Viking Cruises has announced limited operations within the UK will restart in May 2021.
Viking will begin sailing again in May 2021 with limited operations on domestic UK voyages. The cruise line has announced the launch of three special sailings along the cost of England, exclusively available to UK residents.
The new eight-day itinerary, named England’s Scenic Shores, will sail a roundtrip from Portsmouth, with departures on 22nd May, 29th May and 5th June 2021. Guests on the all-new itinerary will be among the first to sail on board Viking’s newest ocean ship, Viking Venus, which will be delivered in April.
Pre-registration for England’s Scenic Shores is currently open only to Viking’s loyal past guests; more details about the voyages will be released, and reservations will be available to all UK residents in due course.
Viking was the first cruise line to suspend operations at the beginning of the pandemic, and this latest update about the official restart was triggered as a result of the UK Government’ recent signal that it will allow the resumption of domestic cruises from May 2021. All other previously scheduled Viking sailings through to 31 May 2021 remain cancelled.
Speaking about the new domestic itinerary, Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking, says: “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 17 May.
“We are in a position to restart operations quickly and to start sailing again in May because we have kept our ships crewed during warm lay-up throughout the past 12 months. 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.”
For those lucky enough to snap up a room on these new voyages will also be among the first to experience Viking’s ‘industry-leading’ health and safety programme, which has been developed in partnership with an international team of medical advisors, including Raquel C. Bono, M.D., Viking’s Chief Health Officer.
Utilising 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. 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 viking.com/health-safety.