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Planning on a Viking River Cruise in October

We have booked a cruise through Viking for early October. with a Pre-excursion to Prague. I have signed up for the STEP program to get updates and view the Czech Republic's status through travelmaps.state.gov which is updated daily. Can anyone comment? I understand that many European ports are open to cruises, but not so much in the US. We are hoping that by October, things will be open as more individuals get the vaccine.

Posted by
4858 posts

We’re still looking forward to our (non-cruise) trip to Italy/London in late September and all of October, barring problems that develop by, say, August.

Is your cruise going to operate at partial capacity, or like in the before-times?

Posted by
9 posts

Have not heard specifically, I think everyone is winging it from week to week....We booked ours well over a year ago

Posted by
203 posts

Personally I'd trust Viking to give you a better update than this government. Personally I think that cruises will be running by October but the capacity of the boats is in question so even if Prague completely opens up by mid summer, there may still be restrictions generally on gatherings inside. Worst case scenario, apart from a cruise cancellation, is that inter-country travel may be restricted so you might not be allowed to travel across the border i.e. to Germany, Austria or Hungary. These restrictions would be put in place by other countries and would of course cancel the Prague part hence why I think Viking is better positioned to keep you updated. Lots of snow this winter so at least the Danube river level should be ok.

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks Jason, good to hear about the snow! Viking has not said much, I realize it is still months away, just anxiously waiting like most of the world!

Posted by
203 posts

I imagine that Viking has a lot of plates in the air and that they'll make a go-nogo decision 3 months before departure. In 2018 it was so dry that they had to take people by bus along certain stretches of the Danube because of the lack of water. In 2019 it was the opposite, so much water that cruise boats were having trouble getting through locks and under bridges. That was the year when the Danube was running full and fast and contributed to 27 people being killed in Budapest when two cruisers collided, one of them the Viking Sigyn. Then just as the 2020 season was about to start we got COVID-19. I hope it all works out for you, lovely time of year to visit central Europe.

Posted by
1 posts

Hello saowens58 and Jason, We also have a Viking cruise on the Danube on the books for late September/early October. We have all the same concerns and will be deciding whether we will go, if Viking makes it a go, by late July. Please continue to post anything you know on this forum thread. We will follow along. Thanks much!

P.S. What is the STEP program?

Posted by
9 posts

https://step.state.gov/

Here is an update that I take as good news:
Due to the recent decrease in COVID-19 cases, the Government of Romania announced new relaxation measures. The new restrictions generally increase capacity and participant limits for public and private events, restaurants and resorts, and other entertainment activities. In general, events and venues may accommodate clients at full capacity if all participants are vaccinated. Otherwise, the measures reflect a gradual relaxation of restrictions.

They include the following

Masks are no longer mandatory in closed workplaces if the maximum number in a location is five vaccinated people.
People not of the same family may walk in groups of eight people, as opposed to six.
Private events (weddings, baptisms, and birthdays) may accommodate a maximum of 70 guests outdoor, 50 guests indoor, or unlimited guests if those attending are all vaccinated.
Restaurants and cafés may open between 0500-2400 at 70% capacity or full capacity if all guests are vaccinated.
Gyms and fitness facilities may open at 70% capacity with seven meters distance between clients or full capacity if all clients are vaccinated. In certain localities with low incident rates, masks may not be required.
Foreign citizens may enter Romania but are subject to quarantine requirements, unless they present testing, vaccination, or proof of recovery requirements.

Posted by
5912 posts

saowens58, how is Viking addressing the vaccination situation? Are they requiring you to document your status?

Posted by
9 posts

I just spoke with Viking and they will begin sailing in July. She did not specify all the sailings, but again, good news!

Posted by
9 posts

That's a great question Stan, I did not think to ask Viking, maybe give them a call 855-338-4546, have you booking number available

Posted by
203 posts

I'd consider two other things. First is if Viking publishes a statement about how they intend to test people when they arrive and during the cruise. Second are there any changes to personal or Viking insurance policies regarding in-patient treatment. I think that Viking will want you to stay on the boat all the time!

Posted by
81 posts

Hello saowens58. We have booked early Oct the City of lights Viking cruise starting out in Paris ending Prague. Might that be yours? But opposite? We are so sad about the horrible flooding in Germany and Belgium! Heartbreaking loss! Wonder how this affects these cruises? I see nothing on web anywhere. Thinking Oct will be ok to go. But then again we still have to remain flexible!

Posted by
9 posts

No, it is not the same cruise, ours is Viking Eastern Europe with a pre-excursion to Prague. Still waiting for our Itinerary which was expected July 18th! Hoping to hear about how the new Delta Variant is going to effect our cruise. Please chime in if anyone has any current info.

Posted by
9 posts

Finally got our itinerary today and the sweet news "We are pleased to confirm that your voyage, Passage To Eastern Europe on board VIKING ULLUR will depart as planned. We will need to get a Covid PCR test 72 hours prior to boarding and be fully vaccinated, which we are!

Posted by
11 posts

I’m booked on the same cruise and was relieved to get that email! I’m still concerned about Hungary continuing to restrict travel for non-residents/nonessential purposes. We still have a couple months though, so maybe they’ll open it up. I can’t wait to start packing but I feel like it may still get canceled between now and then!

Posted by
81 posts

My Viking river cruise begins in Paris, ends in Prague. I also heard on Aug 2 from Viking that our cruise is confirmed and planning to sail. Good news…..but now concern about the testing required days prior to sail day. If already in Europe for pre-cruise land touring we have to test there. Doing testing at home in US just seems easier and less concerning. Since we fly on Oct 1 and sail on Oct 6 maybe Delta has begun to scale back in Europe. Hoping time is on our side!!?

Posted by
81 posts

My Viking river cruise begins in Paris, ends in Prague. I also heard on Aug 2 from Viking that our cruise is confirmed and planning to sail. Good news…..but now feeling concern about the testing required days prior to sail day. When already in Europe for pre-cruise land touring we have to test there. Doing testing at home prior in US just seems easier and less concerning. Since we fly to Paris on Oct 1 and sail on Oct 6 maybe Delta has begun to scale back in Europe by then? I read the posts where people think it’s way to early and dangerous to cruise after outbreaks on ships early covid. Hoping time is on our side!!? We are willing to mask and vaccinated since March.

Posted by
11 posts

Saowens, are you flying into Budapest from the US? I'm anxious about it because the embassy website still says travelers from the US are still not allowed in by air...

Edit: Sorry, just re-read your initial post and I see you're going to Prague first.

Edit 2: Shame on me for not thoroughly going through all the documents on MyVikingCruise. There's a letter that will supposedly allow us in via the Budapest airport. Whew!