Effective immediately, Viking will no longer conduct daily onboard COVID-19 tests. It will also stop requiring pre-cruise testing in destinations where it’s not mandated. This does not include cruises sailing from U.S. and Canadian ports. The line is the first in the industry to stop pre-cruise testing, even if it’s not in all destinations. Vaccine requirements remain in place.
The announcement comes on the heels of the CDC eliminating mandated COVID-19 tests in order to return to the U.S. by air.
“We have been more conservative than other cruise lines but we are pleased that the CDC has lifted the requirement for testing of those who are traveling back to the U.S.,” said Viking chairman Torstein Hagen. “This, in turn, allows us to stop testing guests on our river, ocean and expedition vessels.”
According to the line, medical personnel will continue to provide testing if a guest reports symptom, requests a test, or if its medical team deems a test necessary. Until now, the cruise line, which has full PCR labs on all of its ships, was conducting daily COVID-19 tests as a way to stop the spread of the disease.
As for pre-cruise testing the line states on its website, “Viking highly recommends, but no longer requires, a pre-departure COVID-19 test – unless one is required by the destination. As of June 10, 2022, select ocean voyages on the Viking Orion and expedition voyages on the Viking Octantis in the United States and Canada will continue to require a pre-departure COVID-19 test.”
Viking does not list which destination do or don’t require pre-cruise testing on its website but said it’s in the process of notifying guests about the changes, as well as updating specific requirements for all voyages across its documents channels, including on MyVikingJourney.com.