Viking Cruises has halted its river and ocean sailings until 31 August because travel remains “complicated”, Viking chairman Torstein Hagen said.

“This has truly been an unprecedented time in world history and for those of us who spend much of our time travelling, staying home has been a continuous adjustment,” he added.

The line is committed to “maintaining the safest and healthiest fleet in the industry and we are fortunate to have small ocean ships with only 930 guests and river ships with only 190 guests.

“We have always had the highest standards for health and cleanliness – and are now developing additional protocols to make travelling with Viking even safer.”

Viking was the first cruise line to announce a temporary suspension of operations in early March.

Passengers who have booked to sail with Viking can now rebook their itineraries with a 125 per cent future cruise voucher.

Mr Hagen said the 125 per cent future credit voucher is “fully transferable, allowing you to gift it to someone with whom you would like to share the joys of travel. It can be applied within the next 24 months to any river, ocean or expedition cruise.

“If you are unable to use your voucher by the expiration date, simply return your expired voucher to Viking and we will send you a refund equal to the original amount paid to Viking.”

Passengers who prefer a refund instead of the voucher, should contact the company by 12 June.

Those who rebook their cruise holidays by 30 June, will be entitled to the company’s risk-free guarantee which allows them to change their travel plans up to 24 hours prior to departure.

Viking is on track to expand its fleet, launching Viking Venus next year followed by the 2022 debut of two expedition ships, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris which will sail the Arctic and Antarctica and Viking Mississippi in America.

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