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Viking Expeditions Thread


emileg
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56 minutes ago, RavensFan2011 said:

I created a Roll call for my Octantis Great Lakes 8/5 sailing.

Will I get a notification if someone joins the roll call? 1st time I’ve started one.

The default is to automatically send notifications whenever you create or initially follow a thread. You can control how you're notified for the threads you follow or create from your profile settings. For ex I receive an email anytime somebody calls out or quotes a message I post to this thread. I can change that to be daily or weekly but choose the default for immediate notification. 

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14 hours ago, eylarson said:

Curious on how the expedition clothing sizing works out.  We board ANTARCTICA & THE AMERICAS SOJOURN on 9 March.  

 

Yes, we look forward to those on the January 23, 2022 expedition to advise us whether the clothing sizing charts were accurate.

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Hi all! I'm booked on the Sep/Oct "Northern Isles" sailing of the Polaris. It feels odd that I can't find anyone anywhere on the internet who has mentioned it. After 3 weeks of cruises from Tromso up to Svalbard, this is the first leg for the ship as it heads south from Tromso, arriving in Cork 12 days later.

 

It definitely seems like a one-off for Viking, since it's mostly visiting ports that are far off the beaten path. I'm hoping that Viking manages to create a good selection of excursions, despite their lack of familiarity with the regions. 

 

Anyone else going too? It gets lonely reading about the Arctic, Antarctic, and Great Lakes trips. But at least I don't need to worry about ordering gear in the correct sizes!

 

Also, oddball question, but since I haven't taken an international cruise in Europe before: how does it work when the ship arrives in a new country? Does it affect us passengers at all? When the cruise ends in Ireland and we offload in Cork, will we need to go through an immigration/customs process?

 

Thanks!!

-- Ethan

 

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28 minutes ago, FoggyEthan said:

Also, oddball question, but since I haven't taken an international cruise in Europe before: how does it work when the ship arrives in a new country? Does it affect us passengers at all? When the cruise ends in Ireland and we offload in Cork, will we need to go through an immigration/customs process?

The ship will clear customs and immigration in each port of call, just like any other cruise anywhere, and it will depend on the country involved as to whether or not that involves the passengers directly or not.  Yes, when you disembark in Cork, you will go through customs and immigration, just like you do for any other cruise, even those disembarking in the US, but again, it will depend on the country as to whether or not it is a "green/red zone" customs or a full inspection/written declaration, and a "wave through" or quick "look at the ID" immigration like most of US cruises have. 

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1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

The ship will clear customs and immigration in each port of call, just like any other cruise anywhere, and it will depend on the country involved as to whether or not that involves the passengers directly or not.  Yes, when you disembark in Cork, you will go through customs and immigration, just like you do for any other cruise, even those disembarking in the US, but again, it will depend on the country as to whether or not it is a "green/red zone" customs or a full inspection/written declaration, and a "wave through" or quick "look at the ID" immigration like most of US cruises have. 

to expand on this .. and this is based on pre-COVID experiences .. I agree with this completely.  When we did Viking Homelands in 2016 we were .. except for our stop in St Petersburg .. entirely within the EU and/or countries in the Shengen area.  Thus, the only time we had to putz with customs/immigration was in Russia (we had already taken care of EU immigration when we landed in Oslo).  When we did Central America & Panama Canal in 2018 we didn't have to do customs/immigration anywhere (some other kind of agreement that covers this??).  Sometimes we were told to take our passports with us but typically it was just our stateroom key so we could re-board. But do agree that when it comes to COVID procedures, each country has their own procedures.

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2 hours ago, FoggyEthan said:

It definitely seems like a one-off for Viking, since it's mostly visiting ports that are far off the beaten path. I'm hoping that Viking manages to create a good selection of excursions, despite their lack of familiarity with the regions. 

I'm that nutty lady who maintains a spreadsheet on Viking Ocean and Expedition cruise schedules and from what I can tell, I do not think the GrandJourney cruises (4 of them -- the big one plus 3 segments) from Tromsø to Ushuaia via Cork is a one-off. I've just spent a little extra time today looking at the schedules for Polaris and Octantis. From what I can tell .. and I may be completely wrong but don't think I am .. the cruises that cover the transition from Tromsø to Ushuaia will occur every year but will alternate between Polaris and Octantis on even and odd years, respectively. 

 

This year (2022), Octantis will start out in Antarctica, travel up to the Great Lakes, and then return to Antarctica while Polaris will start out in Tromsø to do the Arctic, then travel to Antarctica to join Octantis.  The next year (2023), both of them will travel up the west coast of SA thru the Panama Canal and then to Toronto to do the Great Lakes.  Polaris will then return to Antarctica retracing her previous path.  In the meantime, right now, Octantis remains unscheduled after July, which is when Polaris is doing the Arctic this year.  What I'm expecting is that Octantis will do a cruise (still not defined) that carries her from Toronto to Tromsø so she can spend a few weeks doing Arctic Adventure before returning to Antarctica using the same routing Polaris used in 2022, i.e., via Cork.  And that's how it will go -- both of them doing Antarctica and the Great Lakes every year and one of them doing the Arctic on alternate years.

 

Make sense?

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6 hours ago, CharTrav said:

I'm that nutty lady who maintains a spreadsheet on Viking Ocean and Expedition cruise schedules and from what I can tell, I do not think the GrandJourney cruises (4 of them -- the big one plus 3 segments) from Tromsø to Ushuaia via Cork is a one-off. I've just spent a little extra time today looking at the schedules for Polaris and Octantis. From what I can tell .. and I may be completely wrong but don't think I am .. the cruises that cover the transition from Tromsø to Ushuaia will occur every year but will alternate between Polaris and Octantis on even and odd years, respectively. 

 

This year (2022), Octantis will start out in Antarctica, travel up to the Great Lakes, and then return to Antarctica while Polaris will start out in Tromsø to do the Arctic, then travel to Antarctica to join Octantis.  The next year (2023), both of them will travel up the west coast of SA thru the Panama Canal and then to Toronto to do the Great Lakes.  Polaris will then return to Antarctica retracing her previous path.  In the meantime, right now, Octantis remains unscheduled after July, which is when Polaris is doing the Arctic this year.  What I'm expecting is that Octantis will do a cruise (still not defined) that carries her from Toronto to Tromsø so she can spend a few weeks doing Arctic Adventure before returning to Antarctica using the same routing Polaris used in 2022, i.e., via Cork.  And that's how it will go -- both of them doing Antarctica and the Great Lakes every year and one of them doing the Arctic on alternate years.

 

Make sense?

 

It does make sense. My comment was more meant to express that they haven't done some of these ports before, or perhaps infrequently. It was just a bit of anxiety, noting that I can't find anything about the trip, not even a reference from Viking (e.g. a video), except for the itinerary itself.

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45 minutes ago, FoggyEthan said:

 

It does make sense. My comment was more meant to express that they haven't done some of these ports before, or perhaps infrequently. It was just a bit of anxiety, noting that I can't find anything about the trip, not even a reference from Viking (e.g. a video), except for the itinerary itself.

I just looked over the itinerary including ports and excursions for Viking Northern Isles 

https://www.vikingcruises.com/expeditions/cruise-destinations/grand-journeys/vikings-northern-isles/index.html

and you're right, there are a number of new ports there (Tromso, Lofoten, and Lerwick are well known). You did read the information provided there esp about the excursions offered so far? Also too you might find that the list of excursions for each port may grow during the coming months. When we booked the new (at the time) Panama & Central America over a year before its cruise date (Jan 2018) the list of excursions beyond the included for each port was very thin - like none, one or two. As the months went by, the list for each port grew dramatically. By the time the first sailing was ready for booking excursions, each port had at least 4 or 5 optional plus the requisite included excursions to choose from. This may or may not be the case here given that all VE excursions are included. But this may be useful to you. 

 

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On 1/3/2022 at 7:27 PM, Hazard10 said:

Booked onto to antarctica cruise next month 

Can't wait!

Here's hoping all goes ahead as planned

Congratulations on your first post to Cruise Critic. Welcome. We all hope our expeditions go ahead as planned. Please join your respective roll call. As you may be new to Cruise Critic, if you provide the date of your cruise, I will provide you a direct link.

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3 hours ago, emileg said:

Congratulations on your first post to Cruise Critic. Welcome. We all hope our expeditions go ahead as planned. Please join your respective roll call. As you may be new to Cruise Critic, if you provide the date of your cruise, I will provide you a direct link.

This presumes a roll call exists. It may not. In which case @Hazard10 can take a deeper plunge into CCF and create one. Not that hard btw. 😉

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1 hour ago, LadyImpactOhio said:

Just found this thread. We are on the Polaris in August 2022. Was curious for those going to Antarctica about Viking asking for proof of $250,000 evac insurance. We bought ours already in case price would go up.

Wow!!  I am so glad you mentioned this!!  I just bought an annual policy today......We do have adequate evacuation coverage, but I hadn't seen this Viking requirement.  We did it for our own peace of mind!  I'm going to have to start reading things a little better.

 

PS....I've been reading your Egypt thread forever!!  It looks like we may finally be able to go this year....Hopefully.  Thanks for all your advice and suggestions!

 

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On 1/3/2022 at 10:01 PM, CharTrav said:

I just looked over the itinerary including ports and excursions for Viking Northern Isles 

https://www.vikingcruises.com/expeditions/cruise-destinations/grand-journeys/vikings-northern-isles/index.html

and you're right, there are a number of new ports there (Tromso, Lofoten, and Lerwick are well known). You did read the information provided there esp about the excursions offered so far? Also too you might find that the list of excursions for each port may grow during the coming months. When we booked the new (at the time) Panama & Central America over a year before its cruise date (Jan 2018) the list of excursions beyond the included for each port was very thin - like none, one or two. As the months went by, the list for each port grew dramatically. By the time the first sailing was ready for booking excursions, each port had at least 4 or 5 optional plus the requisite included excursions to choose from. This may or may not be the case here given that all VE excursions are included. But this may be useful to you. 

 

I am certain you're right, in that more options will appear with time. I'm just experiencing some natural anxieties about a very pricy trip, on the 4th sailing of a brand new ship, going to many brand-new ports of call (for Viking), in the middle of a pandemic. 8-)  I'm getting ready to book flights -- myself, I'm too picky to use Viking Air -- which commits me to a schedule. It just would have been nice to see somewhere another person also booked on the same cruise, or maybe a Viking video about the itinerary.

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1 hour ago, FoggyEthan said:

I'm getting ready to book flights -- myself, I'm too picky to use Viking Air -- which commits me to a schedule. It just would have been nice to see somewhere another person also booked on the same cruise, or maybe a Viking video about the itinerary.

I've always been happy working with Viking Air Plus (the extra $ is worth it).  I do my own research beforehand so when I call the VA Plus desk I have a list of flight options at hand .. in order of preference. In most cases, they've been able to go with my top or 2nd preference .. assuming it's in their 'bucket' of tickets.  When they can't, we were able to find an acceptable alternative that cost nothing additional or just a little more.  The other advantage is that when things go pear shaped -- Viking takes care of the cancelled flights -- not me.

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3 hours ago, LadyImpactOhio said:

Just found this thread. We are on the Polaris in August 2022. Was curious for those going to Antarctica about Viking asking for proof of $250,000 evac insurance. We bought ours already in case price would go up.

What?  Evac insurance?? This is the first I've heard about this .. We're on the Polaris on its August 16 sailing.. and I haven't read anything about this.  We purchased Viking's TripMate insurance and -- reading it now --- that is one of the benefits listed under part B -- probably why I never heard about it as a requirement.🙃

 

Also -- if you're on the same sailing  -- I set up a roll call for it.. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2777078-arctic-adventure-august-16-28-2022/#comment-62309640. Please join it!

 

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3 hours ago, LadyImpactOhio said:

Just found this thread. We are on the Polaris in August 2022. Was curious for those going to Antarctica about Viking asking for proof of $250,000 evac insurance. We bought ours already in case price would go up.


There are roll calls set up for the August 16 and August 28 sailings.  If you’re interested, add your name.  There hasn’t been much activity so far but, hopefully, we can share some info about our upcoming Arctic adventure!

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On 1/5/2022 at 5:12 PM, emileg said:

Congratulations on your first post to Cruise Critic. Welcome. We all hope our expeditions go ahead as planned. Please join your respective roll call. As you may be new to Cruise Critic, if you provide the date of your cruise, I will provide you a direct link.

Thanks Emileg!

 

I am on the cruise before the first public expedition on the 23rd Jan.

 

I do not think there is a roll call for that.

 

Hope you enjoy your trip when the time comes.

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3 hours ago, Hazard10 said:

Thanks Emileg!

 

I am on the cruise before the first public expedition on the 23rd Jan.

 

I do not think there is a roll call for that.

 

Hope you enjoy your trip when the time comes.

We were supposed to be on the January 12 cruise that was cancelled. I figured there would be a number of guests on the way down, like a soft opening of a store. I imagine you are in the travel industry. Please enjoy and report back to us, especially on whether boot sizing is accurate. Thanks.

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I am new to participating to these posts.  We are on the 1/23 Antartica sailing. Have been following on Marinetraffic Octantis passage from Norway and see her last AIS transmission still has her off of central Africa.  That being said there has been no further coordinates for number of days because out of satellite range although you can pick up other ships in same area.  Speculate on where she’ll bide her time in between there and hopefully meeting us in Ushuaia.  So looking forward to this adventure but challenging with all COVID testing deadlines.  

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1 hour ago, Helenct said:

I am new to participating to these posts.  We are on the 1/23 Antartica sailing. Have been following on Marinetraffic Octantis passage from Norway and see her last AIS transmission still has her off of central Africa.  That being said there has been no further coordinates for number of days because out of satellite range although you can pick up other ships in same area.  Speculate on where she’ll bide her time in between there and hopefully meeting us in Ushuaia.  So looking forward to this adventure but challenging with all COVID testing deadlines.  

Check this website. It will show you the Octantis approaching Montevideo.  I am not quite sure why Marine Traffic indicates that vessel is out of range.

 

https://www.cruisemapper.com/?imo=9863194

 

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