Ever since cruises became hotbeds of COVID-19 transmission back in March, travelers have been understandably wary of cruising. Viking Cruises is trying to remedy this by unveiling the first-ever COVID-19 testing lab aboard a cruise ship. The lab will be capable of performing COVID-19 saliva tests every day for each crew member and passenger aboard the Viking Star ship in an effort to quickly identify any cases on board and prevent their spread.
Matt Grimes, the vice president of maritime operations for Viking, said in a statement, “We have been working on this for a number of months, and today is important as it moves us one step closer to operating cruises again, without compromising the safety of our guests and crew.”
The Viking Star is scheduled to depart from Fort Lauderdale on December 24 for a 136-day cruise around the world, stopping in 27 different countries. Viking plans to conduct regular tests during the journey to give passengers safety and peace of mind.
The full capabilities of the PCR lab will be demonstrated in mid-November when the ship docks in Oslo, Norway.