Viking false advertising for Christmas in Germany cruise

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Jan 21, 2018
3
1
3
74
#21
Having been to 6 Christmas Markets, 3 with Viking and 3 land based on our own, one learns quickly that opening dates and times vary from one Market to the next, even in cities like Berlin where the Markets may be open only for a week-end and others open from the start of Advent to year end. I think it unfair to blame Viking for 'false advertising'in their materials about Christmas Markets. They print the materials for a season and would have to hold off printing materials until the last minute to be accurate, timing which wouldn't work as most people book far in advance as we have done up to a year in advance of the scheduled sailing.

One can find out about Christmas Market opening dates and times on-line for most cities in Germany and Austria. Knowing dates and times in advance allows a traveler to book their tours or cruises accordingly.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,773
12,756
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#22
But if you have never done a Christmas Market tour- you DON’T know that and read the itinerary stating you’ll be going to the markets and assume you’ll be seeing that.

I think it is false to have an itinerary that says you’ll be visiting when they all aren’t opened yet.

My wife has a friend who has been a travel agent for 36 years, has put countless customers on Christmas Market cruises and found out herself that the markets aren’t all open when she took one of the cruises herself.

I still think they should he advertised as a regular cruise until all the markets shown on the itinerary are open. But that’s just my opinion.
 
Jan 6, 2015
2,002
1,962
113
#23
I agree with Neil, and would add that passengers should not have to double-check a documented cruise itinerary. Ships missing ports is an unfortunate part of cruising, but stating access to a local event that is know up front to be closed is unacceptable.

I think it is likely that the cruise lines do not know far enough ahead when the local markets will open and so they "guess" in order to obtain bookings. Or that some markets are open and they consider that to be sufficient. Perhaps they should not list these (the "iffy" ones) as "Christmas Market cruises" and include a disclaimer that "at this time we guarantee access to the Christmas markets for this cruise date".
 

Carol Phillips

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 28, 2014
1,232
1,686
113
Coastal South Carolina
#25
I'm a huge fan of Christmas Markets river cruises. I've learned thru experience that a sailing date of the first week of December is usually safe for the markets to be open, but to be certain it's best to search online for "Christmas Markets (name of town/city) 2018 date". That way you can learn not only the opening dates, but the open hours throughout the short Market season. Some smaller towns only open their Markets on weekends and/or certain days.

I strongly suggest prospective passengers do this sort of research before making their river cruise reservation, because the river cruise lines can be quite unreliable about the dates.
 
Feb 11, 2018
1
0
1
64
#26
Thanks to the replies I have received on this forum, I was able to negotiate an amicable settlement with Viking. You gave me the courage to fight for what I deemed fair from a disappointing cruise. Thanks for your help.
Hi Joan, my husband and I have cruised on Viking 7 times. We were on the same cruise and were disappointed as well. On the front cover of the itinerary was a picture of the Nuremburg Christmas Market, which we had visited before. We were shocked when we we dropped off there to wander around the closed stalls still under construction. We asked our prgam director who snidely amswered “I don’t know what Viking sold you” very disappointing indeed. We accepted the 25% future cruise voucher but I would be interested to find out if you negoitiated a better deal. Thanks, Kerry
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,773
12,756
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#27
Viking is not the only river cruiseline in the business, nor are they the best. I urge you to check out other river cruise lines - there are many that offer more in their base price and have much friendly customer service policies. But all of them pull this with the Christmas Markets. If you had booked through a travel agent - I am sure they would have told you that most of these markets don't open before Dec. 1.