The couple who have practically made the Viking Sun cruise ship their home

They've all but set up home onboard permanently.
They've all but set up home onboard permanently. Photo credit: Newshub/Viking Cruises

For most of us, taking a cruise is something we'll do just a handful of times and for just a few days a year. But for one couple who visited Auckland on Tuesday, it's quite the opposite - they're partway through a year in which they're spending more time at sea more than they are on land.

Aussies David Mutton and Roger Foenander are 150 days into the 245 day cruise around the world.

They're self-confessed cruise addicts and even though this isn't their first global circumnavigation, it is by far the longest.

Imagine sitting in the infinity pool at sunset.
Imagine sitting in the infinity pool at sunset. Photo credit: Dan Lake/Newshub.

Cruise ship the Viking Sun is carrying David and Roger to all corners of the globe, including New York, London, South-East Asia, the Pacific, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. 

That's on top of numerous New Zealand stops including Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Akaroa and Dunedin, plus a day of scenic sailing through Fiordland.

The Viking Sun has a very modern interior. At the top of its grand staircase there's a large screen with ever changing historical and cultural images relating to its visit to New Zealand, such as old coins and stamps.

It was just next to that spot that I sat down with David and Roger to talk about their journey so far.

"This isn't a holiday, it's a lifestyle," Roger said.

The couple, who have been together for more than 20 years, have almost become a part of the crew. They've organised a fortnightly LGBTQ social event onboard the cruise, as well as a church service every Sunday. 

"It didn't really form like that. We didn't even know it was really a gay club and suddenly we had 14 people coming along," Roger said. 

Roger, who is on his 65th cruise, is known to some crew as the 'assistant cruise director' because of how friendly and involved he gets.

He went on his first cruise in 1973 when he travelled from Sydney to Japan.

"They called it a Far East cruise, and it took six weeks!" he said.

"I was still at school then," David added, laughing.

David Mutton and Roger Foenander onboard the Viking Sun in Auckland.
David Mutton and Roger Foenander onboard the Viking Sun in Auckland. Photo credit: Dan Lake/Newshub.

The couple believe there's a cruise for everyone. Some people like to party all day and night, while others are more subdued and chilled. They say the more cruises you go on, and the older you get, the further you move towards the more relaxed end of the scale.

"In our younger days we used to do all the activities and play every game. As we get older, we do different things. David does a lot of exercise, he heads the gym group in the morning," Roger said.

"Our alarm goes off at 5:50am every morning."

The vibe of Viking Cruises appears to suit the couple perfectly. They're both fans of its "no kids, no casinos no umbrella cocktails" style, but also say other than that, the ship's crew are open to anything.

"The word 'no' doesn't seem to exist on these ships. We think of it and then it happens."

The Vikings voyage.
The Vikings voyage. Photo credit: Viking Cruises.

As an indication of just how endeared to Viking Cruise staff the couple has become, our interview was interrupted when a senior member of the ship's crew saw us chatting and came over to give Roger and David a hug.

My chat with Roger and David was brief, as they had things planned while in Auckland.

Then the journey continues. 

They have 51 countries and 111 ports to visit before they will be returning 'home' to Australia, but I doubt that's what they call it.  

Their real home is at sea on the Viking Sun, and I don't see that changing, even once the circumnavigation of the globe is completed.

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