Day 81 – 25th March 2020, Dubai

Viking Daily 25 Mar

We arrived in Dubai on 22nd March, with a number of passengers departing daily, as Viking booked every available seat on departing Emirates aircraft. Yesterday, Emirates ceased operations, so the remaining 90’ish pax await the private charter flight that Viking is arranging.

After another day of waiting, we finally received news this evening and some people disembarked this great ship, but sadly, not us.

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Day 80 – 24th March 2020, Dubai

Viking Daily 24 Mar

Another group of passengers left the ship last evening, for flights to North America and Europe, so our numbers continue to steadily reduce, but today is the last day that Emirates is operating. As of now, Judi and I are in a group of about 90 Canadians and Americans that have no flights scheduled, prior to Emirates shutting down their operation. Ever available seat is booked.

Viking have arranged for a charter flight to get us home and we are scheduled to depart the ship this afternoon.

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Day 79 – 23rd March 2020, Dubai

Some of the 8 other cruise ships in DubaiThe 2019/20 Viking World Cruise is ending and disembarkation has started, with all of our Australian passengers departing in the middle of the night for flights home. In addition, a number of Europeans and North Americans also departed, with Viking filling every available seat on Emirate’s flights. Unfortunately, as we didn’t make the disembarkation list, we were unable to catch our flight this morning.

For those of us waiting for flights, we received another challenge, as Emirates announced they were shutting down flights effective midnight on 24th March, so only 2 days remaining. As per a couple of days ago, the local authorities have mandated we must depart Dubai with Emirates, which just happens to be owned by the Dubai Govt.

We spent the entire day, secured alongside the berth in Dubai.

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Day 78 – 22nd March 2020, Dubai

Dubai downtown from the ship

The Viking Sun docked in Dubai at 01:00, where the 2019/20 World Cruise is coming to a premature end. With termination of the World Cruise promulgated yesterday, life continued on board with the farewell performance from the ship’s crew and entertainment team.

Check out the photos for an unexpected Senior Officer on the guitar, as Beven sings during the Farewell Performance. Continue reading

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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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.

Day 72 – 16th March 2020, Dep Colombo

Sunrise in Colombo

We spent the night alongside the passenger terminal in Colombo, taking bunkers and loading stores. At 06:00, when we were due to sail we still had a bunker barge/waste oil barge alongside, so departure was delayed until 09:00.

Photo above is sunrise, from the balcony, with the sun just peeking above the city and cargo sheds. Continue reading

Day 71 – 15th March 2020, Arr Colombo

tea-plant-with-new-leaves-a-lighter-colour-at-the-top_thumb

It’s Sunday, with an “Old Firm” match originally scheduled between my beloved Rangers and them from the East side of Glasgow. Unfortunately, the escalating virus has curtailed the entire English and Scottish Leagues, so no football scores to check, nor the opportunity to watch the highlights of another great Rangers victory.

Although the day started as another sea day, we docked in Colombo about 18:00, but only for bunkers and victuals, no shore leave for crew or pax. On the dock were a couple of army types with guns, not so much preventing us from going ashore, but mostly to prevent locals bringing this pesky virus aboard our healthy ship.

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Day 65 – 9th March 2020, Alongside Bali

Orchid garden Judi in sea of orchids

Today is the end of Segment # 2, which was scheduled as Sydney to Hong Kong, but now ends in Bali. With the end of one segment, starts another, which is now the Magical Mystery Cruise to Somewhere.

You may ask, “Where is Somewhere” and the answer is any port that is on our route and will accept us. We are also rather special, with only 361 passengers remaining on our private yacht, being tended to by a full compliment of 464 highly attendant crew members.

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Day 64 – 8th March 2020, Alongside Bali

Taman Ayun Judi at entrance

Yesterday we spent the day at anchor, while Viking negotiated with the local authorities to get us ashore for our tours, and flights for those departing the ship. We all had our temperatures taken again last evening, but didn’t hear the results, before heading to bed.

On waking this morning, the question on everyone’s mind was, “Are we going ashore today or not???” Read on for a busy start to the day and our activities.

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