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Is anyone planning to change their plans for travel in China?


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Just curious, since the coronavirus situation is a bit scary. I seem to recall talking to a few people here - including at least one of my fellow March Viking Sky travelers - that have trips scheduled to China. I believe most of the itineraries include Wuhan. China is definitely on my list, but I must admit that I'd be very concerned about going over there right now. 

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We are booked on the March trip that goes to Wuhan, just have to wait and see, with all the current closure of tourist facilities, virus risk, travel restrictions etc I can’t see the trip going ahead unless things improve dramatically.

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5 hours ago, Haworth said:

We are booked on the March trip that goes to Wuhan, just have to wait and see, with all the current closure of tourist facilities, virus risk, travel restrictions etc I can’t see the trip going ahead unless things improve dramatically.

Oh that's really tough Haworth, have you spoken to Viking about it?

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Viking are in a wait and see stage, it is around 6 weeks away, we shall just have to see, I do have confidence that Viking will make a correct decision about this trip, I hope they make it sooner rather than later.

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There is a similar discussion going on in the River Cruising.

Corona Virus Effect on Viking Trip to China

 

Things to remember when considering cancelling your Viking trip:

 

Per website, ... should we deem a sailing modification or other precaution is necessary, Viking Customer Relations will communicate directly with any impacted guests and their travel agents about the change.

 

Until 121 days prior to the trip, you can cancel or move your reservation to another with only $100pp penalty. After that date you will incur cancellation penalties as per the schedule shown on your Viking invoice -- and in the Terms and Conditions.

 

Sailings for March, April, May and June are now in or about to hit the penalty stage. With more at stake, it is a different decision.

 

Someone said that epidemics are not covered by travel insurance policies. What does your insurance policy say?

 

This is emotional and complicated but you want to get it right. We see too many stories here of people who assumed what would happen and then were very upset when they were wrong. Ask questions. Understand what your insurance is going to cover. Understand what Viking is going to cover.

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We’re on Viking’ Undiscovered China starting on April 7 and then joining Orion in Hong Kong on May 1.  I have been looking at the CDC website and noticed they escalated their warning level yesterday, as Clay pointed out above.

 

We’re currently within the 35% penalty period for a Viking cancellation.  Also,  I read our travel insurance policy (from AIG) yesterday, and there doesn’t seem to be coverage for an epidemic.  And there’s only 50% coverage for “canceling for any reason.”

 

So, at this point, we’re not sure what we will do.  Our TA is talking to Viking, but it seems like they’re not ready to decide yet.

 

BTW, I read the Wikipedia article on the SARS epidemic.  It was first identified in November 2002 and it took until July 2003 for the WHO to declare it over.  That’s an indication of how long this could take to be resolved.

 

Jerry

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17 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

There is a similar discussion going on in the River Cruising.

Corona Virus Effect on Viking Trip to China

 

Things to remember when considering cancelling your Viking trip:

 

Per website, ... should we deem a sailing modification or other precaution is necessary, Viking Customer Relations will communicate directly with any impacted guests and their travel agents about the change.

 

Until 121 days prior to the trip, you can cancel or move your reservation to another with only $100pp penalty. After that date you will incur cancellation penalties as per the schedule shown on your Viking invoice -- and in the Terms and Conditions.

 

Sailings for March, April, May and June are now in or about to hit the penalty stage. With more at stake, it is a different decision.

 

Someone said that epidemics are not covered by travel insurance policies. What does your insurance policy say?

 

This is emotional and complicated but you want to get it right. We see too many stories here of people who assumed what would happen and then were very upset when they were wrong. Ask questions. Understand what your insurance is going to cover. Understand what Viking is going to cover.

Thanks for this, I did look a couple of days ago.

Our situation is rather more complex as we are from the UK and different cancellation rules apply and this trip is using our Viking credit from the Star cruise last march, we will check to see what our insurance says.

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1 hour ago, DGHOC said:

Breaking news from the British Government. Foreign Office  advises against all but essential travel to mainland China.

 

Okay, I know it is an important announcement for UK citizens but would appreciate if someone could explain why. It has come before in this forum  and I am curious why and how it all works. TIA

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British Foreign Office Statement Peregrina.

 

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Hubei Province due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak. If you’re in this area and able to leave, you should do so.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao). The Chinese government continue to impose further restrictions on movement within China in response to the coronavirus outbreak. It may become harder over the coming weeks for those who wish to leave China to do so. If you feel that you may want to leave China soon, you should consider making plans to do so before any further restrictions may be imposed.

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https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/coronavirus-spreads-humantohuman-in-germany-and-japan/news-story/df0307aecb83492dea6fd59ce9462abd

 

The Australian govt has also advised 'do not travel to Wu Han province' and 'reconsider non-essential travel to other areas in China'. Chinese authorities agree these warnings are appropriate.

 

Serious stuff.

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18 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

Okay, I know it is an important announcement for UK citizens but would appreciate if someone could explain why. It has come before in this forum  and I am curious why and how it all works. TIA

I dont understand your question, what do you need explaining?

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Most UK travel insurance policies have cancellation and reimbursement clauses triggered by a Foreign and Commonwealth Office advisory notice advising either against all travel or all but essential travel, or the FCO are advising British citizens to leave the area.  Insurance apart, the FCO thinks that it is not safe to travel for the reasons stated in detail in their advisory,  and they probably have better sources of information from whom to draw their advice than we do.  So such advisories are normally obeyed, as to ignore them would be crass stupidity. 

 

We hear in our national news that it is almost impossible to get into China, it is increasingly difficult to get out,  and medical services there are overwhelmed.  So, not a good idea to travel.

 

Try

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Apart from anything else, I believe, if the government advise against all but essential travel, travel insurance is invalid and wont pay out. 

I don't think I would want to be in China minus insurance.

Looking  at the above response I may be wrong in this!

Edited by old biddy
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Haworth...didn't recall who from our Sky passengers was doing China in the near future but sort of thought it was you. Hope things work out for the best if indeed there is a cancellation. You'd think in the present situation that Viking would (more like should) waive the usual penalties. Certainly shouldn't be treated the same way as when a passenger cancels for whatever reason. From what I'm reading, an "outbreak of a virus" is typically not a covered reason for cancellation under trip insurance. Complicating matters is the use of the already uninsurable value of the Sky vouchers. 

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27 minutes ago, OnTheJourney said:

Complicating matters is the use of the already uninsurable value of the Sky vouchers. 

 

Yes, uninsurable but perhaps Viking can be convinced, if they aren't already on board with the idea, to reinstate the voucher.

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I would think since this is a special situation, that they'd do something with the vouchers. Ours got reinstated after mistakenly being applied to the Iberian Explorer cruise, which at most would have only used 1/4 of the total amount. I had a thread about that shortly after it happened. Unfortunately, unless this virus is controlled in the near future, I wouldn't be surprised if all travel to China is put on hold. 

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4 hours ago, Haworth said:

I have confidence in Viking that they will do the right thing,

 

I do, too, and I wonder if some of the delay is simply that they are taking time to prepare for the avalanche of calls, e-mails and financial transactions that they will have to deal with once they begin contacting passengers.

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I talked with Viking this morning since we are leaving in a week for a cruise from Sydney to Hong Kong. We are somewhat worried about getting home since many ports are closing. Even though we are 5 weeks away from arriving in HK, we are worried about getting home if we miss docking in HK.. They assured me we will get home sometime from someplace.

I asked about our insurance and what it covered. We have "cancel for any reason" and was told we would get a voucher for the cost of the trip, but no cash. The voucher would be good for a year. A cash refund depends on the reason for cancellation and canceling our trip because of the virus doesn't qualify. If I break a leg or get cancer, that would qualify for a cash refund🤔

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2 hours ago, Insanityx4 said:

I talked with Viking this morning since we are leaving in a week for a cruise from Sydney to Hong Kong. We are somewhat worried about getting home since many ports are closing. Even though we are 5 weeks away from arriving in HK, we are worried about getting home if we miss docking in HK.. They assured me we will get home sometime from someplace.

I asked about our insurance and what it covered. We have "cancel for any reason" and was told we would get a voucher for the cost of the trip, but no cash. The voucher would be good for a year. A cash refund depends on the reason for cancellation and canceling our trip because of the virus doesn't qualify. If I break a leg or get cancer, that would qualify for a cash refund🤔

 

Are you insured under the Viking plan or did you buy your own insurance?  Did you get your flights through Viking or did you buy them on your own?

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