The Baltic Sea is the new Berlin

WHEN IN NEED OF SOME INDULGENCE, PARTY TIME, AND DELICIOUS FEASTING TO ESCAPE YOUR STRESS AND FATIGUE, DON’T IMMEDIATELY REACH FOR A FOREIGN DESTINATION! VIKING LINE’S 24-HOUR PLEASURE CRUISE ACHIEVES THE SAME MAGICAL EFFECT.

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Now, if I'm honest, I'm not really a cruise person. So, when ‘my crew’ gets the notion to go on a group cruise, I'm not immediately enthusiastic about the idea. Can't we just go to Berlin?

However, in the deep darkness of the winter months, my resistance is diminished. In my weakened state I concede the struggle, being press-ganged aboard ship with the promise of champagne, spa treatments and the seductive image of Pete Parkkonen on stage. Okay okay – I’m on board, let's go!

#girlsnight

After the Viking Grace evening boat leaves Turku harbour, we throw our things in the cabin, perform a quick make-up ritual, and we’re ready to welcome the weekend. The first port of call for our evening adventure is easily agreed: time for a drink!

We decide to check out the Seamore Champagne Lounge, which, at a glance, looks to have a promising selection of drinks. Sufficiently stylish and atmospheric without being too flash. But what should we drink? The bartender overhears our discussion and suggests champagne-based cocktails as a compromise. Ingenious. We’ll take three, thank you!

Soon, conjured before our eyes, three beautiful pink cocktails lay before us, featuring orange marinated strawberries and crushed ice, bathed in champagne. Naturally, the visual spectacle of such a delicious cocktail simply must be shared with our Instagram audience.

“Delightful, and not too sweet!”

“Are these strawberries for eating?”

“Is it too embarrassing to share on #girlsnight?”

“No, not at all – post it!”

 

When the last of the strawberries have been savoured, we hurry towards Club Vogue, the nightclub aboard Viking Grace. I’ve never been to a concert aboard a boat so I really don’t know what to expect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As it so happened, in the midst of a partying crowd and a shirtless Pete Parkkonen, my visions of cheesy cruise ship discos disappeared in an instant – I was thoroughly entertained! In the midst of the festival-like atmosphere, I completely forget we were sailing across the Baltic Sea. After the gig, we didn’t even go to bed right away, but instead enjoyed ourselves partying on the dance floor for a while.

Entertainment and fun – check!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early morning at the spa

Unsurprisingly, the early wake-up is quite a struggle but the second we walk through the doors of Viking Grace’s Spa Wellness Center, the decision to drag ourselves from the bed is one we don’t regret.

Viking Grace’s spa department satisfies our yearning for some unhindered pampering. The scenery at the spa is beautiful, with spectacular views of the Baltic Sea’s archipelago, made even better when admired from our heavenly hot tub. The November morning might be chilly and grey, but this warm embrace makes the soul glow.

In addition to the saunas, the spa also offers a fun snow cave where we go to invigorate the senses. There are also two VIP saunas with jacuzzis – a great place to book and enjoy with a bigger group next time!

Honey treat

We wanted to get the most out of the spa experience, so we booked in for some of the treatments on offer. Netta chose the full body Sea Salt Oil Scrub, Sanni the Hands & Feet care treatment, and I chose the BABOR Onboard tailored facial treatment. Used in all the treatments are the high-quality German treatment series BABOR, with all the products smelling intoxicatingly beautiful.

After 45 minutes, we were experiencing a zen-like feeling, with skin softer than our first day on earth. Not bad, Grace. Not bad at all.

Pampering and relaxation – check!

Psst! Reservations should be made in advance of your trip. Check out the Spa Menu here.

More than the basic buffet

During this trip, we wanted to indulge in luxury and new experiences, so in keeping with this spirit instead of the familiar buffet we opted for the three course dinner at the Oscar à la Carte restaurant, as well as the premium breakfast.


At breakfast, food was self-service from the buffet but coffee was brought to the table. The price also included a glass of sparkling wine, which received a chorus of approval from the girls. The counters of food are moderately sized, making it much less congested than the main buffet. Although the variety is not spectacularly wide, there is none-the-less a good mix of really great options. Most of all we enjoyed the abundant selection of fruit, the pancakes and the cute health shots.














 

What about dinner?

The three course set menu was a tasty package with nice variety. Apparently, Sanni's halibut was among the top three fish dishes she’d ever eaten. A real endorsement! Even the wine recommendations were spot on and there were some nice vegie-options as well. I’d definitely come here again.

Eating well – check!

 

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Last minute purchases

We still have a moment before the ship returns to the Port of Turku, so we decide to go look at what the Viking Grace Shopping World has to offer. 

The spa clearly stirred a deep-felt desire for pampering. Was it possible to bring that same feeling home? After fingering through with careful deliberation, I settle on a vegan peeling mask from the Danish ECOOKING brand, as recommended by the assistant. Apparently, products with AHA acids and pure ingredients are the thing to use. Now I can enjoy that spa-sensation in my own bath. Luxury!

What do the others have in their shopping carts?

Netta found a nice top and grabbed in two hands some Gloggi wine, one bottle for herself and one as souvenir. We gave a lot of thought and attention to the earrings and perfume but decided this time they wouldn’t make the cut. Sanni was in deep discussion over the wine selection on Viking Grace, and excitedly introduced us to her Riesling discoveries.

 

Satisfying shopping and good souvenirs – check!

Time to admit that you had fun.

On the way home, our WhatsApp group chant the message: “Well. Come on, admit that you had fun!”

I concede: I did have fun. The atmosphere aboard Viking Grace was positively surprising. It was interesting to notice how much the cruise as a concept has advanced in recent years and how there are plenty of experiences to suit everyone.

Next time it would be fun to embark on one of Viking Line’s themed cruise or get together a larger cruise group. Meeting rooms are also available to book on board for group activities, and as an added bonus for groups, special programmes are available through Viking Events, such as yoga or beer tasting.

Take a look at the whole range of Viking Events here.

RESERVATIONS

In cooperation with Viking Line.
Text by Jemina Sormunen. Video Kim Allen-Mersh.

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