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Gratuities for Viking Excursion Drivers & Guides


Kathy53
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We're on a Viking Rhine river cruise in May, 2022.  This will be our first river cruise.  Viking says to tip $5.00 to your Driver for each excursion & $10.00 to your Guide.  While I'm all in favour of tipping, is this expected?   

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Not sure where you saw the $5 and 10 figures but I just checked and the MyVikingJourney site it still says €1 for driver and €2 for guide. 

Edited by mhb1757
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16 minutes ago, mhb1757 said:

I haven’t looked lately but they used to suggest 1 euro for the driver and 2 euro for the guide. $5 and 10 seem high to me. 

Thank you.  I stand corrected as I've just checked our booking and you are absolutely right.  I have no idea where I got my numbers from.  

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5 minutes ago, Kathy53 said:

Thank you.  I stand corrected as I've just checked our booking and you are absolutely right.  I have no idea where I got my numbers from.  


The Canadian Viking site DOES mention those numbers (in US dollars) under FAQ’s. Not sure if it’s an error or a precursor of things to come…

 

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4 minutes ago, CILCIANRQTS said:


The Canadian Viking site DOES mention those numbers (in US dollars) under FAQ’s. Not sure if it’s an error or a precursor of things to come…

 

Thank you CILCIANRQTS.  We'll take Euros & USD as both currencies will be accepted.

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2 hours ago, Kathy53 said:

Thank you CILCIANRQTS.  We'll take Euros & USD as both currencies will be accepted.

I would think the bus drivers and local guides would appreciate euros more than USD---as a resident of the US I would look askance if someone came here and tried to pay me with euros.  When in Rome.........

Edited by sharkster77
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I must admit that I am a bit surprised about the US dollars as well. A work I am not part of that aspect of tourism so I can only guess these types of personnel are used to getting so many US dollars that it makes it worthwhile to accept them and go to the bank and exchange them. Along the Rhine in my area you certainly cannot pay in cash US dollars in shops or get services for it. Perhaps in Basel or certain places in Cologne? A driver would not be able to use his tip to buy a beer in his local pub around here...

 

notamermaid

 

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4 hours ago, notamermaid said:

I must admit that I am a bit surprised about the US dollars as well. A work I am not part of that aspect of tourism so I can only guess these types of personnel are used to getting so many US dollars that it makes it worthwhile to accept them and go to the bank and exchange them. Along the Rhine in my area you certainly cannot pay in cash US dollars in shops or get services for it. Perhaps in Basel or certain places in Cologne? A driver would not be able to use his tip to buy a beer in his local pub around here...

 

notamermaid

 

Agree 1000%---no US businesses would accept euros or British pounds, so why would we expect Europeans to accept US dollars?  Not sure if it's ignorance or arrogance.

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I only ran into one retail outlet that willingly accepted USD and at a good exchange rate. That was one of the glass galleries in Wertheim because the artist was heading to the US in a few days as an artist in residence and wanted small bills for when he arrived. 

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Thank you to all for your valuable responses.  I, personally, want and will take the currency of the country for all of the reasons mentioned.  The reason for my question initially was out of conflicting information I received when I spoke with people.  Besides, it is far easier for me to exchange CDN $ for the countries' currencies than back and forth with CDN, USD & Euros, or whatever. 

 

"Agree 1000%---no US businesses would accept euros or British pounds, so why would we expect Europeans to accept US dollars?"  After all, the same rule applies in Canada, we use CDN $ and not USD.  

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I have read that an exception to this rule is in Basel, where some may accept euros because many Swiss in Basel cross the border to shop in France where prices are better.  I have also read that in Budapest some may accept euros as travelers there for a short stay who may not have obtained forints, but don't expect a very favorable exchange rate.

 

We have avoided problems by using our credit cards wherever possible, and choosing to pay in local currency (as opposed to USD).  This lets your bank set the exchange rate, which is more likely in your favor.

Edited by sharkster77
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That is correct about the Swiss living close to the German border as well, from what I have read. In Budapest I did not get florins, it was easy to obtain coins by buying some souvenirs in Estergom, my first stop in Hungary, and take it from there. I paid mostly in euros, change was mostly in florins and occasionally I paid in florins. It got me through 36 hours without changing any money at a bank. Watch out for "exchange offices" that give you very unfavourable rates there.

 

notamermaid

 

Edited by notamermaid
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As with Scenic, I remember someone remarking when they went all inclusive that the level of service would suffer but from what we experienced the opposite seemed to be the case. It is so pleasant not to be concerned about tipping and if a member of staff does happen to be just that little bit extra especial then it’s up to yourself if you wish to be just a tad extra grateful. 

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As far as I am aware, tipping isn't generally 'automatic' in Germany, France, Switzerland or Holland, although it is often done in food and drink establishments. Nobody will be offended if you tip or not.

The how much to tip advice does not appear (or a least it hadn't pre covid) in documents sent to us in the UK. I suspect it's guidance for those from countries where tipping of 'set' amounts or percentages is expected and who therefore worry about getting it right. 

 

By the way, we have tipped in all the countries I mentioned, we simply don't feel any obligation to. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bringing a tipping culture into countries where it is absolutely not the custom or practice causes issues. It isn't just a case of we want to reward, as it has impacts on jobs. I have seen in Africa petrol pump attendants get tipped a days pay and waiters etc more than a professional gets paid in a month as a tip for a one or two week holiday.

The consequence of this is that people move from being a nurse, engineer even a doctor to the tourist business. Then of course it becomes expected from staff with all that flows from that too

There should be more cultural sensitivity around this topic as opposed to we tip in my country so we are going to do it in others without thought 

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I find it interesting from a cultural differences point of view that when visiting another country, US people ask how much to tip, thinking they will be looked down on if they don't tip, whereas UK people ask if they should tip, but don't worry about it, or the amount, unless informed there are unwritten rules (eg as in USA) 

 

Not saying either is better/worse, its just interesting

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