Viking announced today that it will continue restarting limited operations with a collection of sailings around Bermuda and Iceland beginning in June 2021. As a result of strong demand among past Viking guests in the United Kingdom, Viking has also added two additional sailings of the England’s Scenic Shores itinerary in June 2021. All of Viking’s new Welcome Back voyages will be available exclusively for vaccinated guests, in accordance with local entry rules in many of the destinations that will welcome Viking ships—and as a complement to Viking’s new health and safety protocol enhancements, which were designed to protect guests and crew even while the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is still moving forward. Reservations for the new Bermuda, Iceland and UK voyages are now open.
For the new Bermuda Escape itinerary, Viking Orion® will homeport in Hamilton for 8-day roundtrip itineraries; with the new Iceland’s Natural Beauty itinerary, Viking Sky® will homeport in Reykjavik for 8-day roundtrip itineraries. For both itineraries, the small size of Viking’s ocean ships will allow convenient access to both small and large ports in Bermuda and Iceland—and both itineraries will be available for a limited time this summer.
Viking has been working closely with officials in the UK, Bermuda and Iceland for months; these destinations were chosen specifically because of their popularity among Viking guests, as well as their commitment to welcoming Viking ships, offering enriching experiences and reviving the travel industry in their respective countries. 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 program. Grounded in scientific research, the Viking Health & Safety Program 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. Utilizing 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, sanitization and physical distancing measures will provide further protection for Viking guests and crew at all points of the journey.