The company is actively working on developing Welcome Back sailings in a variety of other popular destinations, including Greece, Turkey, and Malta—with the goal of announcing further 2021 sailings as soon as government approvals are given.
“We applaud the governments of the United Kingdom, Bermuda and Iceland for their collaboration and support in restarting the cruise industry safely,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “No other travel company has implemented the same science-led approach that includes a vaccination requirement for all guests, plus frequent non-invasive saliva PCR testing among all guests and crew. Therefore, we believe there will be no safer way to travel the world than on a Viking voyage. We look forward to welcoming guests back on board—and welcoming them back to the world.”
Today's news follows Viking's recent announcement that it would initially restart operations with domestic sailings in England for UK residents on board Viking Venus® beginning in May 2021. These initial sailings sold out within a week.
Those who sail the new UK, Bermuda and Iceland voyages will also experience Viking's industry-leading health and safety programme. Grounded in scientific research, the Viking Health & Safety Programme was developed in partnership with an international team of medical advisors, including Raquel C. Bono, M.D., Viking's Chief Health Officer.
Dr Bono is a board-certified trauma surgeon and retired Vice Admiral of the United States Navy Medical Corps—and recently led Washington State's medical and healthcare systems response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilising a full-scale laboratory installed on every Viking ocean ship, all guests and crew will receive quick and easy non-invasive saliva PCR tests at embarkation and frequently throughout the itinerary.
New air purification technology has also been installed on all Viking ships, which have always featured independent air handling units for all guest staterooms. And additional health checks, sanitisation and physical distancing measures will provide further protection for Viking guests and crew at all points of the journey. A complete overview of the Viking Health & Safety Programme can be found at: www.viking.com/health-safety