Viking will sail three itineraries from Portsmouth exclusively for UK residents this summer as part of a “limited restart" in operations.
The line has announced an eight-day England’s Scenic Shores voyage, which will depart on 22 and 29 of May and 5 June onboard Viking Venus – due to be delivered next month and christened in the UK.
Viking becomes the latest cruise company – following the likes of P&O, Princess, Hurtigruten and Cunard – to announce new UK-based sailings for the summer, after the Department for Transport confirmed ocean cruise operations in England could resume from 17 May.
Viking confirmed that all of its other sailings through to 31 May remained cancelled.
The England’s Scenic Shores itineraries are currently only open to “loyal past guests”, with more details about the itineraries and reservation opportunities announced soon.
Viking founder and chair Torstein Hagen said the company welcomed the UK government’s "support for the return of safe domestic cruises as an important component in the travel industry’s recovery".
"In recognition of this support, and to celebrate the fact we have a British godmother – the esteemed broadcaster and journalist Anne Diamond – we have chosen to name our new ship, Viking Venus, in the UK on 17 May," he said.
"We are in a position to restart operations quickly and to start sailing again in May because we have kept our ships crewed during warm lay-up throughout the past 12 months.
"We have been implementing our additional protocols, including daily quick and easy non-invasive saliva PCR tests for our crew, for almost six months now. With our new protocol enhancements in place, we believe there will be no safer way to travel the world than on a Viking voyage and we look forward to welcoming UK guests back on board very soon."
As part of its Viking Health & Safety Programme, the line will operate a "full-scale laboratory" on every Viking ocean ship, enabling all guests and crew to receive daily saliva PCR tests.
New air purification technology has also been installed on all Viking ships and additional health checks, sanitisation and physical distancing measures will be put in place.