Viking celebrated its return to the Mediterranean Sea as two Viking ships, Viking Sea and the new Viking Venus, have begun cruises roundtrip from Valletta, Malta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Offered as part of Viking’s “Welcome Back” collection, these voyages are available only to vaccinated guests. Both ships are now home ported in Valletta and operating three new itineraries:
- Malta & Adriatic Jewels: 11 days roundtrip from Valletta to Croatia, Montenegro & Malta on multiple dates through October 2021
- Malta & Greek Isles Discovery: 11 days roundtrip from Valletta to Greece and Malta on multiple sailing dates through September 2021
- Malta, the Adriatic & Greece: 21 days roundtrip from Valletta to Croatia, Montenegro, Greece and Malta.
Viking has also partnered with Lufthansa to offer nonstop flights from Newark Liberty International Airport to Malta exclusively for Viking guests—making the transatlantic journey to Europe easier. Space and departure dates for flights are limited.
Limited space is still available on 2021 summer and early fall sailings. “We are delighted to be back in the Mediterranean and to be homeporting in Valletta,” said Torstein Hagen, Viking’s chairman, from onboard Viking Sea in Valletta.
Thanking the government of Malta for its support and partnership,” Hagen added: “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.”
Last month the Maltese Government eased rules for the arrival of international travelers—and now allows vaccinated Americans with CDC COVID-19 vaccination record cards to arrive in Malta. Full details of Malta’s Traffic Light System for travelers can be found here on Visit Malta’s web site .
Also in June, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it had eased travel recommendations for 110 countries and territories. The CDC ranked Malta as “Level 1” or the lowest for risk of COVID-19.
Viking restarted the company’s ocean operations in May 2021 with sailings in the United Kingdom for U.K. guests. By keeping ships in warm lay-up, Viking was able to restart more quickly than most cruise lines. In June, the company welcomed American guests back on board for new journeys around Bermuda and Iceland.
Viking reports that its guests who’ve sailed on these “Welcome Back” voyages have provided some of the highest-ever ratings in post-trip surveys—a strong indication that experienced travelers are ready to be exploring the world in comfort once again.
This month, Viking has also restarted its European river cruises by operating select itineraries in Portugal and France.
Health & Safety Program
Grounded in scientific research, the Viking Health & Safety Program was developed in partnership with an international team of medical advisors, including Raquel Bono, M.D., Viking’s chief health officer. She is a board-certified trauma surgeon and retired vice admiral of the United States Navy Medical Corps. Most recently, she led Washington State’s medical and healthcare systems response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Using a full-scale laboratory installed on every Viking ocean ship—and a network of dedicated shoreside labs for Viking river ships in Europe—all guests and crew will receive frequent, quick, easy and non-invasive saliva PCR tests.
That access to robust PCR testing also simplifies guests’ travel experience with a final COVID-19 test taken onboard. That satisfies the requirement for pre-flight testing before arrival into the U.S.
In addition, new air purification technology is now installed on all Viking ships. Additional health checks, sanitization and physical distancing measures will provide further protection for Viking guests and crew. For more information, visit www.viking.com/health-safety.