Viking Venus has sailed into Portsmouth in preparation for Viking’s series of domestic itineraries.
The 930-guest ship – the latest in the fleet – will be officially named on 17 May by its ceremonial godmother, broadcaster Anne Diamond, before setting sail from Portsmouth on 22 May for the England’s Scenic Shores itinerary.
The line has added two additional UK sailings in June after the initial batch of three sold out within a week. All cruises are vaccinated guests only.
Viking UK MD Wendy Atkin-Smith said: “The arrival of Viking Venus into the UK is a momentous occasion for us and marks a significant milestone as we look forward to welcoming back guests on our England’s Scenic Shores itineraries.
“As a proud seafaring nation it is fitting that the UK is where Viking will restart operations globally and, with its rich naval and shipbuilding history dating back more than 800 years, we are thrilled that Portsmouth is Viking Venus’ maiden port of call, especially as it is the place Viking Venus will call home for the next two months.”
Portsmouth International Port director Mike Sellers added: “We are honoured to host the global debut of Viking Venus, as the cruise line restarts operations and begins domestic passenger sailings.
“Everyone has been working incredibly hard throughout the pandemic, which is how we’ve been able to respond quickly to new health protocol measures and are ready to support travel as soon as restrictions allow.
“The sailings from Portsmouth are cruises around the UK and we have comprehensive plans in place to keep staff, passengers and the community safe, following the UK Chamber of Shipping Cruise Operations Framework.
“The cruise industry at large, and especially Viking, has also put huge amounts of consideration into making sure safety is paramount and I have been impressed by the detail and coordination, going above and beyond what’s required.”