Excursions/walking tours

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Viking Ocean
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#1
sc
87 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Going on the Italian Sojourn 10/18. Trying to get more info on the difficulty of the included walking tours. How do we find out about any problems for the "slow" walkers, those who cannot walk fast or over "rough " terrain??
#2
Boston MA
5,998 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by zwolinski
Going on the Italian Sojourn 10/18. Trying to get more info on the difficulty of the included walking tours. How do we find out about any problems for the "slow" walkers, those who cannot walk fast or over "rough " terrain??
Imho, forget polling the audience (us) or phoning a friend. I would go straight to Viking for this one. Email them at [email protected] and tell them which tours you would like to know more about.
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"Caminante no hay camino, se hace camino al andar." Antonio Machado
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The high value put upon every minute of time, the idea of hurry-hurry as the most important objective of living, is unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of joy Herman Hesse





Click on the links below for photos

AT SEA: 1983/NCL Caribbean ~ 1985/Premier DisneyWorld+Cruise ~ 1997/NCL Alaska ~ 2000/Renaissance Istanbul to Athens ~ 2001/Celebrity Horizon Southern Caribbean ~ 200?/NCL Boston to Bermuda ~ 2005/Celebrity Zenith Central America/Western Caribbean ~ 2006/RCCL L.A. to Ensenada ~2007/Celebrity Century Scandinavia & Baltic Capitals ~2009/Celebrity Infinity South America around the Horn ~ 2016/Viking Sea Midnight Sun ~ 2016/Viking Sea NYE on the Med

RIVER DAYS: 2010/Viking River Cruises "China's Cultural Delights" ~ 2013/Viking "Footsteps of the Cossacks" ~ 2015/Viking "Passage to Eastern Europe"

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#3
San Diego
65 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
Originally posted by zwolinski
Going on the Italian Sojourn 10/18. Trying to get more info on the difficulty of the included walking tours. How do we find out about any problems for the "slow" walkers, those who cannot walk fast or over "rough " terrain??
Not sure about Viking Ocean but on the river cruises they have a "slow walker" group on tours where the conditions might be challenging.
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Paris to the Swiss Alps (Viking Hild) June 2018
Paris & the Heart of Normandy (Viking Rolf) August 2017
Grand European Tour (Viking Modi) June 2016
#4
Boston MA
5,998 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by OneSixtyToOne
Not sure about Viking Ocean but on the river cruises they have a "slow walker" group on tours where the conditions might be challenging.
So, far, not so on VO.
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"Caminante no hay camino, se hace camino al andar." Antonio Machado
Expand for links to links to photos and more.
The high value put upon every minute of time, the idea of hurry-hurry as the most important objective of living, is unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of joy Herman Hesse





Click on the links below for photos

AT SEA: 1983/NCL Caribbean ~ 1985/Premier DisneyWorld+Cruise ~ 1997/NCL Alaska ~ 2000/Renaissance Istanbul to Athens ~ 2001/Celebrity Horizon Southern Caribbean ~ 200?/NCL Boston to Bermuda ~ 2005/Celebrity Zenith Central America/Western Caribbean ~ 2006/RCCL L.A. to Ensenada ~2007/Celebrity Century Scandinavia & Baltic Capitals ~2009/Celebrity Infinity South America around the Horn ~ 2016/Viking Sea Midnight Sun ~ 2016/Viking Sea NYE on the Med

RIVER DAYS: 2010/Viking River Cruises "China's Cultural Delights" ~ 2013/Viking "Footsteps of the Cossacks" ~ 2015/Viking "Passage to Eastern Europe"

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#5
1,604 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
I think the addition of this option would be an incredible advantage to add to VO excursions. It is such a great system on Rivers. It is such a plus to all passengers. JMHO
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#6
Boston MA
5,998 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by Vineyard View
I think the addition of this option would be an incredible advantage to add to VO excursions. It is such a great system on Rivers. It is such a plus to all passengers. JMHO
And mine, too! Where there are so many groups going out, I can't imagine that it would be that difficult to do.
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"Caminante no hay camino, se hace camino al andar." Antonio Machado
Expand for links to links to photos and more.
The high value put upon every minute of time, the idea of hurry-hurry as the most important objective of living, is unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of joy Herman Hesse





Click on the links below for photos

AT SEA: 1983/NCL Caribbean ~ 1985/Premier DisneyWorld+Cruise ~ 1997/NCL Alaska ~ 2000/Renaissance Istanbul to Athens ~ 2001/Celebrity Horizon Southern Caribbean ~ 200?/NCL Boston to Bermuda ~ 2005/Celebrity Zenith Central America/Western Caribbean ~ 2006/RCCL L.A. to Ensenada ~2007/Celebrity Century Scandinavia & Baltic Capitals ~2009/Celebrity Infinity South America around the Horn ~ 2016/Viking Sea Midnight Sun ~ 2016/Viking Sea NYE on the Med

RIVER DAYS: 2010/Viking River Cruises "China's Cultural Delights" ~ 2013/Viking "Footsteps of the Cossacks" ~ 2015/Viking "Passage to Eastern Europe"

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#7
1,604 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Originally posted by Peregrina651
And mine, too! Where there are so many groups going out, I can't imagine that it would be that difficult to do.
Totally agree. I believe it would result in a lot more happy customers with Viking Excursions. As it is now, it is a disadvantage to those who need more time - as well as to those who do not. Seems like a no-brainer to me.
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HAL Ryndam - Athens -Istanbul 2014
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#8
sc
87 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Viking called me today to address my concerns. Said they DO have "slow walking" groups on the tours, when the need arises. The Cruise director & excursion people are the ones to confer with once we are on board, since they know exactly what we would be up against. Must say I was pleased with the prompt reply & concern.
#9
1,604 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
That is great to hear. Maybe this is a new policy that they will start to publish up front for people to make choices - and to know that they are even available to sign up for.
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Grand Princess - SFO RT to Vancouver BC, Sept 2018
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Viking Star - Bergen- Stockholm 2015
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HAL Ryndam - Athens -Istanbul 2014
Viking Skadi - Amsterdam- Budapest 2013
Princess - Western Mediterranean - 2010
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#10
San Antonio,Texas
628 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Originally posted by Peregrina651
So, far, not so on VO.
On Mediterranean Odyssey I have found one listed already in Monte Carlo. None in the first two ports but I've just started looking into this.
#11
Michigan
1,268 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
I know they allow passengers with mobility issues &/or wheelchairs board buses early ( so they always get the great front seat). However that extra time it takes them to get off and get the wheelchair out from under bus....making almost everyone else get off through the back doors certainly can slow the process down. Viking would be so wise to offer the slow walker group on ALL excursions! I know our tour guides were often chastised for walking "too fast"....the voice boxes help but separate groups would be even better. The group tours IMO were too large on many of the excursions.
#12
Tucson AZ
1,926 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
I was on the same cruise with Dee and agree 100%. Sure would help to have a slow walker group so we weren't waiting for them to get on and off and slowing everyone in the large group down. And the tours could certainly be smaller groups...
#13
1,604 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Deec and Stretchcruz, you just summarized why we don't generally take excursions - on any cruise line - unless it is a means of transportation to get someplace.
if we want to pay for an excursion, it will be private or small group....and actually save money.
I think this is a real area of opportunity for Viking to differentiate themselves even further.
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Grand Princess - SFO RT to Vancouver BC, Sept 2018
VikingSea - San Juan-Amazon-San Juan Dec 2017
Viking Star - Bergen- Stockholm 2015
Viking Star - Barcelona-Bergen 2015
HAL Ryndam - Istanbul- Barcelona 2014
HAL Ryndam - Athens -Istanbul 2014
Viking Skadi - Amsterdam- Budapest 2013
Princess - Western Mediterranean - 2010
Princess Golden - Alaska - 2010
#14
Tucson AZ
1,926 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
We did not pay for any tours we only did the included ones as that was part of the reason we booked Viking...the included tours. We were disappointed in several that were mainly buses. The walking ones were better but still too big. We have not done a cruise ship tour in over 50 cruises we always do private but we wanted to do the included ones rather than spending more money than we already had. We did private in St Petersburg. 6 of us booked with Alla for 2 days and it was phenomenal. In several ports we would have liked to have had more choices for the included tours. In LeHavre we did not have a choice...it was go to Paris and travel hours and hours. That was the only included tour. We didn't we took a taxi tour to Honfleur.
#15
Nottingham, MD
119 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Originally posted by stretchcruz
I was on the same cruise with Dee and agree 100%. Sure would help to have a slow walker group so we weren't waiting for them to get on and off and slowing everyone in the large group down. And the tours could certainly be smaller groups...
Of course smaller groups would be nice, but that then increases Viking's cost, which then likely increases the fares. Viking is already a bit of a splurge for us, so personally, I can accept the included tours as is.
#16
1,604 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
We don't do a lot of tours - private or ship. We prefer to DIY. On our upcoming Amazon trip I have booked 4 (2 in the Amazon of which one may be an optional Viking, a Catamaran on Barbados, and a land-Sea on St Lucia). there may be an included one as well in a port, but for the most part we enjoy exploring.

I just think if Viking implemented choices for people in terms of slower mobility vs greater mobility it would be a huge bonus. For everyone.
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Grand Princess - SFO RT to Vancouver BC, Sept 2018
VikingSea - San Juan-Amazon-San Juan Dec 2017
Viking Star - Bergen- Stockholm 2015
Viking Star - Barcelona-Bergen 2015
HAL Ryndam - Istanbul- Barcelona 2014
HAL Ryndam - Athens -Istanbul 2014
Viking Skadi - Amsterdam- Budapest 2013
Princess - Western Mediterranean - 2010
Princess Golden - Alaska - 2010
#17
New Hampshire
484 Posts
Joined Jun 2015
Too many included tours on Homelands were bus forays. Not enough walking as on many river cruise tours.
Took several excellent optional Viking tours. Uncrowded with opportunity to walk & explore.
St Pete was best of all, private 2 day comprehensive tour with TJ Tours.
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#18
SoCal
2,312 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
We have our first Ocean cruise (Mediterranean) coming up early next year, and I'm reading these comments with interest. Although we are not "mountain climbing" active, we do want more than a slow-paced drive-by bus tour. For the "included" tours, what type of tour options might we find available? Are the "included" tours typically only bus tours? Do you ever have a chance to get off and walk around?
#19
Boston MA
5,998 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by RJ2002
We have our first Ocean cruise (Mediterranean) coming up early next year, and I'm reading these comments with interest. Although we are not "mountain climbing" active, we do want more than a slow-paced drive-by bus tour. For the "included" tours, what type of tour options might we find available? Are the "included" tours typically only bus tours? Do you ever have a chance to get off and walk around?
There are descriptions for the tours on the Viking website. They can be tricky to find but they are there. Go to the page for the itinerary that you are taking and click on the tab marked "Itinerary." When that page comes up, scroll down the page, past the pretty pictures to where it says " Day by Day" and click on Day 1 or your tour.

When the new page comes up, the first thing that you will notice are the navigation buttons on either side of DAY 1. If you scroll down, you will now see a sampling of shorex for that port. Not all of them may be offered on your sailing (the port page is a generic page and shows up in all of the itineraries that call in that port). One of them will be marked INCLUDED. If you click on Learn More, you will get a more complete description of the tour. Read it carefully, paying attention to the verbs used as well as the points of interest that are included. Remember, that the deal is one included tour per port, not one included tour per day.

Here is a sample tour description from the included tour in Barcelona. It is a combined walking and bus tour, 3 hours in length:


Discover Barcelona’s most iconic landmarks on a relaxing drive and a leisurely walk around this impressive city. You will pass the Columbus Monument and Port Vell, the seaside cultural and shopping complex. Admire the Arc de Triomf, a stately remnant from the 1888 World’s Fair and take in the breathtaking Parc de la Ciutadella, once home to the garrison that protected the city. Next, you will alight your coach and walk into the historic center, stopping to view the stunning neo-Gothic Barcelona Cathedral. This 14th-century marvel is adorned with a wide range of animal and mythical gargoyles; its interior is a wonder of vaulted ceilings buttressed by soaring columns. Later, enjoy free time in the heart of Old Barcelona browsing its shops or lingering at a café before returning to your ship.


The final choice of tours for your sailing will be posted to MyVikingJourney.com about 120 days before you sail. If you haven't registered for MyVikingJourney, now is the time. Most guests will be booking their tours from there when booking opens for their cabin category. IMHO, do not wait until you board the ship to book, because popular tours sell out quickly.

The other tip on booking tours is that a space on a tour is not your until you have checked out; even if it is an included tour, you must go through check out. Putting a tour into your shopping cart while you decide will not hold that spot for you and if you don't pay for it, it will be given to someone who has paid for it.
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"Caminante no hay camino, se hace camino al andar." Antonio Machado
Expand for links to links to photos and more.
The high value put upon every minute of time, the idea of hurry-hurry as the most important objective of living, is unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of joy Herman Hesse





Click on the links below for photos

AT SEA: 1983/NCL Caribbean ~ 1985/Premier DisneyWorld+Cruise ~ 1997/NCL Alaska ~ 2000/Renaissance Istanbul to Athens ~ 2001/Celebrity Horizon Southern Caribbean ~ 200?/NCL Boston to Bermuda ~ 2005/Celebrity Zenith Central America/Western Caribbean ~ 2006/RCCL L.A. to Ensenada ~2007/Celebrity Century Scandinavia & Baltic Capitals ~2009/Celebrity Infinity South America around the Horn ~ 2016/Viking Sea Midnight Sun ~ 2016/Viking Sea NYE on the Med

RIVER DAYS: 2010/Viking River Cruises "China's Cultural Delights" ~ 2013/Viking "Footsteps of the Cossacks" ~ 2015/Viking "Passage to Eastern Europe"

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#20
SoCal
2,312 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Many thanks! I don't think I would have found it without your helpful, step-by-step instructions.

One followup question. Is it OK to make our own way back to the ship after an included tour? For instance, in Rome, could we use the included tour as a means to get into the city, and go on all (or part) of the tour, and then just tell the guide we'll make our own way back to the ship?