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Welcome Back Cruises 2021 - Malta & Adriatic Cruises and General Discussion


JM0115
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2 hours ago, CharTrav said:

The issue that Malta is addressing is that after getting to the point of zero new infections last month, new infections are suddenly on the rise - doubling every day during the past week. In response they have decided to toss everybody from their "amber corridor" list into the "red" list. "Red list" countries do not have the option to provide proof of a negative PCR test in lieu of proof of vaccination. And since the cdc card is not accepted as proof of vaccination, that means vaccinated folks from the US cannot go to Malta. 

 

IMHO - I fully respect Malta's decision. They need to protect their citizens and are taking appropriate measures to do so. It is unfortunate they won't accept our CDC cards. Resolving that issue is not something Viking can fix. Sadly.  

 

FYI - just read the current sailing update from Viking. Frankly, while I'm hopeful that Viking can convince Malta to accept US pax based on their cdc certificate complemented by VeriFly I'm not confident they can. Especially given their previous inability to do so for US pax who live in states on Malta's "red list" prior to July 9. 

 

1 hour ago, Azulann said:

Thanks you for the link to the Reuter article. It  explains the state of COVID infections currently in Malta.

Each country makes it own  decisions based on the current infection rate as to tourist crossing their borders. 

This is the new world of travel in the era of COVID.-19 for the rest of the year at least if not  into 2022.

Viking Cruise line is doing all they can under the circumstances.

Good luck. 

 

Two extremely well written posts regarding travel issues in this post-COVID world.

 

CharTrav - thanks for posting the article, which provided an explanation for the changes. Yes, I agree, every government has a responsibility to their citizens health & safety, before considering the needs of tourists. Since Malta provides Universal Health Care, their COVID policies are no doubt implemented with the goal of not overloading the hospital system. I expect the Malta Govt is also considering the UK's experience with the India Variant, if you let it in, it spreads rapidly.

 

I also noted that it is not just US vaccination cards they don't accept. They are only accepting EU & UK documentation, with UK being a recent departure from the EU. They treat the rest of the world equally.

 

Our Provincial Govt/Local Health Authority could easily confirm our vaccination status, but as is their right, they only accept EU/UK. Hopefully we will have a national covid vaccine passport available soon, and that will be accepted by other countries.

 

As always, visiting other countries is a privilege, it most definitely isn't a right. Post COVID, if we want to travel at this time, we must be flexible and accept that requirements are constantly changing.

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2 hours ago, LindaS272 said:

Well, I note you have no investment in these cruises so not sure why you’re weighing in. Some of us that are invested in the Welcome Back cruises, for time, money and grief, have vastly different opinions of how governments (and Viking) are bungling requirements and affecting travelers. It’s very bureaucratic and a large part of it is emphatically not in the interests of Covid safety. As well as not being transparent—both Viking and Malta, in this case.

 

I wasn't aware that to comment on a thread that you had to be booked on one of those cruises. The article CharTrav posted was most informative in explaining the rationale behind the Malta Govt changes, in response to their increasing daily infections.

 

Surely, when you booked these early cruises you considered the potential for continuous changes due to COVID numbers in all the countries visited and the plethora of potential documentation requirements.

 

We were very interested in the Malta/Adriatic cruises, but after weighing the pros/cons, decided against it, due to the potential for changes due to COVID infection resurgence and multiple Govt "Red tape" that are now being experienced. I can even board as a UK citizen and the risk still wasn't acceptable.

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OK, OK!  We're sorry your falcon statue got stolen 80 years ago.  Can't you just get over yourself and let us land and get to our ship?1220174209_MalteseFalcon.thumb.jpg.1e23bc6a64ddc5d8ad9e0354f113a4c6.jpg

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7 hours ago, CharTrav said:

Perhaps not but I have been following this and thought I could contribute what I've learned today. I shall now go into the lurk mode. 😊

Your contributions and thoughts are appreciated by many of us.  Don't get discouraged.

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As I mention we had a cruise out of Malta Sept 5th and received an email this past Weds the cruise was cancel with no real explanation. It was the Malta/Med Cruise. The strange part was we got an email the day before saying excursions were opening up on the same Weds it was cancel.

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Nice webcam view of the aft of what I believe is Viking Sea in Malta.  Make it full screen and you can occasionally see people moving around onboard:-

https://www.skylinewebcams.com/en/webcam/malta/malta/floriana/senglea-boatyard.html

 

Also a webcam view from slightly further away:-

https://www.skylinewebcams.com/en/webcam/malta/malta/floriana/grand-harbour-valletta-waterfront.html

 

Stay safe everyone!

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9 minutes ago, Jammy Bun said:

Nice webcam view of the aft of what I believe is Viking Sea in Malta.  Make it full screen and you can occasionally see people moving around onboard:-

https://www.skylinewebcams.com/en/webcam/malta/malta/floriana/senglea-boatyard.html

 

Also a webcam view from slightly further away:-

https://www.skylinewebcams.com/en/webcam/malta/malta/floriana/grand-harbour-valletta-waterfront.html

 

Stay safe everyone!

Thanks so much! Really enjoyed the webcam.   I'm on the Sea this November for our first Viking Cruise.  

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6 hours ago, Mitina said:

Your contributions and thoughts are appreciated by many of us.  Don't get discouraged.

Ditto that! We are from Northern Virginia also. I always welcome useful information...keep what I need and appreciate the rest.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Surely, when you booked these early cruises you considered the potential for continuous changes due to COVID numbers in all the countries visited and the plethora of potential documentation requirements.

 

We were very interested in the Malta/Adriatic cruises, but after weighing the pros/cons, decided against it, due to the potential for changes due to COVID infection resurgence and multiple Govt "Red tape" that are now being experienced. I can even board as a UK citizen and the risk still wasn't acceptable.

 

Yes, we considered the potential for changes in Malta's policies. We also considered Mr. Hagen's statement about the Maltese government when Viking announced its intent to resume cruising: "We applaud the government of Malta for being such a supportive destination partner and for making the arrival and embarkation process even easier for our guests."  https://www.cruisehive.com/viking-cruises-opens-up-malta-cruises-for-u-s-guests/52144

 

With the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, did we place too much faith in the Maltese government? Perhaps -- but then so did Mr. Hagen, Viking, and the thousands of people who, like us, booked a trip out of what we thought was a "supportive" country. Malta has proven to be anything but supportive.

Edited by DaveSJ711
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Despite all of the issues with the Maltese entry dates. we are currently on our way and ready to fly to Malta on July 11th.  We have cleared the airport formalities and await the planes departure.

 

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4 hours ago, DaveSJ711 said:

With the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, did we place too much faith in the Maltese government? Perhaps -- but then so did Mr. Hagen, Viking, and the thousands of people who, like us, booked a trip out of what we thought was a "supportive" country. Malta has proven to be anything but supportive.

A bit of omphaloskepsis methinks 🙄

We are taking about a very nasty virus and every country has the right to do as it sees fit to protect its citizens.

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23 minutes ago, Alan2504 said:

We are taking about a very nasty virus and every country has the right to do as it sees fit to protect its citizens.

I certainly have no fault with Malta requiring its visitors to be vaccinated.  It's not clear why they won't accept the CDC as documentation, though....that's the part that makes little sense.

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8 minutes ago, Alan2504 said:

A bit of omphaloskepsis methinks 🙄

We are taking about a very nasty virus and every country has the right to do as it sees fit to protect its citizens.

Oh come on. Malta is not protecting its citizens by only allowing Maltese, UK & EU vaccinations but not US vaccinations. It’s strictly bureaucratic and completely nonsensical. Our vaccines are the same vaccines approved by the EU & UK—it’s just the documentation of ours that Malta refuses to recognize. But our documentation has been good enough for Iceland, Greece, and perhaps Italy & Spain, so what’s wrong with Malta? The WHO yellow vaccine card was fine for decades for countries that required yellow fever and other vaccinations for entry. And no, the argument that “it’s easy to fake” doesn’t cut it. Are Iceland, Greece, (Italy & Spain), any less safe from Covid now by accepting US vaccination cards? I don’t think so.

 

The argument is not about whether “every country has the right” to protect its citizens. The argument is that MALTA IS BEING COMPLETELY NONSENSICAL IN REFUSING TO RECOGNIZE LEGITIMATE VACCINATIONS!

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25 minutes ago, Alan2504 said:

A bit of omphaloskepsis methinks 🙄

We are taking about a very nasty virus and every country has the right to do as it sees fit to protect its citizens.

Every country has the “right” to take actions as it sees fit. But having said “right” doesn’t mean the actions themselves make any sense. For example, what sense does it make for Malta to conclude that the CDC documentation for vaccination is unacceptable? And what sense does it make to exclude Americans en masse, even those who are fully vaccinated?

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If Viking Ocean Cruises what to ramp up revenue I feel they should get a a ship or two to North America where the barriers for cruising appears to be the most friendly. One ship in Alaska and one in the Caribbean. 

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just a thought to consider - Malta is not barring just folks from the US but everybody who doesn’t have a vaccination certificate issued by the EU, the UK, or Malta. So this bars folks from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. I fear that the focus of the discussion here seems to be too narrow. I fell into that trap too. And will now return to my lurking mode. 😉

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56 minutes ago, Jchivers said:

It's not clear why they won't accept the CDC as documentation, though....that's the part that makes little sense.

Uhm, yes it does.  

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-22/fake-covid-vaccine-cards-paper-format-open-to-outright-fraud

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4 minutes ago, B_A_H said:

BAH-HUMBUG. It’s a bogus argument. Have you talked to Iceland, Greece, Italy & Spain of late? Or for that matter, Viking—because that’s the conversation we’re having right now.

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29 minutes ago, CharTrav said:

just a thought to consider - Malta is not barring just folks from the US but everybody who doesn’t have a vaccination certificate issued by the EU, the UK, or Malta. So this bars folks from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. I fear that the focus of the discussion here seems to be too narrow. I fell into that trap too. And will now return to my lurking mode. 😉

It’s not a trap. Something like 3/4ths of Viking’s clientele are Americans. A Canadian/UK passenger who has opted out of Welcome Back cruises has weighed in. Haven’t seen any Aussies or Kiwis but my understanding about Aussies is that they are not allowed to travel right now, and besides, only about 8% of their people are vaccinated.

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13 minutes ago, LindaS272 said:

It’s not a trap. Something like 3/4ths of Viking’s clientele are Americans. A Canadian/UK passenger who has opted out of Welcome Back cruises has weighed in. Haven’t seen any Aussies or Kiwis but my understanding about Aussies is that they are not allowed to travel right now, and besides, only about 8% of their people are vaccinated.

You're right about the Aussies, Kiwis etc  but still.....it bothers me to witness this US centric focus. As tho we're the only ones that matter. 

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1 minute ago, CharTrav said:

You're right about the Aussies, Kiwis etc  but still.....it bothers me to witness this US centric focus. As tho we're the only ones that matter. 

We are having a discussion about Viking’s Welcome Back Malta cruises. These are the folks who have made their bookings, gotten their airfare, hired their pet sitters, booked hotels before and after, etc. If Kiwis and Aussies want to weigh in, great. As far as Viking’s clientele, Americans are the vast majority and that’s who has been posting.

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