With the current public health issues, predominantly in Asia, especially China and Hong Kong, a number of pax are getting restless regarding any potential itinerary changes. Hong Kong is also the end of the next segment, so will have about 400 pax departing and 400 newbies arriving.
Well this morning, the Captain has issued a revised itinerary, as China and Hong Kong have closed their ports indefinitely.
Therefore, both Xiamen and the 3 days in Hong Kong are cancelled and the turnaround port (TAR) is now changed to Singapore, where we get 3 days. On departing Manila on 5th Mar, we head south, arriving Singapore on 9th March. This will add considerable distance to the cruise, as on departure Singapore, we steam back north to pick up the itinerary at Saigon.
The revised schedule, as per this morning’s letter from the Captain is:
5-Mar Dep Manila Dep Manila
6-Mar At sea At Sea
7-Mar Xiamen At Sea
8-Mar HK At Sea
9-Mar HK Singapore (04:00)
10-Mar HK Singapore
11-Mar At sea Singapore
12-Mar At sea At sea
13-Mar Saigon Saigon
14-Mar Saigon Saigon
15-Mar Saigon Saigon
16-Mar At sea At sea
17-Mar Cambodia Cambodia
18-Mar Bangkok Bangkok
19-Mar Bangkok Bangkok
20-Mar Koh Samui Koh Samui (Dep 18:00)
21-Mar At sea At sea
22-Mar Singapore At sea
23-Mar KL KL
This is a bold move by Viking, as Singapore is a vastly superior TAR port than some of the closer options. The information has also been provided to us fully 1 month in advance of our arrival. Kudos to Viking for yet again providing exceptional customer service.
With the revised itinerary we get an extra couple of relaxing sea days, where the crew will no doubt plan some extravaganza. Read one complaint about the revised itinerary has way more sea days – OMG!!! it is only 2 extra sea days. We started this cruise with 8 in a row.
Forgive my ignorance. What’s a TAR port?
TAR is Turn-around port, where on this ship we have about 400 leaving, then about the same number joining. Usually also a big crew change and re-storing. Generally very busy days for the crew.
Just curious how you personally feel about the changes. While I would be extremely disappointed, I do understand that it is just unfortunate that this virus has become a problem to impact your cruise. An extra day in Singapore is nice, no lack of things to do there. However, missing Hong Kong would be disappointing to me. Thanks again for the great posts!
Truth be known, even before the virus, HK has experienced issued with turmoil for the past 6 months, so we have been conditioned to skipping HK for many months. Therefore, it is no surprise that we are missing HK. With the virus and also skipping China, it provided Viking with many more options.
Had we gone to China, using Singapore as the TAR port would not have been possible.
Due to issues outside Viking’s control, specifically HK & China closing their ports, the itinerary had to be changed, so we have no issues with missing China and HK. This is the great part of taking longer cruises, as the actual itinerary is only confirmed when you disembark. Have been to HK many times before and had planned a dinner cruise on night 1. Anticipating the port would be cancelled, we never did book it.
So what are our thoughts on the changes made. Personally, we like them. A number of lesser alternatives closer to HK were available, but Viking have chosen a really bold move in heading to Singapore for TAR. Great port in which we now have 2 extra days. It means lots more steaming and after Singapore we back-track up to Saigon.
Yet again, Viking go the extra mile.
I can see if you had been to HR before, it would not be as disappointing. When we do our WC, we will not have been there, so missing it would be more disappointing for me and for those other pax who had and now, may never have, a change to see HR.
We were disappointed to miss HK, as we had a couple of great days planned, using local transit. However, missing it was outside our control, so now we plan for 3 great days in Singapore.