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We picked this cruise because of its itinerary - "In the Wake of the Vikings" - a northerly transatlantic crossing, and we had to book it a year and a half in advance because it's only offered once a year. (Although, we found out later that a 2nd Viking ship trailed this same itinerary by several days - so much for Viking's communications - more on that.) We did the 3-day pre-trip Iceland extension. Generally good, although we found out once there that there were 78 people on this pre-trip, and all but 8 of us had direct flights to Bergen to board the ship after Iceland. We were some of the unfortunate 8 - indirect flights thru Oslo. We asked the local Viking person (an independent travel guide, very helpful) "what did we do wrong to deserve this?" She said to call Viking, ask for direct flights, since another couple had done this, or have your travel agent do this for you. We emailed our US travel agent, asked her to to have Viking book us direct (like the 70 other people who had this done for them automatically). Viking's 1st response was that they would charge us $350/pp because this was a voluntary upgrade on our part! Gag me! We went back to our travel agent, she fought w/Viking and got the direct flights for no charge, like all the others (except a few who got stonewalled by Viking when they went direct to Viking). Other than that, the pre-trip was a nice way to explore Iceland - much more so than the planned one day shop in Reykjavik on the cruise. We did Blue Lagoon, Grand Circle tour, plus good tour around Reykjavik. Once we flew to Bergen, we found out (rumors among passengers on the bus ride to the ship) that we're not staying in Bergen, we're leaving a day early, i.e., right away, due to Hurricane Dorian, and we'll be skipping 1st two port stops (Shetlands and Faroes), in order to try and skirt hurricane on way to two new port stops in Iceland via two very rough sea days. Ironic, that we just left Iceland, flew to Bergen, to get on a ship and sail into a hurricane in order to go back to Iceland via rough seas. Why couldn't Viking let us know that back in Iceland and let us just rent a car and drive through scenic Iceland and catch up to the ship in 1st new Iceland port stop? This is 'classic Viking non-communication.' (Our only other Viking Ocean cruise was to go from Istanbul to Venice, only we found out 'by accident' that we weren't going to Istanbul, but cruise was going to start in Athens instead.) The Viking Sea ship is wonderful - small size - only 900+ passengers, great cabin attendants, great food, comfy beds, free wifi, free laundry, free beer & wine w/lunches and dinners, nice public areas. They offer two free specialty restaurants/trip - an Italian, plus a special Chef's Table. In keeping w/Viking's non-communications, we had booked one of each, only to find that Viking had somehow cancelled one of our reservations when we showed up for dinner. The two extra Iceland port stops were wonderful, but once we left Reykjavik, we were told that, due to storms off Greenland, that we'd be skipping the 1st Greenland port and have ... 2 more rough sea days! Prince Christian Sound (60 miles of interconnected fjords in S. Greenland) did make up for this, as it was a visual extravaganza. However, more of the same after Greenland - two more rough sea days due to bad weather off W. Greenland on our way to Newfoundland, and an alternative port once there. We heard from others on board that Viking has made this re-positioning trip 5 times, and has only made all port stops on its advertised itinerary only once! Seems like Viking needs to re-examine its repositioning trips - we understand that 2020 cruise goes in August, but I'm sure Viking is trying to maximize its profits with its Baltic cruises and didn't really want to leave that soon! Once home, we did receive a nice email from Viking saying, in effect, that they screwed up, and are offering a future voucher worth 40% of our trip cost on a future Viking cruise. We'll have to seriously consider whether we want to cruise Viking anymore. Their ships are great, and once onboard the crew and staff and accommodations are excellent, but Viking's communications with its passengers, especially pre-trip, STINK!

Very Expensive TransAtlantic Repositioning Cruise with Bad Weather

Viking Sea Cruise Review by NH_Joe

Trip Details
We picked this cruise because of its itinerary - "In the Wake of the Vikings" - a northerly transatlantic crossing, and we had to book it a year and a half in advance because it's only offered once a year. (Although, we found out later that a 2nd Viking ship trailed this same itinerary by several days - so much for Viking's communications - more on that.)

We did the 3-day pre-trip Iceland extension. Generally good, although we found out once there that there were 78 people on this pre-trip, and all but 8 of us had direct flights to Bergen to board the ship after Iceland. We were some of the unfortunate 8 - indirect flights thru Oslo. We asked the local Viking person (an independent travel guide, very helpful) "what did we do wrong to deserve this?" She said to call Viking, ask for direct flights, since another couple had done this, or have your travel agent do this for you. We emailed our US travel agent, asked her to to have Viking book us direct (like the 70 other people who had this done for them automatically). Viking's 1st response was that they would charge us $350/pp because this was a voluntary upgrade on our part! Gag me! We went back to our travel agent, she fought w/Viking and got the direct flights for no charge, like all the others (except a few who got stonewalled by Viking when they went direct to Viking). Other than that, the pre-trip was a nice way to explore Iceland - much more so than the planned one day shop in Reykjavik on the cruise. We did Blue Lagoon, Grand Circle tour, plus good tour around Reykjavik.

Once we flew to Bergen, we found out (rumors among passengers on the bus ride to the ship) that we're not staying in Bergen, we're leaving a day early, i.e., right away, due to Hurricane Dorian, and we'll be skipping 1st two port stops (Shetlands and Faroes), in order to try and skirt hurricane on way to two new port stops in Iceland via two very rough sea days. Ironic, that we just left Iceland, flew to Bergen, to get on a ship and sail into a hurricane in order to go back to Iceland via rough seas. Why couldn't Viking let us know that back in Iceland and let us just rent a car and drive through scenic Iceland and catch up to the ship in 1st new Iceland port stop?

This is 'classic Viking non-communication.' (Our only other Viking Ocean cruise was to go from Istanbul to Venice, only we found out 'by accident' that we weren't going to Istanbul, but cruise was going to start in Athens instead.)

The Viking Sea ship is wonderful - small size - only 900+ passengers, great cabin attendants, great food, comfy beds, free wifi, free laundry, free beer & wine w/lunches and dinners, nice public areas. They offer two free specialty restaurants/trip - an Italian, plus a special Chef's Table. In keeping w/Viking's non-communications, we had booked one of each, only to find that Viking had somehow cancelled one of our reservations when we showed up for dinner.

The two extra Iceland port stops were wonderful, but once we left Reykjavik, we were told that, due to storms off Greenland, that we'd be skipping the 1st Greenland port and have ... 2 more rough sea days! Prince Christian Sound (60 miles of interconnected fjords in S. Greenland) did make up for this, as it was a visual extravaganza. However, more of the same after Greenland - two more rough sea days due to bad weather off W. Greenland on our way to Newfoundland, and an alternative port once there.

We heard from others on board that Viking has made this re-positioning trip 5 times, and has only made all port stops on its advertised itinerary only once! Seems like Viking needs to re-examine its repositioning trips - we understand that 2020 cruise goes in August, but I'm sure Viking is trying to maximize its profits with its Baltic cruises and didn't really want to leave that soon!

Once home, we did receive a nice email from Viking saying, in effect, that they screwed up, and are offering a future voucher worth 40% of our trip cost on a future Viking cruise. We'll have to seriously consider whether we want to cruise Viking anymore. Their ships are great, and once onboard the crew and staff and accommodations are excellent, but Viking's communications with its passengers, especially pre-trip, STINK!
Viking Cruises, Community Team has responded
We appreciate you sharing this thoughtful review of your transatlantic sailing, NH_Joe, and are glad to learn the intimate size of Viking Sea, friendly cabin steward service, and onboard amenities made for a memorable experience. We share in your disappointment that your cruise was impacted by the residual effects of Hurricane Dorian, and appreciate your feedback about our communication throughout the extend of this experience – from time of booking to your return home. We would welcome the opportunity to address your comments and restore your faith in traveling with us, and invite you to email tellus@vikingcruises.com to continue the conversation. Thank you for the opportunity to respond, and we hope to hear from you.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of The Independent Traveler, Inc.
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Cabin 4004
Great service from two of the best ever cabin attendants. Both Indonesian, both provided excellent cleaning, housekeeping, and good conversation.