Viking plans to restart European river cruises in July 2021 with select itineraries in Portugal and France, as well as along the Rhine River. Guests must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to board.
Five itineraries are available as part of Viking's "Welcome Back" collection. Viking said these are among the company's most popular itineraries.
- Rhine Getaway: Eight days from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland
- Portugal's River of Gold: 10 days from Lisbon to Porto, Portugal
- Paris & the Heart of Normandy: eight days roundtrip from Paris
- Lyon and Provence: eight days Avignon to Lyon, France
- France's Finest: 15 days, combining the northern and southern France itineraries in one experience
Viking's announcement was made after the European Union agreed this week to reopen its borders to vaccinated Americans and other travelers.
The announcement of Viking’s restart of European river cruise operations follows the launch of "Welcome Back" voyages exclusively for vaccinated guests in the United Kingdom, Iceland, Bermuda and the Mediterranean.
Earlier this week Viking also named its newest ocean ship, Viking Venus, in the U.K. That ship is currently sailing a maiden voyage along the coast of England with chairman of Viking Torstein Hagen onboard.
Viking said in its press announcement that "the company is actively working on developing additional 'Welcome Back' itineraries in a variety of other destinations, with the goal of announcing further 2021 sailings as soon as possible."
Good to know: Viking's new health and safety program was developed in partnership with an international team of medical advisors, including Raquel C. Bono, M.D., Viking’s chief health officer. Dr. Bono is a board-certified trauma surgeon and retired vice admiral of the United States Navy Medical Corps, and most recently led Washington State’s medical and healthcare systems response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing a full-scale laboratory installed on every Viking ocean ship as well as a network of dedicated shoreside labs for Viking river ships in Europe, all guests and crew will receive frequent quick and easy non-invasive saliva PCR tests.
In addition, new air purification technology has also been installed on all Viking ships, which have always featured independent air handling units for all guest staterooms. Further health checks, sanitization and physical distancing measures will provide further protection for Viking's guests and crew.
This article originally appeared on www.travelagentcentral.com.