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#1
San Diego, CA
26 Posts
Joined May 2018
Is there a way to see all the included and pay for excursions way ahead of time? Right now Viking is saying they will post it to My Viking one week before it opens for me.
#2
Northern Virginia
1,184 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Originally posted by CatGirl922
Is there a way to see all the included and pay for excursions way ahead of time? Right now Viking is saying they will post it to My Viking one week before it opens for me.
Go to the main Viking page for Viking Homelands. What you'll see will be the itinerary for the cruise day by day. For each day you will see the list of excursions, included and optionals. Go to this page: https://www.vikingcruises.com/oceans...nds/index.html. Go below the map to the Day by Day. Toggle which way you are going; default is Stockholm to Bergen. Then click on a day to see details on the excursions for that port. When your MVJ opens (start looking about 120 days before) you'll get more details on them including prices. The list of excursions may not be exactly the same as on the main VO page but it should be pretty close. Hope this helps.
#3
San Diego, CA
26 Posts
Joined May 2018
I feel a serious "duh" for myself. Thank you so much for pointing out the obvious! Can't believe I missed it. I'm sure you've posted this on other threads, but did you have any tours included or not that you wouldn't miss? Any that were just absolutely not worth the time? I know that we will use an outside vendor for SPB and we are planning to not do the Berlin trek but go with Friends of Dave to see more local/German sites. Other than that, we are not big on large group bus excursions. Again, thank you.
#4
Northern Virginia
1,184 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Originally posted by CatGirl922
I feel a serious "duh" for myself. Thank you so much for pointing out the obvious! Can't believe I missed it. I'm sure you've posted this on other threads, but did you have any tours included or not that you wouldn't miss? Any that were just absolutely not worth the time? I know that we will use an outside vendor for SPB and we are planning to not do the Berlin trek but go with Friends of Dave to see more local/German sites. Other than that, we are not big on large group bus excursions. Again, thank you.
Don't feel too bad. As it turns out yes we did go on Viking Homelands... in 2016. I posted a review of it (we did Bergen to Stockholm):
https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show...php?p=50900544

Also after we got back I scanned all the Viking Daily Pages and posted them here on Dropbox that you're welcome to view no account required. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/i9q99w1v6...LvQPCfX9a?dl=0. But do remember this was 2 yrs ago and VO was only in its 2nd yr. They've had time to tweak things in response to feedback, which btw they are just dogged about gathering.
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#5
chicago area
203 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
We also took the Homelands cruise in 2016 (Stockholm to Bergen) and loved it. We ended up booking mostly optional excursions and some were great, some were a bust. The worst was the Stockholm walking tour with a stop at the Ice Bar. The walk was fine but the Ice Bar was pretty dumb and I don't think they even offer it any longer. In Helsinki we went to the Fiskars Arts Village. It was a charming place and we enjoyed the trip but never saw any of the city of Helsinki.

I would definitely go with private tours in SPB. We had spent a lot of time in SPB in 2012 so opted for the Hermitage Repository and the Canal Tour ... they were fine but we would have been disappointed has that been our first trip to SPB.

Our favorite excursion was the Beer Walking Tour in Alborg! Some of the other passengers were tsk-tsk-ing as it started at 8:30 AM but we had a ball! The guide was great and we had a wonderful walking tour ... we just got to open some of the city's favorite pubs along the way and sample some of their favorite brews! Some of the locals caught on that our group was being admitted to pubs that were generally closed until afternoon and popped in and joined us along the way. It was a great, lively, friendly group and we really felt that we got a feel for the city and had some wonderful refreshments to boot!

Hope you have a wonderful time!
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#6
Ottawa, Canada
153 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
We did the Homelands in 2018, Stockholm to Bergen. We did most of the included tours to get ourselves oriented and then stayed in the cities/towns to explore, often catching the last shuttle back to the ship. In most cases the guides were good (one big exception -- Copenhagen but then it is so walkable and we were docked close to the Mermaid). I suggest checking out private tour companies for SPB -- we had a packed 2 days with ours and the guide was great. We did a couple of the Viking "for fee" tours in Norway and these were very well done. And whether you start or end in Stockholm, take extra day or 2 to explore on your own if you can. We had 4 days there pre-cruise and loved it, there is so much to see & do. (Sign up for your CC meeting. Viking did a great job of hosting and it was fun to meet those fellow travellers we met on the CC boards. Several from that group have done recent reviews.)
#7
New Hampshire
1,010 Posts
Joined Jun 2015
Viking still offered the ice Bar tour in 2017. Did not take it.
Rode the funicular up the mountain in Bergen on our own. I walked the 4km down and back to the ship. Fun.


Optional Homies tours May-June 2017 Bergen to Stockholm that we took...
Full Day to Flam Flamsbana railroad: Very nice scenery & train ride. Bus ride long but fascinating. Roundabout inside a mountain tunnel.
Pulpit Rock: Overpriced. Not worth it. Walk 150 yards to Rodne or other tours under half price right near your ship.
A Day in the Life of a Viking Arlborg: Fun, not great.
Roskilde Viking Ship Museum & Cathedral: Went alone. Loved the ship museum & outdoor ship building
Charming Coastal Copenhagen: Wife took this alone. Loved it.
Bad Doberan Minster & the Molli Railway: fun relaxing afternoon trip; didn't want to travel to Berlin
Malbork Castle Tour: Poland. wife went alone & loved the castle tour
Palmse Manor House & Upper Tour Walk: Saw everything. Tallinn upper town walk, Estonia seacoast national park, fun manor tour & tasty, healthy country lunch. Loved it.
St Petersburg: 2 day private tour with TJ travel. Best ever. Guide was PhD @ Hermitage. Early quick entries everywhere. Fun lunches @ Russian restaurants. Saw more than Viking @ half the price.
Panoramic Helsinki & Porvoo: Panoramic = bus tour. Porvoo OK, but unimpressive. Best part was the half hour walking around Helsinki docks & shops. Not recommended.
Vasa Museum & Stockholm by Boat: included lunch at a very nice restaurant. You could easily do all this on your own at much less $.

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2018 Uniworld Portugal, Spain & Douro River Valley June & Viking Sky Med Odyssey October
2017 Viking Sea Viking Homelands May/June & Viking Forseti Chateaux & Bordeaux September
2016 Viking Lofn Amsterdam to Basel October 2016
2015 Viking Buri Portraits of Southern France April & Silversea Silver Spirit Mediterranean (Istanbul) September
2014 Viking Freya Romantic Danube September
#8
Ottawa, Canada
153 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by philw1776
Viking still offered the ice Bar tour in 2017. Did not take it.
Rode the funicular up the mountain in Bergen on our own. I walked the 4km down and back to the ship. Fun.
Optional Homies tours May-June 2017 Bergen to Stockholm that we took...
Full Day to Flam Flamsbana railroad: Very nice scenery & train ride. Bus ride long but fascinating. Roundabout inside a mountain tunnel.
Pulpit Rock: Overpriced. Not worth it. Walk 150 yards to Rodne or other tours under half price right near your ship.
A Day in the Life of a Viking Arlborg: Fun, not great.
Roskilde Viking Ship Museum & Cathedral: Went alone. Loved the ship museum & outdoor ship building
Charming Coastal Copenhagen: Wife took this alone. Loved it.
Bad Doberan Minster & the Molli Railway: fun relaxing afternoon trip; didn't want to travel to Berlin
Malbork Castle Tour: Poland. wife went alone & loved the castle tour
Palmse Manor House & Upper Tour Walk: Saw everything. Tallinn upper town walk, Estonia seacoast national park, fun manor tour & tasty, healthy country lunch. Loved it.
St Petersburg: 2 day private tour with TJ travel. Best ever. Guide was PhD @ Hermitage. Early quick entries everywhere. Fun lunches @ Russian restaurants. Saw more than Viking @ half the price.
Panoramic Helsinki & Porvoo: Panoramic = bus tour. Porvoo OK, but unimpressive. Best part was the half hour walking around Helsinki docks & shops. Not recommended.
Vasa Museum & Stockholm by Boat: included lunch at a very nice restaurant. You could easily do all this on your own at much less $.

In spring 2018, I believe the Ice Bar tour was not an option.
Totally agree on the Full day to Flam -- it was way better than expected. The tunnels with huge roundabouts and the scenery. Think I liked it more than the actual train.
Pulpit Rock -- If I had done my homework, I would have booked private tour for us. Viking excursion was good, but crowded and over-priced.
We also did St Petersburg with TJ. Fabulous guide (former English prof) and driver (English speaking).
Stockholm is so easy to navigate on your own. The Vasa museum was great. We had a 2 day Hop On/Off Boat and bus pass and made good use of it.
#9
San Diego, CA
26 Posts
Joined May 2018
Thank you all. Lots of great feedback. Was already planning to use an outside company for SPB.

Planning on outside company for Pulpit Rock thanks to so many people sharing their advice.

Will not go to Berlin. Instead we're using Friends of Dave to see towns closer to the ship.

We want to take the Flam RR trip if we get it.

We start in Bergen and will be there a day early and do Mt. Floyen on our own.

We were thinking in Aalborg of going on our own to see Lindholm Hoje since we are active Viking re-enactors.

Still not sure about Copenhagen. We are comfortable making our own way around, but advice would be welcome.

Thinking about just doing the included walking in Gdansk and then going on our own.

I hear the Tallinn choco factory/walk is good.

Still not decided on Helsinki either. Is it easily walkable?

Truly appreciate all the helpful people on this site/board!
#10
New Hampshire
1,010 Posts
Joined Jun 2015
I bet the included Helsinki tour leaves you in town if you like with a shuttle back. Very walkable. Nice seafront area.
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2018 Uniworld Portugal, Spain & Douro River Valley June & Viking Sky Med Odyssey October
2017 Viking Sea Viking Homelands May/June & Viking Forseti Chateaux & Bordeaux September
2016 Viking Lofn Amsterdam to Basel October 2016
2015 Viking Buri Portraits of Southern France April & Silversea Silver Spirit Mediterranean (Istanbul) September
2014 Viking Freya Romantic Danube September
#11
Ottawa, Canada
153 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Copenhagen - Docked a short walk from the Mermaid. We did the included walking tour but had a terrible guide and members of our group kept dropping off on their own (or joined other grps). At the palace, map in hand, we headed off to the old canal area. It is easily to get about on your own and there is always the Viking shuttle for your return to the ship.

Helsinki - Included panoramic tour gave the highlights and the pick-up location for those wanting to stay in the city. It is walkable and safe but the centre is busy and crowded. Nice parks and cafes. Watch out for the cyclists! For the adventurous, and on a nice day, the ship is within walking distance.

It was great that Viking provided a free shuttle at the ports. Just make sure to get a port map and the pick-up location as you leave the ship.
#12
San Diego, CA
26 Posts
Joined May 2018
2CruiseCats: Thank you so much for your input. It's appreciated. We are comfortable getting around on our own so knowing that's not challenging is good news.