Viking cancels all 2020 cruises

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The Viking Longship Herja. The line has suspended all cruising through the end of the year.
The Viking Longship Herja. The line has suspended all cruising through the end of the year.

Viking has canceled all of its river and ocean cruises through the end of the year due to ongoing uncertainty over the Covid-19 pandemic.

Viking chairman Torstein Hagen announced the suspension of operations through Dec. 31 in a letter and video message to guests that was posted on the company website Wednesday.

He said that while he is encouraged by advances in treatments and a vaccine for Covid-19, "the recovery from this pandemic will be sporadic, and the ability to travel freely across borders remains some time away.  As keen as we may be to get back to exploring, for now, international travel must wait."

Hagen said that as a privately held company there is no rush to return to service, and the line will only do so when it is safe to sail again.

"It is in that spirit that we are extending our temporary suspension of operations through Dec. 31, 2020, at which time we believe the world will be in a better position, and international travel will be less complicated" he said.

Viking is offering 125% future cruise credits to all guests whose cruises were canceled.

The move comes two weeks after Crystal Cruises canceled all of its ocean and river cruises for the remainder of 2020 and follows the extension through Oct. 31 of the CDC's No Sail Order for ships carrying more than 250 people.

Although some lines have resumed or are planning limited cruising from European and other international ports,  there have been several interruptions to early sailings after guests or crew tested positive for Covid-19.

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