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Viking Orion Cruise Review
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
406 Reviews

Viking Orion Bali to Sydney Worst Shore Excursions Ever

Viking Orion Cruise Review by MarieAnn

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Nov 2018
  • Destination: Australia & New Zealand
  • Cabin Type: undefined

The Viking Orion is a beautiful ship with good food and stylish cabins BUT....

I would bet that none of the staff have ever been on one of their included shore excursions to test it out. If they had, none of the included tours would have been included for this trip. The tours were worthless. This is a new itinerary for Viking and they have not been able thus far to put an itinerary together that is worthwhile.

  1. The 3 bus tours we took had the driver as tour guide. They are obviously bus drivers and not tour guides. Plus, the intercoms on the buses were so bad that unless you sat in the first 3 rows, you couldn't hear what was said. So we drove around aimlessly in older busses with no bathrooms and no tour guide.

  2. We paid for an upgraded tour for a boat ride through the mangroves in Darwin and the tour description said we would walk from the port a few steps to get on a tour boat. It was over 100 degrees that day, about 90% humidity, and low and behold, the ramp for our tour boat was out of operation and we were sent on a forced march for 1.5 miles to get to the tour boat. No shuttle bus was provided. We were told by the Viking crew not to worry, a shuttle bus would pick us up to return us to the Orion. NO! No one showed up and the tour boat dropped us at a different spot than the pick up point and it took us about an hour to find our way back to the ship. And for this torture we paid $139/person.

  3. At Komodo Island, we were again taken on a march around the island for 1.5 hours, again in 100 degree heat. There was nothing to see except brush and dirt until finally we came to the watering hole for the Komodo Dragons. We spent 10 minutes looking at the dragons and then it was a short 5 minute walk back to the ship from the watering hole. So, everyone was wondering WHY? Why not just take us directly to the Komodo watering hole. On the forced march, 2 people in our group were overcome by the heat and had to be helped out. When we got back to the tender, an emergency tent had been set up and one person had to be evacuated by air. What a disaster. Still can't figure out why they just didn't take us directly to the watering hole.

  4. Thursday Island. There is nothing to see there except a pub. We had a whole day of doing nothing because there was nothing of interest. Tell me again why we stopped at Thursday Island? Everyone we spoke to had the same complaint.

  5. The excursion on WhitSunday Island was canceled due to rough sea, but no other excursion or activity was scheduled in case of bad weather. So we had again nothing to do and the Excursion staff neglected to tell us that we would need a drivers license on Hamilton Island if we wanted to tour the island.

  6. We were never able to get a reservation at Manfredis except for an 8:30 reservation on the day of the captains farewell. So we had to skip Manfredis to go to the captains fairwell. And, everytime we peeked into the restaurant there were numerous empty tables? Even at 7-7:30 each night, the place was half empty! What???

DO NOT BOOK THIS TOUR unless you want to just stay on the ship for the 15 days. If you are expecting anything else, forget this tour. Even the upgraded paid for tours were not up to par. Waste of time and money.

MarieAnn's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin delux veranda 6016

Cabin and ship are almost new and everything is beautiful. No compaints on the cabin.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Komodo Island

Tell me again why they took us on a 1.5 hour trek through scrub land with nothing to see in 100 degree heat when the komodo dragons were all at a watering hole about 5 minutes from the ship? One person had to be evacuated overcome by heat.


Just the included bus tour which was not informative.

Whitsundays (Airlie Beach, Hamilton Island)

Tour was canceled due to rough seas and no alternative options provided by Viking.


JUst took the included city tour; again on a bus without a tour guide and no bathrooms.

Newcastle (Australia)

Took the included city tour; again with no tour guide or bathroom provided.

See my full review for a description of this disaster.

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