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Viking River Cruises - Have you taken their airflights?

Viking River Cruises - Have you taken their airflights?

May 24th, 2011, 05:55 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,958
Viking River Cruises - Have you taken their airflights?

Viking (and with many other cruises, I'm sure) offers airfare. Right now their offering is cheaper than I could get buying it myself. However, I've heard stories that the flight times/connections are pretty bad. Anyone had any experience with this?
kenav is offline  
May 24th, 2011, 07:36 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 351
Have just signed up for a cruise with Viking. So I don't know about their scheduling. However, my TA suggests a "custom air" feature which allows some choice in the matter. Maybe that tells you something.
Aristotle is offline  
May 24th, 2011, 10:43 AM
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Aristotle - Hmmm "custom air" sounds like additional money, even if I don't have a clue if it means not going "custom" would mean lousy flights/connections.

Did they give you a price for the flights - and different ones for the "regular" flights vs. the "custom air" flights?
kenav is offline  
May 24th, 2011, 04:45 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Actually the airfare price is discounted 1,000 (I checked). and the custom air is optional.
Aristotle is offline  
May 24th, 2011, 05:11 PM
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Where and when are you going?
kenav is offline  
May 25th, 2011, 05:58 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,182
I used Viking's air for a trip to China a couple of years ago. I paid an extra $100 or so for custom air which allowed us some flexibility in picking flights. I don't know how "bad" the flights would've been had we not opted for that but it seemed worthwhile to me at the time. We were trying to meet up with my mom on our US connection so that was really the only way to make that happen.

The discounted fare was less than half the price I would've paid at the time if booking myself and I felt it was worth paying the extra bit for custom air. I also ended up signing up for United's economy plus for that trip which gave us some extra legroom. Again, because the flights were so cheap through Viking I felt like I could "splurge" on that which I normally would not have.
Leslie_S is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2011, 05:54 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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We returned from Vikings Imperial Jewels of China about a month ago, originally when we booked this trip 9 months prior we let Viking do the flight routing - it was not the best by a long shot so I went online and found much better flights then called Vikings Custom Air service, it's an additional $50 per person, I gave them the info I had come up with and they were able to book those specific flights, by doing this we actually arrived in Beijing 7 1/2 hrs. earlier. It was well worth the extra money to us as their fares were much better than we could have done, unless you're using frequent flyer miles or reward travel. That said, we have also booked another Viking river cruise this December from Basel to Amsterdam, I found the flights we wanted and immediately called Custom Air and got those flights, again, it was worth the extra $100 per couple. Only downside to fares with Viking - we are staying in Amsterdam a few nights after our cruise, since we aren't booking their post-trip in Amsterdam we did have to pay an additional $100 per person deviation fee but it still was a good price for the air portion.
Suspaul is offline  
Jun 29th, 2011, 08:30 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Our traveling companions used Viking air on our trip to China last Oct (2010), they actually purchased 1 business class through them at the reduced fare price and then used mileage for the other. Everything worked out great on United evenwith one flight thru Viking and 1 flight using mileage No problems at all and they arrived in China 2 days before the tour to meet us (we arrived 3 days early)so we could see some sights not on the tour. We used our mileage on United to get to and from China. Our return flight was business class on Asiana (untied was full 360 days in advance!)which was top notch and much better than the business class on Untied. However, we did had to pay extra to Viking for the transportation from the hotel to the airport on our way home because we did not purchase air thru them. For transportation on arriving,We had been in contact with the hotel... Best thing we did as it was first class treatment - even getting us in the executive line in customs with a wonderful limo meeting us in Beijing. Viking was great to work with - even got us discount at the Ritz for our 3 days prior to meeting up with the tour group. good tour group....
Shar is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 04:24 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 11
Three friends & I just booked The Viking cruise for Oct. 28. 2011 from Nuemberg to Budapest.We paid each an extra $50.00 to be able to choose our carrier, book our flights now and get seats now. Our schedules are wonderful.' I have traveled the world for my job so I know they are wonderful flights. If you don't pay the extra money, you will be booked much later--choice of seats will be gone. You will still get good flights---just your seat selection .
rollinon is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 05:25 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
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As far as Viking giving you a good price---we each paid $200.00 plus $50.00 for custom. The Air direct would be about $1800.00 & if you shopped around you could get &1300.00.
rollinon is offline  
Jul 1st, 2011, 05:07 AM
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rollinon - Not quite understanding.

You each paid $200 + $50 for custom? Meaning - You only paid $200 for R/T flight using Viking?
kenav is offline  
May 17th, 2015, 07:00 AM
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1
Don't do the travel with viking. Very poor communication and when you try to talk to viking air about travel and seats, they tell you to contact the airline directly.
Yobt is offline  
May 20th, 2015, 06:05 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,189
Viking uses Star Alliance carriers, so in Europe that usually means United or Lufthansa. The convenience of the flights depends on where you're traveling from and to. For example, I live in NYC (lots of nonstop flights to Europe) and Viking booked my air to Europe last fall for a Christmas markets cruise. I flew into Munich (on a nonstop, thankfully); however, I was initially booked on a connecting flight on Air Berlin, though I would have gone directly to Nuremberg, my port of departure. As it was, I took the train and paid for that myself, but I wanted to have a day in Munich.

A lot of people on my cruise were on very early morning departures from Budapest, where there are fewer flights, so there was a lot of grumbling. They had to depart the ship around 4am. I was lucky and got an 11am departure.

If you can pay a small fee and have a better choice of flights, I think that's always better than simply choosing the cheapest fare. The advantage of using Viking for your airfare is that they will pay for the airport transfers, and that can also save you considerably. If you book on your own, you have to do your own transfers.
doug_stallings is offline  
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