Viking’s Chairman Torstein Hagen sent the following letter to Viking guests on August 12, 2020 about the cruise line’s decision to cancel additional cruises.
“On March 11, when we became the first cruise line to temporarily suspend operations at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I would not have imagined that in August we would still not be sailing and that I would be writing this letter to you. Every day I am encouraged by the scientific advancements toward COVID-19 therapeutics and a vaccine.
But as you well know, recent events have shown us that the recovery from this pandemic will be sporadic, and the ability to travel freely across borders remains some time away. Fortunately, the U.S. State Department has lifted some travel advisories for Americans, but many countries are still limiting tourists. As keen as we may be to get back to exploring, for now, international travel must wait.
Just last week, on August 5, we celebrated our 23rd anniversary. Viking is a very different company today from when we started in 1997 with four river ships. But one thing has not changed in the last two decades. Since Viking’s very first day, our commitment to the safety and welfare of all those on board our vessels and to our mission—to deliver experiences that focus on the destination, allowing you to explore the world in comfort—has never wavered.
I have said before that we will only sail again when it is safe to do so. We are a private, closely-held company, which means we do not have to rush the decision to return to service.
It is in that spirit that we are extending our temporary suspension of operations through December 31, 2020—at which time we believe the world will be in a better position, and international travel will be less complicated.”