Viking Ocean Cruises has completed the installation of what it claims is the first full-scale PCR laboratory at sea.
This new on board facility allows shipboard testing capacity, enabling Viking to conduct PCR testing of all crew members and guests with a non-invasive saliva test.
The laboratory has the capacity to test every crew member and guest daily, which provides the flexibility to respond to COVID-19 prevalence levels worldwide, the company said.
This first laboratory was installed on ’Viking Star’, the a 930-guest ocean cruise vessel. It will undergo a series of extensive tests to ensure the procedures and protocols put in place are fully effective.
“We have been working on this for a number of months, and is important as it moves us one step closer to operating cruises again, without compromising the safety of our guests and crew.
“The recently announced CDC guidelines are clearly aligned with our public health research, and we welcome the agency’s push toward testing, as we believe this is the only way to safely operate.
“In our view, continuous PCR testing, along with our extensive on board hygiene protocols, will lead to making Viking ships a safe place to get away to and explore the world,” said Matt Grimes, Viking’s Vice President of Maritime Operations.
Viking will be demonstrating the PCR laboratory, as well as new design and operating procedures, when ’Viking Star’ arrives in Oslo, Norway in mid-November.