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Viking empire 2016:50 day itinerary: Warning to aussies

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WARNING!!! to those Aussies considering booking the 2016 50 day Viking Empire from Istanbul to Stockholm based on the website itinerary. It is not what you will get. It is only after you have paid your deposit and been given a Cruise Booking Number that you will be able to set up your account, "My Viking Journey". That done, you will have access to "My Journey Details" which lists the true and correct itinerary (as advised by an Australian Viking rep). Granada (Day 25), Seville (Day 26), Porto (Day 28) and A Corona (Day29) will not be ports of call. Instead it will be Gibraltar (Day 25) and Bordeaux (Days 28 and 29). London (Day 33) will instead be Days 32 and 33.

The website shows that, of the 50 day cruise, there will be only 6 days at sea. Note that Viking actively promotes the cruise as having an emphasis on land content. However the reality is that much longer time will be spent at sea. A close look at the port arrival/departure times on "My Journey Details" shows that there will be much more than that. While Day 27 is shown as being at sea and Day 28 in Bordeaux, arrival in this port will not be until 9.30pm that day. So although the itinerary shows Bordeaux for two days (Days 28 and 29), there will only be one day available for tours.

Similarly for London. Port arrival is 4.45pm on Day 32 - again no time for tours, although a "London by Night" tour might just be possible. Thus only Day 33 until the ship leaves at 5.00pm will be available for tours in that city.

While I accept that Viking has the right to change the itinerary at any stage, I have posted this to forewarn future passengers so that they know what they are letting themselves in for and not be duded as I have, by booking a very expensive cruise (more so as I am a solo traveller who has had to buy the other berth in my cabin as well - Viking does not give solo traveller rates) based on the itinerary on the Viking Empire website, which, Viking Australia advises, is set up & controlled by Viking Head Office in Los Angeles, America.

The itinerary issue aside, I am sure that, once on board, Viking will come up to the mark with all the professionalism that is the hallmark of their river tours. Indeed, having experienced several of their river cruises, it was one of the major reasons why I had no hesitation in booking the 50 day Viking Empire in 2016. Having written the above, I am still excited at the prospect of undertaking the journey, albeit with the modified itinerary.

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Hi Cool Cruiser, Thanks for that interesting and revealing comment on the 50 day Viking cruise. We too have booked on that cruise only the one departing April 3rd. 2016 and are looking forward to it. We chose Viking because we had also been on their river trips in 2014. Would appreciate any comments you would like to make whilst on your trip. Again we have had to book two cabins as we are a family of 3. As you say Viking make no allowance for solo cabins.

Wishing you a great holiday and hoping to hear what to do and what not to do. Regards, Quilter Extraordinary.

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Hi Cool Cruiser, Thanks for that interesting and revealing comment on the 50 day Viking cruise. We too have booked on that cruise only the one departing April 3rd. 2016 and are looking forward to it. We chose Viking because we had also been on their river trips in 2014. Would appreciate any comments you would like to make whilst on your trip. Again we have had to book two cabins as we are a family of 3. As you say Viking make no allowance for solo cabins.

Wishing you a great holiday and hoping to hear what to do and what not to do. Regards, Quilter Extraordinary.

Hi QE. I'm a little perplexed as to which cruise you are on that departs 3 April 2016. Are you doing Viking Empire from Istanbul to Stockholm on the Viking Star or some other itinerary...maybe on the Viking Sea?? If it is the latter, I'd be interested to know if the itinerary on your "My Viking Journey" is the same as mine is for the Viking Star as I have described above.

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Yes, we are booked in for the 50 day trip on the Viking Sea although I was not aware it would be her maiden voyage.

Checking our latest itinery Day 21/Barcelona 22/Barcelona 23/Barcelona dep 6.00pm 24/at sea 25/Malaga 26/Cadiz 27/Lisbon 28/Porto 29/A Coruna

30/at sea 31/Cherbourg 32/Paris arr8.00am dep 11.00pm 33/Southampton arr7.00am dep 5.00pm 34/at sea 35/Haugesund 36/Bergen 37/Bergen

It would seem that we only have short stays in Paris and Southampton, but that doesn't worry me as a first time ocean cruise to these places. I guess they are learning as they go how to fit everything in. Really looking forward to the trip and hoping to meet heaps of like minded people here. Regards QE

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