Viking has introduced it is going to briefly droop river and ocean cruise operations till Could 1, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The announcement was made Wednesday evening in a video and a letter despatched from Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen to at the moment booked company.
It’s vital to notice that a few of the most inclined to coronavirus are older adults, based on the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), along with these with coronary heart illness, diabetes and lung illness. Hagen is on document saying that “Viking’s company as 55-plus years of age, English-speaking, well-educated, prosperous [and more].”
In his letter, Hagen says, “Since we began Viking almost 23 years in the past, now we have all the time cared firstly about our company and our workers.”
He continues, “I’m certain you acknowledge that COVID-19 has made journey exceedingly difficult. An growing variety of ports, together with Venice, Monte Carlo and Bergen, have briefly closed to cruise ships; main sights such because the Vatican and different museums have been closed; and a few international locations are imposing restrictions on public gatherings and guests.
“In latest days now we have had an expertise the place a river cruise visitor in Southeast Asia was uncovered to COVID-19 whereas in transit on a global airline. Whereas this visitor is just not exhibiting signs, she has been positioned in quarantine. Individually, the remaining 28 company may also be quarantined.
“I’m writing immediately as a result of the scenario has now turn out to be such that working as a journey firm entails important dangers of quarantines or medical detentions, which may diminish the journey experiences for which our company have been planning. As a personal firm with robust funds, we should not have to fret about quarterly revenue expectations—and that flexibility permits us the power to do what’s greatest for our company and our workers, as now we have all the time achieved.
“Subsequently, now we have made the troublesome resolution to briefly droop operations of our river and ocean vessels embarking from March 12 to April 30, 2020—at which period we imagine Viking shall be in a greater place to offer the experiences our company anticipate and deserve. It is a resolution we made with a heavy coronary heart, however with current circumstances what they’re, we’re unable to ship the high-quality Viking expertise for which we’re identified.”
For company who’re booked on a cruise inside this window of suspended operations, Viking is providing the selection of a Future Cruise Voucher valued at 125 p.c of all monies paid to Viking or a refund equal to the quantity paid. Visitors can have 24 months to make use of their Future Cruise Voucher to make a brand new reservation on any river, ocean or expedition cruise. If you’re unable to make use of your voucher, Viking provides it is going to ship you a refund equal to the unique quantity paid after the voucher expires. Good to know: These Future Cruise Vouchers may also be absolutely transferable.
What does this implies for you? Viking says it is going to pay fee on any: Threat-Free Assure Future Cruise Voucher (FCV) reserving or 125 p.c FCV (as described above) reserving until fee has already been paid on authentic reserving.
“We perceive that this can be a troublesome time for all of us within the journey trade, and we thanks in your help,” Viking stated in an e mail offered to journey advisors. “We hope that this announcement and the continuation of the Threat-Free Assure Program supplies you with robust retention and gross sales instruments that may enable you proceed to promote throughout this era of uncertainty, whereas offering your shoppers with the peace of thoughts they want and deserve.”
On a constructive be aware, Hagen concludes in his video, “We plan to proceed growth of our destination-focused journey experiences … In early 2022 we’ll launch our expedition journeys to the Arctic and Antarctica, in addition to North America’s Nice Lakes. And, at first of April 2020, we’ll announce our latest river voyages nearer to residence, in America’s heartland.”