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SM77

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  1. I don’t have the expectation of being contacted by Viking Air once the flights have been ticketed. I usually check on the flights through the airline. When we had a cancellation by AA & the email said to contact your TA. The TA got in touch w/ Viking Air to rebook the flights. I also had the local Viking rep check w/ Viking Air via email (we were in Bali on a post extension). Due to the time difference I was able to get it resolved before the local Viking rep got back to me the next AM. I haven’t had a cancellation experience @ the airport so I’m not sure if I would have involved Viking Air if I was dealing w/ the airline directly unless there was a problem in getting us to the ship on time.
  2. Yes, it included the economy price which was $1395 pp (there was a savings of $500pp), otherwise business would have been closer to $6K. We have flown business almost all of our Viking cruises - prices have varied depending on destination.
  3. I just got a reply from Viking Social after emailing TellusViking. Below is their response: Thank you for reaching out to us so that we may further assist. Typically, we do arrange a hospitality hotel room in Santiago for our guests with late Viking Air departures, so that you may relax and explore the city independently before your return flight. We encourage you to check back with us closer to your embarkation date for further details, and thank you for your patience. I did make a suggestion that a tour be available so let's see if they decide to do anything extra. There is a post-extension in Santiago so I would imagine that Viking is working w/ a tour company for those passengers that are staying on.
  4. No, it depends on where you are flying. For flying to Auckland and back from Bali, we paid close to $5500pp. The airlines were AA (economy from IAD to LAX, business from LAX to Auckland), Garuda Indonesia (Bali to Hong Kong, business; Cathay Pacific (business, nonstop from Hong Kong to IAD). Coming home is when AA canceled our original flight(s) from Hong Kong - LAX, LAX - IAD and Viking Air worked w/ AA and booked us on Cathay Pacific. We agree that one should price shop but we haven't found the airlines to be that much less than what we wind up w/ Viking Air. Also, we have not deviated that much when traveling w/ Viking so it works out that we use the transfers, etc. We miss that Viking Air use to handle upgrades using miles & $$ - we haven't tried ourselves yet w/ United. We are trying premium economy to Europe in April 2020 to see if that will work. Business was just too expensive. We plan to use Oceania's air when we fly to Athens roundtrip but we plan to come in early & leave later and we have a great company to use for our transfers and tours in Athens. We will see if their air department is as good as Viking Air.
  5. I agree w/ others; Viking Homeland from Stockholm to Bergen was absolutely amazing, especially St. Petersburg - we opted to do a private tour there and covered so many sites in two days. Norway is amazing. My other favorite itinerary is the Mediterranean - two B2B cruises from Athens to Venice, Venice to Barcelona on Oceania. We loved Greece so much we booked another Oceania cruise Athens to Athens w/ an overnight stop in Istanbul. We did Auckland to Bali, amazing trip, New Zealand is a gorgeous country, however there are a lot of sea days (Australia is a huge country) and for me, five weeks is too long; Australia north of Sydney is really hot & humid, same for Indonesia. Wish we had more time in Sydney. We are heading to South America - Buenos Aires to Santiago in Dec 2019. Southeast Asia - Bangkok to Hong Kong in 2021. We've done China, South Korea, & Japan on Crystal. Another amazing trip, my second trip to China (first was a land tour back in 1989). If you are interested in exploring France, Germany, Austria, Hungary the river cruises are stellar, highly recommend the Danube River to Budapest and France's Finest (Seine & Rhone rivers).
  6. Our B2B experience from Auckland to Sydney, Sydney to Bali; we closed out the charges on the first segment, got new key cards, had a free day in Sydney while others disembarked/embarked. We earned OBC from booking another cruise during the first leg & it was available for use on the second leg. Of course we didn't have to move since we booked the same cabin; some folks had to move if they couldn't book the same cabin for both segments but the staff will help move your belongings. Our Viking Guest Statement had it all as one cruise but on the ship, they like to treat each segment separately; for example we didn't get our excursion tickets for the 2nd leg until the start of the 2nd leg.
  7. We are doing two Viking river cruises, making our own back to back river cruises. The first river cruise is from Berlin to Prague, the second cruises starts the day after we end our first leg in Prague. We contacted the hotel that Viking uses - the Corinthia and they offered us a room that is equivalent to what Viking reserves for their passengers and they made a note to keep us in the same room for five days. Of course we will double check once we get our travel documents and when we get to Prague but the hotel was certain that Viking is using them for 2020. We hope that we can be in the same room for five days.
  8. We will be on doing South America from Buenos Aires to Santiago in December. We finalized our flights and departure from Santiago is 9:45 PM. I recall for a river cruise, Viking did make arrangements for a hotel stay in a conference room for a few hours, however we opted to go to the airport. However this is a much longer day in which we can do a tour of Santiago or Valparaiso. I started to look into any tours that we could do on our own but would rather work through Viking for the transfer from the port to the airport since we booked our flights w/ Viking. Sounds like there will be a large enough group of passengers for Viking to make some arrangements at a hotel for the day. Your experience makes me optimistic that Viking will try to do something for disembarking guests (& I don't have an issue if there is an additional cost for a tour). I will contact TellusViking and post if I get a definitive answer. If they do get us to a hotel for the day, we might be able to arrange through the hotel a half day tour of Santiago.
  9. Sorry to hear that Viking Air was not helpful in rebooking your business class accommodations. We had the exact opposite experience when AA canceled our flight back to the US from Hong Kong (or our LAX to IAD flight - we had two legs, not sure which one was canceled) - AA just emailed us to work w/ our TA to rebook - which was challenging since we were in Bali post-extension & there was a 14 hour time difference. I got in touch w/ our TA via email, she got a hold of Viking Air & I was allowed to email directly to Viking Air to rebook(3 AM Bali time). In fact, we wound up w/ a nonstop flight from Hong Kong to IAD on Cathay Pacific which was much better than what we had before. I clearly believe if we didn't have Viking Air work w/ AA to rebook it, we would have had less options. Maybe in my situation, Viking Air was able to do something since we were two days out from the flight and AA emailed us to go through our TA. Personally I don't understand why AA just didn't rebook our flights for us since they canceled it.
  10. Heidi13, Glad to hear that you had great service w/ Viking Air. We have always been pleased to work through our TA w/ Viking Air. We also just booked our premium economy seats for 2020 Elbe River & Prague to Paris river cruises. I had done my research on United (we are Mileage Plus members), wanted to avoid Frankfurt as the connection so we are flying IAD to Brussels, Brussels to Berlin; the return flight is nonstop Paris to IAD. Got the exact flights I wanted. Price was comparable to United's price(which I had reserved quite a while ago). I may try to upgrade to business using miles & $$ by talking to United but I think for Europe we might want to try the premium economy. I have mentioned this on my post about traveling from Bali from our Viking Ocean cruise back in March, but I was really glad that we had booked our flights through Viking Air then. AA had canceled our flight either from Hong Kong or LAX coming home due to the MAX issue, just two days before we were leaving from Bali and told us in the email to work through our TA. I sent my TA an email regarding the cancelled flight; she got in touch w/ Viking Air, and then Viking Air allowed me to directly email them to figure out a way home (and this is w/ a 14 hour time difference) - in fact I had a better flight, going nonstop from Hong Kong to IAD on Cathay Pacific instead of connecting through LAX from Hong Kong to IAD. Worked this all out via email @ 2:30 AM - 4:00 AM Bali time. W/ AA having no presence in Bali, I would have had to wait until we got to Hong Kong if I didn't get a hold of my TA & Viking Air via email. The time difference made it difficult as well. I think having Viking Air deal w/ AA made a difference in taking care of us. Viking has clout due all the business they give to the airlines.
  11. CCWineLover, We did book the same cabin - make sure that you can do that. You do close out the charges on the onboard account for the first leg and you are issued a new ID card for the second leg. You will need to give reception your credit card again. I had entered the cc info online in My Viking Journey and it only applied for the first leg so I had to give Viking a credit card number for the charges on the second leg of the trip. Not sure if they fixed that issue yet. Also for some reason our dinner reservations for the 2nd leg got messed up and we had to make sure that what was selected online was still there. Maybe that software issue has been fixed. We mostly did the included bus tours which was fine for us. We loved almost every port in New Zealand - such a beautiful country and particularly loved sailing into Tauranga, NZ (Mt. Maunganui). We skipped going to the hot springs and just enjoyed the included bus tour of the immediate area. The port is really lovely. We did the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane - just loved it - but be prepared for the heat & humidity. And we did go to the Great Barrier Reef at Whitsunday Islands. Probably too basic for seasoned snorkelers but great safe experience for novices. Komodo Island is a must unless it's closed; try to go early in the day, I think the dragons are more active in the AM. I think if you read my posts about the cruise, you will get a better sense of our excursion experiences. With regards to the Tasman Sea, definitely bring motion sickness meds or patches, etc. I do get seasick and made sure that I had my patch on. It was a calm crossing and a number of people did get seasick. I did not but I don't think I would have been OK w/ a third day on the Tasman Sea. I had not been to this part of the world and I wished that I had more time in Sydney. To be honest, I think it would have been better to go from Bali to Sydney, Sydney to Auckland. I found the weather to be particularly hot and humid in Indonesia and for any Australian port north of Sydney. The weather in Hobart, Melbourne, and New Zealand was much nicer. Hope this helps!
  12. We did the cruise this past March. We were pleasantly surprised that Viking arranged for a boat to take you to Circular Quay right by the Museum of Contemporary the day of embarkation. We did a back to back from Auckland to Sydney & then Sydney to Bali and had a free day to do things in Sydney. The reason we were pleasantly surprised is that I had emailed Viking and they said that there wouldn't be a shuttle to the CBD area from White Bay Terminal. It really made a difference because it is not easy to travel from White Bay to Circular Quay.
  13. Actually there is NO shuttle for Venice to San Marco. We went last Nov on Riviera. There is a shuttle that runs within the port terminal. We bought tickets to ride on Alilaguna which is located right by the main pier building at the dock. It’s a more direct route to get back & forth from San Marco than the vaporettos.
  14. We also used SPB Tours and they were excellent. The one issue is that SPB Tours has a minimum number of 8 participants to run a tour and that could be an issue coming from Viking where most will do the Viking excursions. We were there in May so we were the beginning of the season. We were only six but since there was no mention of a minimum when I booked, they did run the tour. It was easy to book online & pay online. You may want to go to the roll call for that cruise and ask others to join you on the SPB tour. We did do the Metro, the guide took us to the stops that had the beautiful mosaics. Got on one stop & off the next stop.
  15. Hi Folks, I was the other passenger, in addition to Stretchcruz, that posted live on the Orion in March 2019. I haven't been on the Boards lately. Like Stretchcruz, I came home sick w/ bronchitis and other respiratory issues. All the tropical flora, mildew and mold aggravated my asthma and allergies so I was sick for almost a month. If you have any allergy issues, make sure you have additional allergy meds. I think if you read that live Orion post, it would cover most of our experiences. I still haven't written an official review but we had a fabulous time. If you are starting w/ Sydney, make sure you come in a couple of days early - I was sorry that we were in Sydney for just a day and a half. There is so much to see. We started in Auckland and ended in Bali. I would agree w/ Stretchcruz, once we headed north past Sydney it got unbearably hot and humid. Once we did Komodo Island (which was a once in a lifetime experience), we skipped the Lombok excursion & stayed on the ship. We had scheduled a post-extension stay in Bali and figured we would see enough there. I had heard from some that depending on the tour guide/bus driver, some Lombok tours did stop at a mosque or temple in addition to going up to the shopping area. Regarding the Bali post extension Viking did the all day tour of Bali the day we got off the ship which worked well since we were getting off the ship (and not jet-lagged) and had a full long day tour. Quite frankly a number of us were toured out after five weeks from Auckland to Bali so many of us on that bus tour said that we were just going to hang out by the pool the following day of the post extension before heading home. If I did this cruise again, I would have gone from Bali to Sydney to Auckland, going from very hot weather to a more comfortable temperatures. I hope Viking will be able to make other arrangements to see Komodo dragons since Komodo Island will be closed to tourists. I think there are two other islands that have the Komodo dragon as well. Going to Komodo Island was the main reason to sail all the way up to Bali. From my perspective, once we went up to Whitsunday Islands(and the Great Barrier Reef), that was about the most northern part of Australia that I was interested in. We skipped Thursday Island (which would have been really interesting) due to a cyclone chasing us. It was too hot and humid by that point and touring was not as comfortable.
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