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Notice from Viking of “enhanced health screenings” outside Asia


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We are taking a Tulips and Windmills cruise with Viking out of Amsterdam in April. We’ve just received a notice from them referencing the Coronavirus outbreak and stating that, “as a precautionary measure, we have implemented enhanced health screenings (via a health care questionnaire) for all guests boarding our vessels within the next 90 days. Additionally, any guests who have traveled from or through mainland China within 14 days of the beginning of their trip with us, will not be permitted to embark the ship.”

 

Haven’t seen the questionnaire yet, nor did the notice say when we would receive it. 

 

 

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Hello! I got that email this morning too..

I assumed they would be giving out the questionnaire when we board?

I don't really know though.  Our cruise is in April too from Budapest. 😃

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2 hours ago, Sleep7 said:

I assumed they would be giving out the questionnaire when we board?

 

And if an answer concerns them, is the guest booted off?   (I may give them a call next week and ask the process.) 

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We got that e-mail, too. We’re on the Paris to the Alps trip next month. Our tour starts with two nights in a hotel in Paris before we get on the Idi, so we are thinking we’ll probably be handed the questionnaire at the hotel well before we reach the ship. 

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24 minutes ago, Sleep7 said:

If you find out will you let us know? Thanks!😃

 

Of course.

 

Just now, Ryan208 said:

We got that e-mail, too. We’re on the Paris to the Alps trip next month. Our tour starts with two nights in a hotel in Paris before we get on the Idi, so we are thinking we’ll probably be handed the questionnaire at the hotel well before we reach the ship. 

 

We are spending several days pre-cruise in Amsterdam, but not arranged by Viking.  

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On 2/7/2020 at 3:45 PM, Sleep7 said:

If you find out will you let us know? Thanks!😃

 

According to Viking, the questionnaires will be provided at the embarkation area as part of the embarkation process, and before you are permitted to board.  It is all related to China and coronavirus.   They said they are concerned that despite Viking's emailed notice that no one will be permitted to board who has traveled from or through mainland China in the 14 days prior to the cruise, people will show up at the boat anyway.

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We're sailing (motoring?) on the Viking Hild from Zurich to Paris in April.

If one 'fails' the screening at embarkation in Basel (perhaps due to a scratchy throat & cough following long overseas flight, or a slightly elevated temp,  not due to coronavirus), does anyone know what happens?  They have the unilateral right to deny boarding, and they might take a very conservative position given the growing threat of the virus.   Having been denied boarding, will Viking also cancel the pre-paid hotel in Paris that's part of the Viking package at the end of the cruise? Will they cancel the post-cruise package that's been booked/paid for?  Will they cancel the return air arrangements from CDG that were made through Viking Air?? 

 

I asked my TA, and she didn't know.   Seems a reasonable question that Viking should be able to answer.

Edited by screen-gem
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2 hours ago, screen-gem said:

We're sailing (motoring?) on the Viking Hild from Zurich to Paris in April.

If one 'fails' the screening at embarkation in Basel (perhaps due to a scratchy throat & cough following long overseas flight, or a slightly elevated temp,  not due to coronavirus), does anyone know what happens?  They have the unilateral right to deny boarding, and they might take a very conservative position given the growing threat of the virus.   Having been denied boarding, will Viking also cancel the pre-paid hotel in Paris that's part of the Viking package at the end of the cruise? Will they cancel the post-cruise package that's been booked/paid for?  Will they cancel the return air arrangements from CDG that were made through Viking Air?? 

 

I asked my TA, and she didn't know.   Seems a reasonable question that Viking should be able to answer.

 

Your questions all seem reasonable – but all the cruise lines around the world are 'playing it by ear' right now, so I doubt that Viking has figured out the answers yet.

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I would say playing it by ear is the most natural approach to the situation right now, especially as regards river cruising. The season in Europe has not started yet - putting the short Carnival and mini cruises by a few European companies aside. The season for Viking appears to start on 10 March, first sailings I could find.

 

notamermaid

 

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10 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

Your questions all seem reasonable – but all the cruise lines around the world are 'playing it by ear' right now, so I doubt that Viking has figured out the answers yet.

 

Viking should already have the answers. This is nothing new. Their existing embarkation procedure includes a health-screening questionnaire,  though less rigorous than the new one just announced.  Their existing cruise contract (with all the fine print that no-one ever reads:- )  gives them the right to refuse boarding if they so choose.  So they must already have a policy in place that defines how they deal with the onward arrangements of Customers who were refused boarding.   They might tweak the policy a bit for the upcoming river cruise season, but the starting point will be Viking's existing policy that's been in place for prior seasons.

 

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02/12/2020

Is Viking doing the same for their Ocean Cruises. Sailing on the Orion May 15, 2020 out of Yokohama?  coming up on 90 days out. Just wondering. Hearing some people are cancelling and rebooking for 2021. Anything anyone can add?
 

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Interesting, screen-gem. I would like to read the existing questionnaire. Cannot remember filling in such a thing with my cruise line. I wonder how many other lines have it and what it covers. On a river cruise along the Rhine ships can quarantined as a whole - it has happened due to Norovirus - and as regards logistics and help is never a problem. To be honest, I am less keen on such a quarantine in a dock near me due to Coronavirus. With the current developments in Sussex in England one can see how spreading it can put hundreds of people at risk. I think screening passengers is a good idea and I am sure Viking is working "behind the scenes". Cancellations and refunds, yes, that will be an area where much discord is likely to arise. I hope the cruise lines have satisfactory contracts for such eventualities with their partner hotels. But where there is a real thread (local) governments could be the deciders in the end.

 

notamermaid

 

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2 hours ago, llniemeyer said:

02/12/2020

Is Viking doing the same for their Ocean Cruises. Sailing on the Orion May 15, 2020 out of Yokohama?  coming up on 90 days out. Just wondering. Hearing some people are cancelling and rebooking for 2021. Anything anyone can add?
 

 

There is an entire thread in the Viking Ocean forum about this:

 

 

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7 hours ago, notamermaid said:

I think screening passengers is a good idea and I am sure Viking is working "behind the scenes". Cancellations and refunds, yes, that will be an area where much discord is likely to arise. I hope the cruise lines have satisfactory contracts for such eventualities with their partner hotels. But where there is a real threat (local) governments could be the deciders in the end.

 

I agree -- I don't have any issue at all with more rigorous screening. It's an excellent thing to do to help keep passengers (and crew) safe. The problem with any health questionnaire is that customers have a huge disincentive to not be fulsome in their answers. If one has pre-paid thousands of dollars and spent many hours traveling to the embarkation pier, one won't be encouraged to self-report a minor cough or a scratchy throat when asked to fill in the questionnaire.  In any event,  I'd just like to know what process Viking will follow (and have been following in past seasons) with regard to onward arrangements with Viking that were already bought and paid for. 

 

We were on a Viking Star cruise a couple years ago that was stricken with norovirus, believed to be introduced by contaminated oysters at the Raw Bar one night.  We spent an extra day docked at Bordeaux while the situation unfolded. For a couple of hours, the ship was quarantined by local port authorities and we were not permitted to get off.  Fortunately, the quarantine was lifted pretty quickly, and we had an extra day to explore Bordeaux -- not a bad place for an unplanned layover:-)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Without trying to sound overly worried, I do think it is now time to face the fact that the Coronavirus will have an impact on river cruising in Europe more likely than it did a week ago. Venice ended the Carnival early, Austria briefly halted a train coming from Italy and tonight two new cases have been reported in Germany. Both of those are in states the Rhine flows through. At least one case is connected to a recent trip to Italy. It is getting closer to me for sure.

 

Here are the latest facts from Deutsche Welle: https://m.dw.com/en/coronavirus-updates-2-new-german-cases-in-separate-states/a-52516885 

 

Any new messages from Viking or other companies?

 

notamermaid

 

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17 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

Without trying to sound overly worried, I do think it is now time to face the fact that the Coronavirus will have an impact on river cruising in Europe more likely than it did a week ago. Venice ended the Carnival early, Austria briefly halted a train coming from Italy and tonight two new cases have been reported in Germany. Both of those are in states the Rhine flows through. At least one case is connected to a recent trip to Italy. It is getting closer to me for sure.

 

Here are the latest facts from Deutsche Welle: https://m.dw.com/en/coronavirus-updates-2-new-german-cases-in-separate-states/a-52516885 

 

Any new messages from Viking or other companies?

 

notamermaid

 

No further messages from Viking.

 

Now the virus is in Switzerland. 
https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-switzerland-coronavirus/swiss-authorities-confirm-first-case-of-coronavirus-idUSKBN20J1ZO

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We are leaving Miami on 3/06 for 24 day journey ending in Venice with many Med stops and Croatia. It does not look good but.m Viking is saying stay the course. Not feeling to good about going OR the fact that coming back to the States may be a challenge as well if this virus grows as all expect.


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Talking about the dreaded virus. This morning it was announced that schools in a town in North-Rhine Westphalia will stay closed. I presume the patient, who is in a critical condition, lives there.

 

Us Germans love to travel and often go to Italy. I can see more cases appearing, people probably having attended the Carnival in Venice in their thousands. And we have just finished our Carnival celebrations.

It is going to get interesting here, and not in a nice way.

 

notamermaid

 

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With more news and details about new cases emerging by the hour around the world and in Germany I am getting a little nervous about the wonderful happy world of river cruising.

 

The latest from Deutsche Welle. Our health minister says that Germany is facing "the beginning of a coronavirus epidemic".

Brilliant! (sarcasm)

 

https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-updates-germany-facing-a-coronavirus-epidemic/a-52536472

 

notamermaid

 

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Here in Australia we have just officially called it a Pandemic.  I'm still not too bothered, even though we have a Europe trip booked for December.  Hopefully it will be over by then.

 

My daughter is in Sri Lanka on holidays and another is in London - a bit worried about them.

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