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"Included Excursions"

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We are not new to cruising, but have never cruised where some excursions are included and some are not. Can some of you give us your insight on the quality of the included excursions, how many different ones average per port, and ease of booking? Not really looking for specific port experiences, just what are they like.

Also, do the non-included excursions average about the same in price as most cruises? Thanks in advance !

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There is one included tour offered per port. (There are a couple of ports where two are offered and you choose one but these are few and far between).

 

It is possible to view what is offered in the various ports of whichever cruise you are interested in (unless it is one of the new itineraries/ports in which case they may still be building the details). Go to the itinerary you are interested in and scroll down the itinerary page until you the Day-by-day list of the ports and either click on the day you are interested in or where it says "Learn More" this will take you to a generic page for that port. Scroll down to see what excursions are being considered for that port. Not all of the option cruises are offered on all sailings. The included tour is usually clearly marked.

 

On each of our cruises with Viking, we have done a combination of included tours, optional tours and on our own. Some tours have been better than others but I think that you can say that of the offerings of any cruise line. Some guides are better than others; some sights are more exciting than others--and to a certain extent, this is beyond the control of the cruise lines. We take the included tours only if we are interested in what is being offered.

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In our experience, only one or two included per port. Unfortunately many are bus tours. In some ports there were included walking tours, which were generally very good, but in many they were bus rides, some with stops to walk around a little or take photos or take a mini walking tour, but in at least one that I can recall (Stockholm) it was an over 2 hour bus tour with NO STOPS!! This was not announced until we were on the bus and underway. He told us where the bathroom on the bus was. We just drove by stuff. There wasn't even anywhere we could get off because it didn't stop. In others we'd be on the bus and then when we stopped somewhere interesting that we could find our way back to the ship from we'd leave the bus, telling the tour guide, and make our way back on our own. We did not do any optional tours...we felt that since the tours were advertised as included we would do those. Several disappointed. In St Petersburg Russia we did a private tour for 2 days which was fantastic. Normally on cruises we do private as we don't enjoy the big bus thing. The other unfortunate thing is that in LeHavre the only included tour was the trip to Paris!! Nothing else included for those of us who did not want to go to Paris. We ended up taking a cab to Honfleur. We did feel that there should be an included tour that did not include hours and hours to Paris. In Warnemunde the only tour was to Berlin...an hours and hours long train ride. Just before our cruise they opened up another included tour that was a walking tour of Rostock that was excellent. Several of us emailed Viking expressing our displeasure at the lack of included tours outside of the long trips to Berlin and Paris. Still in LeHavre the only tour was to Paris. If you read the tour description beware of the "panoramic" drive description.

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It is really important to read the descriptions of the excursions carefully. We did a combination of included ones and some optional ones. In most ports, Viking provides free shuttles back to the ship, so it is possible to remain behind after a tour and spend some time on your own.

 

In Dubrovnik, the included excursion was very good, and we notified the tour guide that we would be remaining behind. We bought our own tickets to walk the walls around the city, and then ate lunch in a local restaurant before taking the shuttle back to the ship. In Athens, we opted for an optional excursion because the included tour did not climb up to the Acropolis. In Olympia, the included tour include a tour of the grounds, and entrance into the museum. My point is that each one is a little different, and you need to decide which one suits your needs.

 

We are new cruisers, so I don't know how prices compare for the optional ones with other cruise lines. We paid around $69 per person for most, but $179 per person for an all day trip in Slovenia to a castle set into a mountain and another stop to see underground caverns. Lunch was include on the that trip.

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To get an idea of excursions both included and optional, along with durations, prices, & descriptions, you are welcome to check out the compilations I made up for Viking Homelands (July 2016) and Panama & Central America (Jan 2018) and posted to DropBox:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/pa8s1dkcdg6o333/Viking%20Homelands%20with%20Pre%20and%20Post%20Extensions%20%282016%29.pdf?dl=0

And

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7vrjsmx3buviln8/Panama%20and%20Central%20America%20Excursions%20-%20Rev%203.pdf?dl=0

 

The prices for optionals are not provided except via MyVikingJourney. I shared this material with folks who were on the roll call with me for each of these cruises. Hope this is helpful.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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We have just booked our excursions for our first Viking cruise. We have only been on one other cruise with P&O and the price of their excursions were far more expensive than Viking and none were included in the price of the cruise.

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Viking River Cruises have always had included walking tours that were interesting and included information about food and specialties of the town, shopping, architecture etc as well as visiting a cathedral or other site. Since most were close to the ship, you could leave the tour at any point without missing the boat. Because the tours are popular, Viking has continued these tours on the Ocean cruises. It is not the same thing in part because these ships are not always docked close to town so that many become "panoramic" bus tours with few or no stops. Read the description carefully even if panoramic is not mentioned. Sometimes even the in town walking tours are not the same as the river tours.

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To get an idea of excursions both included and optional, along with durations, prices, & descriptions, you are welcome to check out the compilations I made up for Viking Homelands (July 2016) and Panama & Central America (Jan 2018) and posted to DropBox:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/pa8s1dkcdg6o333/Viking%20Homelands%20with%20Pre%20and%20Post%20Extensions%20%282016%29.pdf?dl=0

And

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7vrjsmx3buviln8/Panama%20and%20Central%20America%20Excursions%20-%20Rev%203.pdf?dl=0

 

The prices for optionals are not provided except via MyVikingJourney. I shared this material with folks who were on the roll call with me for each of these cruises. Hope this is helpful.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Thank you so much for the links to the Homelands excursion info. Even though we aren't going on our Homelands cruise until April 2019 and this info is from 2016, it gives me an idea of what was offered in 2016 and what the prices for the optional tours are.

Now I just have to patiently wait till 2019 :-)

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Thank you so much for the links to the Homelands excursion info. Even though we aren't going on our Homelands cruise until April 2019 and this info is from 2016, it gives me an idea of what was offered in 2016 and what the prices for the optional tours are.

 

Now I just have to patiently wait till 2019 :-)

 

Happy patience and waiting. Isn’t there some phrase that is basically “waiting is”?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Happy patience and waiting. Isn’t there some phrase that is basically “waiting is”?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Perfect :D:Dclear.png?emoji-grin-1677:-)

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