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Viking Ocean Cruise Excursions

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This is our first time on a Viking Ocean Cruise. We are doing the Scandinavia and Kiel cruise next spring. I am curious if upgrading to a Deluxe Veranda Stateroom or Penthouse  is worth it to ensure you get the excursion or excursion time you want or is it pretty easy to get what you want? I know there other benefits to these staterooms but was curious about the excursion part of it. Thanks

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Thank you for letting me know. I did just post it on that forum. 

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We were in a DV2 room and had no trouble getting all the excursions we wanted. I, too, was worried about it, but when you look at the number of DV rooms compared to the number of some of the higher-class rooms - a substantial part of the ship is taken up by the DV category. I got up in the wee hours, though, and hit the computer right when the excursions became available. Can't speak for those who waited till later in the day or several days later, etc. Many from our cruise, however, also said they had no trouble. 

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I made an inquiry with my TA about the time excursions would become available.  According to the information she received from Viking, they are changing the time when excursions can be booked from 12:00 AM PT to 12:00 PM PT.  I hope her info is correct because I'd rather book at 3 PM than 3 AM.

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9 hours ago, Flyer55 said:

I made an inquiry with my TA about the time excursions would become available.  According to the information she received from Viking, they are changing the time when excursions can be booked from 12:00 AM PT to 12:00 PM PT.  I hope her info is correct because I'd rather book at 3 PM than 3 AM.

 

This is correct!  We just did excursions for our upcoming cruise last month and our window opened at 3 PM. I had no problems, but people have been reporting that they had issues with the system crashing.  

 

If you look at My Viking Journey, it should have listed when your window opens. We had time and date listed, and we had the actual excursions for our cruise with prices well ahead so you could plan. I grouped mine on paper, did the must have ones first, then the rest, then I selected time slots for the included ones we wanted to do. 

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My husband and I are looking into Viking Ocean cruises.  We have sailed with many cruiselines including HAL, Celebrity, Oceania, and one AMA Waterways river cruise.  44 cruises in all! So we are experienced in finding value for our money when we travel. 

 

We mostly sail Celebrity or HAL when traveling abroad.  We then get with CC Roll Call members to plan economical excursions. One of the main draws for us choosing Viking Ocean cruising is the included excursions.  We thought this would compensate the higher cruise fare.

 

Now, after taking a look at excursions, and reading this forum, it appears that only one excursion/one choice in each port is included in the fare.  Is this true?  I looked at one port (I think either the Paris area or Rome) and the only included excursion was a bus ride into that city.  Then you were on your own for the day.  🙄  That's not my idea of an included excursion, or value. 

 

Although we have been to Rome and Paris many times, and could find our way around easily, we would think that Viking would be offering a free excursion that would be more  comprehensive for those that had never been to those places.  Even our AMA river cruise offered at least 2 included options per port.  And those were guided tours!

 

Please tell me your experiences.

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1 hour ago, Iamthesea said:

Now, after taking a look at excursions, and reading this forum, it appears that only one excursion/one choice in each port is included in the fare.  Is this true?  I looked at one port (I think either the Paris area or Rome) and the only included excursion was a bus ride into that city.  Then you were on your own for the day.  🙄  That's not my idea of an included excursion, or value. 

 

Although we have been to Rome and Paris many times, and could find our way around easily, we would think that Viking would be offering a free excursion that would be more  comprehensive for those that had never been to those places.  Even our AMA river cruise offered at least 2 included options per port.  And those were guided tours!

 

Please tell me your experiences.

It is true that only one excursion is designated as the included exursion, and only one per port, so if you overnight in a port it is still only one excursion. The one port you examined is an outlier, as an On Your Own excursion would not be the norm. Many of the Viking passengers are well traveled, so I don't know if that is the reason behind that particular choice. Nearly all of the excursions (both included and optional) are tours escorted by local guides. 

 

I suggest you examine all of the choices for a cruise that might interest you to get a better idea. Some of the included are mostly panoramic bus rides with some stops for photos, but even some of those include a walking tour portion. Some of the included tours are walking tours, generally of the historical section of the city. Some of the tours include entrance to museums and churches. Lots of the tours include time on your own, and Viking often includes a free shuttle back to the ship if you wish to remain after your tour has concluded.

 

Although we have only sailed Viking, I believe the optional excursions are reasonably priced. We have used a mix of included and a few optional tours in each port. Only once have we used an independent tour, in St. Petersburg. We sail in the Veranda cabins, and even as the last category to book excursions we have been very satisfied with our excursions. We have been able to book most of the excursions we wanted on our three cruises, even if the included excursions might not have been our first choice of time slot. You are guaranteed a place on an included excursion.  A few times, our first choice optional excursion was sold out, but several of those later added additional slots and we were able to go. 

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1 hour ago, Iamthesea said:

My husband and I are looking into Viking Ocean cruises.  We have sailed with many cruiselines including HAL, Celebrity, Oceania, and one AMA Waterways river cruise.  44 cruises in all! So we are experienced in finding value for our money when we travel. 

 

We mostly sail Celebrity or HAL when traveling abroad.  We then get with CC Roll Call members to plan economical excursions. One of the main draws for us choosing Viking Ocean cruising is the included excursions.  We thought this would compensate the higher cruise fare.

 

Now, after taking a look at excursions, and reading this forum, it appears that only one excursion/one choice in each port is included in the fare.  Is this true?  I looked at one port (I think either the Paris area or Rome) and the only included excursion was a bus ride into that city.  Then you were on your own for the day.  🙄  That's not my idea of an included excursion, or value. 

 

Although we have been to Rome and Paris many times, and could find our way around easily, we would think that Viking would be offering a free excursion that would be more  comprehensive for those that had never been to those places.  Even our AMA river cruise offered at least 2 included options per port.  And those were guided tours!

 

Please tell me your experiences.


We have done 2 Viking River cruises and one Ocean cruise with another coming up in 2 weeks, and one booked for next year.  I've never seen more than one included cruise for each port.  Some included ones are better than others.  It depends on the port.  We usually do a mix, because the optional excursions are generally fantastic - often with limited access opportunities.  We tend to do more included on the river cruises, and more optional on the ocean cruises.  On ocean cruises, the ports are generally at least a bus ride away from most things people want to see/do.  On the river cruises, you can usually just walk off the ship and be in the heart of a city quickly.

While the included tours are somewhat of a draw for us, the whole Viking experience is why we book with Viking.  We just recently took an Azamara cruise, which was less expensive than Viking, but the cruise press and TAs put them in the same category.  We not only had to pay for excursions - we did none through the ship - but internet access and specialty restaurants.  We enjoyed the cruise, but we found ourselves frequently saying, "It's not Viking."

We have a Celebrity cruise booked for next spring - we like to cruise more often than the Viking pricing will allow 😄 so we're kind of looking around for a line that suits us for in between Viking cruises. 

We will be booking another river cruise while we are onboard the Viking Sea, shortly.  If we had unlimited funds, we would only cruise with Viking.  We like the casual atmosphere, the smaller ships, never having to deal with crowds, kids, casino racket, etc.

If you are only looking at Viking for included excursions, I'm not sure if it's the cruise line for you.  It's a whole package!

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Thank you to both.  Very helpful, and confirmed what I had been led to believe true. 😐

 

The excursions were not the only draw, but certainly helped with overall trip cost overage versus a Celebrity or HAL cruise.    I also took a look at the optional excursion pricing.  Considering that we can share tours with 6-8 persons for less than what I am seeing for a loaded bus tour, I think the optional tours are high.  However, we became interested in Viking Ocean because some dear friends of ours just returned from a 22 day cruise on Viking.  They raved about the trip.  The one negative was that they felt the food was not great.  I was surprised that they mention the food because neither is a foodie.  So that worried me.  They have been on a Viking River cruise, and also a Crystal cruise recently. I feel sure they were comparing the food to those lines.  They've also been on NCL, and Disney. 

 

Now having said that about the food,  can it be too bad?  We have never gone hungry on any of our cruises. 😉 On Celebrity, we eat either in Blu, Luminae, or specialty restaurants.    Most good to great, with an occasional disappointment.  I do have to say that the overall food quality on  cruiselines has gone down in the last few years.

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We’ve done 1 Viking river cruise & 2 ocean so far.  We’re booked on another ocean cruise (Australia & NZ) in March.  We book DV cabins and haven’t had any problems securing included or optional excursions.  For Australia & NZ we’re also booking several private tours.

 

The food has been great.  We’ve had 33 dinners so far and with one exception, they have all been very good to excellent.  One time I ordered vegetable lasagna and it wasn't very good, my fault.  We’ve had 4 fantastic meals at the Chef’s Table and 2 at Manfredi’s.  Note that there are no up-charges for the specialty restaurants and included beer and wine with lunch and dinner.  We enjoyed breakfast at the World Cafe or Mamsens and lunch at the World Cafe or Pool Grill.  Plenty of choices.

 

Before Viking we cruised on Princess.  Much prefer Viking.  No kids, no crowds, no casino.  

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5 hours ago, Iamthesea said:

The one negative was that they felt the food was not great.

 

Food is so subjective. The only way to know is to try it for yourself.

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Wow, the food is one of my favorite things about Viking Ocean (we've taken 4 cruises so far, and 2 more booked).  And I really like the World Cafe for all meals.  Crispy bacon and the omelet station for breakfast;  pizza made on site; gelato, etc., etc.   I can't even imagine cruising with any other company.

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Hi, I wanted to find out...we just booked a cruise in May of 2021 (Italy).  I looked at website to see list of excursions (on main website)  not myjourney page (still too early to have any listed).  What I wanted to find out is that all of the excursions that are being offered?  Or is that a sample of excursions--the actual ones will be added closer to trip?  Our first cruise on Viking.  Thank you for any advice.

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1 hour ago, Harmon10 said:

Hi, I wanted to find out...we just booked a cruise in May of 2021 (Italy).  I looked at website to see list of excursions (on main website)  not myjourney page (still too early to have any listed).  What I wanted to find out is that all of the excursions that are being offered?  Or is that a sample of excursions--the actual ones will be added closer to trip?  Our first cruise on Viking.  Thank you for any advice.

 

What you see on the Viking website is a generic port page used for all itineraries and all seasons. Not all of the optional tours shown on that page will necessarily be offered on your cruise.  BUT, that list of tours can change between now and 2021, as Viking is always tweaking these things. If tours aren't working out well, if they are very popular, if they find something new they can offer, if the destinations involved are closed on the day you will be in port, etc. etc.

 

The final selection of tours for your sailing will be loaded into MyVikingJourney on or about the date that is showing on MVJ now, usually about 120 days prior to sailing.

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