(PRESS RELEASE)_Los Angeles (June 17, 2021) – Viking® (www.viking.com) announced today new details about its upcoming Welcome Back voyages in the Mediterranean that launch in July 2021. Over the course of summer and early fall, Viking will homeport three sister ships—the Viking Star®, the Viking Sea® and the company’s newest ship, the Viking Venus®—for three different 11-day itineraries that explore the Mediterranean, roundtrip from the Maltese capital city of Valletta, a cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site. Viking also announced today that it has partnered with Lufthansa to offer non-stop flights from Newark Liberty International Airport to Malta, exclusively for Viking guests.
Viking’s announcement comes as the Maltese Government has eased rules for the arrival of international travelers, including Americans. Like many countries, Malta has developed a traffic light system for arriving travelers. Beginning today, June 17, Malta has added most U.S. states and territories – covering the vast majority of the population – to its “Amber List.” Travelers from the Amber List may arrive in Malta with proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test having been conducted at least 72 hours prior to arrival. Full details of Malta’s Traffic Light System for travelers can be found on Visit Malta’s website here. Yesterday, the European Union recommended that its member countries begin lifting restrictions on American travelers, with a formal announcement expected on Friday. Additionally, on June 7, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it has eased travel recommendations for 110 countries and territories. As part of the new recommendations, the CDC specifically ranked Malta as “Level 1” or the lowest for risk of COVID-19.
“Now that we have successfully restarted operations, welcoming guests back on board in England and in Bermuda, we look forward to launching our new voyages from Malta. We applaud the government of Malta for being such a supportive destination partner and for making the arrival and embarkation process even easier for our guests,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “With its rich history and stunning natural beauty, Malta is truly a gem in the Mediterranean that many American travelers have yet to discover. With our new Welcome Back voyages, combined with Lufthansa flights from Newark exclusively for Viking guests, there has never been a better opportunity to explore the Mediterranean from Malta.”
Viking successfully restarted operations in May and has been sailing in England with British guests since May 22. Nearly 100 percent of guests on these sailings have rated their experience as “excellent” or “very good.” Yesterday, the company welcomed its first American guests back on board in Bermuda for the first of eight sailings of Bermuda Escape. Later this month, Viking will launch Welcome Back sailings around Iceland.
With space selling fast, there are limited dates still available in summer and early fall 2021 for Viking’s Welcome Back voyages in the Mediterranean, which include:
Mediterranean Voyages Beginning in July 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. Non-stop Lufthansa flights from Newark to Malta, exclusively for Viking guests, are now available. Space and departure dates for flights are limited. Call Viking toll free at 1-855-8-VIKING (1-855-884-5464) or contact a travel agent for details.
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