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Iceland's Natural Beauty General - 2022


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10 minutes ago, id4elizabeth said:

So today is June 1st and still no ShoreX for the July 17th sailing (promised for May 1), so I friutlessly contacted Viking and got a NEW EXCUSE.  Get this!

 

"Current world events in Europe prevent us from offering excursions ahead of time like we usually do.  Please check back with MVJ periodically."

 

So what do you think this means?  "Current world events in Europe"???  "Ahead of time"???  Does this mean there will be no ShoreX before we get on board?   I was told that's all the information they've been given.  Which is even less than we've been given before.

 

My guess is this applies to all the subsequent sailings after the first 3 sailings, which have had their ShoreX for over 3 weeks now.

 

I realize some folks may be fine with just sailing around Iceland for 8 days, but is everyone else OK with no ShoreX?

Of course not.  And I won't bet that we can get all the shoreX we want magically onboard.  I will cancel if my "must do" excursions are not confirmed before the 14 days risk-free cancellation deadline.  If somehow my desired excursion becomes available on Day -13, so be it.  I just don't think it's wise going without all the excursions reserved.

 

I had nice experience changing/cancelling excursions onboard before.  But I think things will certainly be different and the situation is out of Viking's control.  So I don't believe Viking can always try the best to satisfy its customers this summer.

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22 minutes ago, sleepybobo said:

Of course not.  And I won't bet that we can get all the shoreX we want magically onboard.  I will cancel if my "must do" excursions are not confirmed before the 14 days risk-free cancellation deadline.  If somehow my desired excursion becomes available on Day -13, so be it.  I just don't think it's wise going without all the excursions reserved.

 

I had nice experience changing/cancelling excursions onboard before.  But I think things will certainly be different and the situation is out of Viking's control.  So I don't believe Viking can always try the best to satisfy its customers this summer.

I'm on your cruise and i too have been checking MVJ multiple times a day.

 

I think the challenges with shoreX really are out of the control of both the Country of Iceland and Viking. No one imagined that the world would shut down 15 months ago and stay that way. No one could predict which countries would re-open and when and how.

 

In a pre-COVID world, any cruise line would put in place contracts with on-site providers months or even years in advance. That wasn't possible here. Also, Iceland only has a population of 350K in the whole country. Some of the small towns we are visiting have populations in the hundreds of people. Also, there are travel related companies that have gone out of business so there are less available tour spaces.

 

Viking couldn't predict in April that people would be interested in sailing to Iceland in June or July of the same year. They couldn't commit to contracts with any available on-site tour operators in advance because they didn't have passengers sailing or shoreXs booked. Then it was wildly popular and they added additional sailing and 2 more cruise lines entered the space - making more demand. 

 

Viking can't/won't sell something they can't deliver. I really believe they are trying very hard to deliver quality products to the passengers.  

 

We all will have a decision to make on day 15 before we sail - are we going or not, based on what we know on that day. I do feel for the travel reps at Viking, as no one going into a service industry knowing that they might no be able to provide that service. 

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ValerieDennis - I get what you're saying.  What I don't understand is why the 1st 3 sailings out of the first 4 that were all announced at the same time have had their excursions for over 3 weeks and we don't.  World Events were the same for those sailings as for ours.  

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12 minutes ago, id4elizabeth said:

ValerieDennis - I get what you're saying.  What I don't understand is why the 1st 3 sailings out of the first 4 that were all announced at the same time have had their excursions for over 3 weeks and we don't.  World Events were the same for those sailings as for ours.  

I suspect that they want to learn from those first three sailings in order to get things right the first time for the other sailings.

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It’s interesting that some have been able to see menus before boarding.  On all four of our cruises (3 transatlantics and one in Asia) all that showed up on MVJ was a sample menu. Once we boarded, all menus for all venues (including type of sandwiches at tea!) were available on the app. I thought maybe it was because of our stateroom category but this has been the case in V, DV and PV. 

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28 minutes ago, FoggyEthan said:

I suspect that they want to learn from those first three sailings in order to get things right the first time for the other sailings.

And when do you think that might be?  July 10th?  I know getting restarted is complicated, but an email to those of us on Week 4 of the Iceland Welcome Back cruises would not be amiss.  I paid in full on April 7th.  The Week 4 voyage was released by Viking at the very same time as the Weeks 1-3 voyages.  I understand that the voyages added later might be delayed in excursion release, but why Week 4?  Again, good customer service would indicate an update from Viking just letting us know they haven't forgotten us.

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7thl

34 minutes ago, FoggyEthan said:

I suspect that they want to learn from those first three sailings in order to get things right the first time for the other sailings.

If that's the case then our excursions won't be posted until after we embark

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3 minutes ago, Clay Clayton said:

It’s interesting that some have been able to see menus before boarding.  On all four of our cruises (3 transatlantics and one in Asia) all that showed up on MVJ was a sample menu. Once we boarded, all menus for all venues (including type of sandwiches at tea!) were available on the app. I thought maybe it was because of our stateroom category but this has been the case in V, DV and PV. 

For us in PV no and DV yes.  Both 2 plus week cruises.  Go figure.

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37 minutes ago, FoggyEthan said:

I suspect that they want to learn from those first three sailings in order to get things right the first time for the other sailings.

I think Viking should have pretty good idea on which excursions are in demand and which are not selling based on sales info from the first three sailings and customer inquiries.  I think popular excursions, such as the Golden Circle, would be selling much faster than the horseback riding excursion.  This is another challenge.  There will be mismatch in supply and demand.    

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15 minutes ago, Clay Clayton said:

It’s interesting that some have been able to see menus before boarding.  On all four of our cruises (3 transatlantics and one in Asia) all that showed up on MVJ was a sample menu. Once we boarded, all menus for all venues (including type of sandwiches at tea!) were available on the app. I thought maybe it was because of our stateroom category but this has been the case in V, DV and PV. 

Clay it might be that Transatlantic Crossings are different or it may be the difference between various cruises based on what they know is available. If you have never seen them when you clink on Chaf's Table for a particular day of a cruise when looking to reserve a Chef's Table that says sometimes they do and sometimes they don't.  Strange.

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as requested:

 

Having just returned from an international trip I can confirm that the Airline is the gatekeeper and their rules determine if you get on the plane. Currently United and Delta require a PCR test less than 72 hours prior to departure from the US to Iceland. 

 

On our return flight American would not issue electronic boarding passes, and when you checked in they checked your paper copy of the anti-gen test and verified if the lab issuing it was on the approved list. They have an app (Veri-fly) that was supposed to do this but it was useless. We received our approval from Veir--fly 2 days after we were home! Our hotel warned us to expect very long lines at the airport and some people waited close to three hours to check in. Our flight was fully booked and the standby list was close to 30 people, all of them getting on, indicating that a lot of passengers probably missed the flight. 

 

I am not sure what the process will be with connecting flights in the US. If the verification takes place at the normal check in counter for the Iceland segment, you may have to deal with the lines and again clear security. Good luck if you have a short layover.

 

Early last month American did not yet have a procedure for verifying vaccinations. United is doing the vaccination check through their app. It requires a scanned copy of your vaccination card and information on when and where you were vaccinated well in advance. Hopefully you will also be able to enter any required  Covid test data and it will eliminate the airport checks.

 

Besides having hard copies of an required  Covid tests and your vaccination card I would suggest carrying a copy of any appointment information that you might have from the clinic or pod that vaccinated you.

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I have to truthfully say...  If I had known what all of the unknowns were going to be regarding airports/regulations/48 hr. covid tests/connecting flight airports possibly requiring quarantine/difficulty in getting half way convenient flights....  I'm not so sure I would have jumped in as quickly as I did.  Everything that is Viking related I was ready for - I knew they could be relied on and that was basis for the jumping at the chance for the cruise.  What I'm going through airlines/airport wise right now is giving me lots of anxiety. 

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15 minutes ago, azdrydock said:

Currently United and Delta require a PCR test less than 72 hours prior to departure from the US to Iceland. 

We are flying to Iceland in three weeks on Delta.  I see nothing about 72 hour negative test to board.  Where are you seeing this???

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3 minutes ago, madrone said:

I have to truthfully say...  If I had known what all of the unknowns were going to be regarding airports/regulations/48 hr. covid tests/connecting flight airports possibly requiring quarantine/difficulty in getting half way convenient flights....  I'm not so sure I would have jumped in as quickly as I did.  Everything that is Viking related I was ready for - I knew they could be relied on and that was basis for the jumping at the chance for the cruise.  What I'm going through airlines/airport wise right now is giving me lots of anxiety. 

… and that’s the reason twelve of us bailed on the first-ever Viking Bermuda cruise leaving in two weeks… it was getting nerve wracking jumping through hoops and wondering if we’d get there on time. To say nothing of Viking changing our flights FOUR TIMES… we are all now going on the Viking Iceland cruise August 24….

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1 hour ago, sleepybobo said:

I think Viking should have pretty good idea on which excursions are in demand and which are not selling based on sales info from the first three sailings and customer inquiries.  I think popular excursions, such as the Golden Circle, would be selling much faster than the horseback riding excursion.  This is another challenge.  There will be mismatch in supply and demand.    

This is why I expect them to start opening up to further sailings soon. When I heard that they were adding additional options and additional slots for existing options, it seemed likely that they were getting close.

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6 minutes ago, azdrydock said:

On United it is under manage your trip, Since I am not booked on delta I found it in

 

 

 Destination and Travel Restrictions Map | Delta Air Lines

 

I didn't check the other airlines

Last update: 2021-05-31
Last review: 2021-05-31

Open with restrictions
 Entry Requirements

Fully Vaccinated Passengers

Iceland is open to fully vaccinated passengers and they are exempted from presenting a negative PCR-test and quarantine. Check below in the COVID-19 Test section which passengers are considered fully vaccinated by Iceland. 

Travelers must bring proof of vaccination – it’ll need to be shown when at boarding.

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Just to leave no stone unturned, I just checked United.  Like Delta, what it says is that the 72 hour test does NOT apply to vaccinated passengers, and what must be presented to board is proof of vaccination OR the 72 hour test.  So the airline may very well be the gatekeeper, but they will let you board for Iceland with either a vax certificate or a negative test.  Of course, returning to the US, they will need to see a 72 hour negative test, which Viking will provide for us,  

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2 hours ago, FoggyEthan said:

I suspect that they want to learn from those first three sailings in order to get things right the first time for the other sailings.

Also, 2 more cruise lines are now in the space grabbing up availability. Also, I believe the 1st 3 had issues with people not getting the excursions they wanted and Viking had to try to secure additional tour space. Also, the 1st 3 cruises were at lower numbers on board than ours.

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1 hour ago, madrone said:

I have to truthfully say...  If I had known what all of the unknowns were going to be regarding airports/regulations/48 hr. covid tests/connecting flight airports possibly requiring quarantine/difficulty in getting half way convenient flights....  I'm not so sure I would have jumped in as quickly as I did.  Everything that is Viking related I was ready for - I knew they could be relied on and that was basis for the jumping at the chance for the cruise.  What I'm going through airlines/airport wise right now is giving me lots of anxiety. 

I hear you.  Usually I very much enjoy trip planning.  For me, planning is half the fun.  Not this time though.  It's hard with the "evolving" entry/testing requirements.  I understand it's not Viking or Icelandic government's faults.  We are really dealing with an ever changing situation.  

 

I don't know.  Some days I feel good about the trip.  Some days I have doubts.  I'll see how the June sailings end up.  But this waiting game is giving me anxiety for sure. 

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4 hours ago, id4elizabeth said:

So today is June 1st and still no ShoreX for the July 17th sailing (promised for May 1), so I friutlessly contacted Viking and got a NEW EXCUSE.  Get this!

 

"Current world events in Europe prevent us from offering excursions ahead of time like we usually do.  Please check back with MVJ periodically."

 

So what do you think this means?  "Current world events in Europe"???  "Ahead of time"???  Does this mean there will be no ShoreX before we get on board?   I was told that's all the information they've been given.  Which is even less than we've been given before.

 

My guess is this applies to all the subsequent sailings after the first 3 sailings, which have had their ShoreX for over 3 weeks now.

 

I realize some folks may be fine with just sailing around Iceland for 8 days, but is everyone else OK with no ShoreX?

Interesting.  We are absolutely NOT ok with no shore excursions booked ahead of time.  On the 7/17 cruise also.

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2 hours ago, Dukefan said:

Clay it might be that Transatlantic Crossings are different or it may be the difference between various cruises based on what they know is available. If you have never seen them when you clink on Chaf's Table for a particular day of a cruise when looking to reserve a Chef's Table that says sometimes they do and sometimes they don't.  Strange.

Yep, they didn’t show up on our Asian cruise so it wasn’t just the Transatlantics 

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