In the summer, up to ten times more children travel on Viking Line’s vessels than during the winter. During holiday periods, onboard entertainment is therefore focused on the youngest family members, and the vessels’ conference facilities are transformed into Adventurelands. This summer, the ship’s cat Ville Viking and the ball pit will have competition with the launch of LEGO’s new Ninjago products.
When the holiday season kicks off, the number of children and young adults on Viking Line’s vessels will be up to ten times greater than during the winter months. For that reason, by mid-June the conference facilities onboard all of Viking Line’s vessels will be converted into a Ville Viking Adventure Island for children, and a significant part of the cruise programme and entertainment will be aimed at children and young adults.
“Children are joyful, fun-loving cruise guests, and travelling by ship is often an experience they have long been looking forward to. Naturally, we want to take particularly good care of our future customers. We continuously monitor bookings, and if we see that there will be a lot of families with children on a given departure, we assign more staff who can entertain children and young adults and arrange more programmes aimed at our young passengers. When children have a good time on board, their parents usually do too,” says Niklas Haapalainen, cruise host on Viking Glory.
Our youngest passengers wait with great excitement to meet Ville Viking. They may run across him in the vessel corridors or on deck, but also see him leading gym activities or disco dancing with children. Characters from the newly released book about Ville Viking and the magic wristband will come to life in Adventure Island.
“Ville Viking is a superstar, and meeting him is the highlight of the trip for many children. There are as many fans gathering around him as any top Finnish artist!”
Another feature with a classic feel is a new addition this summer – the themed room, developed around the launch of LEGO’s new Ninjago products. This summer, all of Viking Line’s vessels will have a LEGO Room.
“This classic brand has enjoyed a boom recently, also because of the popular TV series. The LEGO Rooms are a good addition to our activity programme for children: they can spend time there playing and building,” says Mikael Panelius, entertainment director at Viking Line.
Over the past year, particular efforts have been made at Viking Line to improve the cruise experience for young people. A thorough analysis has been made of passenger responses, and project manager Niklas Haapalainen has listened to the requests of young passengers on different vessels.
“Young people feel they are not all that welcome in many places. We want to do the opposite and provide them with spaces where they can hang out and have fun and meet new friends – and where there is guaranteed to be enough outlets for them to charge their mobiles. All the vessels also have a Game Room, and different kinds of leader-led games and contests are also arranged.”
Viking Line’s summer tips for children and young adults
- Ville Viking. The perennial favourite of children. People can run across him and his friends in the vessel corridors, on deck or in Adventure Island. The second book about Ville Viking’s adventures has just been published and can be purchased on Viking Line’s vessels. Ville Viking wristbands can also be purchased for children who are passengers, which give them access to as much soft drinks and juice as they can possibly drink.
- LEGO® Room. A themed room that offers activities for 5–12 year-olds: that includes building with LEGO’s new Ninjago products.
- New Sisyfox game. A new interactive game where the screen is controlled by the world’s largest game controller, a Pilates ball that is 120 cm in diameter.
- Puppet musical: The Time Machine Adventure. An exciting puppet theatre performance for younger children. The puppet musical uses dark and light, so the youngest viewers will feel most secure seeing it with a parent.
- Staff-led activities. Staff working in Viking Line’s entertainment department lead different kinds of programmes and contests for children and young adults, from candy bingo to limbo contests and from Ville Viking bed-time stories to mini golf.