VIKAND Solutions has announced that it is working with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and Bupa to provide COVID-19 PCR testing for the cruise line’s sailings aboard the Borealis. On August 23, the Borealis completed the first international cruise from the UK since the start of the COVID pandemic. The cruise departed on Aug. 14 and sailed to Iceland, carrying 765 guests.
“We are the first cruise line to complete an international sailing, which is a big milestone for both our business and our industry,” said Managing Director Peter Deer. “Wherever we are sailing in the world, the health and wellbeing of our guests and crew remain our top priority. We have adopted a multi-layered approach which includes establishing social bubbles and the wearing of masks whilst moving around inside the ship. Testing is a critical part of our approach. We value the support of VIKAND and Bupa to provide a safe and efficient service for our guests both onboard and on their return home.”
While currently supplying Fred. Olsen with PCR tests to comply with pre-arrival testing requirements for the UK, VIKAND facilitated PCR tests through healthcare provider, Bupa, to further meet UK requirements for return testing.
Together, the companies provide passengers with a solution that meets criteria and “makes the customer journey seamless and easy,” VIKAND said.
“The simplicity of the return-testing solution Bupa, Fred. Olsen and VIKAND have engineered establishes a best practice template to meet COVID criteria and governmental guidance,” said Paul Morgan, VIKAND’s VP of compliance and quality assurance.
“It is in VIKAND’s DNA to provide collaborative platforms to solve complex issues with our partners and clients to understand what they need and the most appropriate public health solution,” he added.
Alaana Woods, the commercial director at Bupa Health Clinics, said that the company was “very proud to be able to support Fred. Olsen on their first international cruise from the UK since the start of the pandemic.”
“As the travel industry continues to open, it’s important that we safely manage return testing to ensure infection control. The PCR program we’ve developed with Fred. Olsen and VIKAND does just this, allowing customers to enjoy their cruise experience,” she said.
The cruise aboard Fred. Olsen’s Borealis to Iceland marked the first international cruise from the UK since the onset of COVID-19. The full itinerary included calls into Reykjavík, Ísafjörður, Eyjafjörður and Seyðisfjörður, with chances to experience the Golden Circle, Gullfoss Waterfall, the Hornstrandir cliffs.
“The smaller size of our ships allows us to offer personal, attentive service,” said Deer. “By working with Bupa and VIKAND, we have been able to provide two-day testing as our guests return home, taking away the hassle of organizing these on their own thereby extending the personal service our guests have come to expect from us.”