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Travel Viking Cruises Cancels All Sailings Until 2021

21:16  13 august  2020
21:16  13 august  2020 Source:   travelandleisure.com

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a small boat in a body of water: Courtesy of Viking Cruises The Viking Sea and Viking Star cruise ships in Santorini © Provided by Travel + Leisure Courtesy of Viking Cruises The Viking Sea and Viking Star cruise ships in Santorini

Viking Cruises has canceled all sailings until at least 2021, the company announced on Wednesday, becoming the latest cruise line to push sailings amid the continuing battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

Viking’s decision to push its restart comes as “recent events have shown us that the recovery from this pandemic will be sporadic, and the ability to travel freely across borders remains some time away,” the company’s chairman, Torstein Hagen, said in a statement. The company first paused operations on March 11.

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“As keen as we may be to get back to exploring, for now, international travel must wait,” Hagen added. “I have said before that we will only sail again when it is safe to do so. We are a private, closely-held company, which means we do not have to rush the decision to return to service.”

Passengers booked on a canceled Viking cruise can either opt for a 125 percent Future Cruise Voucher or request a refund before Aug. 24.

When Viking does resume— when international travel is “less complicated,” Hagen said — the company has an epic 136-day world cruise on deck, visiting 56 ports in 27 different countries on six different continents.

Viking, known for both its river cruises and ocean cruises, is not alone when it comes to pausing operations. Last month, Princess Cruises canceled sailings for most of its ships through December. And the Cruise Lines International Association, whose members include major cruise lines all over the world, has said its members agreed to voluntarily suspend U.S. sailings through at least Oct. 31.

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Some cruise lines have resumed sailing again with mixed results. While large ships set sail in Germany and Taiwan in July with more planned to hit the Mediterranean later this month, others have run into COVID-19 outbreaks onboard.

Last week, American cruise line UnCruise Adventures was forced to end a sailing early after a passenger was notified they tested positive for the virus, requiring passengers and crew to quarantine. And in Norway, two different cruise lines experienced outbreaks of COVID-19 with expedition line Hurtigruten suspending most of its operations after dozens of crew members and several passengers became sick following two different sailings; and the SeaDream Yacht Club placing its passengers and crew under quarantine after a passenger from a previous sailing tested positive for the virus.

a small boat in a body of water: The Viking Sea and Viking Star cruise ships in Santorini © Courtesy of Viking Cruises The Viking Sea and Viking Star cruise ships in Santorini

Video: Cruising Won't Resume in the U.S. Until at Least November, Cruise Association Confirms (Travel + Leisure)

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Norwegian Extends Cancellations Until End of November .
The suspension also affects Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Guests with affected reservations should contact their cruise line for additional information about their cancellations. The CDC initially intended for the  "No-Sail" order to hold up until February of 2021, however it is due to expire on Oct. 31 following a reported dispute with the White House. The Oct. 31 extension date also aligns with an agreement by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to not resume sailing in U.S. waters until at least November.

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