Recent Announcements from the European Union and the CDC Encourage International Travel from the U.S.
LOS ANGELES – Viking® (www.viking.com) today welcomed Americans back to a reopened Europe. The 27 European Union countries reached an agreement to again allow travelers from the United States in a vote earlier today—a long-expected move that complements the CDC’s recent announcement that it has eased travel recommendations for 110 countries and territories. As part of the new recommendations, the CDC has specifically ranked Iceland and Malta—two key destinations for Viking’s Welcome Back voyages, which are offered exclusively for vaccinated guests – as “Level 1” or the lowest for risk of COVID-19. In recognition of these developments, Viking has also published a new video message from Chairman Torstein Hagen, which can be found here.
Viking successfully restarted operations in May and has been sailing in the United Kingdom with British guests since May 22. Nearly 100 percent of guests on these sailings provided exceptionally high ratings. Earlier this week, on June 15, the company welcomed its first American guests back on board in Bermuda for the first of eight sailings of Bermuda Escape. Over the next month, Viking will launch Welcome Back sailings around Iceland and in the Mediterranean – and will restart its European river operations with select itineraries in Portugal, France and along the Rhine.
“We applaud the European Union and the CDC for their thoughtful actions encouraging international travel while keeping public health a top priority,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “Our guests are experienced travelers who are eager to once again explore the world in comfort. It has been a delight to welcome guests back on board in England and Bermuda over the last few weeks, and we can now look forward to our American guests returning to Europe this summer.”
With space selling fast, there are limited dates still available in summer and early fall 2021. Viking’s Welcome Back Collection includes:
Ocean Departures – Voyages Beginning in June 2021
Malta & Adriatic Jewels (11 days; Valletta to Valletta; Croatia, Montenegro & Malta) – Discover Malta’s millennia of history and visit ancient UNESCO sites. Explore Croatia’s captivating coastline and some of the great iconic cities of antiquity. Stroll the majestic city walls of Dubrovnik and visit Diocletian’s Palace. Or immerse yourself in nature and the great outdoors during a visit to Krka National Park. Join us for a fascinating journey as you witness rolling landscapes and ancient architectural treasures along Adriatic shores. Multiple sailing dates July through October 2021.
Malta & the Western Mediterranean (11 days; Valletta to Valletta; Italy, Spain & Malta) – Traverse the historic and heritage-rich waters of the Western Mediterranean during a 10-night roundtrip voyage from Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will discover the magnificent Amalfi Coast from elegant Naples, gateway to Pompeii, and visit Messina, Sicily’s cultural crossroad. See the storied sites of ancient Rome and immerse in Tuscan Florence and Catalonian Barcelona’s art and architecture during your unforgettable journey. Multiple sailing dates in September and October 2021.
Malta & Greek Isles Discovery (11 days; Valletta to Valletta; Greece & Malta) – Immerse in the ancient world as you discover the early empires of the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. Visit historic UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Maltese capital of Valletta and Rhodes’ Palace of the Grand Masters. Enjoy dramatic views of the Parthenon in Athens, uncover the mysteries of the Minoans on Crete and admire the white facades and azure domes of the clifftop villages of Santorini during this enchanting voyage through the centuries. Multiple sailing dates July through September 2021.
Iceland’s Natural Beauty (11 days; Reykjavik to Reykjavik) – Discover Iceland’s majestic shores as you explore this northern isle’s coastal towns. Encounter unparalleled natural beauty and witness cascading waterfalls amid pristine fjord landscapes. Discover Viking heritage as you follow in the footsteps of intrepid explorer Leif Eriksson. Or observe the wealth of wildlife, from puffins to the gentle giants of the sea. Join us for a truly immersive experience that brings you closer to nature and all her splendor. Multiple sailing dates July through September 2021.
Bermuda Escape (8 days; Hamilton to Hamilton) – Discover the colonial history and natural beauty of the subtropical island of Bermuda. Explore the cobblestone streets and colorful facades of St. George’s, the oldest settlement in the New World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a sunset cruise by catamaran as you trace the shores of Bermuda’s stunning bays. Play a round of golf, or relax and soak up the sun on the pink sands of one of Bermuda’s renowned beaches. Multiple sailing dates June through August 2021.
River Departures – Voyages Beginning in July 2021
Rhine Getaway (8 days; Amsterdam to Basel) – Explore one of Europe’s best-loved rivers, the Rhine. Discover the turreted fortresses, grand cathedrals, historic cities, medieval towns and spectacular scenery of the Middle Rhine—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Taste the region’s renowned white wines, the roots of its terraced vineyards reaching back to Roman times. Savor the various culinary traditions of Alsace. From Amsterdam and Cologne to Basel, this journey reveals a rich landscape of beauty and culture. Multiple sailing dates July through December 2021.
Portugal’s River of Gold (10 days; Lisbon to Porto) – Experience the renaissance of Lisbon, newly invigorated with trending galleries and restaurants. Explore two of Iberia’s oldest university towns: Coimbra, Portugal and Salamanca, Spain. Roam the port warehouses of Porto. Enjoy traditional cuisine, wine and fado singing. Cruise the Douro River Valley, the world’s oldest demarcated wine region and a UNESCO Site. Our 10-day cruisetour includes a hotel stay in Lisbon and the added bonus of a visit to Spain. Multiple sailing dates July through October 2021.
Paris & the Heart of Normandy (8 days; Paris to Rouen to Paris) – Explore Giverny and visit the beautiful gardens and charming farmhouse where Claude Monet lived and worked, the setting that inspired many of his masterpieces. Trace the footsteps of Joan of Arc in Rouen. Walk hallowed ground at Normandy’s American Military Cemetery and World War II beaches. Savor Normandy cuisine. This 8-day cruise along the Seine River celebrates history, art, food and customs in the country’s most dazzling urbane and pastoral settings. Multiple sailing dates July through December 2021.
Lyon & Provence (8 days; Avignon to Lyon) – Tap into your inner van Gogh at an Arles painting class. Discover Roman Provence at Les Arènes amphitheater and the Pont du Gard. Explore Avignon’s Palace of the Popes. Excite your palate in Lyon, capital of French gastronomy. Savor Beaujolais wines. Hunt for truffles and see how chèvre cheese is made. Come witness the beauty that inspired artists like Cézanne and Chagall on this 8-day Rhône cruise. Multiple sailing dates July through November 2021.
France’s Finest (15 days; Paris to Avignon) – Pay your respects at Normandy’s World War II beaches. Walk in Joan of Arc’s footsteps at Rouen. Luxuriate in Paris’s sophistication. Savor Lyon’s culinary heritage. Toast the Beaujolais vineyards. Explore Avignon’s Palace of the Popes. Celebrate the Provençal lifestyle. Art, cuisine, style, joie de vivre—if you love everything Français, this is for you: a 15-day journey that combines our popular Paris & the Heart of Normandy and Lyon & Provence cruises into one tour de force. Multiple sailing dates in August and September 2021.
Those who sail Welcome Back voyages will also experience Viking’s industry-leading health and safety program. Grounded in scientific research, the Viking Health & 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—and a strong 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. New air purification technology has also been installed on all Viking ships, which have always featured independent air handling units for all guest staterooms. And additional health checks, sanitization and physical distancing measures will provide further protection for Viking guests and crew at all points of the journey. A complete overview of the Viking Health & Safety Program can be found at: www.viking.com/health-safety.
Limited space is still available on 2021 summer sailings. Call Viking toll free at 1-855-8-VIKING (1-855-884-5464) or contact a travel agent.
Viking was founded in 1997 and provides destination-focused journeys on rivers, oceans and lakes around the world. Designed for experienced travelers with interests in science, history, culture and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests The Thinking Person’s Cruise® in contrast to mainstream cruises. In its first five years of operation, Viking has been rated the #1 ocean cruise line in Travel + Leisure’s 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 “World’s Best” Awards. In addition to the Travel + Leisure honors, Viking has also been honored multiple times on Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” as well as recognized by Cruise Critic as “Best Overall” Small-Mid size ship in the 2018 Cruisers’ Choice Awards, “Best River Cruise Line” and “Best River Itineraries,” with the entire Viking Longships® fleet being named “Best New River Ships” in the website’s Editors’ Picks Awards. For additional information, contact Viking at 1-800-2-VIKING (1-800-284-5464) or visit www.viking.com. For Viking’s award-winning enrichment channel, visit www.viking.tv.