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1985rz1

New Viking Expedition Ships

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Has anyone else looked at Viking's New Expedition ships  and the cruises that were just opened for booking?  We happened across a a press release in a number of publications.  We've been looking for an interesting itinerary close of home to take a break from our international excursions, and these looked interesting (Polar (both poles) and Great Lake/Canada cruises).  We booked the Canadian cruise, Toronto to NYC.  Can't believe we're booking trip over 2 1/2 years out.

 

https://www.vikingcruises.com/expeditions

Edited by 1985rz1

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We were actually on the Viking web site today looking at the Great Lakes cruises. Also looking at the ships themselves. All looks really nice. However, at $7K pp for 7 nights, we thought the price was a bit high. We leave in April for the 10 night Empires of the Med cruise and paid $3.5K pp. In any case, we would recommend late Sept thru October for the specular Fall colors.

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1 minute ago, Jack E Dawson said:

We were actually on the Viking web site today looking at the Great Lakes cruises. Also looking at the ships themselves. All looks really nice. However, at $7K pp for 7 nights, we thought the price was a bit high. We leave in April for the 10 night Empires of the Med cruise and paid $3.5K pp. In any case, we would recommend late Sept thru October for the specular Fall colors.

'Taint cheap, but a modest early booking discount, and the "Launch" incentives  of the Silver Spirits beverage package and the truly free air fare made the pain less.  Our booking is for the Oct 1-13, 2022, sailing...picked for the fall colors, as you suggested. The ships do look nice, although the affordable staterooms on these new ships are on the smaller side than what we're used to.  We'll adjust 🥴

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14 hours ago, 1985rz1 said:

'Taint cheap, but a modest early booking discount, and the "Launch" incentives  of the Silver Spirits beverage package and the truly free air fare made the pain less.  Our booking is for the Oct 1-13, 2022, sailing...picked for the fall colors, as you suggested. The ships do look nice, although the affordable staterooms on these new ships are on the smaller side than what we're used to.  We'll adjust 🥴


I am going to sign on here so I can follow along on this thread, as we are thinking of this same cruise.  With the launch deal and all the included excursions, it looks like a pretty good thing to us, even if 2 1/2 years out!

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4 hours ago, Canadian Sunset said:

Too expensive for us.  I’ll bet it will sell well to Europeans.

I've done some sums, the Niagara Falls cruise works out at nearly double the the rate per day that we are paying for the Eastern Seaboard Explorer in September. No way can I justify that amount, as much as I would love to go. Quite why you think it will sell well to Europeans I'm not sure.

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1 hour ago, old biddy said:

I've done some sums, the Niagara Falls cruise works out at nearly double the the rate per day that we are paying for the Eastern Seaboard Explorer in September. No way can I justify that amount, as much as I would love to go. Quite why you think it will sell well to Europeans I'm not sure.

I like the Expedition cruise because of its itinerary. A better comparison would be the 13 day/12 night Eastern Seaboard Explorer cruise to the 13 day/12 night Canadian Discovery Expedition cruise, which have similar itineraries (although itinerary of the Expedition cruise is more interesting to us ). The price per day difference  is not quite that bad as double.  It's "only" 🥴  50 % more per day for the Expedition cruise when the beverage package and air discount are folded in.  Below are my calculations, so if I erred, let me know

 

Expedition N1 Stateroom rate of $10095; airfare and Silver spirits beverage package included, or $776 per day.

 

Explorer V1:  Stateroom rate of $6099; airfare of $399; Silver Spirits package of $239 for a total of $6737, or $518 per day.  The cabin for V1 is about the same size as the cabin for the N1, but the V1 does have an additional 50 sq ft balcony, which of course is not to be sneezed at.

 

While the Expedition cruise is expensive...yes, we gulped several time...I can at least partially understand why:  The Expedition Octantis ship carries only 378 guests while the Star carries 930.  The costs of cruise ship sailing don't scale linearly.  The Octantis ship is also outfitted with expedition gear for the passengers, and the included expedition tours included on the Canadian Discovery cruise are more extensive and more expensive to run than the included tours offered on the Easter Seaboard Explorer cruise.  So all in all, the cost doesn't seem excessive to us for what you get.  (Gulp! Gulp!)

 

We're not Europeans, so I can't speak why it might appeal more to them than other demographics, but  it's the itinerary and excursions are why this particular itinerary sold well to us.

 

But as always, these are only personal preferences which aren't meant to convince others to adopt.

 

 

Edited by 1985rz1

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The GBP and Euro are worth more which would make the cost of the trip less expensive.  I also think Europeans might be interested in seeing parts of North America.

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46 minutes ago, Canadian Sunset said:

The GBP and Euro are worth more which would make the cost of the trip less expensive.  I also think Europeans might be interested in seeing parts of North America.

 

Good point.  And I guess as Americans, we're more interested in the small Canadian ports than US ports.

 

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Just made a provisional booking for the Oct. 1 sailing in an NP suite!  I think the current perks are a great bargain.

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I owned a cottage near Parry Sound, Ontario for about 10 years. The Georgian Bay area is beautiful! I have taken the Island Queen day cruise around the area many times. While certainly a more expensive option I am sure Viking will have naturalist and historians available and what a highlight it will be! And the food onboard the Octantis is absolutley going to beat the microwaved hot dogs on the Island Queen! 😂 I'm so jealous!

 

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/canada/georgian-bay-ontario/

 

 

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 Caught our interest for sure when the news about VE broke late last Fall. At that time it only included Arctic and Antarctic cruises which left us scratching our heads wondering what Viking intended to do with the ships the rest of the year. The news last week answered that quite well. We're looking seriously at the NY to Toronto, as well as, the Milwaukee/Thunder Bay cruises but not ready to commit now. 

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I hear what everybody is saying re cost/ value. However I still consider the price well over our budget so we'll pass. To those who do indulge- enjoy!

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I've just looked through the excursions for the great lakes cruises and notice that it appears that either all the excursions in each port are explicitly included (https://www.vikingcruises.com/expeditions/cruise-destinations/great-lakes-canada/niagara-and-the-great-lakes/index.html) or included by inference, e.g., the days that are presented as "A day in the life...." (https://www.vikingcruises.com/expeditions/cruise-destinations/great-lakes-canada/great-lakes-explorer/index.html). Also, as a previous poster noted many of these included excursions involves RIBs, kayaks, and other gear provided by Viking. So when one analyzes the factors behind the higher cost - these things should be considered.

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36 minutes ago, CharTrav said:

I've just looked through the excursions for the great lakes cruises and notice that it appears that either all the excursions in each port are explicitly included (https://www.vikingcruises.com/expeditions/cruise-destinations/great-lakes-canada/niagara-and-the-great-lakes/index.html) or included by inference, e.g., the days that are presented as "A day in the life...." (https://www.vikingcruises.com/expeditions/cruise-destinations/great-lakes-canada/great-lakes-explorer/index.html). Also, as a previous poster noted many of these included excursions involves RIBs, kayaks, and other gear provided by Viking. So when one analyzes the factors behind the higher cost - these things should be considered.

Good Points CharTrav!

Had at first discarded the whole idea, but reading this thread makes me want to relook at it!  Especially fall colors.

So hard though to think 2  1/2 years away.  Hope we are all still around and fit!

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All the excursions on the Canadian Diacovery Cruise are included, and I asked specifically, so that is a significant savings.  However, it is odd that on my invoice it says the date when I may book dining reservations, but nothing about when we can book the included excursions we want.  Does that mean they will all be available to all, all at the same time?  I doubt it.  I think it must be due to the fact that we are still so far out.  But you would think they would mention the date we could book.

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21 minutes ago, SantaFe1 said:

All the excursions on the Canadian Diacovery Cruise are included, and I asked specifically, so that is a significant savings.  However, it is odd that on my invoice it says the date when I may book dining reservations, but nothing about when we can book the included excursions we want.  Does that mean they will all be available to all, all at the same time?  I doubt it.  I think it must be due to the fact that we are still so far out.  But you would think they would mention the date we could book.

Our TA told us that Viking didn't know when the excursions would be available for booking.

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I do see that our room category says booking 77 days before.  But I think there are quite a few things not nailed down yet (LOL the ship hasn’t even been built, yet).  I see excursions in almost every port that are longer than the time we are spending in port.  That sort of makes me wonder what the excursions will actually look like once they are posted on MVJ 3-4 months out.

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19 minutes ago, SantaFe1 said:

I do see that our room category says booking 77 days before.  But I think there are quite a few things not nailed down yet (LOL the ship hasn’t even been built, yet).  I see excursions in almost every port that are longer than the time we are spending in port.  That sort of makes me wonder what the excursions will actually look like once they are posted on MVJ 3-4 months out.

Actually, I didn't intend to mean when the site says booking would be available.  Our TA wrote: "Since these sailings are so new, the res agent I spoke to could not confirm that there will be excursions to book prior to boarding but said he thought there would be." The implication was they may or may not be available by the "standard" booking window.

 

But you are right that this is so far out that they're just starting to nail down the details, so no one is left standing at the dock waving goodbye to the ship ;-).

Edited by 1985rz1

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23 hours ago, 1985rz1 said:

While the Expedition cruise is expensive...yes, we gulped several time...I can at least partially understand why:  The Expedition Octantis ship carries only 378 guests while the Star carries 930.  The costs of cruise ship sailing don't scale linearly.  The Octantis ship is also outfitted with expedition gear for the passengers, and the included expedition tours included on the Canadian Discovery cruise are more extensive and more expensive to run than the included tours offered on the Easter Seaboard Explorer cruise.  So all in all, the cost doesn't seem excessive to us for what you get.  (Gulp! Gulp!)

All what you said is absolutely true. I'm not by far the most qualified individual to say this, someone else in better conditions to do so will hopefully come up to clarify that; but expedition ships are also more expensive to build and run than regular ships with same size. Expedition ships going to Arctic or the Antarctic do need a heavier hull and several other protections that are not cheap. They also spend more fuel per passenger when compared to similar sized regular ships... Now combine that with what you described and you'll get the figure!... Have a nice day!... 🙂

Edited by Nunagoras

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I was able to see the Viking website, and me think those ships don't feel like they are expedition ships!... Their inside could have been designed to be just smaller regular high luxury cruise ships!...

 

While I haven't been inside any Viking cruise ships, those expedition ships cabins do feel more beautiful than the ones on their larger sisters!... Perhaps because they seem more simple?... Or more modern?... Or just more colorful and with more light!... They feel like they are great!...

 

TBHH; the Italian restaurant seems redundant for me on those ships. On expedition ships you'll have such a little bit heavier schedule to follow... Perhaps no need for such a specialty day, alongside the availability from the booking system, etc. Let the MDR to be larger, with perhaps a larger menu to chose from and all would be good for the small number of passengers sailing by!... Apart from that I wouldn't mind travelling on such a ship wherever they sent them out!... 🙂

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4 hours ago, 1985rz1 said:

Our TA told us that Viking didn't know when the excursions would be available for booking.

Yeah. That sounds reasonable. 

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In any case, interested or not - and we are indeed interested - gonna wait even if it means we miss the bennies of the pre-launch fares. We have VO cruises booked this year and next. Doing the Med this May and Midnight Sun with the Iceland extension next year. Will get some vouchers this May. After that, decide. We are definitely not early deciders. 😉

Edited by CharTrav

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My resolve is slowly crumbling. Looking at Canadian Discovery. Hmmmm. 🤔

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11 minutes ago, CharTrav said:

My resolve is slowly crumbling. Looking at Canadian Discovery. Hmmmm. 🤔

Couldn't decide to to a Thumbs Up emoji 👍 or a HaHa emoji 😆, so here are  both.  Join us on the October sailing.

Edited by 1985rz1

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