Viking World Cruise – Update # 8

Viking logoAlongside in Dubai, for the past few days we had about 85 US passengers and 8 Canadian passengers, happily waiting for approval to disembark and join the Viking charter flight home.

During dinner last evening, we noted buses arriving at the gangway, then the Financial Officer came around to locate all 8 Canadians and invite us to a meeting at Chef’s Table. In attendance was the Captain, GM, Cruise Director, Financial Officer and Customer Service Manager, wow!! that a lot of brass to sit and sip a cocktail. Me thinks changes are coming!!!

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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.

Viking World Cruise – Update # 6

With the dawning of a new day, while enjoying breakfast, we heard the dreaded, “Bing Bong”, with Beven requesting our attention for another important update.

The State of Hawaii has closed their ports and Viking has been contacted by the US Coast Guard, suggesting that other mainland ports will shortly follow suit. Therefore, the US Coast Guard has recommended they disembark and repatriate passengers at the earliest opportunity.

Based on this recommendation, the 2019/20 World Cruise is terminating in Dubai and all passengers must disembark the vessel. Viking are arranging flights home, but it may take a few days to get flights for everyone.

Viking World Cruise – Update # 5

 

A-380 4These are unprecedented times and while we experienced a few disruptions with respect to visiting ports, Judi & I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but sadly, for us, our 2020 World Cruise is coming to an end in Dubai.😒😢🤢

You may ask why I include an Emirates A-380 as my feature photo, well read on to discover our roller-coaster experiences these past couple of days. Continue reading

Day 73 – 17th March 2020, At Sea

Smooth seas in Indian Ocean

We had no internet available all day due to the ship being in a satellite coverage dead zone, so getting updates on the virus situation was impossible. Even the TV news stations weren’t available.

However, the Viking Daily had a Noon meeting for all passengers to receive an update on the voyage. Continue reading

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