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Viking Coronavirus Update


Squawkman
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Please note the following which appears on the Viking Ocean website under “My Trip”:

 

Coronavirus Update, February 6

We are monitoring the Wuhan coronavirus situation closely and are aware of the travel advisories issued by the U.S. State Department on January 30, 2020, in addition to updates issued by the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

As the safety and security of our guests and crew is always our top priority, we have implemented enhanced health screening procedures for all guests boarding our vessels within the next 90 days. Please note, any guests who have traveled from or through mainland China within 14 days of beginning their trip with Viking, will not be permitted to embark the ship.

We are currently evaluating options for alternative ports of call; should itinerary alterations be made, Viking Customer Relations will communicate directly with those impacted guests and their travel agents within the next 7 days.

* * * * *

A few folks on the river cruise board who will embark in April reported receiving a similar message via email today - only their email added a phrase indicating the review will be done “via a health care questionnaire”. No other info about this questionnaire was given at this time.

 

Did anyone here receive an email about this regarding Ocean cruises that embark in the next 90 days? I didn’t - and I embark in 44 days.

 

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I received an email late last night regarding this. (We are taking a Mediterranean cruise in March.) It included the part about the questionnaire. I am happy to see they are taking some sort of action but I must admit I still have concerns regarding my upcoming trip.

 

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We are on a transatlantic in March and received the email from Viking.  Sure hope that people are honest about travel and their health status.  I just read an article about Diamond Princess quarantined in Japan,  a situation that does not sound like something that I would enjoy!

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image.png.58c2ff3277423a7cf857b159fc99b9b0.png

 

Screen shot from the Johns Hopkins site.  https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6 as of 7 Feb 2020, 2213 EST.  Rational for refusing to board those who have been to China is apparent.  Little need to worry about the rest of the world.  10,000 American residents have died from the flu this year (And there's a vaccine for that!!!)  Over 37,000 Americans have died in vehicle accidents.  (More than confirmed coronavirus illness worldwide.)  Worldwide, according to the Hopkins site, 724 deaths from coronavirus.  

 

Have a great trip, get your flu shot, buckle your seat belt.  

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Booked on a cruise in this part of the world, got the email, no questionnaire yet. If anyone is on the Orion currently I would be curious if they have implemented enhanced screening after shore excursions. 

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I received the email from Viking part of which reads:

 

"While your journey may not be in the general vicinity of the outbreak, as a precautionary measure, we have implemented enhanced health screenings (via a health care questionnaire) for all guests boarding our vessels within the next 90 days. Additionally, any guests who have traveled from or through mainland China within 14 days of the beginning of their trip with us, will not be permitted to embark the ship."

 

I wondered how & when the health care questionnaire would be done so wrote to Viking & was their response was "The questionnaire is completed during the embarkation process."

 

 

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14 hours ago, eylarson said:

image.png.58c2ff3277423a7cf857b159fc99b9b0.png

 

Screen shot from the Johns Hopkins site.  https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6 as of 7 Feb 2020, 2213 EST.  Rational for refusing to board those who have been to China is apparent.  Little need to worry about the rest of the world.  10,000 American residents have died from the flu this year (And there's a vaccine for that!!!)  Over 37,000 Americans have died in vehicle accidents.  (More than confirmed coronavirus illness worldwide.)  Worldwide, according to the Hopkins site, 724 deaths from coronavirus.  

 

Have a great trip, get your flu shot, buckle your seat belt.  

 

The poster says there's "little need to worry about the rest of the world" (other than China).

 

In contrast, the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency last week.  The W.H.O. didn't limit its declaration to China.

 

There are 1.4 billion people in China.  Anything that affects the Middle Kingdom necessarily affects the rest of us.  We cruisers like to believe we travel in a bubble -- but we don't.  See the quarantined Diamond Princess for proof.

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We got the message from Viking, too, for our TA in March on the Sea.  However, it is not as inclusive as other cruise lines by omitting Hong Kong and Macau from restrictions.  Also, some lines are using 30 days for cruisers from China as well.  

 

I guess we will see healthcare questionnaire when we try to board.

 

David

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The advisory has changed again.  So, now we're changing from Hong Kong to Singapore - nowhere near each other.  This will make the cruise many more days at sea, which we do not want.  FYI.

 

Coronavirus Update, February 7

We are monitoring the Wuhan coronavirus situation closely and are aware of the travel advisories issued by the U.S. State Department on January 30, 2020, in addition to updates issued by the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

As the safety and security of our guests and crew is always our top priority, we have implemented enhanced health screening procedures for all guests boarding our vessels within the next 90 days. Please note, any guests who have traveled from or through mainland China within 14 days of beginning their trip with Viking, will not be permitted to embark the ship.

For sailings scheduled to visit the area within the next 90 days, we will be replacing Xiamen and Hong Kong with Singapore. Guests on impacted itineraries and their travel agents will be contacted directly within the next two weeks.

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We got the email for our upcoming March 6th TA on Sky.  I missed that the enhanced part was via questionnaire.  I figured they would be taking temperatures.  This was a regular part of the security/customs/immigration procedure both in Japan and China On our cruises last September and October. 
 

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Also received an email from Viking today with more details on our trip. We will be on the Sun leaving from Sydney in two days on our way around Australia, then on to Indonesia and China. Our itinerary has changed from Manila to Xiamen, flying out of Hong Kong on March 9,  to Manila, 3 days at sea, arriving in Singapore and flying out the same day. Bummer as I would love to spend some time in Singapore, maybe next time.

Edited by Insanityx4
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I wonder what Viking is doing to ensure the staff is well. When we boarded our last cruise (last year), most of the crew was hacking and coughing. Many were walking around with what I call "fever eyes". Within the week most every passenger on the ship was in the same condition. Hopefully, something has been developed to keep passengers well. 

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8 hours ago, gacruisefan said:

The advisory has changed again.  So, now we're changing from Hong Kong to Singapore - nowhere near each other.  This will make the cruise many more days at sea, which we do not want.  FYI.

 

First thing this morning, the Captain has provided a letter to each cabin outlining the revised schedule, which is:

                   Original          Revised

 

5-Mar     Dep Manila     Dep Manila

6-Mar     At sea              At Sea

7-Mar     Xiamen           At Sea

8-Mar     HK                   At Sea

9-Mar     HK                   Singapore (04:00)

10-Mar   HK                   Singapore

11-Mar   At sea             Singapore

12-Mar   At sea             At sea

13-Mar   Saigon            Saigon

14-Mar   Saigon            Saigon

15-Mar   Saigon            Saigon

16-Mar   At sea             At sea

17-Mar   Cambodia      Cambodia

18-Mar   Bangkok         Bangkok

19-Mar   Bangkok         Bangkok

20-Mar   Koh Samui     Koh Samui (Dep 18:00)

21-Mar   At sea             At sea

22-Mar   Singapore      At sea

23-Mar   KL                   KL

 

I certainly wouldn't consider this many more sea days, as it is only 2 extra sea days, with the changes being dictated by a number of factor, not least being that China & HK have closed their ports, indefinitely, This is per the Captain's letter.

 

Singapore is a vastly superior option to some of the alternative TAR ports available that are closer to HK, so personally I appreciate this bold move from Viking. 

 

Sea days on this ship are brilliant, so much to do and so relaxing. The crew also schedule amazing specials on sea day - with lobster burgers, tomahawk steaks and brunch the last few days. 

 

With an exceptional revised itinerary and notification fully a month in advance, yet again Viking's customer service is exceptional. 

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The NYT reports that an additional 65 people on the quarantined Diamond Princess have tested positive for the coronavirus, nearly doubling the total to 135.  The crew is at particular risk.  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/10/business/coronavirus-japan-cruise-ship.html?action=click&module=Top Stories&pgtype=Homepage

 

Let's hope and pray that what's happening onboard the Diamond doesn't repeat itself on a VO.

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On 2/7/2020 at 5:19 PM, Squawkman said:

Did anyone here receive an email about this regarding Ocean cruises that embark in the next 90 days? I didn’t - and I embark in 44 days.

We received an email re this from Viking 2/6/20 regarding our 4/5 departure on the Oriron Bali-Bangkok cruise.

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On 2/8/2020 at 8:11 PM, Heidi13 said:

 

First thing this morning, the Captain has provided a letter to each cabin outlining the revised schedule, which is:

                   Original          Revised

 

5-Mar     Dep Manila     Dep Manila

6-Mar     At sea              At Sea

7-Mar     Xiamen           At Sea

8-Mar     HK                   At Sea

9-Mar     HK                   Singapore (04:00)

10-Mar   HK                   Singapore

11-Mar   At sea             Singapore

12-Mar   At sea             At sea

13-Mar   Saigon            Saigon

14-Mar   Saigon            Saigon

15-Mar   Saigon            Saigon

16-Mar   At sea             At sea

17-Mar   Cambodia      Cambodia

18-Mar   Bangkok         Bangkok

19-Mar   Bangkok         Bangkok

20-Mar   Koh Samui     Koh Samui (Dep 18:00)

21-Mar   At sea             At sea

22-Mar   Singapore      At sea

23-Mar   KL                   KL

 

I certainly wouldn't consider this many more sea days, as it is only 2 extra sea days, with the changes being dictated by a number of factor, not least being that China & HK have closed their ports, indefinitely, This is per the Captain's letter.

 

Singapore is a vastly superior option to some of the alternative TAR ports available that are closer to HK, so personally I appreciate this bold move from Viking. 

 

Sea days on this ship are brilliant, so much to do and so relaxing. The crew also schedule amazing specials on sea day - with lobster burgers, tomahawk steaks and brunch the last few days. 

 

With an exceptional revised itinerary and notification fully a month in advance, yet again Viking's customer service is exceptional. 

 

"Many more sea days" is relative to the denominator of total cruise days, which is fewer for segment passengers.

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4 hours ago, gacruisefan said:

Since we embark in Hong Kong, we don’t even know where our cruise will start.  Our airline cancelled our flights.  So we are waiting on Viking to tell us something.  


what date are you sailing? we are on 1st May Far East Horizons Hong Kong to Yokohama, we have had notice from Viking via email  that we will be notified shortly about where we will sail from (not Hong Kong) and our new flight details as we are booked with Viking Air. So all we can do is sit tight and wait for further instructions as to whether it will still go ahead, or be cancelled. Still a way off yet. 

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12 hours ago, Hanoj said:

 

"Many more sea days" is relative to the denominator of total cruise days, which is fewer for segment passengers.

If it was a 5 or even 7 day cruise, a couple of extra sea days could be an issue, but when the segment is about 28 days, for us it certainly wouldn't be an issue. The other consideration is that this isn't voluntary, the ports in China & HK are closed.

 

A couple of sea days are definitely better than any of the closer alternatives.

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10 hours ago, gacruisefan said:

Since we embark in Hong Kong, we don’t even know where our cruise will start.  Our airline cancelled our flights.  So we are waiting on Viking to tell us something.  

If you are joining a segment of the World Cruise on Mar 9th or 10th, you are boarding in Singapore. If a different cruise, you will need to confirm with Viking.

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We are booked on May 1 Far East Horizons as well. We did not use Viking air, so have not received any info yet about changes.

 

Talked to customer service today and was told no changes yet on our cruise. Currently cancellation penalties would apply should we cancel, and we cannot transfer booking to another cruise. And, by the way, they told me, they could completely change their itinerary if they chose--it's on the website. And, since you declined the Viking trip insurance, aw, tough luck.

 

I appreciate the magnitude of logistics Viking is dealing with. But it does not sound like customers are their top priority. This was our first Viking cruise (we've done many others) and looks to be our last, if we go at all. 

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1 hour ago, chirk said:

We are booked on May 1 Far East Horizons as well. We did not use Viking air, so have not received any info yet about changes.

 

Talked to customer service today and was told no changes yet on our cruise. Currently cancellation penalties would apply should we cancel, and we cannot transfer booking to another cruise. And, by the way, they told me, they could completely change their itinerary if they chose--it's on the website. And, since you declined the Viking trip insurance, aw, tough luck.

 

I appreciate the magnitude of logistics Viking is dealing with. But it does not sound like customers are their top priority. This was our first Viking cruise (we've done many others) and looks to be our last, if we go at all. 

Many of us on the VO board have had situations where Viking went above and beyond when situations arose. Sounds like you might have had a snotty Viking agent, but have you experienced a situation totally not the cruise line's fault that handled the situation better? 

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19 minutes ago, Squawkman said:

Many of us on the VO board have had situations where Viking went above and beyond when situations arose. Sounds like you might have had a snotty Viking agent, but have you experienced a situation totally not the cruise line's fault that handled the situation better? 

I'm glad to hear you feel positively about Viking. Forums are great for reading different viewpoints.

 

If you're asking sincerely, I had some travel interactions in December related to the Sydney fires and the airline and hotel were very responsive and flexible. Currently, Delta is also bending over backwards to accommodate changes or refunds connected to the virus. 

 

I personally do not think it's reasonable for us to embrace a cruise that may be half the experience we signed up for. Sure, give us the option to take it. But give us other options, too. 

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