Viking River Cruises Sail in Summer 2021


Viking River Cruise itineraries will be opened for JUNE/JULY 2021 departure dates. These sailings will be for vaccinated guests only from the US & UK. Take a look below at some of the Frequently Asked Questions. For more information or to book your Summer river cruise contact a Travel Adivsor here.

Q: Which river itineraries are available?

We are re-starting sailings for Portugal in early July; and sailings in France—as well as our Rhine Getaway itinerary–around mid-July. All itineraries are available to fully-vaccinated US and UK guests. We have been working closely with local officials in these destinations for months, and are in regular communication regarding tourist entry requirements and availability of tourist venues. We anticipate being able to visit most venues that we would normally offer as shore excursions when we sail. Viking crew, guides, and guests will of course be subject to all local regulations while traveling.

Q: Will my cruise sailing later this year operate?

We continue to evaluate our ability to sail on future dates and stay in contact with authorities, all other sailings are currently scheduled to operate as planned. We feel confident that vaccinated guests will be able to travel to Europe this summer and enjoy their voyage as planned.

Travel Requirements

What are the requirements to go on a River cruise?

For the time being, our River itineraries are exclusively available for vaccinated guests. While the relevant Portugal/France/Germany/Netherlands/Swiss/CDC websites currently indicate travel is not yet permitted for US & UK residents, in-country authorities have indicated to our Operations team that entry should be permitted very soon, and in time for sailing. We anticipate you will need to take a COVID-19 test shortly before your flight departs (likely 72 – 48 hours prior), and present negative results (and/or proof of vaccine) both on check-in to your flight and upon arrival in Europe. In addition, most countries currently require travelers to fill out a pre-travel form on their website a few days prior to departure to assess their medical situation and help the country locate you in case of COVID-19 related issues. Viking will also require your proof of vaccination before you board the ship. Once exact requirements are clear, and well in time for your journey, Viking will provide updated information.

 Q: Currently the European Union still bans nonessential travel — will I have to quarantine when I arrive in Europe this summer, even though I have been vaccinated?

The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, has indicated that vaccinated Americans will be allowed to arrive in Europe and travel within member countries beginning this summer. Additionally, Viking’s nautical operations team, which is based in Switzerland and maintains constant communication with all of our destination partners, continues to receive the same assurances. Therefore, we feel confident that vaccinated guests will be able to travel to Europe this summer and enjoy their voyage as planned.


Q: Will guests be required to wear a face mask on board?

Face masks will be required for all guests and crew while moving about the ship in accordance with guidelines from local governments. Face masks will not be required for guests when seated in dining venues, bars and lounges.

 Q: Will Viking operate at reduced capacity for these “re-start” sailings?

Viking will restart our vessel operations at reduced capacity and in accordance with guidelines from the local governments where we will sail.

 Q: Are vaccinations required?

Yes. Currently all Viking sailings are available exclusively for vaccinated guests. This will remain in effect at least through September 30, 2021. This is in accordance with entry rules for many of our destinations and as a complement to our new health and safety protocol enhancements, which were designed to protect guests and crew while the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues moving forward. Viking’s medical and operations teams will continue to monitor vaccination rates and entry requirements, and will adjust our protocol and policies as needed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our guests and crew.

Q: How will Viking define “vaccinated guests” for the US?

Viking is currently evaluating several methods to verify guest’s vaccination status. All guests from the US will need to have received the required dose(s) of an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the date of embarkation.

A vaccine requirement for all guests complements Viking’s Health & Safety Program, which was designed to protect guests and crew while the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues moving forward. Along with many other protocol enhancements, every guest and crew member will receive a non-invasive saliva PCR test at embarkation and frequently throughout the itinerary. Viking’s medical team will continue to monitor vaccination rates and adjust our protocol and policies as needed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our guests and crew.

Q: How will Viking enforce/verify the vaccination status of guests?

Viking is currently evaluating several third-party medical and technology partners to verify the vaccination status of guests. All guests booked on sailings who have a vaccine requirement will receive relevant instructions to verify their status well in advance of their departure. Please see Viking’s COVID-19 POLICIES AND PROCEDURES on our website for additional information.

Q: Will you require your crew to be vaccinated?

Viking encourages all of our crew to be vaccinated when it is their time, and is working with relevant local health authorities to secure vaccinations as soon as possible. However, until the time comes when vaccines are available for all of our crew across our fleet, we believe that our protocol, which includes required 14-day quarantines for arriving crew and frequent PCR testing of all guests and crew, as well as a vaccination requirement for all guests, makes Viking even safer for all on board.

Q: Will Viking conduct contact tracing for these sailings?

In addition to the protocol enhancements included in the Viking Health & Safety Program, we will also be implementing contact tracing measures for guests and crew on board. More information about all health and safety protocols will be provided to guests booked on these sailings in advance of their departure.

 Q: Will Viking cover medical costs if I test positive and must be disembarked?

Viking will cover the cost of private medical transport to an appropriate shoreside facility for any guest who tests positive for COVID-19 and must be disembarked. However, we recommend all guests purchase a suitable travel protection plan, which helps protect you from many unforeseen circumstances that may arise before or during your trip, which could include necessary medical, quarantine or repatriation expenses related to COVID-19.


Q: When will shore excursions be available to book?

Shore excursions are available to book online now through MVJ. A few excursions (such as home-hosted ones) are not available until we can assure they can be operated with appropriate health and safety protocols. As we confirm this, these will be available on MVJ and also for purchase onboard.

Q: What will you have in place for social distancing? Will I have to wear a mask ashore?

We anticipate groups will be smaller to accommodate social distancing. Face masks may be required ashore, depending on local regulations. Our Operations team is in regular contact with each country’s authorities, as well as representatives at the venues we visit, and the ship’s crew will have the latest updates for you when you are onboard.

Q: Can I explore on my own?

If we are only able to offer Viking-operated shore excursions, guests will not have the option to explore on their own. This will be dependent upon local regulations and each country’s situation. Our Operations team is in regular contact with onshore country authorities, as well as representatives at the venues we visit, and decisions about independent exploration will be made in coordination with Viking’s medical and nautical teams.