Viking Ocean – Explorer Suite (ES 1) Review

Viking Sun Deck 4

When we were unable to disembark in Dubai, the 8 Canadians remained aboard the ship, as it sailed from Dubai on March 26th, for port or ports unknown. After a brief sojourn in Dubai, the Magical Mystery Cruise resumed.

Suite floorplan

Floorplan – Stbd side Suite, 4001 or 5001

A couple hours after sailing from Dubai, the 8 remaining passengers met with Norbert (GM) and all his Department Heads. First topic Norbert discussed was cabins, as Norbert graciously offered us all suites. It was resolved rather easily, as most of us moved to the fwd Suite on our deck and side of the ship. For Judi and I, it entailed moving from 4058 (DV 4) to 4000 (ES 1). By the time the meeting with Norbert concluded, Anna the Executive Housekeeper had arranged keys for our new cabins and adjusted the Cabin Steward assignments, so we retained our original Cabin Stewards. Extremely thoughtful.

Suite lounge from windows

Living Room from the fwd windows – balcony access through curtains on right

Entering the Suite, the first impression is wow!!, this is huge and it has a great view, almost as good as the view from the Bridge, 2 decks above.

Suite lounge from the door

Living/Dining Room from the entrance

The open plan Living Room, Dining Room and Office (desk) is spacious, with the cabin having lots of natural light streaming through the large deck to deckhead windows across the fwd bulkhead and down the ship’s side. Each window has 2 curtains, a sheer that provides great slightly diffused light by day and a heavy blackout curtain for night-time. As suites are fwd facing, it is imperative that the heavy blackout curtain is closed before sunset and remains closed until sunrise. Failure to comply degrades the Bridge Team’s night vision and risks incurring the wrath of the Captain or Senior Officer of the Watch.

Suite dining room and desk

Dining Room & Office (Desk) from balcony door

Unlike the Owner’s Suite with the 65″ B&O TV, the Suite TV was similar to the excellent one in our previous cabin. In addition to the size, the flooring materials on the deck are also an upgrade from regular cabins. In the Living/Dining Room, most of the flooring is laminate, with the only carpet being in the vicinity of the couch, table and chairs.

The Suites are all stocked with library books, about a couple of dozen, and some are huge and expensive coffee table publications. Each Suite had a large Atlas/Map. Although we never ordered Room Service in the Suite, the dining table would be an excellent upgrade over the low tables in the DV cabins.

Suite bedroom


The Bedroom is a separate area and can be closed off from the Living Room with the door adjacent to the desk. For us, this is an excellent feature, as I am awake about 05:00 and Judi prefers to sleep in, so having the connecting door let her sleep in peace.  The bed was aligned athwartships and at the fwd end of the bedroom. This made it rather tight at the fwd end, but at the aft end there was about 8 feet of empty space to reach the bathroom.

Suite closet

Walk-in closet

An excellent feature was the night-light, which can be activated on either side of the bed. It has 1 light in the bedroom and a couple of lights in the bathroom, which makes it easy getting up at night, or when the curtains are closed.

Suite double sinks

Double sinks with lots of additional storage

The bathroom was huge with double sinks, 4 huge drawers and even a heated towel rack.

Suite heated towel rack

Heated towel rack

That’s only 1/2 the bathroom, as they also have a massive walk-in shower and bath tub.

Suite shower and bath tub

Shower and Bath Tub

As seen above, it looks like a mirror at the end of the bath tub, but it is actually another TV. The TV remote is bottom right of the above photo, at the side of the tub.

Suite balcony with loungers

Balcony with loungers, table and chairs

The balcony is located on the side of the ship, with deck to deckhead windows affording protection up fwd. The deck does wrap around and all the way across the fwd bulkhead, but structural beams render it inaccessible. However, we still had great views ahead and down the Port side.

As seen above, the seats were aligned outboard for our daily viewing of the moon, stars and a planet. During the Suez Canal transit, I spent most of the day on the balcony, with all Suez photos taken on the balcony.


We greatly appreciated the opportunity to try a Suite for our remaining 2+ weeks aboard the magnificent Viking Sun. The bright and spacious cabin with incredible vistas and additional features was amazing. Closing off the bedroom and living area when I got up early certainly assisted Judi in getting more sleep.

However, for Judi the extreme fwd location did not work, as the pitching motions in a seaway are extenuated this far fwd. Although she loved the spaciousness and additional features, she prefers the reduced motion of a midships cabin. The Suites are also in close proximity to the anchors, so when weighing anchor at Suez, 6 of us were wide awake by 04:00.

Our thanks to Viking Ocean and the incredible Officers aboard the Viking Sun for providing us the opportunity to experience a Suite.