Viking® has announced that it will expand its presence in the Mediterranean this summer, adding a third ship to sail roundtrip voyages from the Maltese capital city of Valletta—a cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site. Offered as part of Viking’s Welcome Backcollection, Viking Star® will now join sister ships Viking Venus® and Viking Sea® and will sail a new 11-day itinerary, Malta & the Western Mediterranean.
With the addition of this new voyage, vaccinated guests now have three new options for experiencing the Mediterranean between July and early October 2021. Guests on the Malta & the Western Mediterranean itinerary will overnight in Valletta and then sail to Sicily, Italy and Spain, calling in Messina, Naples (Pompeii), Civitavecchia (Rome), Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Genoa and Barcelona, before returning to Valletta. Those on the Malta & Adriatic Jewels itinerary will overnight in Valletta and then sail to Montenegro and Croatia, calling in Kotor, Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and Šibenik, before returning to the Maltese archipelago, with a stop on Gozo Island and finally back to Valletta. And guests on the Malta & Greek Isles Discovery itinerary will also overnight in Valletta and then sail to Greece, calling in Kalamata, Athens, Santorini, Rhodes and Souda Bay, before returning to Valletta.
This recent news follows Viking’s recent announcements of initial Welcome Back ocean voyages in England, Iceland, Bermuda and the Mediterranean, beginning in May 2021—as well as the restart of European river operations beginning in July 2021. Just last week, Viking named its newest ocean ship, Viking Venus®, and she is currently sailing in England with guests.
Viking Health & Safety Program
Those who sail these new 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, all guests and crew will receive daily 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.
The Viking Difference
Designed for discerning travelers with interests in history, art, music, and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests “the thinking person’s cruise” as an alternative to mainstream cruises. Ships are small to get guests closer to their destination, with more time in port and more overnights. Local Life excursions shine a light on everyday activities and include experiences such as Viking Chef-hosted trips to local farmers markets, tea at home with local residents and visits with local schoolchildren. Working World excursions feature behind-the-scenes “making of” experiences, illuminating destinations through their most famous exports, such as factory and farm visits. Privileged Access excursions include experiences such as a behind-the-scenes tours at Highclere Castle, the “real Downton Abbey;” visiting St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum “behind closed doors;” a private cooking class in a Tuscan castle; an intimate organ concert in the Berlin Cathedral; and an exclusive dinner in the Churchill War Rooms in London.
In addition, Viking offers a compelling value compared to other cruise lines. Every cruise fare includes an outside stateroom, a complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; alternative restaurant dining; free Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to the Thermal Suite in the LivNordic Spa; and 24-hour room service.