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Viking prepares for May restart with coastal sailings on new ship

Viking announces additional UK cruises this summer

Viking has announced its intention to restart limited operations from May with three sailings along the coast of England on new ship Viking Venus – which will be named in the UK on 17 May.

Available exclusively for UK residents, the eight-day itinerary – England’s Scenic Shoreswill sail roundtrip from Portsmouth, with departures on the 22 May, 29 May and 5 June 2021.

Viking said the sailings will feature its new health and safety programme, including daily PCR testing for all guests and crew. A spokesperson said the line “will not require vaccinations for these three domestic UK sailings”.

Pre-registration is currently open only to “loyal past guests”, Viking said. More details regarding reservations will be released soon.

The line said the update was in response to the UK government’s announcement that domestic cruise sailings could restart from 17 May. Other lines, including Cunard, Princess Cruises, and P&O Cruises, have also created new domestic itineraries to depart in the summer.

All other previously scheduled Viking sailings through to 31 May 2021 remain cancelled, the line confirmed.

Chairman Torstein Hagen said: “We welcome the UK government’s support for the return of safe domestic cruises as an important component in the travel industry’s recovery.

“In recognition of this support, and to celebrate the fact we have a British godmother – the esteemed broadcaster and journalist Anne Diamond – we have chosen to name our new ship, Viking Venus, in the UK on 17 May.

“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. We have been implementing our additional protocols, including daily quick and easy non-invasive saliva PCR tests for our crew, for almost six months now.

“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.”

The spokesperson added: “Viking’s medical team will continue to monitor vaccination rates and adjust our protocol and policies as needed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our guests and crew.”

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