Viking will homeport in Hamilton for its roundtrip Bermuda cruises, and in Reykjavik for its Iceland cruises, while Crystal Cruises new expedition ship Crystal Endeavor, will also cruise from Iceland, sailing roundtrip from Reykjavik.
Viking’s Bermuda and Iceland cruises are scheduled to begin in June, 2021, with Viking Orion sailing one-week roundtrip cruises from Hamilton, while Viking Sky will sail one-week roundtrip itineraries from Reykjavik.
Cruises from both locations will only be available for booking by fully vaccinated guests, just like Viking’s newly scheduled cruises from the UK for the summer, 2021.
“We applaud the governments of the United Kingdom, Bermuda and Iceland for their collaboration and support in restarting the cruise industry safely,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking.
“No other travel company has implemented the same science-led approach that includes a vaccination requirement for all guests, plus frequent non-invasive saliva PCR testing among all guests and crew,” he added.
“Therefore, we believe there will be no safer way to travel the world than on a Viking voyage. We look forward to welcoming guests back on board—and welcoming them back to the world,” Hagen said.
Viking has been working closely with officials in the UK, Bermuda and Iceland for months as it planned to cruise from Iceland, with the homeports and ports of call on each itinerary specifically chosen for their popularity among past cruises, according to the cruise line.
The company is actively working on developing Welcome Back sailings in a variety of other popular destinations, including Greece, Turkey and Malta—with the goal of announcing further 2021 sailings as soon as government approvals are given.
Crystal Endeavor, meanwhile, will sail five 10-night voyages circumnavigating Iceland beginning July 17th, 2021.
Each cruise from Iceland will sail through peak whale migration in the region July through mid-September – also visits Patreksfjörđur, and pink- and red-sand Rauðasandur Beach; Iceland’s whale-watching capital of Húsavík; and Heimaey, home to a beluga whale sanctuary.
Birder havens include “puffin paradise” Hafnarhólmi; Flatey Island, a floating nature preserve that is home to thousands of puffins, Eider ducks, Black Guillemots and Arctic Terns; Vigur and the Látrabjarg Cliffs, where thousands more puffins reside.
Guests will have the rare opportunity to stand on the Bridge Between Two Continents, which spans the Mid-Atlantic rift and connects North America with Eurasia. Two of Iceland’s three UNESCO World Heritage Sites are also featured: Þingvellir National Park and sailing around volcanic Surtsey Island.
The cruises will mark the maiden season of Crystal Endeavour, which was meant to be delivered last year, but hasn’t yet entered service due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down the global cruise industry.
“The spectacular destinations of Iceland are the ideal beginning for Crystal Endeavor’s adventures, as they embody and inspire a spirit of deep exploration, bold nature and sense of curiosity,” said Jack Anderson, Interim President & CEO, Crystal Cruises.
Crystal Endeavour, which technically a mega-yacht, is also scheduled to cruise in West Africa in 2022, with the ship sailing a jam-packed line-up of itineraries in various regions. She will cruise 28 itineraries of nine to 19 nights, with nearly two-thirds of these classified as expedition voyages visiting the High Arctic and Antarctica, Svalbard, Iceland, Greenland, the Falkland Islands, and Chilean fjords and glaciers.