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Has Viking always required full payment over a year in advance or is this a Pandemic thing?


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1 hour ago, Jim Avery said:

Andy is right of course.  (Don't tell Judi) on Viking Sun's Inaugural call to Shanghai, the naming ceremony hosted some 300+ Chinese investors onboard.  The ship's Godmother is a Chinese financier.  Speaking of cruise line bankruptcies, I anticipated Carnival or some of their brands, after running up debt.  So far only ship sales but they have been fairly aggressive dumping older tonnage.  As to Viking, I believe Tor Hagen will do the best he can for as long as possible but, if the posted drop in personal worth from 6+ billion $ to 2+ billion in a year is true, then one has to wonder.  At some point survival of self and family will top obligations to customers.  But then they have some of our $$ too.  Hoping for the best and quickly here.

 

Jim - I also expected to see one of the big 3 getting into some type of financial challenges, with additional sale of older tonnage.

 

With Viking, prior to going bankrupt, I would expect to see a number of options being utilised, which could include mergers, partners, downsizing with dumping of tonnage, selling offices, etc.

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There are ways to protect yourself and book now.  We just booked a 2022 trip through a TA.  Viking gave us until June 30 (8 months prior to our trip) to make final payment.  We took out insurance on just the deposit amount at a small cost.  By purchasing the trip insurance within 20 days we are protected from both the pre-existing conditions clause and financial default of the cruise provider.  The latter is covered because we went through a third party (the TA).   If in late June we decide we think things are safe enough to go, we will increase our insurance coverage to the full payment amount (and any other expenses) and pay the additional premium.  All coverages remain the same.  If we decided to cancel we will only lose our small policy cost.  That’s how I understand it.

 

I am not recommending others do what we have done.  Everyone has to decided their own level of risk.  Certainly talk to your travel insurance agent and read the Q&A about travel insurance done here on CC in January and last July.... especially about financial default.

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We have booked 4 Viking Cruises through the same TA (2 River, a VO that we cancelled because of Covid and a rescheduled VO), and full payment was/is due 6 months before sailing. 

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I agree with Jim about travel insurance, and not buying it from the cruise line or tour operator if you are concerned about bankruptcy. 
You can go on line to compare policies. I’ve used InsureMyTrip.com, but another site that others like is squaremouth. 
 

If you prefer having someone do the leg work for you, Dan Drennan’s great. I got his name from another travel message board snd have used him a couple of times.  His number is 402-343-3621

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12 hours ago, SoBaycruiser said:

There are ways to protect yourself and book now.  We just booked a 2022 trip through a TA.  Viking gave us until June 30 (8 months prior to our trip) to make final payment.  We took out insurance on just the deposit amount at a small cost.  By purchasing the trip insurance within 20 days we are protected from both the pre-existing conditions clause and financial default of the cruise provider.  The latter is covered because we went through a third party (the TA).   If in late June we decide we think things are safe enough to go, we will increase our insurance coverage to the full payment amount (and any other expenses) and pay the additional premium.  All coverages remain the same.  If we decided to cancel we will only lose our small policy cost.  That’s how I understand it.

 

I am not recommending others do what we have done.  Everyone has to decided their own level of risk.  Certainly talk to your travel insurance agent and read the Q&A about travel insurance done here on CC in January and last July.... especially about financial default.

 

 

We did the same thing.  You may not even have to lose your travel insurance premium payment if your insurance company lets you move the policy to a different trip.  I plan to ask when I cancel my early 2022 trip- I don't think New Zealand is opening by then...

 

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On 3/8/2021 at 8:59 AM, Peregrina651 said:

 

My question is: How does this compare to bonds issued by other cruise lines? Are they also seeing their ratings fall? Or is Viking an outlier?

S&P ratings of BBB- and above are considered investment grade.  BB+, BB, BB-, B+, B, B-, CCC+ and below are all considered speculative grade. As an example of other lines, Royal Caribbean Group notes currently have a B rating - only two steps above Viking's CCC+

 

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