Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Please look for and post on existing COVID-19 threads before posting a new one.
jiminyC_fan

Decided on date. Now what?

Recommended Posts

Hi guys, we are not new to travel. I always book everything myself but I am extremely intimidated to book the Viking Homelands and air. From reading here, I understand that the Air Plus is not available for this itinerary. Something to do with Bergen. I am not familiar with Europe at all. We took a Viking Grand European River Cruise but had a travel agent who has since quit the business. It's just something about Europe that scares me to book on my own. Having a Viking Rep waiting for us is quite soothing but without Air Plus we can't pick and chose our flights.

 

If I booked the air myself can I buy ground transfers from Viking or must we find our way to our own hotel and to the ship on embarkation day? Then the same in reverse.

 

If I book a pre or post extension, do I get ground transportation with it?

 

Any advice for a nervous nellie?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi guys, we are not new to travel. I always book everything myself but I am extremely intimidated to book the Viking Homelands and air. From reading here, I understand that the Air Plus is not available for this itinerary. Something to do with Bergen. I am not familiar with Europe at all. We took a Viking Grand European River Cruise but had a travel agent who has since quit the business. It's just something about Europe that scares me to book on my own. Having a Viking Rep waiting for us is quite soothing but without Air Plus we can't pick and chose our flights.

 

If I booked the air myself can I buy ground transfers from Viking or must we find our way to our own hotel and to the ship on embarkation day? Then the same in reverse.

 

If I book a pre or post extension, do I get ground transportation with it?

 

Any advice for a nervous nellie?

 

Hi, "Nellie"--

 

Yes, pre and post extensions include ground transportation--airport to hotel to ship and vice versa if you get your air from Viking.

 

Don't be intimidated; traveling in Europe is no worse than traveling in the US--and in some cases even easier. Getting around is much easier as the cities aren't as spread out and public transportation is a lot better. Alos, they are much more accustomed to tourist who don't speak the local language.

 

Here are a couple of things you can do.

 

Take yourself to one of the big travel booking sites --whose names we can't name here but I'm thinking the ones that start with E or O or T or whatever other site you feel comfortable with --and check out airfare from Denver to your embarkation port and then from debarkation port back to Denver. It will give you an idea of what the various flight plans are that get you there and back and it will give you an idea of what the cost will be if you book on your own. (This is more choices than Viking will have available but it will help you get a handle on what is available).

 

You will see what the worst case scenarios are if you let Viking book your flights and decide if you are willing to put up with the worst case scenario (multiple hops into or out of Bergen, long layovers, etc.). You will see what it will cost you if you decide to book your own flights.

 

Only you can decide which is best for you. Only you can weigh budget vs convenience vs comfort-zone.

 

If you book your own airfare, do not depend on being able to buy transfers with Viking. However, taxis are always available at the airports as are shuttle buses. You can find out more information about transport to and from the airport on the airport websites (which usually have an English translation; look for a Union Jack). Or you can book a limo. (More help with this on Trip Advisor).

 

Yes, it is very nice to be met by a Viking rep, but on the other hand, it is a long flight from Denver to Scandinavia and you may decide that you would rather arrive a day or two early to rest up before the cruise and you may decide that you would like to break up the flights home with an overnight. Another decision that only you can make.

 

However, don't dawdle with your decision-making. The current Viking promotion ends on April 30 and with the new promotion beginning in May, there might be different pricing on the airfare --it may be higher and it may be lower, and no one will be able to tell you what it is before it is published.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you book air and a pre- or post- extension from Viking, then all transfers are included. This is certainly the easiest method, but not the least expensive. Also without Air Plus, you don't have much choice of flights.

 

Bergen is a small city, so the transfers should not be that difficult to book on your own. You would probably take a taxi from your hotel to the ship.

 

You may want to consider flying in to Oslo instead of to Bergen. There are a lot more flight options. Then take the train from Oslo to Bergen. It is a very comfortable and scenic train ride and a way to see more of Norway. If you do take the train, I highly recommend paying the little extra for Comfort Class.

 

I have not sailed out of Bergen on Viking, but I took the train from Oslo to Bergen recently prior to a cruise on Hurtigruten.

 

If you are not comfortable booking everything yourself and if you want more options than Viking provides, then I recommend you find a travel agent who would book the entire trip. A good travel agent would book the cruise, air, hotels, and transfers and have everything arranged for you. In this case, I think you need to look for someone who will provide the personal service you need - not necessarily the agency that gives the biggest discounts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to you both. I am always comfortable booking our own tours etc but it's the air thing that is killing me this time. I certainly don't want multiple layovers etc. Good info. Thank you again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a related air question so I'll tack it on here... We have booked the Midnight Sun cruise from Bergen to London in 2017. If we do the Viking pre cruise extension to Oslo would we be able to do the custom air option? I know that's not possible into Bergen but does anyone know about Oslo??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Any advice for a nervous nellie?

 

Well, I am new to this type of travel and felt I needed to be lead. After first booking with Viking for main air travel, I found that that it meant under their conditions and any changes were extra money out of my pocket. (Not being familiar has its disadvantages) After researching and discussing it with a travel agent in a conversation, she assured me that you can do it yourself. In my case, which is Viking Homelands cruise as well, I found that the prices Viking was quoting as original were not to be found on the internet as regular prices. They were having a promotion for a discount at the time but even the adjusted prices were not to be found on the internet for a round trip multi city flight. I realize the Viking has to quote prices that will cover their cost at peak price time but my cruise in September did not fall at that time. When I wanted to make the adjustments I wanted for arrival and departure time the cost just kept casting a large shadow on this trip of a lifetime that was starting to look like a trip to debt row!

 

Here let me just say that I cancelled the air with Viking and purchased it on my own at a savings of $500 off their original price without any changes. By the time you add Viking Air and deviation charges, unnecessary money is flying out the window and you haven't even left the house.

 

Now the extras, we wanted to go to Stockholm early(you now have transfer fees but you don't with Viking either if you are not using their add on) Speaking of that, we found that the price per day of their add on for 2 could have been covered by the price of 1 and the extra money we save would certainly go further to enhance our trip. Transfer fees, museums, entertainment and dining covered at no additional cost above using the Viking scenario. Arlanda Express will cover the airport to city trip in about 20 minutes and then you could cab or public trans. to hotel and cruise port from there as the port Viking used last year is very central.

 

Bergen is also very easy to do on your own. Airport bus from city center and the light rail might be finished, I haven't checked lately. The trip to Oslo on the train is an option if you want to extend your adventure. We wanted to see the interior of Norway from a different angle and are taking the Norway in a Nutshell round trip from Bergen after the cruise. It covers the train trip on the Flambassa and the Nearofjord cruise then, as we are having to tender in Flam there will probably be many on those experiences on our day in port. This allows us to experience the included excursion in Flam and maybe get to the Viewpoint on our stop there.

 

I'm not sure if you were looking at the Iceland extra, but there are airlines that include a layover there for no charge if you're interested. If the Stockholm scenario is any example is any guideline, you will probably come out ahead DIY. Your time of travel could adjust savings and cost. I'm just passing along my experience,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Dauntless. Honestly, your post was very enlightening. I really do want to get to Stockholm a bit early to explore so the deviation fee would definitely come into play. Also, if I understand you correctly, you are saying instead of buying the Viking pre/post extension just to book it on our own. When is your cruise? Will you write a review or blog? I would absolutely love to read it. We are looking at May 20, 2017 on the Star.

Edited by jiminyC_fan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you Dauntless. Honestly, your post was very enlightening. I really do want to get to Stockholm a bit early to explore so the deviation fee would definitely come into play. Also, if I understand you correctly, you are saying instead of buying the Viking pre/post extension just to book it on our own. When is your cruise? Will you write a review or blog? I would absolutely love to read it. We are looking at May 20, 2017 on the Star.

 

Definitely do the extensions on your own when it comes to price. For 2 to stay 2 nights on their plan it will be $599 a night. We are staying 3 nights for $314 a night. They do not offer anything extra for their price but someone there to answer your questions and the transfers. We are not at their hotel but ours is rated equivalent to theirs. It is a superior room, in Gambla Stan, overlooking the Baltic and we can see the Ship docked from our room. I don't know about you but $285 a night can certainly more than cover transfer costs. Now this might not work for everyone depending on how mobile they are and all. I don't think I would try this in Viet Nam, but English is fairly well understood here so I think we will be just fine. This is just my opinion.

 

As I've stated, I have never been on a cruise or to Europe, but in my 60's this doesn't seem to be daunting. I'm a mass transit kind of guy so I'm still fairly agile. Our cruise is Sept 4 and I don't know if I'll be blogging or not but I definitely plan on writing a review. When I think of all the knowledge I've picked up from CC for this adventure and the conversations I've had with Viking, I feel I would be remiss not to do so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a related air question so I'll tack it on here... We have booked the Midnight Sun cruise from Bergen to London in 2017. If we do the Viking pre cruise extension to Oslo would we be able to do the custom air option? I know that's not possible into Bergen but does anyone know about Oslo??

 

This not one of those questions for which I would 'poll the audience.' It is among those questions that should be asked directly of those imposing the policy. It's like saying to the customs official who is telling you that you don't have the right documents to enter the country, "But they told me on Cruise Critic." For peace of mind, ask Viking directly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My travel agent saved me over 15% of the best price that Viking offered. I'd go with a good TA, why waste the money booking direct?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

stretchcruz, that's an awesome savings. I didn't even realize that was even possible. Thank you. The one we used on the River Cruise offered us nothing. Not even shipboard credit, LOL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...