Dispatch, Viking Star: Soaking in the infinity pool

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Cruise editor Tom Stieghorst is on the Viking Star, Viking Cruises' first oceangoing ship. Click to read his review of the ship.

ABOARD THE VIKING STAR -- With my nose just above the water, gazing across the surface of the aft infinity pool on Viking Star it was hard to tell where the ship ended and the sea began.

We were about to depart Kusadasi. As I waited to get underway, the rolling hills of the Turkish countryside were shrouded in the haze of a Mediterranean sunset, leaving sky, hills, sea, and pool to blend together, each a different shade of silver-blue.

After a day of riding horses through the pines in one of Turkey's nearby national parks, it felt good to soak my aching legs in the water.

I had no company. It is still cool in Turkey in mid-April. But the water was heated and the temperature in the pool was fine. As far as I was concerned, my fellow guests didn't know what they were missing.

Viking Star is one of the first cruise ships to have an infinity pool (there's also one on MSC Divina). I found it a particularly relaxing vantage point from which to experience the evening sail away.

The pool is about 15 feet square, its fourth wall comprised of a slanted glass panel about 5 inches thick. Water from the pool eases over the top of the glass and slides noiselessly down into a gutter below, creating the illusion of an edgeless line across the rear of the ship.

The other three sides and bottom of the pool are lined with mosaic tiles in random patterns of aqua, blue and green. When sun hits the water right, it creates a ripple of light beneath the surface that adds to the aquatic magic.

Viking Star has a second pool midship that can be covered with a sliding dome. I did not see many people using that pool either, although the heated whirlpools were more popular.

As Kusadasi slowly vanished behind us, I wondered what new feature the cruise lines would come up with next to make a cruise even more novel and enjoyable than they already are.

Later in the year, when the midday temperatures in the Mediterranean soar, I imagine the infinity pool will be the place to be. For now I was more than happy to have it all to myself.

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