Status Update: Viking

Viking will lead the service resumption in the UK with the brand new Viking Venus entering service on May 17. The company is also expanding into the expedition and Mississippi river markets in the next year.

Here’s a status update on the key news with Viking over the last year:

UK Service Resumption  

Recently, Viking announced plans to restart operations in the United Kingdom, with the Viking Venus.

The new vessel will offer eight-day ocean cruises from Portsmouth, starting on May 22, 2021. Called England’s Scenic Shores, the trips will only be available for UK residents.

Viking was one of the first cruise lines to suspend service, on March 12, 2020. 

Last November, Viking announced the first full-scale PCR laboratory at sea.

At the time, the company said that the new technology moved it one step closer to operating cruises again.

New Mississippi Product

In March 2020, Viking confirmed the launch of Mississippi River cruises, with a new, purpose-built vessel.

Under construction in Louisiana, the new Viking Mississippi will debut in 2022, offering Lower and Upper Mississippi voyages from New Orleans and St. Paul.

More recently, Viking also announced the expansion of its Egypt fleet with the addition of the new Viking Aton. The riverboat will be third operated by the company in the Nile River.

Expedition Program Underway

Scheduled for an early 2022 debut, Viking’s first expedition ship was floated out in December. While many newbuilds suffered delays and setbacks, the Viking Octantis is on track for delivery as originally scheduled.

The vessel will be joined by a sister ship – the Viking Polaris – in summer 2022.  Together, the ships will offer cruises in North America’s Great Lakes, Antarctica, the Arctic and other destinations.

By the numbers from the 2021 Cruise Industry News Annual Report:


  • Ships shed: -0
  • Ships added: +1 (the Viking Venus will join the fleet shortly)

Result: +1


  • Berths shed: -0
  • Berths added: +930 (the Viking Venus will join the fleet shortly)

Result: +930

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