Viking Sky: Several crazy travel days, trying to reach the ship

ABOARD THE VIKING SKY – We are here. That seems like a simple statement but making it happen took a lot of trouble. So here is a recap of the past few days. Note in black italic some lessons learned during these misadventures. Our travel travails began Friday when we arrived at Traverse City airport in Michigan in the morning for our short flight to Chicago where we were to connect to a flight to Montreal. We …

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Something different: A Viking Ocean cruise through Canada and the Northeastern U.S.

In two days we will set off on another cruise adventure, and part of this trip visits a region that I haven’t visited by ship before: The Canadian Maritimes. We will be traveling on a 12-day itinerary called the “Eastern Seaboard Explorer” on the new Viking Sky. This will be our third trip this year with Viking. Last year at this time we spent two wonderful weeks venturing around the Baltic Sea on the line’s first ocean …

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Hurricane Irma causing cruise cancellations and changes as it plows through the Caribbean

Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line and MSC Cruises have all canceled sailings while other itineraries have been shortened, extended or revised in the latest Hurricane Irma changes. Irma is a large, ‘potentially catastrophic’ Category 5 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. MSC Divina’s current cruise is being cut short and the ship is heading back to Miami, to arrive Thursday morning, ahead of the port’s expected closure on …

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Ritz-Carlton is entering the luxury cruise market

Big news in the luxury sector of cruising. One of the biggest names in luxury travel is starting a cruise line. My friends at Cruise Industry News reported it this way: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, which operates 94 luxury hotels, announced that is entering the cruise industry with a small ship operation catering to the luxury market. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will launch in time for the 2019 cruise season with its first ship coming in with …

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Rhine River Cruise aboard the Viking Hlin: A highlight, Cologne

ABOARD THE VIKING HLIN – Thus far on our river journey, we have focused on both sides of the river. Thus, France to the West and Germany to the East have pretty much received equal attention. But yesterday and today that all changed. It has been all about Germany. In truth, I have never traveled extensively in Germany so it has been quite interesting to get some deeper insight into the culture which is not all brats …

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Rhine River Cruise aboard the Viking Hlin: Rüdesheim and Koblenz

ABOARD THE VIKING HLIN – Last night’s party was certainly a rousing good time and I believe even Chet enjoyed it. It was an optional excursion ($69 each) and 30 passengers from our ship and 55 from the sister ship, the Viking Kara, participated in dinner and dancing at the Rüdesheimer Schloss restaurant. This village, which we also visited last year, is one of my favorite stops on the Rhine. You can walk on and off the …

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Rhine River Cruise aboard the Viking Hlin: Beginning the cruise sailing from Basel

ABOARD THE VIKING HLIN– The past couple of days have flown by. What with some 19 hours  of traveling, getting accustomed to the ship and taking the first set of tours there hasn’t been much time to digest it all. But today we slowed the pace. This is our first trip on Viking River Cruises and we find the port-a-day pace a tad daunting. So today, while most passengers were touring the castle at Heidelburg, Germany – …

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Heading off again, this time on a Viking river cruise

I’ve dragged the suitcase out again and it is just about full. I’ve changed purses, taking out all of the unnecessary credit cards. I have send my children emails of how to reach us and I am about to clean any leftover fresh produce from the fridge. That’s a sure sign that I am heading out again, this time to Europe for a fairly short trip – a one-week sailing on the Rhine river aboard the Viking …

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Lovely, lovely food on the Seabourn Odyssey with lots of variation

ABOARD THE SEABOURN ODYSSEY – It is kind of funny, but most people on this ship are repeaters so as soon as they board they already know where everything is, including their favorite bar, favorite place to read or favorite place to eat. They even know who they want to play Trivia with. They never refer to the deck plan. But we were new to the Odyssey, so it took us many days to figure out the …

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These cruisers are loyal to Seabourn, for all sorts of reasons

ABOARD THE SEABOURN ODYSSEY – Last evening we chatted with Capt. Bob Sample from Guernsey in the Channel Islands. A former pilot for British Airways, he is age 86 and traveling alone on his fifth Seabourn cruise. He has already signed up for another one this summer in the Med and confided that he is bringing his new lady friend along. At lunch today we met Eleanor and Dave from Ft. Worth, Texas, traveling with her parents, …

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