Viking Cruises Announces May Sailings for UK Residents
Viking Cruises announced that it will resume limited voyages in the UK in May.
"England's Scenic Shores" itinerary will set sail from Portsmouth on May 22, May 29, and June 5 for eight-day sailings, onboard Viking's newest ship, "The Viking Venus." All other cruises before May 31 remain canceled.
The trips are only offered to UK residents.
"We welcome the UK Government's support for the return of safe domestic cruises as an important component in the travel industry's recovery," Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking, said in a statement shared with Travel + Leisure on Tuesday. "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."
The cruise line has been conducting non-invasive saliva PCR tests for crew every day for almost the past six months. And these new measures will extend to guests once they are onboard their cruises. Every Viking ship will sail with a full-scale laboratory onboard and all guests and crew members will receive the non-invasive tests every day while sailing. The ships also feature new air purification systems and additional health checks, sanitization and social distancing measures onboard.
"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," Hagen said.
Pre-registration for the cruise is currently only available to previous Viking sailors. More information about the cruises and reservations will open to all UK residents "in due course," according to the press release.
The "Viking Venus" will be christened by British broadcaster and journalist Anne Diamond on May 17. It is the newest ship to join the Viking fleet and is scheduled to be delivered in April.