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


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18 minutes ago, jan_az said:

On Viking sky. They just announced we have a positive asymptomatic case. That person is in quarantine and all close contacts have been retested and are negative 

Thanks for the info!  Glad to hear everyone else was negative!  We are still really looking forward to getting on the Jupiter a week from today!

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On 8/9/2021 at 12:59 PM, dcl999 said:

Would someone who is currently on board please ask the crew what little things they miss the most/need the most since they cannot get off the ship. Toothpaste? Candy? We’d be happy to bring small fairly light stuff that we have room for in our suitcases. It would be nice if someone posted a list and everyone started bringing a few items. We had planned to ask when we got on board but it looks like we may be in a bubble

I was on the July 20 Jupiter and in 2 towns I noticed a small cluster of crew members outside the local grocery stores.  So, it appears that back then the crew was allowed off ship.

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Could someone share a copy or screenshot of the Viking Health Survey that is supposed to be emailed to us about one week prior to sailing? We are currently scheduled on one of the Iceland welcome back cruises and, we are considering scheduling to depart for one of the Bermuda cruises two days after we return from the Iceland cruise. I'm wondering if one of the questions is "have you traveled internationally in the past 14 days?"  I have seen that on other questionnaires, and I'm wondering if an answer of yes would not allow us to depart?

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33 minutes ago, trhattan said:

I was on the July 20 Jupiter and in 2 towns I noticed a small cluster of crew members outside the local grocery stores.  So, it appears that back then the crew was allowed off ship.

One of the crewmembers mentioned to us that they are escorted to local stores to purchase sundry items. They are not allowed off the ship to wander around.They are not allowed off the ship to wander around.

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3 hours ago, jan_az said:

On Viking sky. They just announced we have a positive asymptomatic case. That person is in quarantine and all close contacts have been retested and are negative 

Sorry to hear you have a positive (albeit asymptomatic) case.  Based on the quarantines of "close contacts" we've heard about on other sailings, I would love to know if the close contacts on your ship are quarantined, even though they have tested negative.  

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3 minutes ago, CruiserDoc said:

Could someone share a copy or screenshot of the Viking Health Survey that is supposed to be emailed to us about one week prior to sailing? We are currently scheduled on one of the Iceland welcome back cruises and, we are considering scheduling to depart for one of the Bermuda cruises two days after we return from the Iceland cruise. I'm wondering if one of the questions is "have you traveled internationally in the past 14 days?"  I have seen that on other questionnaires, and I'm wondering if an answer of yes would not allow us to depart?

 

As much as we want to help, perhaps this is one of those times when it is safest to talk things over with Viking directly and get answers from the source. Viking allowed you to book the cruises back to back, so let them explain their position and make any adjustments they feel are necessary.

 

Best bet is to contact Viking at tellus@vikingcruises.com, not the phone bank. Email them, explain your problem and your worries and ask them to call you to discuss. Include your booking numbers and your phone number.

 

I also suggest that customer service is swamped with guest questions right now, so don't delay in contacting them.

 

BTW, the health questionnaire was done on-line. The e-mail only contained a reminder it was now available on MVJ.

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20 minutes ago, CruiserDoc said:

Could someone share a copy or screenshot of the Viking Health Survey that is supposed to be emailed to us about one week prior to sailing? We are currently scheduled on one of the Iceland welcome back cruises and, we are considering scheduling to depart for one of the Bermuda cruises two days after we return from the Iceland cruise. I'm wondering if one of the questions is "have you traveled internationally in the past 14 days?"  I have seen that on other questionnaires, and I'm wondering if an answer of yes would not allow us to depart?

No. That's not one of the questions.  Just basic stuff - like have you been around anybody with Covid, any symptoms, which Vaccine, what date, etc.

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Coronavirus

France and Iceland are among seven destinations added on Monday to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s highest risk category for travel.

Travel should be avoided to locations carrying the “Level 4: COVID-19 very high” notice, according to CDC guidance. Anyone who must travel should be fully vaccinated first, the agency advises.

The seven destinations added to the Level 4 list on Aug. 9 are:
• Aruba
• Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)
• France
• French Polynesia
• Iceland
• Israel
• Thailand

In its wider travel guidance, the CDC recommends against all international travel until you are fully vaccinated.

Destinations that fall into the “very high” risk category have had more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days, according to CDC parameters.

The CDC maintains an evolving list of travel notices from Level 1 (“low”) to Level 4 (“very high”). Last week the agency added 16 destinations to its “very high” risk category, including Greece, Ireland and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

 

:per my news story on WYFF news

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47 minutes ago, BamaT said:

Sorry to hear you have a positive (albeit asymptomatic) case.  Based on the quarantines of "close contacts" we've heard about on other sailings, I would love to know if the close contacts on your ship are quarantined, even though they have tested negative.  

No. They were tested and set about their day 

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3 hours ago, CruiserDoc said:

Could someone share a copy or screenshot of the Viking Health Survey that is supposed to be emailed to us about one week prior to sailing? We are currently scheduled on one of the Iceland welcome back cruises and, we are considering scheduling to depart for one of the Bermuda cruises two days after we return from the Iceland cruise. I'm wondering if one of the questions is "have you traveled internationally in the past 14 days?"  I have seen that on other questionnaires, and I'm wondering if an answer of yes would not allow us to depart?

 

No, you cannot do that. You need to take a PCR test 4 days before the travel to Bermuda & cruise and register for Bermuda Travel Authorization with the negative PCR test result the next day or so and wait for approval before you can fly to Bermuda.

 

Do the Bermuda cruise a week after the Iceland one, but not 2 days.

 

Also on Viking website cruises become unbookable 2 weeks before the sailing.

 

 

Dear Viking Guest,

As you prepare to travel with us, please keep the following important travel milestones in mind. To ensure your entry into Bermuda is seamless, we have prepared the following detailed timeline to help you get ready to join us on board Viking Orion.

We ask that you review it and collect all the necessary travel documentation as outlined for presentation at the various checkpoints along the way (i.e. departure airport, customs and immigration on arrival). Without them, you may be denied the ability to travel to and enter Bermuda.

WHEN

DESCRIPTION

14 days prior
to departure

Last day to be vaccinated
You must receive your final FDA/WHO authorized COVID-19 vaccine dose by 14 days prior to your departure. Authorized COVID-19 vaccines are listed below:

  • Moderna (Moderna)
  • Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty)
  • Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)
  • AstraZeneca/Oxford (Covishield, Vaxzevria)
  • Sinopharm (Hayat-Vax)

All guests are required to be fully vaccinated prior to boarding the ship. If you have not received your final dose by 14 days prior to your departure, please contact your Travel Advisor or Viking. You will need to rebook to a later time—at least 14 days after your final vaccine dose.

10 days prior
to departure

VeriFLY Vaccine Certification
We have partnered with VeriFLY to certify your vaccination certification. To complete the process, follow the steps outlined here.

Note, VeriFLY will provide your approved certification status directly to the ship, who in turn will provide it to the appropriate authorities. Your status will change to "Ready to Travel" in the app, but there is no additional documentation for you to keep track of.

7 days prior
to departure

Viking Health Survey
To comply with local travel requirements, you must provide basic health information to confirm you have not been exposed to COVID-19.

  • You will receive an email with a link to complete the survey, which will be available at MyVikingJourney.com.

4 days prior
to departure

Pre-departure PCR Test
To comply with Bermuda's requirements and ensure you have results in time to complete your travel authorization, you will need to be tested no more than 4 days prior to your departure.

IMPORTANT: You must have a COVID-19 PCR Test (nasopharyngeal/nasal swab, polymerase chain reaction test) - either RT or Rapid PCR. The COVID-19 PCR test cannot be an antigen or antibody test.

3 to 1 day prior
to departure

Bermuda Travel Authorization
Upon receipt of your negative COVID-19 test results, complete the Bermuda Travel Authorization form online at https://www.gov.bm/coronavirus-travellers-visitors.

Travelers failing to complete a Travel Authorization form before traveling to Bermuda will be charged $1,000 upon arrival for the completion of a Travel Authorization.

To complete the form, you will need:

  • Your confirmed flight information.
  • Note: Viking Orion is considered your "Address in Bermuda" and is included on the drop-down menu.
  • You will need to upload a digital image of the files (jpg or pdf):
    • Proof of FDA/WHO authorized COVID-19 vaccine
    • Negative COVID-19 PCR Test Results


Tip:To upload a printed document (ex. vaccine card), take a picture of your printed document with your phone to generate a jpg.

1 day prior
to departure

Travel Document Preparation

  • Valid Passport (Passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your planned trip dates.)
  • Signed Bermuda Travel Authorization form. (A link will be provided to your form in the approval email you receive from the Bermuda Travel Authority. Print the form—not the email—and sign it. The form will have a bar code at the top.)
  • Proof of FDA/WHO authorized COVID-19 vaccine
  • Negative COVID-19 PCR Test Results
  • Cruise Itinerary (Viking Journey Summary emailed to you by Viking) – to verify your "Address in Bermuda"

Tip: While digital documents on your phone are accepted, they will slow your clearance through the checkpoints in the Bermuda arrival terminal, so we suggest printing your documentation and having it available throughout your journey.

On arrival

Entering Bermuda
In addition to the documents above, you will need the following:

  • Boarding pass (Your seat assignment will be recorded for contact tracing purposes by the Bermuda Travel Authority.)
  • Completed Customs and Immigration Forms: provided by your flight crew

Tip: Bring a pen as there are no pens available on board.

At the Airport
Your documents will be reviewed at various checkpoints in the arrival terminal. You will need documents as follows:

  • Document Check and Travel Authorization
    • Bermuda Health Authorization Form
    • Proof of FDA/WHO authorized COVID-19 vaccine
    • Negative COVID-19 Test Results
  • Immigration
    • Passport (Passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your planned trip dates.)
    • Bermuda Health Authorization (ensure yours has a bar code)
    • Immigration form (provided on board flight)
    • Cruise Itinerary (Viking Journey Summary) – to verify your "Address in Bermuda"
  • Customs
    • Customs form (provided on board your flight)
    • Cruise Itinerary (Viking Journey Summary) – to verify your "Address in Bermuda"
    • Boarding Pass
  • COVID-19 PCR Test
    • You will be handed a lab order and directed to the testing area. Your luggage will be held by airport staff while you are tested.

Please note that as more travelers visit Bermuda, some of the checkpoint stations may change and/or be combined.

Once your PCR Testing is complete, you can proceed to the ship. For your convenience, a document checklist for your trip can be found below this message.

We look forward to welcoming you on board.

Sincerely,

Viking

BERMUDA - DOCUMENT CHECKLIST

Signed Bermuda Travel Authorization form

Valid passport (must be valid for 6 months beyond your planned trip dates)

Proof of FDA/WHO authorized COVID-19 vaccine

Pre-departure COVID-19 PCR negative test results

Cruise itinerary (Viking Journey Summary)

Pen

http://wpc.475d.edgecastcdn.net/00475D/nvs/vrclogo_94x58.png

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18 hours ago, IWantToLiveOverTheSea said:

I disagree with the post about guides expecting tips, at least on Viking excursions. They stand outside the coach but I felt it was more to answer questions, etc.

 

I can't help with shopping info on excursions because I didn't do much. But in general there were some opportunities.

 

My cruise is over and I'm now in KEF airport after leaving Jupiter very very early. Weather is beautiful. Airport is crowded with lines. They're very thorough. Try to do your "attestation" for airport departure online on Viking.  Know what you liked best in Iceland, take out any tablets and laptops for security, etc. Left ship very, very early. 24 hour room service came in handy. Airport crowded with lines beginning to get long at 6:30 AM, but food available and people very helpful. Lots of walking to Delta gate or ask for wheelchair if need. Beautiful bathrooms downstairs from Delta gate 15 available by stairs or elevator. Check 24 hours pre flight with Delta to see if any upgrades from economy to biz class are available.

 

 

Did you have preassigned seats?  We are in coach seats and not with Viking.  I worry with all the difficulties with airlines right now, that we will have problems.  I know we can get seat assignments 24 hours ahead.  We’ve never flown without seats except on Southwest.

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9 hours ago, jan_az said:

On Viking sky. They just announced we have a positive asymptomatic case. That person is in quarantine and all close contacts have been retested and are negative 

Are the people who were in close contact also quarantined??

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6 hours ago, Margigarcia said:

Did you have preassigned seats?  We are in coach seats and not with Viking.  I worry with all the difficulties with airlines right now, that we will have problems.  I know we can get seat assignments 24 hours ahead.  We’ve never flown without seats except on Southwest.

I just wrote a long response and lost it. But yes, we got assigned seats on Icelandair, but had to wait maybe two weeks or so after we learned Viking had booked us on them.  We were told by Icelandair that we had to wait until Viking actually issued (or paid for?) the tickets.  So I called the airline every 5 days or so to ask if seat assignments were possible.  In the end we got very good seats for our nonstop to Iceland from Washington DC Dulles.  Then we bid and won upgrades to Saga Class, which I wanted mostly in order to have more space around us due to Covid.

 

As for airline hiccups, we had a major one coming back from Iceland, but it appeared to be a special situation which hopefully others won't face.  I'll try to write about it later.  Icelandic security decided to pull 20 people over on our Delta flight for a thorough inspection of carryons. This, plus a late arriving plane, caused us to take off about 2 hours late for Minneapolis.  Some people missed their connections. We made ours, but it was iffy.

Edited by IWantToLiveOverTheSea
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I woke up yesterday on Jupiter at 4:15 AM.  We were already docked in Reykjavik.  It was fairly light.  We left the ship around 5:30 AM to go to the airport (yes, you need a lot of time) but it looked to be a beautiful day in the making. My phone said it was around 55 degrees F.  Our last 2 days were gorgeous, with bright blue skies in Djupivogur and Heimaey. You could have worn a t-shirt those days. But on the days before that, we had quite a mixture of clouds, part sun, light rain, short and sporadic downpours, etc. The weather predictions were useless.  Just take some layers and don't dress for winter in Iceland and you'll likely be OK. 

 

I took a Columbia jacket with fairly warm removable lining.  I very seldom wore the jacket AND lining; sometimes wore just the lining, sometimes just carried a fleece over a long sleeved shirt.  I almost always carried a rain hat after being drenched in Reykjavik unexpectedly and suddenly.  I sometimes  wore a couple light layers and peeled off clothing as needed. Going back home, I stuffed the coat in my packed bag and only wore a fleece to the airport.

 

Things I felt were essential were anti-fog wipes for my glasses when wore a mask (which was obviously a lot of the time), good shoes, and a small backpack (or just took my sling camera bag). For tendering you should have good shoes and go hands-free in case the wonderful people helping you on/off want to grab your arm to help you. I took hiking boots but only used them twice (Djupivogur ice lagoon walk to zodiac, Natural Treasures tour) but probably SHOULD have worn them when I went up halfway on the mountain in Heimaey (Eldfell). I used a lanyard for my room key and hung it on the door knob when I came in my room. I wore my tracing device (doesn't blink, no colors as previously reported) under my shirt to keep it untangled from from the lanyard (and also Quiet Vox box, used for maybe a fifth of the excursions).  I always take an extra pair of glasses on a trip because I'd hate to break mine and have to be squinting to see anything!  I took mostly long sleeved shirts/tops, one dress I didn't wear (didn't feel like dressing up when occasion arose!) and 3 pairs of comfortable but decent looking pants.  I put an extra mask from the pack Viking puts in your room in my little backpack and put one folded up behind my room key card in my lanyard. (I've got the mask thing down pretty well after living in a very pro-mask area at home, but once forgot to wear a mask when I went out of the room.  You don't want to be rushing to take an excursion and realize you must go back to your room.)  I didn't take or use sunglasses or suntan lotion, but you may want to take those.  I took a fold up pillow and eye mask for the long flights but both Icelandair and Delta provided those, so they were really not necessary.  I took more prescription pills than needed in case we got quarantined or had delays in getting home but didn't need those. I took a swim suit and coverup but did so much sightseeing I never used those (sigh!)  I hope to pack a lot lighter next time.

 

We had no major problems, complaints, missed ports, positive cases on board, and good weather overall.  Iceland was incredible and so was Viking. I felt a little guilty traveling during (still) pandemic times, but I also felt pretty safe.  While Iceland may be a "red" country right now, I felt safe due to the ability to distance most places (especially in certain ports!!) and the fact that such a high percentage of Icelanders are vaccinated. 

 

If you've only river cruised, you may find ocean cruising to be too complicated/crowded -- but just read everything you can, ask questions, allow plenty of time to get organized/go where you need to go for your shore excursions, and just go with the flow.  Keep in mind that a lot of things to do in Iceland are made for younger, more athletic people, so you may not be able to do everything you want, especially on an ocean cruise, where time is rather limited.  I see that as an excuse to go back again later and do what you missed before!

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20 hours ago, jtwind said:

There still seems to be a huge disconnect between Viking and Iceland's response to a person who has had close contact with a person with covid.  Iceland puts people in a quarantine hotel for over a week. Viking just sends people to they room for a test.  If Viking started following Iceland's rules, it could be trouble for some passengers.

But of course, if you test positive the next day, you'll be quarantined on the ship.

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For those on bubble sailings, how are meals on the longer excursions being handled? Still in restaurants with appropriate social distancing? 
Also for past passengers who have knowledge of quarantine are couples separated when one tests positive? Or is deemed to have been in close contact with a positive person?

Is Viking required to report positives/retesteds to Iceland?

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Earlier I posted about what I used/didn't use & wore/didn't wear.  I forgot about my bug netting for the Iceland Natural Treasures excursion in Akureryri.  When we were in Dimmunbogur (basically an area of large lava formations with a path, near large Lake Myvatn) the knats/midges were quite persistent.  They don't bite, but they also don't respond to insect repellent, so they ARE annoying.  I got a bug net for my head from Amazon pre-trip and was the only person in my group of 30 or so people wearing one.  People were jealous.  My husband told me later that he heard a passenger suggesting that Viking provide these to everyone, and that there was only one woman in his group who had one.  I'm not sure if that woman was me, but I suspect it was, as I didn't see more than a few other people wearing them anywhere in the area.   There were some midges in another part of the tour, but not nearly as many as we had in Dimmunborgur.  I imagine their prevalence depends upon the weather, so perhaps you won't need them.  But they're cheap, they take up very little space, they work, and you can see reasonably well with one on.  Just make sure it's a foot or so long so it goes from the top of your head down to cover the top part of a jacket/shirt/top.  I just wore mine without a cap, but if you want more room in front of your face, wearing a cap might be better.  

 

 

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2 minutes ago, BQEC said:

For those on bubble sailings, how are meals on the longer excursions being handled? Still in restaurants with appropriate social distancing? 
Also for past passengers who have knowledge of quarantine are couples separated when one tests positive? Or is deemed to have been in close contact with a positive person?

Is Viking required to report positives/retesteds to Iceland?

I'm not on a bubble sailing, but we just back from our cruise and can tell you what they did.  The guide had to take room number and seat number of each person on the coach.  We could sit where we wanted, and had plenty of room to spread out if we wanted.  In many cases, people sat in every other row, but some people bunched up.  I don't know if they were traveling together or not, or just didn't want to have to go farther back on the bus or what.  Some people liked the back area of the bus because most of the coaches had a mid-coach door, with quicker in/out than going out the front door.  Anyway, once people were seated, the guide came with a sheet that I think Viking provided to record seat number (usually labeled on each coach with little stickies) and room number.  So the guide was responsible for matching seat number and room number of person sitting in that seat. Then they had to place us in groups based on, as near as possible, where we were sitting.  So you basically ended up, with a few exceptions, sitting at lunch with the people you were sitting closest to.  Of course it depended upon what seating was available at each place we had lunch, and how many seats were available, but all in all it worked pretty well.  

 

In Reykjavik photography excursion I ended up with another person at a small table.  In Isafjordur for Vigur Island I passed on cake and coffee to take more pictures; forget where they assigned me.  In another place I was at a table of about 8 people, and another at a table of 6.  It's completely impossible in most places at lunch to be widely separated from everyone else.  But I think in all places we took up the whole restaurant (except at Vigur Island, where a table of kayakers ate outside on picnic tables), so in a way we were one big vaccinated/tested pod.  I was fine with that.

 

It was impossible to distance absolutely 100% all the time on the ship, ashore in a restaurant or on a coach or an excursion boat.  But Viking certainly did what they could, and I was fine with what they did.  And we ended up with no positives, so obviously they did something right!  And trust me, I rode coaches, boats, went on day long excursions and was out and about in a few of the towns (because it was allowed last week).   I wasn't a hermit. I felt safe, but I was still cautious.  I understand people's concerns about being quarantined (and/or sick!), but honestly, I think once you get on board and see how things are, you'll feel pretty confident about things.

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Thanks for your very thorough descriptions.  I am on the same flights you took out of/return to Dulles but got Viking to change the return trip to Icelandair to avoid extra plane/airport time and domestic flight with unvaccinated/untested passengers.

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1 hour ago, IWantToLiveOverTheSea said:

Earlier I posted about what I used/didn't use & wore/didn't wear.  I forgot about my bug netting for the Iceland Natural Treasures excursion in Akureryri.  When we were in Dimmunbogur (basically an area of large lava formations with a path, near large Lake Myvatn) the knats/midges were quite persistent.  They don't bite, but they also don't respond to insect repellent, so they ARE annoying.  I got a bug net for my head from Amazon pre-trip and was the only person in my group of 30 or so people wearing one.  People were jealous.  My husband told me later that he heard a passenger suggesting that Viking provide these to everyone, and that there was only one woman in his group who had one.  I'm not sure if that woman was me, but I suspect it was, as I didn't see more than a few other people wearing them anywhere in the area.   There were some midges in another part of the tour, but not nearly as many as we had in Dimmunborgur.  I imagine their prevalence depends upon the weather, so perhaps you won't need them.  But they're cheap, they take up very little space, they work, and you can see reasonably well with one on.  Just make sure it's a foot or so long so it goes from the top of your head down to cover the top part of a jacket/shirt/top.  I just wore mine without a cap, but if you want more room in front of your face, wearing a cap might be better.  

 

 

Thanks for this and your previous posts. I just finished packing for today’s flight but forgot that I bought the bug netting last month. 

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Not hearing very much about people changing their travel plans because Iceland is now a Level 4 country.  We are on the Aug 31 sailing and were going yesterday morning, but last night we are a big "should we be doing this-no"  Of couse we are devastated that we probaby are not going but, the statistics regarding Covid are not to be forgotten.  Can we get some conversation going here?

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