This week Viking with great news. Carnival expands and Princess Cruise Line cancels some 2023 sailings.
Viking Discontinues Testing Requirement
Viking River, ocean and expedition cruises have removed the requirement for pre cruise and on board testing for COVID 19.
Up until this point, Viking like other cruise lines, required you present a negative COVID Test prior to boarding their ships. And on some voyages, required testing during the voyage. This is no longer the requirement with the exception of a couple ships, the Viking Orion and Octantis sailing in the US. There also may still be the requirement if the destination requires the testing.
Testing will still be available on board if a guest has symptoms or needs it to return home. Although testing is not required, it is still recommended prior to sailing. As of now the vaccine requirement for guest and crew will remain in affect as well as the testing and mask for crew.
The question will remain, will this change be made by other cruise lines? Well, usually when one makes a change, the others follow but you have to remember, Viking is a small ship line so they do not have the crowds the large ship cruise lines have.
Princess Cancels Baltic and Asiai Sailings
Princess Cruise Line announced this week they are cancelling the Baltic sailings on Regal Princess for the 2023 due to the war in Ukraine. The Baltic Season was scheduled to run from April until September. They also cancelled the Asia sailings on Royal Princess, this due to deployment issues. The Asai season was scheduled to run September 5-October 10 2023. Guest will have two options, future cruise credit or a full refund.
The next questions is where will they redeploy these ships. These are fantastic ships so would be valuable itineraries where ever they put them. To be honest, I kind of hope they place one of them in the Caribbean, likely one will go to Alaska or the west coast.
Costa Luminosa Joins the Carnival Fleet
This week Carnival announced the acquisition of the Costa Luminosa from sister line Costa Cruise Lines. Luminosa will begin sailing from Brisbane Australia in November through April 2023 when she will reposition to Seattle to sail Alaska itineraries May through September.
Luminosa is a Spirit Class ship at 92,720 gross tons and a guest capacity of 2,286. Over the next few months she will make the transition from Costa to Carnival but at first will not get some of the FunShip 2.0 upgrades. I would imagine those might be added prior to repositioning to Alaska.
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I have a passion for travel and believe travel is about experiences. Experiences create memories and are the stories we tell to friends and family - even with a little fudging on the facts.