Today [Monday 10 May] Portsmouth was the location for the maiden arrival of Viking Venus, latest addition in the fleet for luxury cruise line Viking.
This brand new ocean liner is in the UK where she will be officially named on 17 May by her ceremonial godmother, journalist and broadcaster Anne Diamond.
The ship will then set sail for spring and summer departures from 22 May, using Portsmouth as her homeport for an initial five voyages on Viking’s England’s Scenic Shores itinerary.
This follows major investment from the port to extend the cruise berth, making logistic operations efficient and comfortable.
Mike Sellers, Portsmouth International Port’s director said: "We are honoured to host the global debut of Viking Venus, as the cruise line restarts operations and begins domestic passenger sailings.
“Everyone has been working incredibly hard throughout the pandemic, which is how we’ve been able to respond quickly to new health protocol measures and are ready to support travel as soon as restrictions allow.
“The sailings from Portsmouth are cruises around the UK and we have comprehensive plans in place to keep staff, passengers and the community safe, following the UK Chamber of Shipping Cruise Operations Framework.
“The cruise industry at large, and especially Viking, has also put huge amounts of consideration into making sure safety is paramount and I have been impressed by the detail and coordination, going above and beyond what’s required.”
Those who sail these new voyages will experience Viking’s industry‐leading health and safety programme.
Grounded in scientific research, the Viking health & safety programme 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. Utilising a full‐scale laboratory installed on every Viking ocean ship, 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. Additional health checks, sanitisation and physical distancing measures will provide further protection for Viking guests and crew at all points of the journey.