Viking Unveils First On-Board Covid-19 Testing Laboratory

Author: Isabella Sullivan

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Viking has unveiled the first at-sea PCR laboratory on-board Viking Star, which will allow for Covid-19 testing of all passengers and crew

Viking has today announced the completion of the first full-scale Covid-19 on-board testing laboratory.

The new on-board facility will enable the cruise line to conduct PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing of all crew members and passengers, with a non-invasive saliva test.

An industry first, the on-board laboratory will have enough capacity for daily testing of all passenger and crew, allowing the ship to respond to Covid-19 levels around the world and monitor the health of all people on board the ship.

It will also allow for rapid isolation and contingency plans, should someone become infected.

The new lab will allow for testing of passengers and crew, creating a safer environment

The first laboratory has been installed on Viking's 930-passenger ocean ship Viking Star, with the lab now undergoing a series of tests to ensure procedures and protocols are fully effective.

“We have been working on this for a number of months, and today is important as it moves us one step closer to operating cruises again, without compromising the safety of our guests and crew," said Matt Grimes, vice president of maritime operations for Viking.

"The recently announced CDC guidelines are clearly aligned with our public health research, and we welcome the agency’s push toward testing, as we believe this is the only way to safely operate.

"In our view, continuous PCR testing, along with our extensive onboard hygiene protocols, will lead to making Viking ships a safe place to get away to and explore the world."

The cruise line will demonstrate the revolutionary PCR laboratory, along with new operating procedures, when Viking Star comes into Olso, Norway, in mid-November.

Viking is due to resume sailings in January 2021, the first time the cruise line will have sailed since the global suspension of cruises back in March.

Taking place on Viking Sky, the initial 15-day sailing is set to cruise to the Panama Canal and Central America, round-trip from Miami.