We had over-nighted in port and there was a reasonably early start for the many excursions that Viking Cruises had on offer.
Having been impressed with our lunch on the Aquavit Terrace the previous day we opted to give the same venue a try for breakfast. We weren’t disappointed.
As with lunch the previous day tables are pre-laid, flasks of very good coffee are already positioned on the tables and fruit juices can be ordered from waiting staff. Well signposted serving counters offer a variety of breakfast dishes and an eggs-to-order station is also available. The only minor problem I identified was that there isn’t a facility to heat plates on the ‘hot’ section of the buffet.
We had opted for a complimentary excursion on this first full day – “A Panoramic Tour & Walk of Barcelona”. Viking’s renowned organisation had already issued us with specific tickets and a section of the days ‘ Viking Daily’ matched our ticket code to a particular coach. Staff were also on hand during our disembarkation to offer us complimentary bottles of water and to ensure we had our excursion bluetooth ‘quiet boxes’.
We spent over an hour being guided around the major outlying sights of Barcelona before alighting the coach near the centre for the ‘walking’ element of the tour. This included a visit to the Aqueduct and gate of the Roman Wall, a full internal tour of Barcelona’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, The Museu Frederic Marès (once the Barcelona headquarters of the Spanish Inquisition) and ending at the The Plaça de Sant Jaume (in English “Saint James’s Square”) which was effectively the center of the Old City of Barcelona and the administrative heart of both the city and surrounding Catalonia. Architectural buildings such as the Palace of the Generalitat of Catalonia and the City Hall are located on the Square.
The rest of the afternoon was now free time. We chose not to return immediately to the ship because we had three priorities: lunch, a visit to one of Antoni Gaudí’s renowned building masterpieces, Casa Batlló, and a visit to the market of La Boqueria, just off La Rambla.
We eventually returned having achieved all our aims which included the purchase of a Spanish Serrano Ham Carving Stand – the purpose of the visit to the La Boquera market.
On return to the ship we opted to take afternoon tea in the Wintergarden. A semi formal affair with dainty sandwiches and cakes served on individual three tier cake stands and varieties of teas from over the world.
Ship’s Guest Emergency Drill was scheduled just before sailing early evening. Here was another example of the Viking difference. Life jackets on board Viking Star do not take up space in staterooms or cabins. Each individual has an ’emergency’ muster station nominated on their key card and life jackets will be provided once at the emergency station.
This evening’s dinners once again taken in the Main Restaurant and on this occasion we were pleased to join four other guests on a table for six. Photographs of the menus for the evening are attached, as are those of some of the dishes on offer.
This evening was also the Captain’s welcome party which was held in and around the Atrium and was followed by a show performed by the Viking ‘Singers and Dancers’ also in the Atrium.
We rounded the evening off with a nightcap listening to the Viking Star’s resident guitarist in Torshavn – a piano bar where guests can either relax, mingle or dance the night away.
Following tomorrow: we visit Toulon and take our first optional excursion (not complimentary)