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Cruise ship will be fully vaccinated..?


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We feel strongly about this also.  I will write in the morning.  We have 3 cruises with Viking, one a WC, we had 3 canceled last year, and have two booked going forward, and would like to book,another in October, if that is possible.  Bu we will also pull all those if a vaccination isn’t required!

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, SantaFe1 said:

We feel strongly about this also.  I will write in the morning.  We have 3 cruises with Viking, one a WC, we had 3 canceled last year, and have two booked going forward, and would like to book,another in October, if that is possible.  Bu we will also pull all those if a vaccination isn’t required!

Viking’s delay in requiring vaccinations, which is the maximum way to guarantee our safely, concerns me. They have not been afraid to take bold measures in the past. The entire Viking concept is different and bold. Is VIking  thinking they are nearly booked every cruise so why stir things up? Are they misreading the tea leafs?

 

Yes we love Viking. Yes we have booked several cruise. But yes, our safety and wellbeing override the joy of cruising with Viking. And yes, we will cancel our cruises using their bold cancellation policy.  This delay has me researching other cruise lines.

Come on Viking. Wake up! This is a no-brainer. 

Edited by rbslos18
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In UK vaccines are given based on age and underlying health, now working on vaccinating all over 50 by mid April.  Not sure how crew would get vaccinated as they are too young!  

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52 minutes ago, kcpvwill said:

In UK vaccines are given based on age and underlying health, now working on vaccinating all over 50 by mid April.  Not sure how crew would get vaccinated as they are too young!  

Yes this is an issue for all cruise lines. 
 

I agree I’ve not put myself through over 12 months of virtual isolation and lonely days to step on a vessel surrounded by unvaccinated crew or guests. 
 

My own preference is also for mask wearing on excursions and when walking around. It’s no big deal, we have got used to it and it’s my way of showing others I care about them. 

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On 3/13/2021 at 11:10 PM, Ragnar Danneskjold said:

Well, we both had our second shots over two weeks ago so are raring to go.  Had always planned on doing a world cruise when between dogs, but covid has put the kibosh on that.  Cruising unlikely to start before July, and we just got a copy of the ultrasound of our new doberman puppy in the womb... He will be ready to take home mid-June.  So no cruising for us for at least a year.  And only short cruises after that.  I think we will name him “Sea-anchor”.....

 

 

 

 

Awww...how sweet.  We also are tied to shorter cruises due to our well loved dogs.

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On 3/14/2021 at 9:08 AM, Gojagators said:

I will be shocked and disappointed if Viking doesn't require vaccination to sail at least for the near future.  My wife and I are scheduled for a B2B (British Isles and Viking Homelands) starting the August, but we will cancel if vaccines are not required. 

 

Life is not without accepting some level of risk, but with onboard testing and a vaccinated crew and passenger load it will be about as safe as can be achieved.  Viking should step up and announce that vaccines are required or we will also reconsider who we will travel with going forward.  We've already lost over a year of the prime travel time we have left.  Its time for Tor to record a new video announcing that once again Viking will take the lead in setting the industry standard.    

 

 

Here here!!

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3 hours ago, kcpvwill said:

In UK vaccines are given based on age and underlying health, now working on vaccinating all over 50 by mid April.  Not sure how crew would get vaccinated as they are too young!  

 

A number of International Shipping organisations have been lobbying for mariners to be deemed essential workers, especially in UK. The officers union (Nautilus) first wrote to the UK Govt in Nov '20 requesting UK mariners be deemed essential workers. In December, Nautilus and the General Council of British Shipping (management group) sent a joint request to the Minister of Transport. At this time I have not read of a response.

 

The International Chamber of Shipping also approached IMO in January regarding mariner vaccinations, with a request governments accept mariners as an essential service. This is not just cruise ships, but marine commerce as a whole.

 

The cruise ship ratings also have very poweful manning agencies (aka unions) that lobby their governments, as much of their incomes are derived from mariners.

 

While I haven't yet read of any mariners being designated essential, there is considerable lobbying taking place. Once the Philippines, Indonesia, etc receive doses of the vaccine, it would not surprise me to see mariners receive priority, so they can return to work.

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I think it's interesting that Viking is doing surveys in the UK and Australia.  I haven't seen anyone in the US mention being surveyed.  I followed the lead of several of you and wrote "TELLUS" that I think all guests and crew will need to be vaccinated.  Crystal has already announced that policy.  Stay safe!

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There are other considerations, too.   At present, we don't know how long these vaccines will last.  Will it be 6 months? A year?  Two years?  I fully expect to be advised about a booster shot sometime at the 6 month to one year mark, possibly even a total re-inoculation.  At least the good news is that at my tender age of 64 (for another couple months) my reaction to the second Pfizer was quite livable.  Just felt a little vague and light-headed for about a day commencing 24 hours after the shot.  Almost to the minute!  Cheers, all, hang in there!

 

Next booking with Viking is the West Indies Explorer early next year.  Hopefully the travel requirements will be complete and effective.

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1 hour ago, Paulswanderlust said:

I think it's interesting that Viking is doing surveys in the UK and Australia.  I haven't seen anyone in the US mention being surveyed. 


I took part in the survey last week.  Live in the Chicago area.

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Wow!  3 hours after I sent my concerns to "tellus@vikingcruises.com"  I received a phone call from Viking thanking me for my input and telling me that requiring vaccinations is under consideration but no additional announcements will be made until Viking is ready to return to cruising.  I had mentioned that we'd had 5 Viking cruises cancelled due to the pandemic and have 3 more scheduled, including the 2023 World Journey cruise.

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2 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

A number of International Shipping organisations have been lobbying for mariners to be deemed essential workers, especially in UK. The officers union (Nautilus) first wrote to the UK Govt in Nov '20 requesting UK mariners be deemed essential workers. In December, Nautilus and the General Council of British Shipping (management group) sent a joint request to the Minister of Transport. At this time I have not read of a response.

 

The International Chamber of Shipping also approached IMO in January regarding mariner vaccinations, with a request governments accept mariners as an essential service. This is not just cruise ships, but marine commerce as a whole.

 

The cruise ship ratings also have very poweful manning agencies (aka unions) that lobby their governments, as much of their incomes are derived from mariners.

 

While I haven't yet read of any mariners being designated essential, there is considerable lobbying taking place. Once the Philippines, Indonesia, etc receive doses of the vaccine, it would not surprise me to see mariners receive priority, so they can return to work.

Highly unlikely their request will be considered. Not even police officers and school teachers are considered key workers for vaccinations they have to wait in line, roll out is based on age and health condition. 
Unfortunately a new strain of Covid originating in the Philippines has been identified in the UK. Identifying strains through genomic sequence is something the UK leads on. If this strain is found to be a fast spreader the UK will be even less likely to allow crew from Philippines into the UK unless they participate in government managed quarantine m. 

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18 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

Hear, hear - I expect you will receive a call from them tomorrow. They called me shortly after 09:00 and Janet (Island BC) also got a call from them. We only have 1 cruise booked at present, but it is 120 days and we will cancel, if they waffle.

 

Had a great chat, with the agent advising that policy was never made based on customer opinion. Personally, I call BS on that one, but responded the optics are concerning, especially considering Viking's previous bold calls, when we were aboard Viking Sun.

 

I mentioned they have no policy promulgated, at present, but are actively seeking public opinion on mandatory vaccinations, something I consider a key safety issue. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck ...... the optics indicate they are seeking public opinion on mandatory vaccines.

 

I also named airlines and other cruise lines that have already published mandatory vaccination requirements when operations resume. In addition, I suggested it was time for Mr Hagen to publish another short film outlining an addition to the Health & Safety Plan, with mandatory vaccinations being the final piece of the jigsaw. 

 

Will be interesting to see the response, as we will also cancel our cruise and add Viking to the list of ex-cruise lines. We will be greatly disappointed, as we have a great group boarding Viking Neptune.

 

Andy -

Yes indeed, I received a very nice call from them at 9:30 this am PDT.  We had a very good chat.  I did not read your post until after the call, but interesting that we both brought up the same points (in different words).  I also expressed my concern over how it all looks, and reiterated that we would be part of the population that will cancel if Viking doesn't require vaccinations.   I also brought up airlines and cruises too!   Finally, given that I saw the article on Viking opening in UK, I suggested that perhaps Viking was "testing" the waters to see how many passengers would go for less than ideal safety considerations.   She also reiterated that Viking does not use public opinion to set policy, but I said I respected that, but begged to disagree.

She did let me know they've heard from so many people so far on the vaccination issue.  Likely we are in the largest opinion group.  There is a loud minority that have said they will cancel if Viking imposes any testing, vaccination, or tour restrictions.  I suggested there might be a large "silent" majority who DO want the safety restrictions and will cancel without them.

Finally - she shared that Viking will likely not adopt a single policy across the line, but may well do restrictions based on the countries involved.  Hmmmm....      Also, that they were going to ask customers to be flexible as they resume cruising as ports may be in limbo and expect to see potential port replacements and even departure/arrival ports change.  (we discussed the benefit then of having Viking air as they will handle all the adjustments then with ease).

All in all - a very nice call, even if I didn't get any firm answers.

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Well add me to the group that emailed Viking to express my desire that vaccinations should be required.   I completely understand people expressing the their opposition to any restrictions and I'm not thrilled with masks and shore excursion limitations either but I understand the need for them during the start up of operations.  I'm really wanting to start traveling again but only if we can do it as safely as possible.  I have no desire to be stranded on the boat looking for a port due to an outbreak of covid onboard.  Adding a vaccine requirement is the last step for viking to adopt.  It will be interesting to see where this all goes. 

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I even went to far as to tell the rep that when our final payment is due in June, six months before the cruise, we will cancel if we don’t know that vaccines will be required.  That seemed to give him pause...

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10 minutes ago, SantaFe1 said:

I even went to far as to tell the rep that when our final payment is due in June, six months before the cruise, we will cancel if we don’t know that vaccines will be required.  That seemed to give him pause...

We have until next month to cancel our trip this summer and receive a full refund.  If Viking calls me I'll tell them that we will cancel also if vaccines aren't required.  We have a few bucket list trips left on our list including the back to back cruises we have booked this summer with Viking.  I really want the best chance that we can do all the planned itineraries on this trip.  Anything can happen that can interrupt a trip at any time but a vaccine at least reduces the chance that covid is the cause.   

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31 minutes ago, CCWineLover said:

Andy -

Yes indeed, I received a very nice call from them at 9:30 this am PDT.  We had a very good chat.  I did not read your post until after the call, but interesting that we both brought up the same points (in different words).  I also expressed my concern over how it all looks, and reiterated that we would be part of the population that will cancel if Viking doesn't require vaccinations.   I also brought up airlines and cruises too!   Finally, given that I saw the article on Viking opening in UK, I suggested that perhaps Viking was "testing" the waters to see how many passengers would go for less than ideal safety considerations.   She also reiterated that Viking does not use public opinion to set policy, but I said I respected that, but begged to disagree.

She did let me know they've heard from so many people so far on the vaccination issue.  Likely we are in the largest opinion group.  There is a loud minority that have said they will cancel if Viking imposes any testing, vaccination, or tour restrictions.  I suggested there might be a large "silent" majority who DO want the safety restrictions and will cancel without them.

Finally - she shared that Viking will likely not adopt a single policy across the line, but may well do restrictions based on the countries involved.  Hmmmm....      Also, that they were going to ask customers to be flexible as they resume cruising as ports may be in limbo and expect to see potential port replacements and even departure/arrival ports change.  (we discussed the benefit then of having Viking air as they will handle all the adjustments then with ease).

All in all - a very nice call, even if I didn't get any firm answers.

 

Yes, very similar to the pleasant chat I had yesterday.

 

With respect to being flexible, for all issues except our safety we are prepared to be flexible and as 2 of the last survivors of the Magical Mystery Tour, I suggest we have proved our desire to be flexible. Changed itineraries, embarkation/disembarkation ports are just a part of taking any cruise, not just in COVID times. We could have gone home at anytime after Sydney, but remained until the end, as we were impressed with the Viking response.

 

Vaccinations are well underway in a number of countries and those that have a healthy percentage of the population vaccinated are seeing reductions in both infection rates and deaths. Even in BC, where we only have about 10% vaccinated, daily infections are down 50% and deaths are significantly lower. Therefore vaccines are proving to work, so I am having difficulty in understand why Viking is waffling.

 

Not adopting a single policy is downloading responsibility for crew & pax safety onto others, a decision I consider deplorable and will not support any such company. I question if other potential safety issues will not be taken seriously. So we are also in the group that will cancel our World Cruise if Viking does not categorically require mandatory vaccinations. Would we be disappointed, definitely yes, but we value our health & safety over anything else.

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Here, Here!  Well stated, Andy.

I expressed to them my thought they Viking is waffling because they are still trying to gauge how much business they will lose or gain by not implementing vaccination requirements.  That did catch the Viking rep off-guard on the phone today.  I can think of no other reason to not make a statement now.

Thank you everyone on CruiseCritic who feels strongly about safety to write to tellus@vikingcruises.com and express your concerns.   In reality, our only leverage is to pull our business and cancel our future cruises.

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Posted (edited)

And I have been thinking about this...what about the countries that Viking will visit that will require vaccination for us to enter.  And it can be a weird patchwork.  I remember on our WC, Brazil, the source of Yellow Fever, did not require a vaccination, but Australia did, if you arrived within two weeks of having been in Brazil.  Why can’t Viking  just take the precaution from the outset?

Edited by SantaFe1
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Part of Viking’s hesitancy may be the lack of secure “vaccine passports”.   The major EU countries are more concerned about “equity” and the rights of anti-vaxers than they are about providing a robust method of verifying vaccination status.  The same whining is happening in the US.

 

All of the current vaccination certificates can be easily faked.  Without very secure electronic vaccine passports, requiring proof of vaccination is just p...ing in the wind.

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I also don't understand Viking hesitating to require the vax.   They require dogs and Ragnar's to be vaccinated so why is it so hard to require it to sail.  Countries will deny entry without proof of vax.  I am sure I am not alone in feeling that I will not get sick from covid but I would hate to be on a very expensive time consuming cruise and someone pop up with an active case causing the rest of us to have a cancelled cruise mid way.  I am glad Viking is setting aside cabins for potential quarantine  but will they turn the ship around mid Atlantic again?

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I have no doubt that Viking is still seeking a consistent policy, and has no interest in tipping its hand yet.  The fact that several different Viking agents paused when told booked travelers would cancel suggests to me that Viking believes its expressed policy will be sufficient. And were surprised at the push back. No doubt that information moved up the chain of command.

 

My speculation is that Viking doesn't know how many booked passengers have been vaccinated, and how many booked passengers would cancel if vaccinations are not required. And, how many booked passengers would cancel if vaccinations are required.

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