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Viking Coronavirus Update


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10 minutes ago, HugglescoteBear said:

We are due to sail on Viking Orion on March 20th. I notice it has now "disappeared" from the Viking Booking site. Does any one have any information? We are wondering if it is about to be cancelled? 

I had this discussion with someone last week .. so I can only relate what I was told then.

 

Orion is presently in New Zealand on its way to Sydney. The original schedule shows it leaving Sydney for Bali on 20 March (ie, your cruise). Someone who was on board last week asked the staff / crew and was told that Bali cruise was proceeding as planned. That was last week.

 

However since then Viking Sun (ie the world cruise) had significant issues getting clearance to visit and disembark passengers in Bali - they were originally refused - but after lengthy negotiations were given permission. I don't know any of the specifics nor if discussions about Orion's visit were covered during those discussions.

 

If Frenchberet sees this post perhaps he / she could ask the crew for an update (Frenchberet is on board Orion at present).

 

All that aside, you may be best to just keep checking with your local Viking office ... or email Viking 'Head Office'

 

TellUs@vikingcruises.com

 

and hope they get back to you asap.

 

I hope things work out for you.

 

2 hours ago, Frenchberet said:

We’re onboard Orion now.  Viking is trying very hard to maintain a clean, safe environment.  There are hand washing stations at every food venue, monitored by an employee.  Today I saw a man in the World Cafe trying to slip past, saying he just washed.  The employee apologized but insisted he wash his hands again.  He did but wasn’t happy.  Yesterday I observed a man at the Pool Grill ‘pretending’ to wash, seriously?!

 

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16 minutes ago, Cleopatra99 said:

I had this discussion with someone last week .. so I can only relate what I was told then.

 

Orion is presently in New Zealand on its way to Sydney. The original schedule shows it leaving Sydney for Bali on 20 March (ie, your cruise). Someone who was on board last week asked the staff / crew and was told that Bali cruise was proceeding as planned. That was last week.

 

However since then Viking Sun (ie the world cruise) had significant issues getting clearance to visit and disembark passengers in Bali - they were originally refused - but after lengthy negotiations were given permission. I don't know any of the specifics nor if discussions about Orion's visit were covered during those discussions.

 

If Frenchberet sees this post perhaps he / she could ask the crew for an update (Frenchberet is on board Orion at present).

 

All that aside, you may be best to just keep checking with your local Viking office ... or email Viking 'Head Office'

 

TellUs@vikingcruises.com

 

and hope they get back to you asap.

 

I hope things work out for you.

 

 

Thanks so much for that. I have sent an email as you suggested.

Frenchberet (or any one on the Orion), if you can find any information for us that would be incredibly helpful.

Viking UK are still telling us it is on, but still very concerned. 

Edited by HugglescoteBear
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30 minutes ago, HugglescoteBear said:

Thanks so much for that. I have sent an email as you suggested.

Frenchberet (or any one on the Orion), if you can find any information for us that would be incredibly helpful.

Viking UK are still telling us it is on, but still very concerned. 

 

Check out the Viking Orion Roll Call for your cruise .. one of your fellow passengers posted this a few hours ago;

 

Hi, We live in Australia and spoke with Viking Australia yesterday morning - Monday, Mar 10. Our question related to the Balinese visa charge payable in US$. However, toward the end of the convo we asked about the Elephant - Asian obviously- in the room! 

Re: The Big C, they stated that they were currently “ negotiating” with the Indonesian Authorities about disembarkation, docking in Benoa and that they would contact our TA should there be any changes. They did not mention the word “ cancellation” but that’s no guarantee obviously. 

I booked our dinner reservations on Sunday - staying positive ! 

Good Luck and hope to see you! 

 
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2 hours ago, Cleopatra99 said:

IHowever since then Viking Sun (ie the world cruise) had significant issues getting clearance to visit and disembark passengers in Bali - they were originally refused - but after lengthy negotiations were given permission. I don't know any of the specifics nor if discussions about Orion's visit were covered during those discussions.

 

The issues we experienced in Bali and Semarang appear to be specific to this ship, as the CMV World Cruise was anchored off Bali yesterday and had no problems getting clearance.

 

I suspect our issues were driven entirely by the idiot who posted erroneously that we had virus aboard, when he saw photos of pax wearing masks in Komodo. We were requested to wear masks by the local authorities. His FB post was picked up and published by the lying Jakarta Post.

 

Based on the experience of other vessels, the Orion should have no issues in Bali.

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6 hours ago, Cleopatra99 said:

I had this discussion with someone last week .. so I can only relate what I was told then.

 

Orion is presently in New Zealand on its way to Sydney. The original schedule shows it leaving Sydney for Bali on 20 March (ie, your cruise). Someone who was on board last week asked the staff / crew and was told that Bali cruise was proceeding as planned. That was last week.

 

However since then Viking Sun (ie the world cruise) had significant issues getting clearance to visit and disembark passengers in Bali - they were originally refused - but after lengthy negotiations were given permission. I don't know any of the specifics nor if discussions about Orion's visit were covered during those discussions.

 

If Frenchberet sees this post perhaps he / she could ask the crew for an update (Frenchberet is on board Orion at present).

 

All that aside, you may be best to just keep checking with your local Viking office ... or email Viking 'Head Office'

 

TellUs@vikingcruises.com

 

and hope they get back to you asap.

 

I hope things work out for you.

 

 


Hi, I talked to Guest Services and they said the March 20 cruise is still expected to sail Sydney to Bali.  The situation is fluid but they don’t expect any problems.  
 

We haven’t experienced any issues on our March 6 cruise (Auckland to Sydney).  We’ve heard that 150-200 people cancelled but no problems with those of us here!  They asked us to complete a health questionnaire and did a temperature check prior to boarding.  Weather has been great and it’s smooth sailing!

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1 hour ago, Frenchberet said:


Hi, I talked to Guest Services and they said the March 20 cruise is still expected to sail Sydney to Bali.  The situation is fluid but they don’t expect any problems.  
 

We haven’t experienced any issues on our March 6 cruise (Auckland to Sydney).  We’ve heard that 150-200 people cancelled but no problems with those of us here!  They asked us to complete a health questionnaire and did a temperature check prior to boarding.  Weather has been great and it’s smooth sailing!

Thanks so much for that!

I guess we will go ahead. My biggest remaining worry is that may cancel after we get to Australia. We are doing a 6 night pre-cruise tour.  If they cancel after we arrive, we would get the Cruise portion back, but not the pre-tour or flights. As we have "pushed the boat out" (no pun intended!) and paid for Business Class, that all represents a lot of money if we just end up with 6 days in Aus!

Thanks again for you help. Hope the rest of your cruise goes well.

Alan 🙂 

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26 minutes ago, Pushka said:

Not Ocean but a River but not good for Viking passengers who are currently being detained in isolation in Cambodia

 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-11/coronavirus-updates-italy-lockdown-markets-testing/12043876

Rest assured there will be cases reported on river cruises in Europe as well across all brands as its inevitable at this stage given the spread rate, which as this story proves Viking is not impervious to the virus...

A bit surprising that they're still cruising in Asia with all thats happening there, especially given their demographic....

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This has just been posted on the MyVikingJourney site:

Changes Affecting Itineraries in March and April 2020

As of March 11, 2020, Viking is temporarily suspending operations of our river and ocean cruises, for embarkations taking place between March 12 to April 30, 2020. We believe Viking will be in a better place to provide the experiences our guests expect and deserve after this time and plan to resume operations on May 1, 2020, continuing all further sailings as originally planned.

When itinerary changes are required, impacted guests and their travel agents are notified directly by Viking Customer Relations. Please log onto MyVikingJourney.com for details regarding your specific voyage.

A Video and Letter from Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen - March 11, 2020

Following is an important message from Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen, who has also recorded a video version that can be viewed here.

Dear Viking Guests,

Since we started Viking nearly 23 years ago, we have always cared first and foremost about our guests and our employees. I feel we have become one large Viking family of 500,000 guests each year and 10,000 employees. Since day one, it has been our mission to create experiences for our guests that focus on the destination and allow them to explore the world in comfort. This has always been Viking’s ambition and will remain so.

I am sure you recognize that COVID-19 has made travel exceedingly complicated. An increasing number of ports, including Venice, Monte Carlo and Bergen, have temporarily closed to cruise ships; major attractions such as the Vatican and other museums have been closed; and some countries are imposing restrictions on public gatherings and visitors.

In recent days we have had an experience where a river cruise guest in Southeast Asia was exposed to COVID-19 while in transit on an international airline. While this guest is not exhibiting symptoms, she has been placed in quarantine. Separately, the remaining 28 guests will also be quarantined.

I am writing today because the situation has now become such that operating as a travel company involves significant risks of quarantines or medical detentions, which could diminish the travel experiences for which our guests have been planning. As a private company with strong finances, we do not have to worry about quarterly profit expectations – and that flexibility allows us the ability to do what is best for our guests and our employees, as we have always done.

Therefore, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend operations of our river and ocean vessels embarking from March 12 to April 30, 2020 – at which time we believe Viking will be in a better place to provide the experiences our guests expect and deserve. This is a decision we made with a heavy heart, but with present circumstances what they are, we are unable to deliver the high-quality Viking experience for which we are known.

For those guests whose cruise falls within this window of suspended operations, we are offering the choice of a Future Cruise Voucher valued at 125% of all monies paid to Viking or a refund equal to the amount paid. Guests will have 24 months to use their Future Cruise Voucher to make a new reservation on any river, ocean or expedition cruise. For additional flexibility, if you are unable to use your voucher, we will automatically send you a refund equal to the original amount paid to Viking after the voucher expires. These Future Cruise Vouchers will also be fully transferable.

Rest assured, our reservations team is currently in the process of issuing Future Cruise Vouchers of 125% of all monies paid to Viking. However, if you would prefer the alternative please call Viking at 1-833-900-0951 or contact your Travel Agent by March 25, 2020.

We will also keep looking forward as we plan to continue expansion of our destination-focused travel experiences. In addition to our many award-winning river and ocean cruises, in early 2022 we will launch our expedition journeys to the Arctic and Antarctica, as well as North America’s Great Lakes. And, at the beginning of April 2020, we will announce our newest river voyages closer to home, in America’s heartland.

We will stand by our guests, employees and partners in these challenging times and hope that they in turn will stand by us.

Sincerely yours,

TH-Signature.jpg

Torstein Hagen

Chairman

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