Published on : Friday, March 13, 2020
Viking Cruises recently announced that it will temporarily cancel all sea and river cruise operations till the month of May 2020. The decision has been taken in light of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. According to the current plan of action, all cruise sailings will be stalled and put on hold till 1st of May this year.
The announcement was made by Viking cruises chairman Torstein Hagen through a video and letter addressed towards guests. It was highlighted in the address that the safety and security of half-million annual passengers and 10,000 staff held utmost priority at this grave moment of crisis.
Hagen said in the statement that the COVID-19 coronavirus has created a highly complicated travel scenario. He explained that operating as a travel company in the scenario involves significant risks. Any kind of medical detentions or quarantine can completely destroy the travel experiences that guests have planned. Therefore, suspending operations appears to be a responsible step against the deadly virus spread.
He further addressed that an increasing number of ports including that of Venice, Monte Carlo and Bergen have temporarily closed to receiving cruise ships. Major tourist attraction destinations like the Vatican and similar other museums have also been shut. Moreover, many countries have banned the entry of foreigners and restricted visitors. Important events all across the globe have also been cancelled to avoid public gatherings. Hence cancelling cruise ship appeared to be a feasible option at the moment.
However, Hagen also mentioned that Viking was a well-established company and is capable of overcoming the suspension. He said that as a private company with strong finances, Viking Cruises is not worried about quarterly profit expectations. He added that cruise’s functioning flexibility allows them to do decide the best for their guests and passengers.
Any guests who were set to board the cruise during this season can request a full refund in cash or vouchers.