Viking Announces Vaccination, Testing Requirements for Passengers Along With New Cruises to Bermuda, Iceland, UK
Viking will require all passengers to be vaccinated for its summer cruises, making it the latest cruise line to make the jab mandatory on board.
The cruise line will open up summer sailings to Bermuda and Iceland in June, requiring guests to be both inoculated as well as undergo saliva PCR tests at embarkation and "frequent" testing throughout the journey. Additionally, Viking will add more sailings to its "England's Scenic Shores" cruises in the United Kingdom, which it started offering in May for British citizens.
"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," Torstein Hagen, the chairman of Viking, said in a statement. "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."
Viking will homeport in Hamilton, the capital of Bermuda, for 8-day sailings on the Viking Orion, featuring picturesque cobblestone streets in St. George's, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and dreamy pink sand beaches. Bermuda requires visitors 10 and older to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test no more than five days before arrival and fill out a travel authorization online.
For its trips in Iceland, the company will use the Viking Sky for 8-day roundtrip itineraries from Reykjavik circling the island, complete with stunning waterfalls and puffins on moss-covered cliffs. Iceland welcomes fully-vaccinated travelers from any country with a vaccine that meets the requirements, including the U.S.
Each ship can hold up to 930 guests.
Beyond these destinations, Viking said it was looking into future possible sailings in Greece, Turkey, and Malta.
Several cruise lines have turned to vaccinations recently as a safe way to restart sailings, in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation that cruise passengers get vaccinated before boarding.
Several cruise companies, including Norwegian Cruise Line, Crystal Cruises, and Virgin Voyages have said all passengers and crew will be required to be vaccinated going forward with inoculated sailings to Europe and the Caribbean on deck.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.