Viking River Cruises has announced they will halt all river and ocean cruises due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Viking released a video of its Chairman Torstein Hagen, saying the cruise ship company would suspend all trips scheduled between March 12 and April 30, 2020. Hagen announced, “We believe Viking will be in a better place to provide the experiences our guests expect and deserve after this time and plan to resume operations on May 1, 2020, continuing all further sailings as originally planned.”
The company also released a statement from Hagen on their website saying COVID-19 has made travel “exceedingly complicated.” As an example, the chairman cited the case of a river cruise guest who had was exposed to COVID-19 while in transit on an international airline. “While this guest is not exhibiting symptoms, she has been placed in quarantine. Separately, the remaining 28 guests will also be quarantined.”
Why It Matters
Viking caters to 500,000 guests each year and employs 10,000 people.
On Tuesday, a British woman on a Viking river cruise from Vietnam tested positive for COVID-19 in Cambodia, becoming that country’s third case.
Other cruise ships have also been at the center of the current coronavirus epidemic. A passenger on Carnival Corp’s (NYSE: CCL) Grand Princess died in California, becoming the state’s first fatality. Hundreds became infected on The Diamond Princess, which was quarantined in Yokohama after the outbreak onboard.
Viking’s chairman expressed satisfaction at the company being privately owned in his statement, “As a private company with strong finances, we do not have to worry about quarterly profit expectations.”
President Trump has said that his administration would work with cruise liners under pressure due to the current epidemic.
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