Viking will restart limited cruise operations in May 2021 with three domestic sailings along the coast of England, the company announced on Tuesday (March 16).
Available exclusively for U.K. residents, the new eight-day ocean itinerary—England’s Scenic Shores—will sail roundtrip from Portsmouth, with departures on May 22, May 29 and June 5, 2021.
Guests on the England’s Scenic Shores itinerary will be among the first to sail on board Viking’s newest ocean ship, Viking Venus, which will be delivered in April.
U.K. allowing domestic cruises
The official restart was triggered after the U.K. Government signalled that it will allow the resumption of domestic cruises beginning in May 2021.
All other previously scheduled Viking sailings through May 31, 2021 remain cancelled.
“We welcome the UK Government’s support for the return of safe domestic cruises as an important component in the travel industry’s recovery. In recognition of this support, and to celebrate the fact we have a British godmother—the esteemed broadcaster and journalist Anne Diamond—we have chosen to name our new ship, Viking Venus, in the UK on May 17,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking, in a statement.
"We have been implementing our additional protocols, including daily quick and easy non-invasive saliva PCR tests for our crew, for almost six months now."
"With our new protocol enhancements in place, we believe there will be no safer way to travel the world than on a Viking voyage and we look forward to welcoming UK guests back on board very soon.”
Health & safety
Guests will be subjected to Viking’s industry-leading health and safety program, which was developed in partnership with an international team of medical advisors, including Raquel C. Bono, M.D., Viking’s Chief Health Officer.
Utilizing a full-scale laboratory installed on every Viking ocean ship, all guests and crew will receive daily quick and easy non-invasive saliva PCR tests.
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, sanitization 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's Health & Safety Program can be found here.
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