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I heard the Sky is ultimately going to one of the anchorages in the Forth off Edinburgh

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7 hours ago, CharTrav said:

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About 2:30 EDT, April 16, Vessel Finder is showing Viking Sun still docked at Portsmouth but now shows destination 4/20 as KristiansAnd.  

 

Viking Sea is docked at KristiansUnd. 

 

Viking Sky is docked at Portsmouth having arrived early this morning.  At this point destination is still showing destination as Portsmouth.  

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The Sun is scheduled to set sail tomorrow (Apr 17th), once the crew have disembarked for Heathrow.

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13 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

The Sun is scheduled to set sail tomorrow (Apr 17th), once the crew have disembarked for Heathrow.

I am really pleased that we Brits (I know you have a UK passport!) have provided a safe haven for the ships and route home for the crew by being sensible in keeping our borders open. We have never banned overseas visitors and are still free to travel overseas ourselves where permitted by the local authorities though, quite rightly, our foreign office doesn't recommend it!

As you are only too well aware many countries simply slapped on a blanket ban on the entry of all foreign nationals and caused a great many people a lot of trouble and stress in the process.

Looking at infection rates across the world it seems that our continued open boarder policy has left us in no worse (though sadly no better) position than countries whose borders are shut.

It is great to hear that we, as a nation, are doing our bit in facilitating the return of the wonderful Viking crew to their loved ones. 

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1 hour ago, photopro2 said:

I am really pleased that we Brits (I know you have a UK passport!) have provided a safe haven for the ships and route home for the crew by being sensible in keeping our borders open. We have never banned overseas visitors and are still free to travel overseas ourselves where permitted by the local authorities though, quite rightly, our foreign office doesn't recommend it!

As you are only too well aware many countries simply slapped on a blanket ban on the entry of all foreign nationals and caused a great many people a lot of trouble and stress in the process.

Looking at infection rates across the world it seems that our continued open boarder policy has left us in no worse (though sadly no better) position than countries whose borders are shut.

It is great to hear that we, as a nation, are doing our bit in facilitating the return of the wonderful Viking crew to their loved ones. 

So true and chatting with the crew, many were very appreciative, especially those that were a month or more over their contracts. Hopefully most of the crew were able to get flights home.

 

Looks like the Sun is following the Sky, with both of them clearing Isle of Wight, although the AIS on Sky indicates she is returning to Portsmouth.

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And what becomes of the rest of the officers and crew who didn’t fly home from LHR?  Someone has to take the Sun to Norway.  Then what?

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2 hours ago, SantaFe1 said:

And what becomes of the rest of the officers and crew who didn’t fly home from LHR?  Someone has to take the Sun to Norway.  Then what?

 

A skeleton crew will still be needed to operate the ship and I think I read on Andy's blog that anyone who cannot get a flight home will stay with the ship.

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6 hours ago, SantaFe1 said:

And what becomes of the rest of the officers and crew who didn’t fly home from LHR?  Someone has to take the Sun to Norway.  Then what?

Even with no passengers, the Master is still required to maintain a minimum crew for navigation, engineering and emergency response. The regulations also require at least 1 cook and if the compliment is > 100, they also require a doctor.

 

On arrival Norway, I expect they will anchor and will continue the ongoing extensive maintenance that started after Dubai.

 

When returning to service, these ships will be almost like new.

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I guess what I am wondering is once the Captain, and Doctor, and Cook, and all the skeleton crew get to Kristiansan, do they get to get off?  Some have been on for months.  I think you said no one on or off, so, do these poor souls have to stay on the ship until July?  I think the Sun next sails on July 11...

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10 hours ago, SantaFe1 said:

I guess what I am wondering is once the Captain, and Doctor, and Cook, and all the skeleton crew get to Kristiansan, do they get to get off?  Some have been on for months.  I think you said no one on or off, so, do these poor souls have to stay on the ship until July?  I think the Sun next sails on July 11...

At the Farewell Luncheon, I discussed this with the Captain, who works 2 month on, 2 months off. They had an agreement that Capt Lars will remain on board until this is over or until he can be relieved.

 

With the hotel department, most of the crew remaining on board were ones at the beginning of their contract, having joined in Australia or Bali. Provided they can get home, crew past their contract end date and those approaching the end are all being sent home. They started with a compliment of about 80 remaining, but with those crew that can't get home, it might now be about 100 crew remaining, as of Apr 10th when we disembarked. Most of the crew I chatted with that were at or approaching the end of their contract already had flight details by the time we left.

 

When at anchor, nobody will get ashore, but that has been the norm since Bali. On Viking Sun, the last shore leave was March 9th, so the crew are already conditioned to the new lifestyle. The additional activities on board help to make up for the lack of shore leave. 

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Thank you!  I guess that is their new normal.  But how disturbing to be in sight of land and not be able to get off.  On the other hand, they are safe!  Good luck to all!!

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I wonder how many new shipboard romances there will be?  🙂

 

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I'm looking for the article that was posted on a CCF thread about how well Viking is compensating its crew during its suspension of operations. It was a business news article.  I've tried looking for it on Google without success. Very hard to choose the correct key words to tease the search engine into finding my needle in a haystack. Did any of you see this post and remember where you saw it? It was posted sometime during the past 2 or 3 weeks. Thanks!

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1 hour ago, CharTrav said:

I'm looking for the article that was posted on a CCF thread about how well Viking is compensating its crew during its suspension of operations. It was a business news article.  I've tried looking for it on Google without success. Very hard to choose the correct key words to tease the search engine into finding my needle in a haystack. Did any of you see this post and remember where you saw it? It was posted sometime during the past 2 or 3 weeks. Thanks!

 

I believe the article was in one of two places:

https://crew-center.com/viking-crew-receive-goodwill-payment-new-hires-eligible-financial-support?page=2

https://www.maritime-executive.com/

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6 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

Thanks! It was the first article I was looking for. Part of a campaign to convince a friend not to characterize all cruise companies as cheap no good sleazebags. He's a good friend but he does have his opinions. 

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2 hours ago, deec said:

I wonder how many new shipboard romances there will be?  🙂

 

Good one Deec, based on what we observed, most were already paired off.😀

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Just checked Global Ship Tracking and Viking Orion is showing as well north of Australia and drifting. Status is Not Under Command (NUC). Unknown whether she experienced propulsion/steering issues, or simply drifting.

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Posted (edited)

I would ordinarily be in the final preparations for the start of our cruise season in Edinburgh, where I am a volunteer on board and on shore, helping cruise passengers, including the Viking Ocean fleet who have multiple calls here each year.  Unfortunately, that now won't be happening.

 

However, (my favourite) Viking Sky arrives outside my window on Monday, where she will be joining the entire Fred Olsen fleet who are already here.   She will be at anchorage in the Firth of Forth, but will be making regular trips to the Port of Rosyth for stores and trips out into the North Sea to discharge grey water.

 

All her past and future passengers can be reassured  she and her crew will be well taken care of by the port, just as she would have by us had she been carrying passengers.

Edited by showingdiva

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2 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

Just checked Global Ship Tracking and Viking Orion is showing as well north of Australia and drifting. Status is Not Under Command (NUC). Unknown whether she experienced propulsion/steering issues, or simply drifting.

I've been checking her status using Vessel Finder. She has been steadily underway since leaving Melbourn.  Her "destination" started out as "TBC"  and then changed to  "FOR ORDERS" a few days ago. I would hesitate to conclude she is adrift or some such. She is clearly not where she was yesterday so she's moving but not very fast at all - 1.5 knots - as of 18April 21:06 UTC. I didn't check her speed yesterday. 

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32 minutes ago, CharTrav said:

I've been checking her status using Vessel Finder. She has been steadily underway since leaving Melbourn.  Her "destination" started out as "TBC"  and then changed to  "FOR ORDERS" a few days ago. I would hesitate to conclude she is adrift or some such. She is clearly not where she was yesterday so she's moving but not very fast at all - 1.5 knots - as of 18April 21:06 UTC. I didn't check her speed yesterday. 

 

As of about 1/2 hr ago, the AIS now states "Drifting". She is currently outside the range of terrestrial AIS stations, with Vessel Finder position 40 mins ago and the Marine Traffic position about 5 hrs old. I don't pay for satellite positions, but Marine Traffic does show the current satellite position, but no AIS info, other than a course indicator. When reviewing AIS data, it is important to review the age of the data. 

 

The AIS speed is provided by GPS, which is speed over the ground, not through the water. If drifting, she may not actually be making any speed through the water. However, the course made good for the past 4 hours is generally NE'ly, which would be against the current, as the South Equatorial is generally westward in that area.

 

Best guess is she is Dead Slow ahead, holding position in a low traffic area, waiting for orders. "For Orders" is a common phrase when a ship is waiting for cargo. Means exactly the same as TBC/TBD, etc.

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3 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

Just checked Global Ship Tracking and Viking Orion is showing as well north of Australia and drifting. Status is Not Under Command (NUC). Unknown whether she experienced propulsion/steering issues, or simply drifting.

 

Andy, I read this article this morning. Maybe Orion is doing similar😁?   https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/residential-cruise-ship-conducts-exercise-off-western-australia

 

Or could she be waiting for orders while Viking HQ negotiates where she is heading next?

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

 

 

Andy, I read this article this morning. Maybe Orion is doing similar😁?   https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/residential-cruise-ship-conducts-exercise-off-western-australia

 

Or could she be waiting for orders while Viking HQ negotiates where she is heading next?

 

 

Funny article!  But, while knowing absolutely nothing about it, I thought the same as you.  The ship is sort of at the point of no return before heading NW to the Suez and Europe, or NE to Alaska.  We are booked on the last Alaska cruise of the season, August 14, Seward to Vancouver, so we are certainly most interested, although I’m sure it won’t go.  If the US allows Canada probably won’t and vice versa.

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17 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

 

 

Andy, I read this article this morning. Maybe Orion is doing similar😁?   https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/residential-cruise-ship-conducts-exercise-off-western-australia

 

Or could she be waiting for orders while Viking HQ negotiates where she is heading next?

 

 

 

Thanks for posting the article, as it answers some questions from a few days ago, while monitoring Orion's position and progress. I saw the World and the track was definitely erratic. I have given Deck Officers numerous challenges, but nothing like that one. New to me.

 

For Orion, she is definitely well positioned for wherever she is eventually bound. Not sure if she managed to disembark any crew in Australia before setting sail. If not, she is perfectly located for visiting the countries that provide most of the crew. Therefore, one option is Viking are negotiating with Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, etc for port access to disembark crew.

 

If they already disembarked crew they are probably holding to determine how long the shut down continues, before making a decision on where to send her. Although bunker prices are currently low, it is still a high cost item to send the ship many thousands of miles and then return her to pick up a schedule.

 

Assuming she topped off with bunkers, she can survive many weeks at sea, at slow speed.

 

Tough speculating where she is bound, but certainly fun checking her progress daily.

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