Review of Viking Orion deck 8 (Sundeck-Lounge-Planetarium)
Explorers Lounge (indoor observation lounge with live music in the evenings /upper level 2 of 2). The lounge’s decor features maritime artifacts, a selection of best-seller books, comfortable seating. All the 2-story high glass walls at night are light up with the constellations.
Sliding Dome Cover is the retractable glass roof over the ship’s Lido Pool area.
Deck 8’s midship-located sun deck (equipped with sun loungers and round tables with chairs) overlooks the main pool below. This is also the Viking Orion ship’s only deck area where smoking is allowed.
Cruise cabins from 8000 to 8019, of which Penthouse Junior Suites (PS1) and Deluxe Veranda (DV1).
The Dome planetarium
MS Viking Orion is the world's 2nd ship (after Cunard's RMS Queen Mary 2) with an onboard planetarium. Named "Explorers' Dome", this theater-like venue is circular, with capacity 26 seats and located forward on Deck 8, facing Explorers Lounge. It uses the latest video projecting technology to show constellations and other space-related 3D videos on its domed roof.
The resolution quality is 7K HD. Dome's equipment includes 5x laser-beam projectors and studio-quality speakers with 2D and 3D sound options.
Signature shows offered here are "Journey to Space" (space travel history-themed) and "Under the Arctic Sky" (northern lights-themed). The Dome and its programming are complimentary. 3D glasses are provided, also complimentary.
The ship's resident astronomer (in addition to its resident historian) leads 2 lectures per cruise, themed on current sky events, and also on themes determined by passengers' preference.
In 2018, Viking Cruises partnered with the US-based company "Evans and Sutherland" - developer of advanced computer graphics for digital planetariums and cinemas, and distributor of the world's largest database (library) of full-dome shows. The company also provides access to live feeds, including from the International Space Station and current space missions.
The cruise liner also has a portable telescope (electronically stabilized) that provides live night sky views projected at The Dome. The telescope is generally fixed, located on either side (forward) on Deck 9. The ship's astronomer organizes there outdoor stargazing sessions.