experience from their cruise, which is why both the overall experience and the details have been honed to perfection on Glory. After a spa treatment, indulgence continues with, for example, our seafood platter, which has become popular, and guests are increasingly ordering wine from the list at the buffet. Passengers also notice quality – we receive a lot of praise, for example, for the mattresses in the cabins, which are made by the Närpes-based company Hilding Anders Finland. And even though the beds are top-notch in all of Glory’s cabins, suites and luxury cabins are constantly selling out first.”

Well, I have not seen Viking Glory yet, but I hope to make it before its playschool age. But do check my video and its sister Viking Gabriella with sunrise on the Baltic sea!

Find more great travel ideas for Finland and Sweden from my visual travel guide to Europe!

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