Day 77 – 21st March 2020, At Sea

Nelson and Judi

What a sad day, as with everything that is taking place in this crazy world of ours, today is the day that Viking reluctantly admit defeat and notified us the World Cruise is ending in Dubai. All non-crew must disembark and Viking is arranging flights home.

The Ultimate 245-day World Cruise is ending after 204 days, about 6 weeks before the magnificent Viking Sun was due to arrive in London.

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Day 76 – 20th March 2020, Muscat

Muscat flag

We docked in Muscat by 08:00 this morning, at the same berth we used on our 2015 World Cruise. Only difference, on the Viking Sun, this is just a technical docking for bunkers and stores, so no shore leave for pax or crew.

After a great sleep, in the knowledge that we are remaining aboard for another 3 weeks to the US East Coast, we awoke this morning to a very anxious daughter, who is getting rather concerned with our continued absence, during these difficult times.

Read on to learn of another significant change to our tenure aboard the magnificent Viking Sun.

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Day 75 – 19th March 2020, At Sea

 

World Cruise Map 2

As you all know too well, the world has gone crazy, but to date Viking have done an amazing job, both keeping us safe and providing an enjoyable experience on the Ultimate 245-day World Cruise. Unfortunately, with the world shrinking daily, even Viking are having to admit defeat and are commencing with plans to repatriate us home.

Sadly, this exceptional World Cruise is ending prematurely.

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Viking World Cruise – Update # 7

We docked in Dubai at 01:00 March 22nd, as Viking negotiated the docking on humanitarian grounds with the local authorities, to repatriate all remaining 361 pax from the World Cruise.

Before arriving Dubai, we had flights confirmed with British Airways, our preferred airline, from Dubai to Vancouver, via LHR. However, the local authorities dictated that everyone must depart Dubai on their local airline – Emirates. A great airline, but that caused significant additional work for the air department, re-booking many flights, ours included.

Yesterday AM, we received new flights for March 23rd – Dubai to Vancouver, via Dublin & LHR. Departure Dubai was 07:05, so we would need to depart the ship by 03:00. After dinner, we checked our cabin for the departure notice and baggage tags, but none were present. Calling Guest Services, we determined that our flights were confirmed late, so we had not been included on the pax manifest provided to the shore authorities. As 1/2 dozen pax found out this morning, if not on the manifest, they send you back to the ship.

Oh well!! while we have a confirmed flight, we are unable to disembark the ship to head to the airport. You guessed it, we are still aboard and enjoying this great ship and crew. Life is tough, being stuck on this amazing ship.😁😊👍

However, the world is quickly shrinking, with respect to international travel, as Emirates advise their last departure from Dubai is March 24th. On arrival Dubai, we had 361 pax aboard and by Noon today, about 200 have already disembarked and are home or heading home. About another 75 are scheduled to depart today and tomorrow, which leaves 80 – 90 of us without scheduled flights before the shut down on March 25th. Few, if any seats are available on the last flights, so we are in the last group.

Yet again Viking Cruises are going the extra mile with their customer service, as they are arranging a “Charter” flight from Dubai to an, as yet, un-named US airport. They anticipate take-off by 18:00 March 24th. On arrival US, they will schedule onward flights to our destination airports.