Viking was the first cruise line to temporarily suspend operations of our river and ocean cruises. However, As the situation regarding COVID-19 has worsened and the global impact of the pandemic has become clearer, the cruise line has made the decision to suspend sailings and operations until 30th June 2020.
A statement on the Viking website reads:
“On March 11, 2020, Viking was the first cruise line to temporarily suspend operations of our river and ocean cruises. Our commitment to our family of guests and employees is that their safety and wellbeing is always our top priority. In that spirit, we have made the decision to extend our temporary suspension of operations through June 30, 2020.”
Previously Viking announced it will temporarily suspend river and ocean cruise operations until 1 May 2020 in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 situation. The cruise line also confirmed it will offer a choice of a Future Cruise Voucher valued at 125% of all monies paid to Viking or a refund equal to the amount paid.
Commenting on the decision by Viking, Liz Jarvis, Editor of Cruise International, said: “These are unprecedented circumstances and this is an extremely responsible decision taken by one of the world’s leading cruise operators. The priority of all cruise lines must be the health and wellbeing of their passengers.”
An announcement update was made on 30 March 2020, following on from the original video and a new letter sent from Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen to guests; both the video and letter are also available on Viking’s website.
The letter reads as follows:
Dear Viking Guests,
I am writing to you today from my home, rather than the Viking office. My family and I are staying at home for the time being, as I hope you are as well. It is an adjustment for all of us and particularly for someone like me, who spends most of his time traveling. But we are truly living in an unprecedented time.
Since we started Viking nearly 23 years ago, we have always cared first and foremost about our guests and our employees. I feel we have become one large Viking family of 500,000 guests each year and 10,000 employees. Since day one, it has been our mission to create experiences for our guests that focus on the destination and allow them to explore the world in comfort. This has always been Viking’s ambition and will remain so.
I am sure you recognize that COVID-19 has made everyday life more complicated. On March 11, we were the first cruise line to announce a temporary suspension of operations through April 30, 2020. In the time since that announcement, many of you have expressed concern for our crew, and I want to reassure you that we are taking good care of them. We are using this period of non-operation as a time for additional training and initiatives to ensure we have the safest and healthiest fleet in the industry. As a private company we do not have to worry about quarterly profit expectations – and that flexibility allows us the ability to do what is best for our guests and our employees.
In that spirit, we have made the decision to extend our temporary suspension of operations through June 30, 2020.
As a guest whose cruise falls within this window of suspended operations, we are offering a Future Cruise Voucher valued at 125% of all monies paid to Viking. By adding 25% to the value of what you originally paid, you now have the opportunity to enhance your trip – such as choosing a longer itinerary; adding a Pre/Post cruise extension; upgrading your stateroom category; or even upgrading to business class air. You will have 24 months to use your Future Cruise Voucher to make a new reservation on any river, ocean or expedition cruise. For additional flexibility, if you are unable to use your voucher, we will automatically send you a refund equal to the original amount paid to Viking after the voucher expires. These 125% Future Cruise Vouchers will also be fully transferable.
Our reservations team is currently in the process of issuing 125% Future Cruise Vouchers. However, if you would prefer to discuss alternatives, please contact us by the 6th April. Contact can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling at 0208 780 7900.
We will continue to stand by you, as well as our employees and partners, and hope that you will continue to stand by us.