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LIVE from "Iceland's Natural Beauty" -- All Sailings, 2021


Peregrina651
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45 minutes ago, JeriGail said:

That is my biggest concern for our TA in November that goes from Barcelona to San Juan.  We visit Spain, Morocco, Portugal, and St. Martin.  What are the rules of those countries for close contacts of positive testing people?

And more importantly, what are the arrangements Viking has with each of those countries re: positive people or contact-traced. I suppose it could change based on the whims of the country. For instance, someone tests positive after last port in Spain, and then maybe Morocco doesn’t allow the ship to dock. Or they allow everyone as needed to quarantine on the ship but then PR doesn’t allow the ship to dock at the end to let everyone else disembark. There may be some test cases in October/November in the Med in multiple countries that may give us an idea, if we hear from pax.

 

BTW, SantaFe, you must have quoted the person from the Iceland cruise from within my comment, because my moniker ended up in your comment.

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3 hours ago, SantaFe1 said:

I have a question about the contract tracing in General.  We were on the first Iceland cruise and everything was fine.  From later cruises we learned about the contact tracing problems, and were told that the rule about being removed from the ship was Iceland’s rule, not Vikings.  And since those cruises were entirely within Iceland, people did have to leave the ship, occasionally.  But our next cruise in December is the Panama Canal cruise.  We visit five foreign countries, only for one day each.  So I am wondering if you were contract traced in Mexico but were leaving for Columbia that evening, if you would have to leave the ship.  It seems more complicated when there is more than one country.

Yes I would watch the trends with Viking and other cruise lines.  I would betcha that the south and Central American countries won’t be as stringent as European ones. There have been some cases of covid on other cruise lines in Caribbean and Europe and I haven’t seen anything about individuals/ships not being allowed into a country- except the July incidents in Iceland.  I’ve been following it for our future cruise plans. 

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5 minutes ago, Doc who loves to travel said:

I haven’t seen anything about individuals/ships not being allowed into a country- except the July incidents in Iceland.  I’ve been following it for our future cruise plans. 

I may be mistaken, but I don’t think most ships contact trace like Viking does.  The worry is that despite all you do to stay well, even if you never test positive, if you are traced to a positive person, you can be confined, quarantined, or disembarked.  That is problematic.

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SantaFe1 - Sorry to say, other cruise lines are now tracking/tracing via bracelets ... and putting labs on board. Have not seen any information on daily testing other than Viking. ? Makes some feel "safe", until or unless you are deemed to be a close contact or found to have covid and you are asymptomatic. 

Regent has the most comprehensive and generous protocol regarding covid passengers - as long as the passenger tests prior to coming to the pier to board.

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2 hours ago, BQEC said:

Sorry to say, other cruise lines are now tracking/tracing via bracelets ... and putting labs on board. Have not seen any information on daily testing other than Viking. ?

Good to know.  I will follow the fall cruises and see what transpires.

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18 hours ago, SantaFe1 said:

Good to know.  I will follow the fall cruises and see what transpires.

I looked at a number of cruise line websites a few weeks ago, and there are at least 2 other lines that use contact tracing medallions.   I don't remember any lines stating that they will be doing more than "as needed" testing, which of course could range from no testing to daily testing.  And then of course, as we found out in Iceland, each country does what IT wants, and can interpret things like "close contact" in a different way than Viking, so it's hard to predict which cruise cities and lines offer the smallest chance of getting very sick, not getting sick but having to quarantine, allowing/not allowing non-ship excursions, etc.   

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On 9/19/2021 at 11:36 AM, SantaFe1 said:

I have a question about the contract tracing in General.  We were on the first Iceland cruise and everything was fine.  From later cruises we learned about the contact tracing problems, and were told that the rule about being removed from the ship was Iceland’s rule, not Vikings.  And since those cruises were entirely within Iceland, people did have to leave the ship, occasionally.  But our next cruise in December is the Panama Canal cruise.  We visit five foreign countries, only for one day each.  So I am wondering if you were contract traced in Mexico but were leaving for Columbia that evening, if you would have to leave the ship.  It seems more complicated when there is more than one country.

 

On 9/19/2021 at 12:18 PM, JeriGail said:

That is my biggest concern for our TA in November that goes from Barcelona to San Juan.  We visit Spain, Morocco, Portugal, and St. Martin.  What are the rules of those countries for close contacts of positive testing people?

My next cruise is West Indies Explorer in December.  I'm also wondering how the quarantine rules will work when the ship is going to different islands "countries" every day.  My hope is Viking will review the daily testing/contact tracing protocol.  

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  • 1 month later...

We are looking at a Viking Ocean cruise that will covers Iceland and then heads to NY in 2023.    They include 9 tours of which five should be in Iceland.    In general, how were the included tours?  We're interested in getting close to Icebergs and enjoying nature more then just hanging around a small town. If we'd have to purchase tours in each place, then Viking is no longer a bargain.   Thoughts?

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1 hour ago, Folkfan13 said:

We are looking at a Viking Ocean cruise that will covers Iceland and then heads to NY in 2023.    They include 9 tours of which five should be in Iceland.    In general, how were the included tours?  We're interested in getting close to Icebergs and enjoying nature more then just hanging around a small town. If we'd have to purchase tours in each place, then Viking is no longer a bargain.   Thoughts?

 

Viking offers one included tour in each port. You can read the details on the Viking website. The only included tour we did was the one in Reykjavik. The rest of the time, we chose optional tours.

 

For more information, try this thread: Excursions and how you liked or disliked them

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1 hour ago, Folkfan13 said:

We are looking at a Viking Ocean cruise that will covers Iceland and then heads to NY in 2023.    They include 9 tours of which five should be in Iceland.    In general, how were the included tours?  We're interested in getting close to Icebergs and enjoying nature more then just hanging around a small town. If we'd have to purchase tours in each place, then Viking is no longer a bargain.   Thoughts?

Most of the included tours are 1.5 hour to 2 hour bus tours with a stop or three. They were fine for what we needed as my elderly mother in law was with us and wasn’t up for much more. We took option tours in several places -Golden Circle in Reykjavik, Whale Watching in Akureyri, etc.  Viking’s pricing was comparable yo other tours I found. Given the uncertainties of travel during COVID, the slight upcharge (and larger groups) were a fair exchange to know if the port got canceled we hadn’t wasted our money. 
 

I don’t think the included tours should be a factor in a financial decision about Viking.  If they are the reason you have chosen Viking then you might want yo look at other less expensive cruiselines.  When we do our financial comparisons, we consider the included tours as added bonus but don’t use them in the actual calculations.  

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I agree with Clay. We do take advantage of many of the included shorex and find they are usually well done and educational but they aren't all we do.  They are  usually short so you can add on another, more active optional excursion. Like Clay we stayed in the Viking bubble on this cruise and took only their optional shorex and several of them were exceptional. On other cruises we often book independent excursions and have found them to be smaller, more flexible and maybe cheaper. If you want to get away from the port towns and into nature you are likely going to have to go with an optional excursion. 

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I agree with Clay & Seaharvest, except that I always find Viking's paid excursions to be a little less expensive than what I expect, based on what our other favorite cruise line charges. On Viking's August Iceland cruise, I did a combination of included and paid excursions, and in several places did the included tour and a half day paid tour on the same day.  We went to one or two ports that were very small (500 people or less I believe, and likely without too many opportunities for  touring on your own, unless an occasional taxi is available for a long drive).  In those places, I was very glad that Viking set up some great (though long!) paid excursions.  The down side of this non-stop touring (made possible by the high port to at sea ratio of the itinerary, plus my desire to "do it all") is that I had little time to explore the ship.  But maybe I can do that on my next cruise.  I don't know where your itinerary takes you, but I suppose the itinerary is very close (or the same?) as the 2021 "Welcome Back" Iceland cruises this summer.  So if you're interested in seeing what my spouse and I did on the 2021 cruise, my photos are on pbase.com, a site that is open to all without having to give your email or other info.  This is the first gallery (Reykjavik) and the other cities we visited in Iceland follow in other galleries: 

 Iceland Aug 2021 REYKJAVIK Photo Gallery by Ruth Rosenthal at pbase.com

(make sure the "All" button is pushed so you see all photos in a gallery).

Edited by IWantToLiveOverTheSea
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On 11/15/2021 at 11:57 AM, Folkfan13 said:

We are looking at a Viking Ocean cruise that will covers Iceland and then heads to NY in 2023.    They include 9 tours of which five should be in Iceland.    In general, how were the included tours?  We're interested in getting close to Icebergs and enjoying nature more then just hanging around a small town. If we'd have to purchase tours in each place, then Viking is no longer a bargain.   Thoughts?

 

I am not trying to dissuade you from Viking Ocean. Unless you are requiring a cruise to be included in your travel plans, Iceland is better done by land. We cruised with Viking this past July on one of the circumnavigation Iceland cruises.  After disembarking we then stayed for an additional week's travel with a rental car. The cruise gave us the typical snapshot of the port call and surrounding vicinity while providing very nice cruise amenities. Sorry to say but the second week was more satisfying. Our land portion took us to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Westfjords Region. The latter is visited by 10% of tourists yet offers some of the best unspoiled scenery throughout Iceland. We do plan on visiting Iceland by land again in the next few years.

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