When we booked our 3rd World Cruise on 9th December 2020, it showed we had about 760 days to go before boarding. That felt like an eternity, especially with the current lack of travel, due to COVID. We had a little cheer when it hit 500 days to go and again at 400, well today that number hit 365. Yeah, only 1-year to go, not a big enough milestone to break out the Moet & Chandon, but nice to know that a year from now we will be in sunny SoCal, and then back to sea.
Prior to our previous World Cruise, we headed to L/A a couple of days early, using the excuse that while it rarely snows in Vancouver, if it does, a mere 1″ to 2″ can shut down the entire city, and seriously disrupt airport operations. Well, this winter is one of those rare events, as that horrible white stuff arrived Christmas Eve and really hasn’t gone since, with even more falling this morning. For our departure next year, this is good news, as the chance of us getting snow 2 years in a row, is rather low.
As the ultimate planner, whether it be a world cruise, or RV excursion, I have been busy this past year, so here is a summary of my planning and developments relating to the cruise:
- Viking Neptune – This amazing small ship is the 9th ocean ship for Viking Ocean and it will only commence operations about 6 weeks before we board in L/A. It is being built in Anacona, Italy. Although no press release was issued when the first block was lowered into the building dock, I have it on good authority that construction has started, and is well advanced. Once Neptune completes in the building dock, she will be towed over to the fitting-out berth for finishing, while Viking Saturn (# 10) will start in the building dock. She should be handed over to the owners in November.
- Itinerary – A multitude of world events normally cause periodic changes to World Cruise itineraries. For the 2020 WC, at 1-year to go, we had already received 3 changes. However, for this cruise – zero. It is still the original itinary, which can be seen on my initial blog post, or Viking’s website. This is not a testement to a lack of world events, more that the Viking planners have been busy with changes to the current cruises, especially the 2021/22 WC, which departed Christmas Eve.
- Flights – flight bookings are normally available about 330 days in advance, with Air Canada schedules currently published to the end of Dec 2022. Therefore, we can probably book the outbound flight next week, but will wait until the Copenhagen to Vancouver flights are posted sometime in July, before requesting our TA to book the flights.
- Planning, Planning, Planning – during the past year I have completed my research on each of the ports, creating a separate file for each of them. Here is a sample for our 1st port in New Zealand. For those that are interested in how I complete the planning, I will endeavour to complete a post dedicated to this subject, in the next couple of months.
- Fellow Passengers – on the 22/23 WC, we have many repeat pax from previous cruises, hailing from Canada, USA , Australia and Sweden. We have a very active roll call group on Cruise Critic, where we have also been joined by a number new pax. All in all, this is shaping up to be an exceptional cruise.
- Tasks to do – starting shortly, I will start some detailed research and booking of private tours. In each port we base the ship/private tour decision based on a risk assessment. I anticipate receiving the Visa package in August/September, so will complete the forms and send them and passports off to GenVisa to acquire all required Visas. The ships tours will hopefully be available for review by August and hopefully we can start booking them in Sept/Oct?. Luggage shipping details should be received in November, with the bags picked up mid-December.
- Additional cruises – if you have read our previous posts, you are no doubt aware we have also booked a prequel and a sequel to the World Cruise.