Viking ship sails with Americans onboard

Viking welcomed Americans onboard for the first time in 15 months Tuesday for a cruise in Bermuda.

Guests boarded the Viking Orion in Hamilton to sail the company’s new Bermuda Escape itinerary, which is part of the company’s Welcome Back collection of cruises exclusively  for vaccinated travelers.

“Today is an extraordinary milestone as the world continues to reopen for international travel,” said Viking chairman Torstein Hagen. “We applaud the government of Bermuda for its collaboration and support as we have restarted our operations. Bermuda has been a favorite destination among our guests since our ocean ships began calling there in 2017, and we look forward to introducing even more Viking guests to the island’s history, culture and phenomenal natural beauty.”

The cruise is the first of eight roundtrip sailings from Hamilton planned for this summer.

• Related: When — and from where — can Americans cruise?

Viking restarted operations in May with sailings in England for British guests. Later this month, it will launch Welcome Back sailings around Iceland and in the Mediterranean. And in July, it will restart its European river operations with select itineraries in Portugal, France and along the Rhine.

In addition to the vaccination requirement, guests will undergo frequent, noninvasive saliva PCR Covid-19 tests. The company’s ocean ships have been outfitted with labs to conduct the tests. For river cruises, the company said it has developed a strong network of dedicated shoreside labs for testing.

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