Viking announces completion of first at-sea PCR testing laboratory
By Ruby Norris | 3 Nov 2020
Viking has announced the completion of the first ever PCR laboratory at sea on board the Viking Star.
Viking has completed installation of the first full-scale PCR laboratory at sea. This new onboard facility – an industry first – allows for unprecedented testing capacity in the cruise industry, enabling Viking to conduct PCR testing of all crew members and guests with a non-invasive saliva test
Installed on Viking Star, the cruise line’s award-winning 930-guest ocean vessel, the laboratory has enough capacity for daily testing of every crew member and guest. This will provide improved flexibility to respond to COVID-19 prevalence levels around the world.
The new lab, which was officially completed on Monday 2nd November, will undergo a series of extensive tests to ensure the procedures and protocols that have been designed are fully effective. Viking will be demonstrating the PCR laboratory, as well as new design and operating procedures, when the Viking Star visits Oslo, Norway in mid-November of this year.
Speaking about the innovative PCR lab on board the Viking Star, Matt Grimes, Vice President of Maritime Operations for Viking says: “We have been working on this for a number of months, and today (2 November) is important as it moves us one step closer to operating cruises again, without compromising the safety of our guests and crew.
“The recently announced CDC guidelines are clearly aligned with our public health research, and we welcome the agency’s push toward testing, as we believe this is the only way to safely operate.
“In our view, continuous PCR testing, along with our extensive onboard hygiene protocols, will lead to making Viking ships a safe place to get away to and explore the world.”