Viking, named the #1 ocean cruise line in 2020, has announced the completion of the first PCR laboratory on a cruise ship. The facility allows for guests and crew members to have non-invasive saliva tests and unprecedented testing capacity for cruises.
The laboratory has enough capacity for daily testing of every crew member and guest, which provides flexibility to respond to COVID-19 prevalence levels around the world.
This first laboratory has been installed on Viking Star, the cruise line’s award-winning 930-guest ocean vessel; it will undergo a series of extensive tests to ensure the procedures and protocols that have been designed are fully effective.
“We have been working on this for a number of months, and today is important as it moves us one step closer to operating cruises again, without compromising the safety of our guests and crew. The recently announced CDC guidelines are clearly aligned with our public health research, and we welcome the agency’s push toward testing, as we believe this is the only way to safely operate. In our view, continuous PCR testing, along with our extensive onboard hygiene protocols, will lead to making Viking ships a safe place to get away to and explore the world,” said Matt Grimes, Vice President of Maritime Operations for Viking.
Viking will be demonstrating the PCR laboratory, as well as new design and operating procedures, when Viking Star comes to Oslo, Norway in mid-November.
Viking currently has all cruises canceled for the remainder of 2020. Travel + Leisure has named Viking the World’s Best Cruise Line for the past five years.
Viking will be launching a new expedition cruise line as well as cruises on the Mississippi River over the next few years.