Luxury ocean, river, and expedition cruise line Viking has announced that it has done away with the requirement for COVID-19 testing before a cruise, as well as during voyages.
The line said it decided to make the change because the CDC recently updated its own travel protocols, and is no longer requiring that those traveling to the U.S. from a foreign country via airplane present a negative test for entry.
On the line’s health and safety webpage, it posted an update saying “On June 10, 2022, the U.S. announced it is eliminating the COVID testing requirement for air travelers to enter the country… Therefore, effective immediately, Viking will discontinue all on board COVID testing fleetwide. However, we will continue to provide testing if a guest reports symptoms, requests a test, or if our Medical Team deems necessary.”
And while Viking is also no longer requiring a pre-cruise test unless a destination requires it, it still highly recommends that guests take one anyway prior to arrival on embarkation day. There are two ships that will be an exception to this rule. Select voyages in the United States and Canada on Viking Orion and Viking Octantis will still require that guests show a negative pre-cruise test to sail.
The cruise line’s vaccine requirement for passengers and crew remains in place, and crew will continue wearing masks and testing as needed.
During the cruise industry shutdown, Viking installed PCR laboratories on all of its ocean ships. Because of those labs, the line has been able to do daily PCR COVID-19 testing on all guests and crew since it resumed operations in May 2021. According to the line’s founder and chairman Torstein Hagen, this has allowed the line to quickly isolate cases onboard and prevent any outbreak on its ships.