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Viking Coronavirus Update


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18 hours ago, jeffbook said:

For anyone flying out of Italy after the Barcelona to Venice cruise on 3/19, you won't be flying on Delta as they have now cancelled all transatlantic flights to and from Italy through April 30......

 

At the very least, the information does not state that there are any differences between Milan and other Italian airports.  Perhaps I have incorrectly interpreted this as a full shutdown in Italy as the effective dates have changed from Delta's previous information posted here as they did not include dates to the end of April before today to the best of my knowledge. 

 

According to the Washington Post:

 

"Delta announced Monday that it is temporarily suspending daily flights between New York and Milan as a result of the rapid spread of the virus in Italy. Passengers affected by this change will be able to rebook their travel on flights after April 30...

 

Delta’s summer seasonal service between New York and Venice, previously scheduled to begin April 1, will now begin May 1, the company said. The airline’s daily flights between Rome and both JFK and Atlanta continue to operate as scheduled."

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/03/02/us-airlines-amtrak-waive-fees-travel-changes-concerns-rise-over-coronavirus/

Edited by 1985rz1
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This was posted today on Viking's website under Updates on Current Sailings.  I think this is a generous offer on Viking's part!

 

A note to guests with a current reservation and future Viking guests,

As you undoubtedly know, the coronavirus COVID-19 is causing concern in the general public and among those of us engaged in travel. At Viking, the safety and security of our guests and employees has always been our top priority. We have implemented enhanced health screening procedures for all guests and staff before boarding our vessels and everyone is required to complete a health care questionnaire before embarkation. We continue to reiterate the importance of individual hygiene, sanitizing and washing of hands.

We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely including the travel advisories issued by the U.S. State Department and information updates issued by the Centers for Disease Control in the U.S. and the World Health Organization in Switzerland.

This is a situation that can change from day to day, and we can well understand that the decision of whether or not to travel may be weighing on your mind – particularly for those with imminent departures.

In view of this we are for the time being making a temporary exception to our cancellation policy so that you can be free to postpone your cruise at any time up until 24 hours before the planned departure, without incurring any cancellation fees. You will be issued a voucher for future travel valid for 24 months, which can be used on any Viking product (river, ocean or expedition). This temporary exception to our standard cancellation policy is applicable for all guests who currently have a reservation with Viking and for all new reservations made through April 30, 2020.

The temporary exception to our cancellation policy is as follows:

  • Notification of your intent to postpone your current cruise must be received as follows:
    • If you have flights arranged by Viking, it must be received at least 24 hours prior to the time of flight’s departure.
    • If you have arranged your own flights, it must be received at least 24 hours prior to the time of embarkation of the cruise or your hotel check-in, whichever is first.
  • Cancelled reservations will be reimbursed in the form of a Future Cruise Voucher in the amount of 100% of all funds paid to Viking.
  • Future Cruise Vouchers may be used toward any future river, ocean or expedition cruise with Viking and will be valid for 24 months from issuance.

If you have any questions, please contact your Travel Advisor or Viking at 1-833-900-0951, Monday through Friday, 4:00 AM to 9:00 PM, and Saturday to Sunday, 5:00 AM to 7:00 PM, PT.

We hope you will choose to join us as planned. We will continue to update you on any changes in itineraries or circumstance that may be relevant. In the meantime, we hope that this temporary exception to our policy will help put your mind to ease.

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Wow!  That is a fabulous offer!!!  We have three future cruises booked with Viking.  Unfortunately, our cruise from Barcelona to Lisbon on 27 April is with Regent.  Wish they would follow suit. That will teach me to stray from Viking!!!

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Great news w1234.  This information hasn’t appeared on the Australian/NewZealand website yet.  With only 171 days until our sailing (50 days left until our cancel within 121 days or more policy - $500A fee only) I am staring to get worried about making the big decision.

Unfortunately my Credit Card travel insurance doesn’t cover us for CoronaVirus so this would be our only way out.  So keen to do our Viking Homeland Cruise in late August but when the financial investment I have made for this trip is more than the average New Zealand annual salary, I have to be very careful and wise in making my decision.

Thanks again for this important information, gives me so much confidence in Viking as a company who understands what their customers are going through🙂

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3 minutes ago, SantaFe1 said:

Wow!  That is a fabulous offer!!!  We have three future cruises booked with Viking.  Unfortunately, our cruise from Barcelona to Lisbon on 27 April is with Regent.  Wish they would follow suit. That will teach me to stray from Viking!!!

We also have 3 future Viking cruises booked.  I did talk to my favorite Viking agent and he did say that the voucher cannot be used on existing bookings, but I'm sure if we take advantage of this offer, we will have no problem using it in the next 2 years.  Right now, we are still planning to go on our TA March 12 from San Juan to Barcelona as we feel the risk in Spain is low.  But we have a little over a week to decide for sure.

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1 hour ago, Lizmore said:

Great news w1234.  This information hasn’t appeared on the Australian/NewZealand website yet.  With only 171 days until our sailing (50 days left until our cancel within 121 days or more policy - $500A fee only) I am staring to get worried about making the big decision.

Unfortunately my Credit Card travel insurance doesn’t cover us for CoronaVirus so this would be our only way out.  So keen to do our Viking Homeland Cruise in late August but when the financial investment I have made for this trip is more than the average New Zealand annual salary, I have to be very careful and wise in making my decision.

Thanks again for this important information, gives me so much confidence in Viking as a company who understands what their customers are going through🙂

 

It's in the .au website now .. we aren't crusing till November so hopefully it will be all-clear by then.

Best wishes for your trip if you proceed.

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2 hours ago, w1234 said:

We also have 3 future Viking cruises booked.  I did talk to my favorite Viking agent and he did say that the voucher cannot be used on existing bookings, but I'm sure if we take advantage of this offer, we will have no problem using it in the next 2 years.  Right now, we are still planning to go on our TA March 12 from San Juan to Barcelona as we feel the risk in Spain is low.  But we have a little over a week to decide for sure.

We just got notified via email about the cancellation policy & voucher.  I called the number on the email and asked Viking if we can use the voucher for an already booked cruise.  He said Yes you can use it on an existing booking.  He said the situation is fluid and if someone had called yesterday, that would have been the answer.  I think Viking is trying to be as 'customer focused' as possible given what is going on.  He also recommended to contact Viking directly to cancel instead of trying to go through a TA.  My TA is not always available so I appreciated his suggestion.

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Some thoughts on the new Viking Policy regarding the current situation.
1.  Brilliant move!  I’m sure they were receiving thousands of calls and emails about this and trying to reassure and give information to customers in a rapidly changing, unknown situation.  This gives them (especially their customer service reps) some breathing room.
2.  If you cancel, you receive a future cruise credit.  You are responsible to pay the difference if the cruise has a higher list price.  The skeptic in me knows that prices will be rising...
3.  (I have been informed) that you may not use the credit to pay the balance of a previously booked cruise. (Please correct me if you heard differently, but this is my understanding)
4.  The new policy is in effect for any cruise booked through April 30,2020 - not embarkation but booked.  So if you are thinking of another cruise,  book it now!  In essence, you will get free cancellation insurance (in the form of a voucher) 
As I said, a brilliant corporate decision.  
I am still planning on my end of April river cruise (for which I purchased the cancel for any reason when I booked it in November), however we purchased other insurance (for our summer of 2021 cruise) and now I have the bonus of the postpone for any reason!

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57 minutes ago, Cleopatra99 said:

 

It's in the .au website now .. we aren't crusing till November so hopefully it will be all-clear by then.

Best wishes for your trip if you proceed.

We have a summer river cruise booked and received this info via email.  Seems a very reasonable policy ... Hope we won’t have to take advantage of it.

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13 minutes ago, scrap47 said:

Some thoughts on the new Viking Policy regarding the current situation.
1.  Brilliant move!  I’m sure they were receiving thousands of calls and emails about this and trying to reassure and give information to customers in a rapidly changing, unknown situation.  This gives them (especially their customer service reps) some breathing room.
2.  If you cancel, you receive a future cruise credit.  You are responsible to pay the difference if the cruise has a higher list price.  The skeptic in me knows that prices will be rising...
3.  (I have been informed) that you may not use the credit to pay the balance of a previously booked cruise. (Please correct me if you heard differently, but this is my understanding)
4.  The new policy is in effect for any cruise booked through April 30,2020 - not embarkation but booked.  So if you are thinking of another cruise,  book it now!  In essence, you will get free cancellation insurance (in the form of a voucher) 
As I said, a brilliant corporate decision.  
I am still planning on my end of April river cruise (for which I purchased the cancel for any reason when I booked it in November), however we purchased other insurance (for our summer of 2021 cruise) and now I have the bonus of the postpone for any reason!

scrap47,

 

I called Viking tonight & you CAN use the credit to pay the balance of a previous booked cruise - we have a cruise scheduled for next April 2021 that we can use the credit for if we chose to cancel our current river cruises in April.  We haven't decided, still 4 weeks out.

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Well done Viking, a good customer focused decision.

 

However ...

 

This temporary exception to our standard cancellation policy is applicable for all guests who currently have a reservation with Viking and for all new reservations made through April 30, 2020.

 

Once the coronavirus situation stabilizes, I imagine the offer will be withdrawn - regardless of whether you already hold a booking or you book something new before 30 April.

 

 

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49 minutes ago, SM77 said:

scrap47,

 

I called Viking tonight & you CAN use the credit to pay the balance of a previous booked cruise - we have a cruise scheduled for next April 2021 that we can use the credit for if we chose to cancel our current river cruises in April.  We haven't decided, still 4 weeks out.


We just got the email for our Alaska trip in August.  I do t think that cruise is going to be a problem, but if so, we can use the vouchers to pay off our Galapagos expedition next year!!!  Thank you Viking.  A brilliant marketing plan, and a win win for all.

Edited by SantaFe1
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3 hours ago, SantaFe1 said:

Wow!  That is a fabulous offer!!!  We have three future cruises booked with Viking.  Unfortunately, our cruise from Barcelona to Lisbon on 27 April is with Regent.  Wish they would follow suit. That will teach me to stray from Viking!!!

We too have an upcoming cruise with Regent. Regent has very little info on it's site and no communication with us so far. We are booked Barcelona to Venice April 30. There is no way the USA will allow a return from Venice without quarantine. Both United Air and American Air have allowed all booked flights to & from VCE (Venice) to change without fees.

That will teach me to stray from Viking as well.

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On 2/7/2020 at 5:19 PM, Squawkman said:

Please note the following which appears on the Viking Ocean website under “My Trip”:

 

Coronavirus Update, February 6

We are monitoring the Wuhan coronavirus situation closely and are aware of the travel advisories issued by the U.S. State Department on January 30, 2020, in addition to updates issued by the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

As the safety and security of our guests and crew is always our top priority, we have implemented enhanced health screening procedures for all guests boarding our vessels within the next 90 days. Please note, any guests who have traveled from or through mainland China within 14 days of beginning their trip with Viking, will not be permitted to embark the ship.

We are currently evaluating options for alternative ports of call; should itinerary alterations be made, Viking Customer Relations will communicate directly with those impacted guests and their travel agents within the next 7 days.

* * * * *

A few folks on the river cruise board who will embark in April reported receiving a similar message via email today - only their email added a phrase indicating the review will be done “via a health care questionnaire”. No other info about this questionnaire was given at this time.

 

Did anyone here receive an email about this regarding Ocean cruises that embark in the next 90 days? I didn’t - and I embark in 44 days.

 

The latest re: Viking Homelands April cruise.

 

In view of this we are for the time being making a temporary exception to our cancellation policy so that you can be free to postpone your cruise at any time up until 24 hours before the planned departure, without incurring any cancellation fees. You will be issued a voucher for future travel valid for 24 months, which can be used on any Viking product (river, ocean or expedition). This temporary exception to our standard cancellation policy is applicable for all guests who currently have a reservation with Viking and for all new reservations made through April 30, 2020.

The temporary exception to our cancellation policy is as follows:

If you have flights arranged by Viking, it must be received at least 24 hours prior to the time of your flight's departure.

If you have arranged your own flights, it must be received at least 24 hours prior to the time of embarkation of the cruise or your hotel check-in, whichever is first.

  • Notification of your intent to postpone your current cruise must be received as follows:
  • Cancelled reservations will be reimbursed in the form of a Future Cruise Voucher in the amount of 100% of all funds paid to Viking.
  • Future Cruise Vouchers may be used toward any future river, ocean or expedition cruise with Viking and will be valid for 24 months from issuance.
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We have to pay our full payment for our cruise Viking Homelands cruise date 11th July 2020.

Our final balance is due 12th March 2020 from Australia!

 

My travel agent is going to see if we can extend our final payment to closer to our cruise! Can only ask.

 

We booked this cruise April 2018 and so want to go, we have the money to pay but with the virus thing happening we are happy to go this year on our cruise so do we pay or do we transfer our $1000.00 dep to next year or pay our final balance now? 

We had to cancel our flight last week because I booked our air fares in August 2019 and we had a 3 hour transit in Hong Kong, as Viking are not letting passengers on who have been through China etc with the cancellation through BYO jet we lost $1700.00 have just put a claim through not holding our breath can only try.

not having much luck!

Onwards and upwards 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Rabbit27
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28 minutes ago, Rabbit27 said:

We have to pay our full payment for our cruise Viking Homelands cruise date 11th July 2020.

Our final balance is due 12th March 2020 from Australia!

 

My travel agent is going to see if we can extend our final payment to closer to our cruise! Can only ask.

 

We booked this cruise April 2018 and so want to go, we have the money to pay but with the virus thing happening we are happy to go this year on our cruise so do we pay or do we transfer our $1000.00 dep to next year or pay our final balance now? 

We had to cancel our flight last week because I booked our air fares in August 2019 and we had a 3 hour transit in Hong Kong, as Viking are not letting passengers on who have been through China etc with the cancellation through BYO jet we lost $1700.00 have just put a claim through not holding our breath can only try.

not having much luck!

Onwards and upwards 

 

 

 

 

G'day Rabbit27.

 

I'm curious - is the $1,700 an airline fee or the booking company fee (or both?). Which airline ?

 

Many airlines have cancelled flights to HK so if you were in that category the airline would be responsible to re-book you. I'm not doubting what you say, I'm just surprised the airline has been so inflexible (perhaps start an on-line petition - I'll sign it).

 

Without wanting to tell you what to do - we did Homelands in 2017 (our first with Viking) and it was fabulous.

 

So if you have already paid a penalty for changing flights, I assume you may be facing another penalty if you change again ?

 

Obviously coronavirus is spreading all over the place and obviously you have to be concerned about your health first and foremost, but unless the Govt says 'do not travel' to the areas covered by the Homelands itinerary ... well I would still go.

 

But that is me and I don't pretend to know your situation.

 

Whatever you decide and whatever the outcome of the insurance claim, please come back and tell us what transpired.

 

We are booked on South America itinerary late in late 2020 and hope the situation will be settled well before then.

 

Best wishes.

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Cleopatra99 said:

G'day Rabbit27.

 

I'm curious - is the $1,700 an airline fee or the booking company fee (or both?). Which airline ?

 

Many airlines have cancelled flights to HK so if you were in that category the airline would be responsible to re-book you. I'm not doubting what you say, I'm just surprised the airline has been so inflexible (perhaps start an on-line petition - I'll sign it).

 

Without wanting to tell you what to do - we did Homelands in 2017 (our first with Viking) and it was fabulous.

 

So if you have already paid a penalty for changing flights, I assume you may be facing another penalty if you change again ?

 

Obviously coronavirus is spreading all over the place and obviously you have to be concerned about your health first and foremost, but unless the Govt says 'do not travel' to the areas covered by the Homelands itinerary ... well I would still go.

 

But that is me and I don't pretend to know your situation.

 

Whatever you decide and whatever the outcome of the insurance claim, please come back and tell us what transpired.

 

We are booked on South America itinerary late in late 2020 and hope the situation will be settled well before then.

 

Best wishes.

 

 

Hi we booked with Finnair business class and the terms where we lost $1200.00 due to our refund and BYO Jet fee was $250 per person. We have to wait 12 weeks for our refund because of the high demand can you believe that ( I hope they don’t go broke)

we tried to reroute but we where not allowed I will never book through a 3rd part again.

Our itinerary was Sydney to Hong Kong

Hong Kong to Helsinki - Helsinki to Oslo. 

Our flight was not cancelled through Finnair and you can still book this flight today. So not Finnair fought. Just couldn’t take the risk that Viking policy would not change in letting up board the cruise in Bergen.

Yes cross fingers for your South America cruise.

will keep you updated on our claim. 

If we go this July we will book our airfare closer to our departure. 

Best wishes😊

Edited by Rabbit27
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36 minutes ago, Rabbit27 said:

Hi we booked with Finnair business class and the terms where we lost $1200.00 due to our refund and BYO Jet fee was $250 per person. We have to wait 12 weeks for our refund because of the high demand can you believe that ( I hope they don’t go broke)

we tried to reroute but we where not allowed I will never book through a 3rd part again.

Our itinerary was Sydney to Hong Kong

Hong Kong to Helsinki - Helsinki to Oslo. 

Our flight was not cancelled through Finnair and you can still book this flight today. So not Finnair fought. Just couldn’t take the risk that Viking policy would not change in letting up board the cruise in Bergen.

Yes cross fingers for your South America cruise.

will keep you updated on our claim. 

If we go this July we will book our airfare closer to our departure. 

Best wishes😊

Interesting .. we have traveled with Finnair twice (very nice actually) but via Singapore codeshare with Qantas.

Sadly you are correct, transit via HK means refused boarding in Bergen.

I'm sure you have explored all of the options and I'm sorry you ended up on the wrong side of the airlines policy.

Please do keep us informed .. and if you do go I'll be amazed if you aren't delighted with the whole experience.

FYI .. we did a mix of included and optional excursions on the Homelands cruise (all good) but used Alla Tours in St Petersburg - Alla was fantastic.

Regards, Cleo

 

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Good job Viking!  I booked my first cruise with Viking for next January.  I realize that this offer is "temporary", but it is good to know that hopefully Viking will do this again should a problem like this arise next year.

 

Have my first cruise on Oceania  booked to the Med this Spring with many Italy ports.  Have heard NOTHING!  Will be looking at booking Viking again because of this and haven't even sailed. 

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10 hours ago, Cleopatra99 said:

Well done Viking, a good customer focused decision.

 

However ...

 

This temporary exception to our standard cancellation policy is applicable for all guests who currently have a reservation with Viking and for all new reservations made through April 30, 2020.

 

Once the coronavirus situation stabilizes, I imagine the offer will be withdrawn - regardless of whether you already hold a booking or you book something new before 30 April.

 

 

Good point Cleo

 

I had talked to a customer relations person last night and he gave me his contact number.  I will ask him further if this temporary exception would be withdrawn or will it apply for all current bookings or any new bookings before 30 April until those bookings have occurred.  I will let others know what I find out.

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