When will we receive our final documents? What should I bring?
Travel documents or itinerary details will be issued approximately 2-3 weeks prior to departure. If you will be away from home or need your documents sent to a different location for any reason, please be sure that you let your Global Journeys Travel Advisor know where to send them.
Here is a short list of items you might want to bring with you:
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Dressier shoes
- Collapsible umbrella/lightweight rain gear
- Lightweight jacket/warm sweater/sweatshirt
- Sunglasses, sun hat or visor
- Toiletries (including medical remedies)
- Warm coat, gloves and water-resistant footwear (as needed for cooler months)
Some other optional items to consider:
- Electric converter/adapter appliances
- Travel alarm clock, travel flashlight, binoculars, anti-bacterial wipes and/or hand sanitizer
- Small calculator for foreign exchange calculations
- Travel journal/notepad and/or reading material
- Small, basic sewing kit/extra buttons; pack scissors in checked bags
- Address list or pre-addressed labels for sending postcards
We suggest you bring copies of your key travel documents (passport information page, airline tickets, credit card numbers and insurance information) and carry them separately in case you lose your originals.
What time is embarkation? What is the dress code onboard?
You'll be able to access your stateroom at approximately 3:00 PM; should you arrive before this, you can relax in the Lounge or leave your luggage with the staff and explore on your own. A light lunch buffet will be available in the Lounge around midday for early arriving guests.
Is there internet access on board? Are there computers, or should I bring my laptop?
Dress is casual and comfortable, both on board and ashore. Because the weather can be unpredictable, it is best to bring layers. It is recommended that you have a sweater or light jacket for spring and summer, and a heavier jacket for chillier months. Rain can happen at any time, so a collapsible umbrella is a "must." You are likely to do a good deal of walking during shore excursions, so you will definitely want sturdy, comfortable walking shoes; but, since our ships are much smaller than ocean cruising vessels, you do not have to worry about too much walking on board.
There are no "formal nights" on board, but there is usually a Captain's Welcome Dinner and/or Farewell Dinner; on many itineraries, you will attend a concert, ballet performance or other dressier event. For these evenings, you might like to bring "dressy casual" wear. Consider dressing respectfully when visiting places of worship and other religious sites where you may be denied entry if wearing clothing considered to be inappropriate or too revealing. Your Tour Escort can assist you with any questions.
What is the electrical voltage in the stateroom?
For your convenience, most Viking ships have internet access. Our ships in Europe, Russia and Ukraine have free wi-fi, so you can bring your laptop and get online at any time. Alternatively, each ship has a few computers for guest use; there are desktop machines in Russia for use free of charge, and laptops in Europe that guests may use at no additional charge. Guests who bring laptops to Russia may wish to bring a LAN cable for use in their stateroom; this may work a bit better than the wireless LAN in rural areas along the river.
In China, there is an internet café with desktop stations for guest use free of charge. There is no onboard wireless network in China or Southeast Asia, so you will not be able to get internet service on your personal computer while on the ship, although you may be able to do so during hotel stays. The ships also offer shipwide wireless internet access for guests who bring their own computer. Please note that shipboard service may be unreliable during certain parts of the journey. The internet connection functions via cellular service or satellite, and there may be times when reception is not possible and/or when the connection is quite slow. For this reason, we recommend only checking and sending email. We do not recommend surfing the Web or downloading large files.
What forms of payment are accepted on the ship?
Electricity on the ships is 220V. Our European ships have the German Schuko safety plug, which has two pins. In China the ships have a 3-pin blade safety plug; if you have an adapter with just the two slanted blades that will work fine. In Southeast Asia the ships use a two pin Europlug. Some of these plugs are grounded and some are not. For more details and pictures of the plugs, click below. Each stateroom will have one or two 115V razor plugs available, generally in the bathroom.
Will we be able to have laundry done on board?
Items you purchase on board, together with any optional excursions you purchase, will be added to your shipboard account. You may settle your account in cash (local money, dollars or euros) or with a credit card (sorry, the ship is unable to accept travelers' checks). You can include gratuities for shipboard personnel to your shipboard account (except in Southeast Asia).
Can you accommodate my dietary needs?
Laundry service is available on board; unfortunately clothes cannot be dry cleaned.
Are the ships non-smoking?
In most cases we can. Every meal has vegetarian options on the menu, and our chefs are able to prepare low-salt or gluten-free cuisine. If you require a liquid diet or strictly kosher foods, you may have your products shipped to your cruise ship and we will be more than happy to serve your special meals. Please be sure to make your requirements known when you make your reservation so we will be fully prepared when you begin your journey. Guests requiring special diets such as vegetarian, low salt, diabetic or low cholesterol meals must alert Viking River Cruises one month prior to departure and inform the Maitre d' when on board. The chefs will make reasonable efforts to accommodate these requests.
Is there fitness equipment on board?
All Viking ship interiors and staterooms are nonsmoking. Each ship has an outdoor smoking area.
What is the tipping and gratuities policy?
While your ship does not have any fitness equipment, feel free to walk the Sun Deck for your daily exercise, or take part in our shore excursions and walking tours.
Can I use my credit card throughout my journey?
Shipboard gratuities for shipboard personnel and local guides are included in your cruise fare on Viking Cruises Europe, Russia and Ukraine cruise / tour programs. Shipboard gratuities are included on our Chine itineraries. Gratuities and tipping is not included on our Mekong itinerary. Additional tipping is at the guests discretion.
Are ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) available?
MasterCard, Visa and American Express are accepted in major shops, restaurants and hotels as well as to settle your shipboard account. Notify your credit card companies that you will be traveling abroad to avoid holds on your account. American credit cards with magnetic stripes may not work in European automated ticketing machines (such as transit vending systems) as these require chip and pin cards; contact your credit card company for details.
Yes. ATM's are a good source of cash overseas; however, they may or may not be conveniently located in the larger cities and may be rare in smaller towns along the rivers. And, your itinerary may not always allow you sufficient time to locate one. Your Program Director or tour guide can probably help you.
When available, ATM's dispense local currency for internationally accepted ATM cards and/or credit cards, and have a service fee of approximately 3%. If you are planning to use ATM's, you should confirm with your bank prior to departure that your ATM/credit card and Personal Identification Number (PIN) will work abroad.
When you purchase your flights in conjunction with Viking River Cruises, airport transfers are included in your air cost, if your arrival and departure dates coincide with the first and the last day and destination of the river cruise itinerary. If guests arrival and/or departure dates are different dates to these, then airport transfers are not included. Guests who are not arriving or departing to the destination on the first and the last date of the cruise/tour itinerary will have to make their own way to the hotel or vessel at their own expense. Passenger flight details must be given to Global Journeys 45 days prior to departure. Viking and Global Journeys will not be responsible for late arrivals or missed transfers due to delayed or cancelled flights, for missed cruise/trip days or for extra costs resulting from the foregoing. Boarding Time
On turnaround day, the entire ship must be cleaned in preparation for your arrival. The facilities of the ship, including your cabin, will not be available before 4pm. We appreciate your understanding on this matter. Should you arrive early, you may leave your bags in the Reception area and take a walk into the city, or relax in the lounge.