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Jim Avery

Viking Ocean cruises selling out fast?

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Having recently left the Viking Sun after 120 days, we were wanting to sell everything and move back on board...... Slight problem. Most of the longer VO cruises for 2019 are showing "Sold Out" or most categories showing that. Kudos to Viking for filling ships faster and better than any other line but we are wondering if some of the "Sold Out" might be marketing? We booked the recent Inaugural World Cruise only 7 months out and got a nicely located cabin in the grade we wanted. We normally do not book years out for anything. I admit I have not called Viking just lurking the website. Hopefully some will release at final pay due date.:cool:

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I can only speak from my one VO experience. We booked a Transatlantic in August 2017 for March 2018 cruise. Being newbies we booked direct with Viking. Many lower level cabin categories were ‘sold out’. After we booked this changed frequently. We are booked on another Transatlantic for 2019 and have been watching their availability on their website to try to ascertain patterns. Currently they are showing many categories as Limited Availabilty.

 

So what does ‘limited availability’ mean? Less than X cabins? I think there are many people who would like to decode VO nomenclature.

So my feeling is that they play games with pricing, availability, air—and that these marketing changes will be different for US, UK, etc.

 

But I have also noticed that many of the longer cruises show sold out much sooner than shorter cruises. Perhaps this simply means that people on the longer cruises plan farther in advance?

 

Maybe you contact VO (or have your TA) and see if actual availability differs from their website?

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I have also noted that the lowest priced cabins do sell out quickly, so we have booked our trips early to maximize our travel budget.

 

Viking will put a hold on a cabin for a short period (48 hours maybe, can't remember) for you to make a decision. I don't know how much this effects the frequent changes in availabilty, as cabins get put on hold and then get booked or returned to inventory.

 

I am not much of a skeptic nor a conspiracy theorist, so I don't envision Viking tampering with availability numbers just as a marketing ploy (or maybe I'm just naive). My theory is that they have a new, great product that has a relatively few, small ships. Many people who have their first VO experience are quick to book others, and word is spreading quickly. Hopefully things will stabilize as the fleet expands. We booked our first and then second and third all more than 18 months out. I have my eye on another one in 2020, but drew the line at booking two years out. If I lose out on the veranda cabins on that cruise, then c'est la vie, we will go back to a river cruise that year.

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I have to admit that because we are getting older, I do stop to think about booking a cruise over a year out.

 

However, we do still buy green bananas so I guess booking for next year is still an option.

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i have to admit that because we are getting older, i do stop to think about booking a cruise over a year out.

 

However, we do still buy green bananas so i guess booking for next year is still an option.

 

(y)

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It’s very interesting observation but I think or I hope this is coincidence. I believe this is something to do with the final payment or even deposits. There were quite a few cabins available on our cruise. Suddenly they were all sold in one day!!! A week later even more cabins opened up...:confused:

Now our cruise is on special at the TAs sites.

 

I’m sure it’s not a conspiracy. Many people book cruises 2 years in advance. Anything could happened during this time including change of mind ;)

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I have also noted that the lowest priced cabins do sell out quickly, so we have booked our trips early to maximize our travel budget.

 

Viking will put a hold on a cabin for a short period (48 hours maybe, can't remember) for you to make a decision. I don't know how much this effects the frequent changes in availabilty, as cabins get put on hold and then get booked or returned to inventory.

 

I am not much of a skeptic nor a conspiracy theorist, so I don't envision Viking tampering with availability numbers just as a marketing ploy (or maybe I'm just naive). My theory is that they have a new, great product that has a relatively few, small ships. Many people who have their first VO experience are quick to book others, and word is spreading quickly. Hopefully things will stabilize as the fleet expands. We booked our first and then second and third all more than 18 months out. I have my eye on another one in 2020, but drew the line at booking two years out. If I lose out on the veranda cabins on that cruise, then c'est la vie, we will go back to a river cruise that year.

 

We just booked the 2020 World Cruise and at initial contact they placed a hold on a cabin for 2 weeks. Even 18 months out all suites are sold out, except 1 cabin.

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I think on most cruise lines the cheapest cabins and the most expensive sell out first. At least that has been my observation. You have your budget-minded people, and you have those with the means and desire to pamper themselves.

 

We are somewhere in between. We booked a DV4 for our first Viking Ocean cruise, but were offered an upgrade to a PV1. That cabin was sweet! We booked the same cabin for our next cruise. It was a bit of a stretch, but doable and we felt it enhanced the experience enough to make it worth the extra cost. We are doing the Eastern Seaboard Explorer so we only have a one way flight to Montreal instead of an overseas flight.

 

If our last cruise was any indication, people are booking their next cruise, sometimes their next 2, while on a cruise. We couldn’t even get in to see the future cruise rep until the last day. He was fully booked all cruise long.

 

We can generally book a year out, but we are booked up for 2019 already, so we will be thinking about 2020 soon, I guess. In addition to cruising, we go to Bermuda each year, so we work everything around that.

 

We are doing a Viking river cruise in the fall, so we will probably get the future cruise vouchers - if they are still selling them. I’ve heard that they are switching over to having a booking agent instead.

 

We have a few itineraries that we are looking at for after our fall 2019 cruise. We did book an Azamara cruise for the spring of 2019 because it was a NY to NY closed loop and we wanted something local. It’s also an odd itinerary that intrigued us, with 2 night stays in Charleston, SC and Hamilton, Bermuda.

 

I’m sure we will enjoy it, but we will definitely be back on Viking for sure. The Azamara model doesn’t suit us as well as Viking does, and the price of their internet package is outrageous!

 

Everyone has to find their niche, and I think we’ve found ours in Viking. It’s not for everyone, but it suits us just fine. My only beef with them is that their office people need to get on the same page. They are consistently inconsistent

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Perhaps Azamara will join Silversea which just this year joined the 21st century by offering unrestricted WiFi, Viking style

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Perhaps Azamara will join Silversea which just this year joined the 21st century by offering unrestricted WiFi, Viking style

I think it is very soon that all lines will include basic wifi. It is not perfect on Viking but is much better than some I have paid heavily for on other ships.

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One factor in play is that we as customers see a named cruise and think of it as a discrete entity. But selling and management of the "inventory" of rooms is much more complicated.

 

Take for instance the June 27, 2019, 22 day sailing: Mediterranean & Adriatic Sea. From Vikings perspective that's four cruises:

Mediterranean & Adriatic Sea,

Venice, the Adriatic & Greece,

Italian Sojourn,

Iconic Western Mediterranean

 

Sell a cabin on the first one and availability on all four drops by one; sell a cabin on any one of that last three and you also lose a cabin on the first, longer itinerary.

 

No doubt Viking practices "yield management" (just as airlines do) to optimize utilization (and ultimately revenue). For example, Italian Sojourn may sell faster than expected so they might mark some cabins as "sold out" meaning they have reached the maximum number they are willing to sell for that segment. They may later revise that decision for any number of reasons - say, the other short segments are selling better than the longer one so they reallocate cabins back to "available" for Italian Sojourn.

 

I don't think that constitutes "playing games" as in trying to manipulate customers or prices, it's just normal industry practice.

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One factor in play is that we as customers see a named cruise and think of it as a discrete entity. But selling and management of the "inventory" of rooms is much more complicated.

 

Take for instance the June 27, 2019, 22 day sailing: Mediterranean & Adriatic Sea. From Vikings perspective that's four cruises:

Mediterranean & Adriatic Sea,

Venice, the Adriatic & Greece,

Italian Sojourn,

Iconic Western Mediterranean

 

Sell a cabin on the first one and availability on all four drops by one; sell a cabin on any one of that last three and you also lose a cabin on the first, longer itinerary.

 

No doubt Viking practices "yield management" (just as airlines do) to optimize utilization (and ultimately revenue). For example, Italian Sojourn may sell faster than expected so they might mark some cabins as "sold out" meaning they have reached the maximum number they are willing to sell for that segment. They may later revise that decision for any number of reasons - say, the other short segments are selling better than the longer one so they reallocate cabins back to "available" for Italian Sojourn.

 

I don't think that constitutes "playing games" as in trying to manipulate customers or prices, it's just normal industry practice.

 

That's really interesting. I didn't think about how the individual components would impact the larger unit. Many years ago (pre-computers), I spent one summer assisting the Director of Scheduling create by hand the individual schedules for 900 plus high school students. I should have known how one little cabin booked could impact other things on the board. Thanks for sharing.

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Good point about a particular cruise possibly being just one segment in a larger cruise, etc. That puts a whole different perspective on trying to book excursions, too.

 

 

In addition to people only paying a deposit and then bailing out when final payment is due, I wonder how much of the changes in listed availability is due to people switching cruises. As long as they are more than 120-some odd days out, people can switch to a different itinerary at no charge (& for only $100 for a while after that). I had a friend and her family swap out of a cruise in France after they got freaked out about some incident in Paris. (IMHO, crazy because Paris is safer than where they live in the US ;)).

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My husband and I have taken a few ocean cruises. We just finished our first VO cruise. IMHO, VO is a good cruise line; however VO's sales' success is partially reliant upon the migration of travellers from the Viking River cruise line. Almost every person I spoke with had been on a river cruise. Some had never been on an Ocean cruise. I am not sure if there are other lines with this set up.

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We were looking at booking a cruise in December 2019. Already sold out.

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We were looking at booking a cruise in December 2019. Already sold out.

 

Keep watching it; at this point availability can come and go.

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We were looking at booking a cruise in December 2019. Already sold out.

 

Keep watching, especially just before final payment is due.

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All these world cruises being booked - someone has money! Would love to do a world cruise but many of Vikings are more than we paid for our house 25 years back! So unless a lottery win comes up then we will stick to our basic cabin on the rivers or the basic cabin on the sea and still have a great time

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All these world cruises being booked - someone has money! Would love to do a world cruise but many of Vikings are more than we paid for our house 25 years back! So unless a lottery win comes up then we will stick to our basic cabin on the rivers or the basic cabin on the sea and still have a great time

 

I will agree! I just can't see taking that big a chunk out of our retirement savings; it scares me.

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All these world cruises being booked - someone has money! Would love to do a world cruise but many of Vikings are more than we paid for our house 25 years back! So unless a lottery win comes up then we will stick to our basic cabin on the rivers or the basic cabin on the sea and still have a great time

 

 

 

I know. And this is just 1 cruise line. Several do world cruises - Princess, Cunard. Could someone please Show me the Money!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I have to admit that because we are getting older, I do stop to think about booking a cruise over a year out.

 

However, we do still buy green bananas so I guess booking for next year is still an option.

 

Thanks, you made my day -- "green bananas!" And, yeah, we also stop to think...and then go, "Naaaaaaaah, let's email Jeff!" And we're a year-and-a-half out....

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I think it would help future passengers if they understood that "sold out" really means "all cabins allocated at the moment". TAs have to return unsold cabins to inventory by "such and such date". Final payment is due at "such and such date". Then future passengers could look at availability after those dates, rather than make alternate plans (as I have done in the past).

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I think it would help future passengers if they understood that "sold out" really means "all cabins allocated at the moment". TAs have to return unsold cabins to inventory by "such and such date". Final payment is due at "such and such date". Then future passengers could look at availability after those dates, rather than make alternate plans (as I have done in the past).

 

 

 

Maybe. But I went direct to Viking to get a quote and on all internet sales sites it says it’s booked out. Viking requires payment in the US a long way out, over 12 months.

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...Viking requires payment in the US a long way out, over 12 months.

 

Pushka, Viking has loosened up over the last year or so, and if you know to ask, you can get it pushed back to 6 months out, but 6 months is the best they will do. (Just another reason to work with a travel agent; they know to ask for these things).

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Pushka, Viking has loosened up over the last year or so, and if you know to ask, you can get it pushed back to 6 months out, but 6 months is the best they will do. (Just another reason to work with a travel agent; they know to ask for these things).

 

 

 

We are lucky here in Australia. It’s around 3 months out for everyone.

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