Viking Health & Safety Program
As the leading small ship cruise line with 190-guest river vessels and identical all-veranda 930-guest ocean ships, Viking takes you closer to the heart of the places you want to visit. For more than 23 years, we have always had the highest standards for health and cleanliness, and our new protocol enhancements make Viking even safer. Developed in coordination with an international team of scientific and medical advisors, the Viking Health & Safety Program is one of the most well-researched and comprehensive COVID-19 prevention and mitigation plans in the travel industry.
- Frequent quick and easy non-invasive saliva PCR tests for all guests and crew, processed in full-scale Viking-dedicated laboratories
- New air purification technology installed on all Viking ships, which have always featured independent air handling units for all guest staterooms
- Additional health checks, sanitization and physical distancing to protect Viking guests and crew at all points of the journey
What to Expect On Your Journey
Reserve your cruise with confidence, knowing that Viking’s Risk-Free Guarantee allows you to change your cruise date up to 14 days before your planned departure—and Viking will waive any fees. Also consider purchasing our Travel Protection Plan, which covers unforeseen circumstances that may arise before or during your trip.
Your journey begins before you ever leave home, with a digital Health Survey that you will complete on MyVikingJourney.com. Developed by scientific and medical advisors, Viking’s new Health Survey takes only a minute to submit and verifies your wellness prior to travel. Depending on your dates of travel, Viking may require you to submit verification of COVID-19 vaccination status as part of the digital Health Survey.
Enjoy a seamless travel experience with a flight arranged by Viking Air. As one of the largest purchasers of flights, Viking is working closely with its airline partners to ensure strict health and safety protocols make for the safest possible journey.
As always, guests who arrange their flights with Viking Air receive complimentary airport transfers. Now, with Viking Air, you will enjoy smaller group transfers to and from your ship on sanitized motor coaches that have been set up with physical spacing between occupied seats.
To avoid a congested embarkation, guests will be assigned boarding times based on their flight arrivals. Upon arrival at your ship, check-in counters will be spread out to ensure proper distancing and sanitized between every guest; a touch-free online check-in option will also be available. In cooperation with local partners, all cruise port terminals will be sanitized prior to guest arrivals.
Depending on your dates of travel, Viking may require a temperature check via a touchless thermometer and completion of a Health Survey as part of your check-in process. Developed by scientific and medical advisors, Viking’s new Health Survey verifies your wellness for travel prior to boarding your ship.
Depending on your dates of travel, Viking may require a PCR test as part of the embarkation process. This quick and easy non-invasive PCR test will be conducted via a simple saliva sample in a plastic tube and processed in a full-scale Viking-dedicated laboratory. Depending on local regulations and your travel itinerary, you will be asked to wait for your test result (an estimated maximum of four hours) in your pre-cruise hotel or in a designated waiting area.
Our Switzerland-registered river vessels host just 190 or fewer guests, and our fleet of identical all-veranda Norway-registered ocean ships host only 930 guests. With the risk of disease infection significantly lower on small vessels, we believe our ships offer a safer environment than that of the mega-ships. And with no interior staterooms on any of our ships, guests enjoy expansive views from outside staterooms.
Enjoy fresh air in your stateroom, knowing that all staterooms on Viking ocean and river ships feature independent air handling units that do not share air with other areas of the ship. Also take comfort in knowing that the air in the public areas of your ship has also been purified with new short-wavelength ultraviolet (UV-C) lights and high-density filters, which kill 99.99% of all airborne viruses and bacteria.
Frequent PCR Testing
We believe a robust and adaptable testing program is key in preventing the virus from entering a ship, and mitigating community spread among guests and crew. Depending on your dates of travel, Viking may require frequent PCR testing throughout your itinerary. These quick and easy non-invasive saliva PCR tests will be conducted in the privacy of your stateroom.
Dedicated PCR Laboratories
Viking was the first cruise line to complete the installation of the first full-scale PCR laboratory at sea. Each of our ocean vessels will be equipped with a PCR laboratory, providing Viking with the capability to test all guests and crew every day if necessary. A strong network of Viking-dedicated shoreside labs will bring the same high-quality, high-accuracy molecular testing regimen to our river ships.
While every precaution can reduce the risk of illness, we are also prepared for that outcome. Each of our ocean vessels has always had a state-of-the-art Medical Center; those facilities have now been upgraded with more specialized equipment. We have also launched a new 24/7 hotline staffed by doctors, specifically for our river cruises.
Regular health monitoring will verify the complete wellness of all guests and crew during your sailing. Depending on your dates of travel, brief Health Surveys may be completed daily, and if necessary, temperature checks may be conducted.
Rest assured that the surfaces on your ship will be cleaned and sanitized continuously with daily scheduled deep cleanings. You will notice more hand sanitization stations throughout your ship. And on our ocean ships, we are using new sanitization robots that utilize UV-C light to treat surfaces in guest and crew public areas—an industry first.
Dining & Entertainment
On your ship, you can expect spacious, airy public areas and abundant options for al fresco dining. Also, on ocean cruises, as always, you can enjoy complimentary 24-hour room service. Now, more options for spaced seating in all dining venues will allow for physical distancing; self-serve dining stations will be replaced with staff service; there will be additional table service at all bars and lounges; and new capabilities will allow you to watch more live events and enriching content through your in-room entertainment system.
Physical Distancing & Face Masks
Public health experts agree that proper physical distancing and the use of face masks are effective in helping slow the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. Similar to many local guidelines currently in place, physical distancing measures are in place in public areas on board, and face masks may be required for all guests and crew while moving about Viking ships, depending on conditions at time of sailing. Face masks may be required for guests when seated in dining venues, bars and lounges.
Spa & Fitness
On ocean cruises, The Spa will remain open to all guests by appointment only to ensure proper distancing and all spa staff will wear face masks during treatments. The Fitness Center will also remain open with its own dedicated sanitization staff to ensure all equipment and surfaces are cleaned in between each guest use.
We have redesigned our land program to monitor destinations for the prevalence of COVID-19 and further limit group sizes. Depending on conditions at the time of sailing, shore excursions may be limited while in port. Each shore excursion will utilize audio headsets to allow for physical distancing among your group, and all excursion motor coaches will be fully sanitized with spaced seating. As you head ashore, complimentary face masks will be provided for excursions as required by local guidelines.
Local Partner Training
As part of the Viking Health & Safety Program, we will regularly test and train every local partner, including motor coach drivers and tour guides. While ashore, Viking’s measures will meet or exceed local guidelines for social distancing and other precautions.
Upon your return to the ship from your shore excursion, proceed back on board as you always have. Depending on conditions at the time of sailing, your temperature may be checked quickly and seamlessly.
Say goodbye to your ship and enjoy your small group transfer to the airport on a sanitized motor coach with spaced seating. Begin your journey home with confidence that you and your fellow travelers’ well-being was continuously monitored by one of the most extensive health and safety programs in the travel industry.
Viking Health & Safety Program – Updated June 24, 2021
The information included here should be considered current for all guests. Specific protocols and procedures may evolve over time to adapt to various conditions or travel regulations in the destinations in which we operate. Please continue to check this site for the most up-to-date version of the Viking Health & Safety Program.
Sailing Europe’s storied rivers, the award-winning Viking Longships offer a an elegant Scandinavian design and “green” features, such as solar panels, an onboard organic herb garden and energy-efficient hybrid engines for a remarkably smooth ride. In 2015, Viking introduced its first ocean ship boasting private verandas in every stateroom, a choice of restaurants offering a variety of fine dining options, the most al fresco dining at sea, an infinity pool, a Nordic-inspired spa, panoramic Explorers’ Lounge and thoughtfully curated book collections throughout the ship, and more—all designed in understated elegance.
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