Luxury Cruise Line Viking Cruises suspends operations worldwide due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Due to the growing threat of Coronavirus, Viking Cruises suspends operations worldwide starting with cruises departing tomorrow. The cruise line expects to resume operations on May 1st.

The company released the following statement, through the company’s Chairman and Founder Torstein Hagen, to the affected passengers…

Torstein Hagen

The situation has now become such that operating as a travel company involves significant risks of quarantines or medical detentions, which could diminish the travel experiences for which our guests have been planning,” the company’s chairman and founder, Torstein Hagen, said in a letter sent to passengers booked on upcoming sailings.

“Since we started Viking nearly 23 years ago, we have always cared first and foremost about our guests and our employees,” Hagen said. “As a private company with strong finances, we do not have to worry about quarterly profit expectations – and that flexibility allows us the ability to do what is best for our guests and our employees, as we have always done.”

“I am sure you recognize that COVID-19 has made travel exceedingly complicated,” Hagen said in his letter to customers. “An increasing number of ports, including Venice, Monte Carlo and Bergen, have temporarily closed to cruise ships; major attractions such as the Vatican and other museums have been closed; and some countries are imposing restrictions on public gatherings and visitors.”

“This is a decision we made with a heavy heart, but with present circumstances what they are, we are unable to deliver the high-quality Viking experience for which we are known,” Hagen said.

“We will stand by our guests, employees and partners in these challenging times and hope that they in turn will stand by us.”

Recent Incident with COVID-19

He also noted that a passenger on a recent Asian cruise was exposed to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on their flight. 28 passengers from this cruise, including the exposed passenger, are now quarantined.

Viking has approximately 76 operating vessels, 70 river liners and 6 ocean ships. Their vessels carry approximately 500,000 passengers per year. Viking Cruises has 10,000 employees.

President Donald Trump announced, just hours before Viking Cruise suspended operations, that there would be restrictions on travel between the US and Europe. Viking operates many of its cruises and vessels there.

The affected customers can choose from a refund or credit voucher. If the voucher expires without being used a full refund will be issued. Vouchers will be worth 125% of the price of the original cruise.

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