Day 51 – 24th February 2020, Townsville

Viking Sun bow

This is another of the new ports added since we boarded the magnificent Viking Sun. Noumea in New Caledonia was the first new port and we had a great overnight stay. Well, Townsville was equally impressive, even if the weather wasn’t overly co-operative.

Read on for lots of photos, including Judi holding a Koala.

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Day 50 – 23rd February 2020, Airlie Beach ???

Steak dinner in cabin

Cruising down the coast from Cairns, our ETA at this coastal and most picturesque town by the Whitsunday Islands was 11:00. It is another tender port, requiring a 25-minute tender ride to reach the shore.

At breakfast, we experienced really heavy rain and about 30 kt winds, which aren’t the safest condition to operate the tenders. Read on to find out if we made it ashore.

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Day 49 – 22nd February 2020, Cairns

Overcast view from our balcony

Well, Cairns is certainly living up to its reputation of being a tropical rain forest during wet season. Above is the view from our balcony this morning, and this is the clear side of the ship. When we went for breakfast, it was raining so hard, we could barely see the first buildings.

We had a tour booked up the mountain, further into the rain forest and after yesterday’s tour, Judi was hurting, so after breakfast we decided to skip the tour and spend a quiet day aboard the ship. However, I did go for a stroll around the Esplanade and picked up some postcards and t-shirts for the grandsons.

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Day 48 – 21st February 2020, Cairns

Hemingway's Brewery at bottom of gangway

Arriving in Cairns, which is located in the Northern tip of Queensland, we are definitely paying the price for our gorgeous calm sea day yesterday. Cairns is located in a tropical rain forest and this is the wet season. Well the weather didn’t disappoint, as we experienced the equivalent of a monsoon.

As we docked in Cairns, this was my first view of the shore OMG !! Viking have taken us to heaven, with a brewery at the bottom of the gangway. Life just doesn’t get any better.

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Day 47 – 20th February 2020, At Sea

Smooth Seas from balcony

Wow!!, what a day aboard the magnificent Viking Sun. As seen above, we finally achieved smooth sailing, with virtually no wind and swell. The Noon announcement from the Captain and Bevan certainly caused a stir aboard, with many scurrying back to their cabin to check out the notice, being sent to the cabins confirming and expanding on the changes provided in the announcement.

We also had another first today, trying out the Infinity Pool.

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Viking World Cruise – Itinerary Change # 3

With the virus spreading throughout SE Asia, Viking made a bold decision to completely by-pass the entire area. A few days ago, we received the amended itinerary for the current segment that ends March 9th, but they were still finalising segment 3, from Bali to Bombay.

During the Noon announcement, the Captain advised the itinerary revisions are complete and a notice is being delivered to the cabins.

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Day 45 – 18th February 2020, Dep. Noumea

Aquarium manta ray 4

Departing Noumea at Noon, we enjoyed the best of both worlds, a 1/2 day in port followed by another relaxing 1/2 day at sea. The tour comprised a drive around town followed by a visit to the Aquarium, before returning to the ship 1/2 hr before all aboard.

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Day 44 – 17th February 2020, Noumea

Viking Sun in Noumea

Today we arrived in Noumea, New Caledonia, which based on the name you would expect is English speaking, with a Scottish Heritage. But no, it is in fact a French Territory. New Caledonia was first discovered by Capt Cook on his 2nd voyage and since it reminded him of Bonnie Scotland, he named it New Caledonia. In the 1850’s, the French turned up, claiming the island for France and since the British never responded, it has remained French to this day. However, they are holding another independence referendum in September.

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Day 43 – 16th February 2020, At Sea

Atrium Melodies Bevan

Today is our 2nd and final sea day before arriving in Noumea tomorrow for an overnight stay. The Galley and Entertainment Team, really put on a great show today with the galley providing 3 special meals and the Entertainment Team presenting an afternoon concert.

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Day 42 – 15th February 2020, At Sea

Viking Funnel

Today is our first day of the 2nd segment’s new itinerary, of the 2020 World Wonders Cruise. Rather than cruising north along the Queensland Coast, we are ploughing our way East, back across the Pacific Ocean towards Noumea, New Caledonia.

I stopped in Noumea a number of times on SS Oriana back in 1978, but have zero memories of this port. Therefore, I can only deduce that it wasn’t overly impressive, as I probably didn’t go ashore.

Regardless, today is another relaxing sea day aboard the magnificent Viking Sun.

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