Four weeks ago when the coronavirus was gaining traction, I wrote about how Viking River Cruises is handling my upcoming cruise departing on April 4, 2020. I still receive comments and emails from concerned travelers booked on Viking River Cruises. I just received an update from Viking River Cruises to share with you. I have received emails from concerned travelers because they booked their cruise through a travel agent and the travel agent failed to pass the notifications to their customers. Here is my post on what you need to know about COVID-19.
As with all travel, it is essential that travelers realize the importance of individual hygiene, sanitizing and frequent washing of hands. Be careful not to touch your face especially nose and eyes without thoroughly washing your hands first.
UPDATE: Viking Cruises March 11, 2020
As of March 11th, Viking Cruises has canceled all river and ocean cruises departing March 12th through April 30th. You can read my updated Viking Cruise post here.
The Initial Email From Viking River Cruises
Four weeks ago, Shelly and I received an email from Viking River Cruises regarding our upcoming cruise. The email advised cruise passengers of an enhanced boarding process to include passenger health assessments by way of a personal health questionnaire. The email also stated that visitors to China within 14 days of boarding will be denied boarding.
Updated Email From Viking River Cruises
I just received an update from Viking River Cruises. Viking River Cruises continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation with travel advisories from the U.S. State Department, Centers For Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in Switzerland. What is new with this updated advisory from Viking River Cruises is that they are making a temporary exception to their cancellation policy. You can be free to postpone your cruise at any time up until 24 hours before the planned departure, without incurring any cancellation fees. Viking River Cruises will issue a voucher for future travel valid for 24 months, which can be used on any Viking product (river, ocean or expedition). Here are the temporary exceptions to their cancellation policy:
- Notification of your intent to postpone your current cruise must be received as follows: If you have flights arranged by Viking, it must be received at least 24 hours prior to the time of your flight’s departure. If you have arranged your own flights, it must be received at least 24 hours prior to the time of embarkation of the cruise or your hotel check-in whichever is first.
- Canceled reservations will be reimbursed in the form of a Future Cruise Voucher in the amount of 100% of all funds paid to Viking.
- Future Cruise Vouchers may be used toward any future river, ocean or expedition cruise with Viking and will be valid for 24 months from issuance.
This relaxed cancellation policy is in effect for all Viking cruise reservations made through April 30, 2020. If you have any questions about this policy, you can call Viking at (833) 900-0951.
Here is the email sent on March 2, 2020:
The Affect On My River Cruise
I was curious as to how full my Viking Longship will be. I checked their booking page 12 hours after receiving the email. My ship is presently fully booked except for one category D – French balcony stateroom.
I applaud Viking River Cruises for making this commitment to its passengers. The coronavirus is having a heavy financial impact on the travel industry, especially for cruise operators and airlines. Operators like El Al and Cathay Pacific airlines that are already struggling financially are at risk.
If you are concerned about your upcoming voyage with Viking, you now have the peace of mind that you can postpone without cancellation fees. Regardless of travel means, if you have any concerns about your personal health and traveling, you should consider checking with your personal physician.
I will post an update on the actual enhanced boarding process on April 4, 2020.