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The Virtual Explorers' Lounge

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On 3/26/2020 at 1:07 PM, photopro2 said:

 

Welcome Clay - this shot is for you!

I am always surprised how few people there are on the balcony during sail-in. We love to watch the landscape evolve as we come towards land and into harbour. It does often mean an early start but a self serve coffee from the bar and views like this one (taken while heading in to St. Martin) mean that it is usually worth missing an hours sleep for. 

P1070473small copy.jpg

 

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Just now, Ruthieofthesea said:

What a lovely picture. I love sunrise and sunset onboard. Breakfast on the veranda is so peaceful. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Ruthieofthesea said:

Peregrina651, I have seem your site name before. Are you a past X ( Celebrity cruiser)? If you don't mind me asking What year did you sail South America. 

 

Happy Easter everyone.

 

It was January, 2009 on one of the X ships.

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On 4/12/2020 at 3:24 AM, Senior Gators said:

We can just hear the piano playing lovely music for atmosphere in the background, the murmuring of a dozen different conversation mixed with laughter, and the tinkling of ice in glasses of delicious libations.    

What a great word picture!

Sorry that you missed out on doing San Juan - Barcelona this year. It was great to meet you on that crossing a couple of years ago and the sunrise picture I posted was from that TA. We were fortunate to have Tangiers on the itinerary back then, not somewhere that I would have gone out of my way to visit but it turned out to be an interesting port and one we are glad to have added to our list. 

I hope you will post from your Southern Atlantic crossing when the time comes. That is certainly on our list but it won't be for a few years yet, we both need to have retired before we have time to do South America justice. 

I noticed Azulann in the lounge a while ago and Oceanpatter is also on the virtual ship somewhere so maybe they will grab a beverage with us again at some point? 

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11 hours ago, Ruthieofthesea said:

What a lovely picture.

Thank you! It does go to show that you don't need fancy equipment these days. It was taken on my simple Panasonic Lumix and I am sure that a phone would have done just as well. The important thing is to be up and around and keep your eyes open 👁️👁️ 

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On 4/12/2020 at 12:03 AM, Clay Clayton said:

Congrats on the BA to Barcelona cruise. It is on our list. Just an FYI, if you don’t have Viking Air in your deal AND you have American Airlines points, they have some great biz class Award deals to South America for next year.  

 

Thanks Clay. For better or worse we do have Viking Air Plus for this cruise. Our concern is that Viking will be trying to book us on some circuitous and lengthy flights on some off brand airlines.  From our research, American Airlines offers the best combination of 1 stop flights in both directions with reasonable connections in either MIA or DFW. The only problem is they are some of the most expensive.  We don't have a lot of AA points, so that my not be of much help. 

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22 hours ago, deec said:

Unfortunatley we can't join that TA next year.  Our Mexico plans extend all of May but definitely on our list.  Has anyone in the Explorer's Lounge done a Fall TA....weather conditions???  Hurricane season?  May use our credits ( we now have 2 cruises worth) to do Viking's South America! 

We did Bergen, Norway to Montreal last Fall (seems like years ago!). It was at the end of the hurricane (don’t remember the name)...we spent extra time in Bergen, missed the Shetlands and missed one stop in Greenland because of the hurricane. We did get to the Faroe Islands (the ship preceding ours missed this). In spite of the adjusted schedule, it was an incredible trip; I’d do it again in a minute!

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12 hours ago, Ruthieofthesea said:

Hello Senior Gators, Hope you are having a good Easter weekend. Glad you booked the March 2021 SAC. My sister and I are looking forward to sailing. We are "Shelter-in-place" and are a bit stir crazy at this point. We are considering booking a Christmas cruise for December 21. I am having Viking withdrawal. 

 

I like the "virtual Explorers' Lounge" I have my wine next to me as I type.  

 

Ruthieofthesea

 

Ruth, it was good; quiet and peaceful as the experts recommend! Just the two of us with phone calls to and from our family.

 

We have an Alaska and the Inside Passage Viking cruise bought and paid for coming up in August, but it is looking more and more like that one won't be happening. Either Viking will be cancelling it or we will.  We are waiting until closer to the sailing date to make our decision based on the situation and the facts that present themselves. We are exploring future cruise opportunities with Viking in the meantime.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Senior Gators said:

 

Ruth, it was good; quiet and peaceful as the experts recommend! Just the two of us with phone calls to and from our family.

 

We have an Alaska and the Inside Passage Viking cruise bought and paid for coming up in August, but it is looking more and more like that one won't be happening. Either Viking will be cancelling it or we will.  We are waiting until closer to the sailing date to make our decision based on the situation and the facts that present themselves. We are exploring future cruise opportunities with Viking in the meantime.

 

 


Yes, Senior Gators, I was just sitting outside Mamsen’s with my coffee and thinking that our Alaska cruise in mid-August will probably be canceled.  As someone noted on the Ships’ Location thread, the Orion seems to be headed toward Europe, rather than Asia and then Alaska.  But I’m dreaming of our Greece trip next February, and then the Galapagos expedition in August 2021!

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This is a good place to come to dream and hope. Did I say hope? Nah, need to stay true to being a pessimist. 

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30 minutes ago, SantaFe1 said:

the Orion seems to be headed toward Europe,

 

We need a poll.😎

 

Where is Orion headed??  Anyone know how to set one up in a post?

 

What destinations should we populate the poll with?

  • Europe/Norway
  • Malaysia/Indonesia to disembark crew then on to Alaska
  • Staying in the Pacific

Any other thoughts?

 

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2 hours ago, photopro2 said:

What a great word picture!

Sorry that you missed out on doing San Juan - Barcelona this year. It was great to meet you on that crossing a couple of years ago and the sunrise picture I posted was from that TA. We were fortunate to have Tangiers on the itinerary back then, not somewhere that I would have gone out of my way to visit but it turned out to be an interesting port and one we are glad to have added to our list. 

I hope you will post from your Southern Atlantic crossing when the time comes. That is certainly on our list but it won't be for a few years yet, we both need to have retired before we have time to do South America justice. 

I noticed Azulann in the lounge a while ago and Oceanpatter is also on the virtual ship somewhere so maybe they will grab a beverage with us again at some point? 

 

Photopro2,

 

Thank you for your kind words.  We fondly recall that TA cruise as one of the best we have experienced. The cruise was great even though Tangier was substituted for Casablanca. That stop was an unexpected pleasure that, like you, we didn't ever expect to see. Funchal, Madeira and Valencia were also highlights.  

 

The Viking Sea was great and the crew wonderful, but the biggest surprise that made that cruise the best in our minds was our fellow cruisers. So many highlights and so much enjoyment in our many encounters. From the largest and most active M & M and roll call for a trip that wasn't a world cruise; our daily interactions with our new found friends; Easter Sun Rise service presided over by one of our fellow cruisers (who happened to be a priest in the Episcopal or was it Anglican church); to our end of cruise second M & M spontaneously offered by the Sea's hotel manager.  

 

"Ah, those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end..."

 

But this too will pass eventually if we observe prudent safety and healthy practices.

 

We hope that, in the future, we will have the opportunity to share another cruise with you, photopro, and all the others that we have come to know through the wonderous medium of Viking cruises. Stay healthy.

 

 Senior Gators 

 

 

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1 hour ago, SantaFe1 said:


Yes, Senior Gators, I was just sitting outside Mamsen’s with my coffee and thinking that our Alaska cruise in mid-August will probably be canceled.  As someone noted on the Ships’ Location thread, the Orion seems to be headed toward Europe, rather than Asia and then Alaska.  But I’m dreaming of our Greece trip next February, and then the Galapagos expedition in August 2021!

 

SanteFe, are you sitting near the fire place close enough to the windows on the starboard side to take in the beautiful view?

 

We were wondering how one would feel on the small Galapagos expedition ship when compared with any of the Viking ships whether it was a river, ocean, expedition or the latest addition, the Mississippi River boat.  Will it be able to meet Viking's high level of comfort and style or by the nature of the destination and limited accessibility, more spartan accommodations and amenities are the trade off for cruising to one of the most unique places in the world.  It will be interesting to hear the reviews and comments after the cruises have commence next year.

 

As for us, we are eyeballing the new offerings Viking has come out with in the last few weeks/months; namely the Viking Mississippi and the Octantis expedition cruises on the Great Lakes. They are a long way off (about 2 1/2 years) and who knows what will happen between now and then.

 

Take care and stay healthy.

 

 

 

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Janet, thanks for the TA information Begen to Montreal.

Anyone with information from Europe to SA in the Fall....Viking Jupiter will be crossing November 8th!!!!  Sure wish I could figure of the future!!!!

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43 minutes ago, Senior Gators said:

 

SanteFe, are you sitting near the fire place close enough to the windows on the starboard side to take in the beautiful view?

 

We were wondering how one would feel on the small Galapagos expedition ship when compared with any of the Viking ships whether it was a river, ocean, expedition or the latest addition, the Mississippi River boat.  Will it be able to meet Viking's high level of comfort and style or by the nature of the destination and limited accessibility, more spartan accommodations and amenities are the trade off for cruising to one of the most unique places in the world.  It will be interesting to hear the reviews and comments after the cruises have commence next year.

 

As for us, we are eyeballing the new offerings Viking has come out with in the last few weeks/months; namely the Viking Mississippi and the Octantis expedition cruises on the Great Lakes. They are a long way off (about 2 1/2 years) and who knows what will happen between now and then.

 

Take care and stay healthy.

 

 

 


Yes, I am sitting by the fireplace in the explorer’s lounge and wrapped in one of those fur robes.  My actual view is of several inches of snow and four more coming by the end of the day!

We booked the Galapagos  the day after we got the mailer, back in February.  We have always wanted to do both Manchu Picchu and Galapagos and this trip provided both.  The hotels are quite nice, and the ship, while not a Viking Ocean luxury ship, looks quite nice.  We managed to snag one of the two deluxe rooms, so should  be a bit bigger.  But yes, this is a different kind of experience, and some of the luxury is sacrificed for that experience.

we too are excited about the Mississippi cruises, but certainly aren’t going to book anything three years out! But I have my eye on New Orleans to Memphis. 

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It seems like yesterday but was actually this past August 5th. Dear wife and I were on the Sky doing Icelands' Majestic Landscapes and sailing out of Geiranger, Norway. We had attended a guest lecture by Mr. Joseph Micallef that afternoon. He spoke on the WWII resistance of Norway and Denmark, a fascinating talk. Afterwards, having had a wonderful dinner, we retreated to the Explorers Lounge for a few after dinner libations. Sitting at a table enjoying the fabulous view and a nice straight up Makers Mark, I notice Mr. Micallef sitting solo at a table next to us. Having read a few books on the subject of his lecture, I told him how much I enjoyed it. It started a long discussion about the subject , which I enjoyed immensely. A most enjoyable evening, but then every evening was entertaining. I make final payment on our April 2021 "British Isles Explorer" cruise in a few days. It was nights like that which give me faith Viking will survive. I need those in my life!

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It is a little chilly today may I please have a hot chocolate and Baileys?  We loved the Galapagos on Celebrity's Expedition  in 2005 and Machu Pichu was included with Vantage's Amazon River and the Sacred Valley in 2015.   They were GREAT adventures.

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16 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

It was January, 2009 on one of the X ships.

As I remember, I have seen your post on Cruise critic over time. I left X after my 2009 cruise. I fell head over heels in love with Viking and I have not looked back. We did Scenic in 2012, OK, but! not Viking. Viking has a special touch that is very different from other lines. Thank you for your response.   

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8 minutes ago, retiredman said:

It seems like yesterday but was actually this past August 5th. Dear wife and I were on the Sky doing Icelands' Majestic Landscapes and sailing out of Geiranger, Norway. We had attended a guest lecture by Mr. Joseph Micallef that afternoon. He spoke on the WWII resistance of Norway and Denmark, a fascinating talk. Afterwards, having had a wonderful dinner, we retreated to the Explorers Lounge for a few after dinner libations. Sitting at a table enjoying the fabulous view and a nice straight up Makers Mark, I notice Mr. Micallef sitting solo at a table next to us. Having read a few books on the subject of his lecture, I told him how much I enjoyed it. It started a long discussion about the subject , which I enjoyed immensely. A most enjoyable evening, but then every evening was entertaining. I make final payment on our April 2021 "British Isles Explorer" cruise in a few days. It was nights like that which give me faith Viking will survive. I need those in my life!

 

You sound like a good candidate to watch "The Heavy Water War' ----- nothing short of excellent!

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5 minutes ago, retiredman said:

It seems like yesterday but was actually this past August 5th. Dear wife and I were on the Sky doing Icelands' Majestic Landscapes and sailing out of Geiranger, Norway. We had attended a guest lecture by Mr. Joseph Micallef that afternoon. He spoke on the WWII resistance of Norway and Denmark, a fascinating talk. Afterwards, having had a wonderful dinner, we retreated to the Explorers Lounge for a few after dinner libations. Sitting at a table enjoying the fabulous view and a nice straight up Makers Mark, I notice Mr. Micallef sitting solo at a table next to us. Having read a few books on the subject of his lecture, I told him how much I enjoyed it. It started a long discussion about the subject , which I enjoyed immensely. A most enjoyable evening, but then every evening was entertaining. I make final payment on our April 2021 "British Isles Explorer" cruise in a few days. It was nights like that which give me faith Viking will survive. I need those in my life!

One of the many reason I love Viking. Wonderful conversations with amazing people. I met a retired ships Captain one morning on the Star as I waited for my Waffle at Mamsen's, what a wonderful life of travel he is living. We spoke for over an hour as we sailed into Rome. As you, I also need  Viking in my life.

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AGREE....We are true Viking cheerleaders now...

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5 hours ago, Senior Gators said:

 

Ruth, it was good; quiet and peaceful as the experts recommend! Just the two of us with phone calls to and from our family.

 

We have an Alaska and the Inside Passage Viking cruise bought and paid for coming up in August, but it is looking more and more like that one won't be happening. Either Viking will be cancelling it or we will.  We are waiting until closer to the sailing date to make our decision based on the situation and the facts that present themselves. We are exploring future cruise opportunities with Viking in the meantime.

 

 

Senior Gators, I simply love Alaska. I lived in Anchorage for four years. We were blessed to sail the inside passage from Anchorage, wait! maybe it was the outside passage, it was over twenty years ago and my memory has faded. I do remember calving glaciers and stark beauty surrounding us as we sailed. There is a glacier in  Alaska with my name. Ruth's glacier, that made me smile.

 

I think I will order a Mimosa and walk up to the upper level and enjoy the view as we sail from Sydney. The view is simply beautiful as the Opera house disappears from view and our next Port awaits our arrival. Looking forward to Christchurch, New Zealand in four days. Happy virtual cruising.

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