Great Cruise on Viking!: Viking Aegir Cruise Review by cruisetheory
Overall Member Rating
Great Cruise on Viking!
Destination: Europe - River Cruise
Now for the negative. Viking Cruise lines are clearly an unequaled river cruise line but they are a below average travel agency. Being able to book entire trip including stay-overs and airfare appears convenient and supports the cruise business, but I suspect this travel agency is run separately from the cruise line and it shows. Their primary interest is locking in the original booking and after that, it is difficult to get anything else done or even get a callback. The information concerning the cruise is very complete and available on the website but the other travel arrangements are not and the information you receive concerning these other travel arrangements may change after you book the trip. They are out to book the additional arrangements and are a bit loose with facts. Here is the story:
Viking may offer free or deeply discounted airfare but here are many conditions that are far from clear when you book it. Extra charges if you want inputs into the airlines or arrival and departure times. Extra charge to arrive earlier or leave later. Extra charge to not book their hotels for extended stays. They will tell you that you can use your frequent flyer privileges with your airline for your benefit but you can't. You can only upgrade through Viking at extra charges and miles than the airline requires. They will tell you that you can upgrade through the airlines but this is not true. By the way, this is not a requirement of the airlines or fare class. I had a long talk with United Airlines and they were willing to give me the upgrade, but the agreement they had with Viking did not allow them to do it. It's a locked in profit center for Viking no matter what the agent tells you when you book the trip. When I tried to get my standard upgrade with United, Viking told me it would cost $9000 for them to allow United to give me the upgrade. Welcome to the bait and switch! I tried to talk to someone in management (Rose) about this problem; she said she would get back to me. I called her back and another person told me she was too busy. After that, I didn't hear from her or anyone again. At this point. I had no options at any cost.
Summary; Viking is an amazing cruise line and a lousy travel agency. I recommend the cruise but be very leery of the airfare deals and consider booking your own travel. We would have been better off. Less