Viking Sea and Viking Venus outside Valletta

Viking has celebrated the latest milestone in its return to service, the welcoming of guests onto its Valletta-homeported ships Viking Sea and Viking Venus in mid-July.

The ships are serving routes offered as part of the company’s ‘Welcome Back’ collection, welcoming exclusively vaccinated guests.

Viking’s three itineraries aim to bring revelers to some of the most exciting destinations the Mediterranean has to offer.

As part of its service, the company has partnered with Lufthansa to offer non-stop flights from Newark Liberty International Airport, USA, to Malta, making customers’ transatlantic journey “even easier”.

“We are delighted to be back in the Mediterranean and to be home-porting in Valletta”, said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking, from onboard the Viking Sea in Valletta.

Mr Hagen thanked the Maltese Government for its “support and partnership” in developing the routes and explained he has a personal affection and affinity with the country.

“With its rich history and stunning natural beauty, Malta is truly a gem in the Mediterranean that many American travelers have yet to discover. My daughter, Karine, and I have enjoyed our time in Malta immensely, and we look forward to introducing even more travelers to this wonderful country’, he said.

The relaunch comes after a particularly tough year for Viking and the cruise industry as a whole.

Travel restrictions imposed due to the pandemic brought operations to a screeching halt and fears will remain that a number of highly publicized outbreaks on board ships during the early stages of the pandemic could have damaged the appeal of the cruise offering.

Viking restarted its ocean operations in May 2021, sailing in England for British guests.

In June, the company welcomed American guests back on board for new journeys around Bermuda and Iceland, and has this month also restarted its European river operations with select itineraries in Portugal and France.

Addressing its return to service, the company proclaims: “Guests on Viking’s ‘Welcome Back’ voyages have enjoyed the experience so much that they have provided some of the highest-ever ratings in post-trip surveys – a strong indication that experienced travellers are ready to be exploring the world in comfort once again”.

To help mitigate the COVID-related risks of cruising, Viking has installed a full-scale laboratory on every one of its ocean ships, providing frequent saliva PCR tests to guests.

Featured Image:

Viking Sea and Viking Venus

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