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Viking's cruise loyalty program: Everything you need to know about the Viking Explorer Society

May 02, 2022
4 min read
Viking's cruise loyalty program: Everything you need to know about the Viking Explorer Society
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Does Viking Cruises have a loyalty program? Yes, but it's not like most other cruise line loyalty programs.

Dubbed the Viking Explorer Society, the Viking cruise loyalty program isn't a loyalty program in the traditional sense — one where passengers earn points every time they travel with the brand and progress through multiple tiers that bring an ever-expanding array of perks.

Instead, the Viking cruise loyalty program offers just a few basic perks that are available to anyone who has taken at least one voyage with the line.

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The Viking Explorer Society's main perk is a travel credit of up to $200 that you can get every time you book a new Viking ocean, river or expedition cruise within two years of sailing with the line. Note that travel credits are different from onboard credits. You only can use a Viking Explorer Society credit to pay for a cruise, not for onboard spending.

Related: The 5 best destinations you can visit on a Viking cruise

How does the Viking Explorer Society work?

Once you travel with Viking for the first time, you will automatically be enrolled in the Viking Explorer Society program and become a Viking Explorer Society member. As part of this society, you will receive:

  • $200 per passenger travel credit any time you book a Viking voyage within one year of your last Viking voyage. If you reserve within two years, you receive a $100 credit. As noted above, the credit only can be used to pay for a trip with Viking.
  • An invitation to a members-only Viking Explorer Society cocktail party when sailing on Viking ships.
  • Early word by email or regular mail on new Viking Cruises itineraries and new ships, as well as special limited-time offers.

Note that the credits mentioned above are not always combinable with promotions the line offers.

In addition to the above, Viking has a referral program that can get you additional travel credits. Once you are a Viking customer, you can use your customer number to refer an unlimited number of other people to Viking. If they book a trip with Viking within a year, both you and the person you refer will receive a $100 travel credit.

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Related: The 3 types of Viking ships, explained

If you manage to refer 13 people to Viking who take a first Viking cruise within one calendar year (an almost impossible task in our view, but more power to you if you can pull it off), you will get a much more lucrative perk: An entirely free cruise (valued up to $3,300).

Note that if the person you refer to Viking shares a cabin with you on her or his first cruise, you only will get the referral credit if you are already a Viking Explorer Society member.

Related: The ultimate guide to Viking cabins and suites

Eager to learn more about cruise line loyalty programs? Don't miss our comprehensive beginner's guide to cruise ship loyalty programs.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of Viking Cruises)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

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  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees