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.
Wind/Weather: Partly cloudy to overcast, with thunderstorms early evening
Clox: No change (Z+4)
We departed Muscat late last night, bound for Dubai, with an ETA of 01:00 tomorrow (22nd March). Therefore, it is a slow sailing, following the traffic lanes into the Persian Gulf.
Started with partly cloudy skies and light winds, but late afternoon it became overcast, then thunderstorms with lightening and heavy rain during dinner.
No special meals were available today.
For dinner, we arranged with the Restaurant Manager, last evening, to have 3 large tables, seating for 20, at the aft end of the restaurant, with our 3 regular waiters – Erald, Andrian and Teyfun. Everything was set up, as requested, with 18 of us getting together for a farewell dinner.
11:00 Lecture – Visions of India, Prof Conte-Helm
13:30 Line Dancing with Bethan
14:00 Premium Wine Tasting
15:00 Lecture – Wildlife Highlights, Sydney to Dubai with Robin Petch
16:00 Lecture – Norway at War, Col Coutts-Britton
17:15 Lecture – Exploring the Valley of the Kings, Bryan Babcock
20:30 Film – Jumanjii: The Next Level
During breakfast this morning, we heard the dreaded “Bing Bong” followed by Beven’s obviously troubled voice. Oh Dear!! we had received many P/A announcements this past few days and they are generally never good news, and this one was no exception.
Viking have tried everything to keep this cruise going, but sadly the world is shrinking rapidly. This morning Viking received notification from the US Coast Guard that Hawaii closed it ports and they expect the mainland ports to follow suit. Therefore in 3 weeks, when we were due to arrive on the US Eastern Seaboard, no ports may be open to us. Therefore, Viking have reluctantly decided to cancel the World Cruise in Dubai, so all non-crew members must disembark the vessel.
After breakfast we got the laundry completed, headed down to the shop to pick up some last minute gifts and then got started packing. Getting everything into 4 cases + 1 bag, and keeping them under 50 lbs was no mean feat. Certainly worked up an appetite for lunch.
After lunch, we headed to the Premium Wine Tasting, with only 5 of us attending – Deb, Alison, Ron, Judi and I. It was based on wines of Italy, with the Sommelier and one of the Bartenders providing the information in a very relaxed format. Excellent afternoon, as when the official tasting was complete, they advised Manfredi’s wasn’t required until 19:00, so we could stay until about 18:00. The 5 of us sat and chatted, with a barman returning frequently to top up our glasses, opening more bottles as required.
On completion of dinner, we checked with Guest Service regarding flights. They indicated we were booked with British Airways Dubai to Vancouver via LHR, but the local authorities have demanded that everyone leaves Dubai with Emirates, so our flights were being rescheduled.
Researching Emirates, I noted unlike the 3 bags permitted by BA, they only permit 2 bags each, up to 70 lbs. Therefore, the next couple of hours was spent re-packing, getting everything into 4 bags, with each of them > 60 lbs.