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Viking UK Cruises


BrendaEDH
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Sounds to me like nothing but marketing strategy to try and gin up some interest and cobble together some kind of itinerary to help pay off their mounting costs of new ships on order by way of selling cruises and then refunding cruise credits.

 

If a UK based line like P&O have cancelled all cruises until at least the middle of October they wouldn't have done so without making a calculated choice so good luck to Viking if they think the guidance used by P&O doesn't apply to them...

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P&O doesn't specifically operate cruises round the UK and islands. It might have a UK clientele but operates further afield. IF Viking can come up with a viable cruise, that wont involve any pre or post isolation, and the cruise experience is not diminished we are definitely interested. There are lots of elements that have to be right before we would go, but certainly worth considering. How else are we going to get our cruise fix this year otherwise?

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If I were a UK resident, I would be packed already, except for one problem: my husband. He is thoroughly convinced that it is just too soon to resume life as we knew it. I am not even sure that I will be able to get him on the cruise we have scheduled for April. 

 

I guess that somewhere between my "when do we leave?" and his "hell, no, I won't go" there is a cautious, proper middle ground.

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6 hours ago, old biddy said:

P&O doesn't specifically operate cruises round the UK and islands. It might have a UK clientele but operates further afield. IF Viking can come up with a viable cruise, that wont involve any pre or post isolation, and the cruise experience is not diminished we are definitely interested. There are lots of elements that have to be right before we would go, but certainly worth considering. How else are we going to get our cruise fix this year otherwise?


I realize P&O don’t specifically operate cruises around the UK,  but they sail FROM the UK (i.e. Southampton) with at least a 90%  British clientele meaning they are taking their guidance from a multitude of sources including Public Health England as cited in their recent cancellation update.  
It should come as no surprise that there would be interest in the resumption of cruises, but I think it’s very careless for any cruise line to attempt a rush back to service for the sake of attempting to clear mounting incurred costs.  
 

Whichever line is first to return will face a mountain of scrutiny, especially if/when the first case of COVID is reported onboard as it will surely damage the brand in question, perhaps beyond recovery!

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3 hours ago, Captain_Morgan said:


I realize P&O don’t specifically operate cruises around the UK,  but they sail FROM the UK (i.e. Southampton) with at least a 90%  British clientele meaning they are taking their guidance from a multitude of sources including Public Health England as cited in their recent cancellation update.  
It should come as no surprise that there would be interest in the resumption of cruises, but I think it’s very careless for any cruise line to attempt a rush back to service for the sake of attempting to clear mounting incurred costs.  
 

Whichever line is first to return will face a mountain of scrutiny, especially if/when the first case of COVID is reported onboard as it will surely damage the brand in question, perhaps beyond 

It hasn't been stated when this cruise may go  it could be September, when Sky should be doing Eastern Seaboard Explorer, which wont happen due to Canadian restrictions. A lot can happen in 3 to4 months, nobody knows, hopefully the world will be in a better place, if it isn't I wouldn't give the cruise a first glance let alone a second. 

 

As I see it Viking are testing the water to see what the interest might be, no point in trying to organise something if everybody is negative and there will be zero uptake. A lot of hoops will have to be jumped through and at the end of the day the decision may be it's not possible. Let's wait and see.

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7 minutes ago, old biddy said:

It hasn't been stated when this cruise may go  it could be September, when Sky should be doing Eastern Seaboard Explorer, which wont happen due to Canadian restrictions. A lot can happen in 3 to4 months, nobody knows, hopefully the world will be in a better place, if it isn't I wouldn't give the cruise a first glance let alone a second. 

 

As I see it Viking are testing the water to see what the interest might be, no point in trying to organise something if everybody is negative and there will be zero uptake. A lot of hoops will have to be jumped through and at the end of the day the decision may be it's not possible. Let's wait and see.

 

i completely agree that a lot can happen in the coming months, but I can't help but think its a bit rushed for any company to be guaging interest in the current climate when there are a multitude of obstacles in place.

As I say, there is no doubt going to be considerable interest in ANY cruising being offered as is evidenced on each and every thread of this entire site so it seems a bit silly of Viking to think they need to test the waters when a) the British cruising public prefer not to fly as part of a cruise and b) they have such a rabid customer base who believe they as a company walk on water

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Thanks for posting @BrendaEDH, My DW had overlooked the email but we have now signed on for updates.

The link you posted seems to be behind a paywall but the info is also here: https://shipmonk.co.uk/2020/06/02/viking-confirms-it-is-testing-the-waters-for-round-britain-cruises-this-summer/

 

14 hours ago, Captain_Morgan said:

good luck to Viking if they think the guidance used by P&O doesn't apply to them...

I understand and appreciate your healthy scepticism but I am not aware of any evidence that P&O has even seriously considered UK only sailings let alone sought specific guidance on what might be possible and when. While P&O say in their statement that they are "working with" Public Health England there is nothing to suggest that this relates to cruising in UK waters only.

It may be that by "gauging interest" Viking are demonstrating more creative thinking than P&O and are getting ahead of the game by exploring options that could take advantage of opportunities as they arise. 

There are undoubted difficulties of course. As things stand border crossings from England to Scotland or Wales are not permitted for recreation. But that and other limitations will change as lockdown is eased and there is the same economic pressure across all nations to revive the tourist and leisure industry just as soon as safety will allow.

 

5 hours ago, Captain_Morgan said:

Whichever line is first to return will face a mountain of scrutiny, especially if/when the first case of COVID is reported onboard as it will surely damage the brand in question, perhaps beyond recovery!

You may well be right about the scrutiny but perhaps less so about damage to brand. The public are now aware that COVID is everywhere, that is the definition of a pandemic. The sort of sensible and educated people that Viking markets to will understand that just because a case is identified on a ship it does not mean that it was contracted there. Cases on ships will need to be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately but testing is now easily available which makes that much more possible than it was at the start of the outbreak. Another of the advantages of what Viking are proposing is that we would never be far away from our wonderful National Health Service should the worst happen.

 

2 hours ago, old biddy said:

As I see it Viking are testing the water to see what the interest might be, no point in trying to organise something if everybody is negative and there will be zero uptake. A lot of hoops will have to be jumped through and at the end of the day the decision may be it's not possible. Let's wait and see.

Agreed! The cost will need to be kept down too because the UK is a fairly small place that residents can get around relatively easily anyway. We would be paying in the main for a stay at a Viking "hotel" but would certainly consider that. That said, it could be seen by the company themselves as a test and "shakedown" of new antiviral protocols and procedures and priced accordingly. As you say, we shall have to wait and see.......🤔 fingers crossed though 🤞

 

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1 hour ago, photopro2 said:

Agreed! The cost will need to be kept down too because the UK is a fairly small place that residents can get around relatively easily anyway. We would be paying in the main for a stay at a Viking "hotel" but would certainly consider that. That said, it could be seen by the company themselves as a test and "shakedown" of new antiviral protocols and procedures and priced accordingly. As you say, we shall have to wait and see.......🤔 fingers crossed though 🤞

 

A Viking hotel will do me nicely, thankyou. Originally I said I didn't want to be a Guinea pig on the first post pandemic voyage, however, if the price is right and all things considered it looks good I might well change my mind - a woman's prerogative!

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1 hour ago, photopro2 said:

I understand and appreciate your healthy skepticism but I am not aware of any evidence that P&O has even seriously considered UK only sailings let alone sought specific guidance on what might be possible and when. While P&O say in their statement that they are "working with" Public Health England there is nothing to suggest that this relates to cruising in UK waters only.

It may be that by "gauging interest" Viking are demonstrating more creative thinking than P&O and are getting ahead of the game by exploring options that could take advantage of opportunities as they arise. 

There are undoubted difficulties of course. As things stand border crossings from England to Scotland or Wales are not permitted for recreation. But that and other limitations will change as lock down is eased and there is the same economic pressure across all nations to revive the tourist and leisure industry just as soon as safety will allow.

 

You may well be right about the scrutiny but perhaps less so about damage to brand. The public are now aware that COVID is everywhere, that is the definition of a pandemic. The sort of sensible and educated people that Viking markets to will understand that just because a case is identified on a ship it does not mean that it was contracted there. Cases on ships will need to be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately but testing is now easily available which makes that much more possible than it was at the start of the outbreak. Another of the advantages of what Viking are proposing is that we would never be far away from our wonderful National Health Service should the worst happen.

 

I agree that there has not been an open invitation to seek opinions from P&O as it relates to UK only sailing; however, if I may be so bold as to speculate I think it would be very safe to say that a British cruise company catering to a majority British clientele wouldn't have to try to gauge interest from it's passenger base as it relates to whether or not 'local' cruising would be popular as it would seemingly go without saying.  Look no further than the P&O forum on here where people are literally visiting the port of Newcastle where one of the ships is currently berthed and talking about how good it would be to sail locally.

 

I honestly don't think Viking has a single creative streak in their planning process as they quite literally visit each and every other port that the 'big three' corporations do.  If anything, they're likely scrambling to try and cobble together potentially viable itineraries given that Australia and Canada have closed their doors, Asia is likely to cause some consternation, South America is the current global hot-spot for COVID and the CDC is not going to roll over and rescind their no-sail order just because cruise lines make wild claims saying they have more robust measures in place without actually proving it.  Add to the fact that the current regulations in place for the majority of Viking's passenger base (non-UK residents) would require anyone entering the country to enter a mandatory 14 day quarantine so it only makes sense to try and target a local market.

 

I agree that the public is very much aware of the presence of COVID, but to suggest that Viking passengers are 'too smart' to get it is, with all due respect simply absurd.  It's like saying Viking is immune to getting Noro-virus too because everyone is sensible and educated enough to know they need to wash their hands and use hand sanitizer, but I've been on a Viking cruise where people were sick, people didn't wash their hands when entering the World Cafe or before picking up their burger at the pool grill.  Lets not forget as well the average incubation period of the virus which could mean someone might embark, contract the virus half-way through the cruise and be asymptomatic, all the while spreading it to the other passengers and crew and then finally becoming fully symptomatic once they returned home, as was the case onboard Grand Princess and look how that damaged Princess' brand appeal?

 

There is no doubt that sailing 'close to home' for people is going to be the most ideal scenario in the event that the worst case scenario occurs and an outbreak of any degree becomes a reality!

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3 hours ago, photopro2 said:

Thanks for posting @BrendaEDH, My DW had overlooked the email but we have now signed on for updates.

The link you posted seems to be behind a paywall but the info is also here: https://shipmonk.co.uk/2020/06/02/viking-confirms-it-is-testing-the-waters-for-round-britain-cruises-this-summer/

 

I understand and appreciate your healthy scepticism but I am not aware of any evidence that P&O has even seriously considered UK only sailings let alone sought specific guidance on what might be possible and when. While P&O say in their statement that they are "working with" Public Health England there is nothing to suggest that this relates to cruising in UK waters only.

It may be that by "gauging interest" Viking are demonstrating more creative thinking than P&O and are getting ahead of the game by exploring options that could take advantage of opportunities as they arise. 

There are undoubted difficulties of course. As things stand border crossings from England to Scotland or Wales are not permitted for recreation. But that and other limitations will change as lockdown is eased and there is the same economic pressure across all nations to revive the tourist and leisure industry just as soon as safety will allow.

 

You may well be right about the scrutiny but perhaps less so about damage to brand. The public are now aware that COVID is everywhere, that is the definition of a pandemic. The sort of sensible and educated people that Viking markets to will understand that just because a case is identified on a ship it does not mean that it was contracted there. Cases on ships will need to be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately but testing is now easily available which makes that much more possible than it was at the start of the outbreak. Another of the advantages of what Viking are proposing is that we would never be far away from our wonderful National Health Service should the worst happen.

 

Agreed! The cost will need to be kept down too because the UK is a fairly small place that residents can get around relatively easily anyway. We would be paying in the main for a stay at a Viking "hotel" but would certainly consider that. That said, it could be seen by the company themselves as a test and "shakedown" of new antiviral protocols and procedures and priced accordingly. As you say, we shall have to wait and see.......🤔 fingers crossed though 🤞

 

 

Photopro2 - a very thorough summation.😀

 

With respect to P&O having even considered UK Coastals, I believe their fleet is nowhere as appropriate for this type of cruising, especially post COVID. Sadly, the Carnival ownership has driven the fleet renewal, with ever increasing size of ships, some of which are the most crowded. Even the older ship Oceana, as a Princess "Sun" class, is one of the most crowded class of ships we have sailed on.

 

Our Viking experience was way less crowded than any of the experience on a P&O ship, so would be way easier to implement social distancing. The other benefit of the Viking ships is that they are virtually identical. Therefore, one solution fits all 6 ships. P&O also have 6 ships, until Iona  enters the fleet, but as Super Grands, only Azura and Ventura are sister ships. The rest of the fleet are mostly cast off new builds from other Carnival brands, so they require 5 different solutions to ensure social distancing, on ships more crowded than Viking ships.

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Ditto on Viking less crowded.  From what I have seen of the P&O ships we would never consider them.  What do you think will come from the "Powers that Be" as to the resumption of cruising?  Delta Airlines announced they will limit planes to 60% capacity for the next few months.  That will make flying a whole lot better but inevitably more expensive. What if Viking limited to 60% capacity?  550 or so passengers would make Viking about as good as any cruise gets.  Of course they would probably dial back the crew numbers too as well as upping prices somewhat.  One of my very few issues with Viking Oceans has been that the Star Theater is not suited for 930 passengers.  Other than that, whole sections of the MDR would be vacant and reservations very easy to get at the other venues.  Just speculation but what else do I have to do?  🍺

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2 hours ago, Captain_Morgan said:

I agree that the public is very much aware of the presence of COVID, but to suggest that Viking passengers are 'too smart' to get it is, with all due respect simply absurd. 

That would certainly be absurd and was not what I was trying to say, I apologise for not been clear. 

My point related to your suggestion that having a case of COVID would "damage the brand" and I was not postulating that intelligent Viking cruisers are less likely to become infected, onboard or off! 

I was putting forward the suggestion that the Viking target market are maybe less likely than the general population to think worse of the Viking brand if there were to be a case or cases found on board. That is not due to some blind faith in the brand but the outcome of a more educated understanding that, the nature of pandemics being what it is, any infection is just as likely to have taken place off the ship. An infection occurring on-shore would not be attributed to Viking in their minds and so there would be little or no detrimental impact on the perception of the brand image.

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22 minutes ago, photopro2 said:

That would certainly be absurd and was not what I was trying to say, I apologise for not been clear. 

My point related to your suggestion that having a case of COVID would "damage the brand" and I was not postulating that intelligent Viking cruisers are less likely to become infected, onboard or off! 

I was putting forward the suggestion that the Viking target market are maybe less likely than the general population to think worse of the Viking brand if there were to be a case or cases found on board. That is not due to some blind faith in the brand but the outcome of a more educated understanding that, the nature of pandemics being what it is, any infection is just as likely to have taken place off the ship. An infection occurring on-shore would not be attributed to Viking in their minds and so there would be little or no detrimental impact on the perception of the brand image.

 

Oh the joy of online forums with limited context due to written text!  I completely understand and agree with your point, re. the view of the brand from those familiar with it in the event of an outbreak of COVID as if this forum is any indication, suffice it to say that there are many who believe the company 'walk on water' and can do no wrong...whether this be due to their alleged higher education or realization that Viking offers exceptional value for dollar is another question entirely.

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Received the email earlier in the week and signed up immediately. We’ve had the virus - tests have proven we have antibodies - totally realise this might not mean anything - so will be willing to take the risk. We’ll be sailing from the U.K., I assume with only U.K. citizens and will always be close to home and our wonderful free healthcare. Strangely I had said to my partner the same day as receiving the Viking email that it’s a shame P&O couldn’t do something similar. 
 

We’ll see how it pans out.

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6 hours ago, Ragnar Danneskjold said:

Would anyone really get on a cruise ship, far from home, before being vaccinated for COVID-19, a potentially fatal illness for the prime Viking demographic?  Would Viking’s insurers really allow that, since the virus is now a known hazard?

 

Really?

 

You might be underestimating the rabitity of some cruisers here.

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8 minutes ago, Geoffa30 said:

Received the email earlier in the week and signed up immediately. We’ve had the virus - tests have proven we have antibodies - totally realise this might not mean anything - so will be willing to take the risk. We’ll be sailing from the U.K., I assume with only U.K. citizens and will always be close to home and our wonderful free healthcare. Strangely I had said to my partner the same day as receiving the Viking email that it’s a shame P&O couldn’t do something similar. 
 

We’ll see how it pans out.

 

Point, set, --------

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Unsure how this would work for cruising the whole UK where different Devolved countries and regions have their own Healthcare systems and Scotland, Ireland and Wales have taken a more cautious and varied approach to lockdown easing than England, which places a different slant on docking and visiting ports in these areas which may not be open to large groups of visitors.

 

Besides all the above, cruising for me is a hot weather pursuit and my inaugral, eagerly awaited Viking jan/feb cruise looks increasingly like a distant dream as the complicated component parts of travel, land and cruising elements throw up too many negatives to make the investment in our cruise worthwhile. The UK being a very small country, it is easy to travel to any part of it in one day, while visiting on a ship would be delightful the cost of a cruise would far outweigh the cost of land travel. I think I will save my money for warm weather and if travel within Europe opens up a land based option would be more appealing.

Edited by tine-tine
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  • 2 weeks later...

Just wondered if anyone has heard any more about this proposal.  I did not register an interest as we have rescheduled our British Isles Explorer from July 2020 to June 2021, so only being curious as to where they were thinking of sailing.  

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On 6/4/2020 at 11:03 AM, Heidi13 said:

 

Our Viking experience was way less crowded than any of the experience on a P&O ship, so would be way easier to implement social distancing. The other benefit of the Viking ships is that they are virtually identical. Therefore, one solution fits all 6 ships.


Heidi13 makes an interesting point about social distancing on a Viking ship. Some interesting data about passenger to space ratios for various cruise lines and ships.

 

https://www.cruisemapper.com/wiki/761-cruise-ship-passenger-capacity-ratings

 

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3 hours ago, Larry2021 said:


Heidi13 makes an interesting point about social distancing on a Viking ship. Some interesting data about passenger to space ratios for various cruise lines and ships.

 

https://www.cruisemapper.com/wiki/761-cruise-ship-passenger-capacity-ratings

 

 

This metric, which is Gross Tonnage divided by max pax gives an estimate of spaciousness on a ship, but many other variables are also present.

 

The Gross Tonnage is a quantifier of the total enclosed space on a ship, with 1 GT = 100 cubic feet. It include all working spaces, crew spaces, stores, etc. However, it does not include non-enclosed spaces, such as the outer decks, balconies, etc.

 

However, based on their design, ship size and moderate pax count, we found Viking ships extremely spacious, in accordance with the posted numbers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The possibility of a Viking round UK cruise later this ‘summer’ was still being discussed in the British press this weekend, (28th June) but no answer or details of route as yet.  Seemingly Viking had a tremendously positive response to  the email sent out to past passengers.  It will be interesting to know what they have in mind.  

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Sea Dream and Hurtigruten have already starting sailing in Norway with passengers from Norway and Denmark only at

this time . Baby steps and a great way to slowly start with new health protocols in place.  Several European river cruise companies have also started with local ( German I believe ) passengers.  AMA Waterways plans start soon too ,again with local passengers only. 

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