Viking Goes Step Further with Crew Standby Pay, Vaccination and Testing Labs

May 04, 2021

Viking ocean-going cruise ships are in the final stage of preparations for the upcoming cruise season, starting with the Viking Venus which will set sail on her first voyage on May 22, with round-trip cruises in the U.K. from the port of Portsmouth. The crew onboard Viking Venus have already received the first dose of the vaccine against Covid-19 ahead of the ship’s maiden voyage. According to our source, Viking Venus crew were the first to get the vaccine while the ship was in Malta.

The main goal is for all the crew on board Viking ships to get vaccinated before resuming cruises, as a first layer of protection against Covid-19. In an interview for CNBC Viking Cruises Chairman, Torstein Hagen said it is in everyone’s interest for the cruise lines to operate safely and the cruise industry can't afford to have another outbreak. That’s why Viking went one step further, investing in full-scale labs onboard their ships. Unlike the Swab tests done by other cruise lines, PCR testing on board Viking ships is done with a non-invasive saliva sample. This gives Viking an advantage because testing is done on each crew member, and soon on all passengers, on daily basis. Each morning saliva samples are collected from the crew and the test results are ready the same day. This allows for unprecedented testing capacity onboard the Viking ships as an additional layer of protection against the virus which is very important part of safe cruising.

Crew Standby Pay

Another great news for the Viking crew is that the company announced standby pay until the ships are in full operation. The crew will earn basic salary while on standby status even while in mandatory 14-day quarantine on board. 

As the company is working to bring many crew members back on board as fast as possible, Viking management decided to pay the standby crew basic salary until ships start operating with revenue cruises. This will allow Viking crew who have recently joined ships to have an income and to send some money home to their families. Viking has worked with the Norwegian Seafarers Union to provide the crew with this standby pay. During this period the crew will not be asked to work, and the company will provide necessary training on the new health and safety protocols.

Financial Support for Crew

Viking was the first cruise line to stop cruise operations in 2020 at the start of the global Covid-19 pandemic. However, the company continued to financially support its crew after the global shutdown. In April 2020 Viking announced generous financial compensation amid the global coronavirus crisis for the crew on board and thouse waiting to join the ships. Read more here: Viking Crew to Receive Goodwill Payment - The New Hires Eligible for Financial Support.

During the Christmas holydays Viking management once again expressed their appreciation for the crew's continued commitment and support. As a sign of gratitude for their hard work and dedication, Viking team members received a gift of $250. Read more here:  Viking Ocean Crew To Receive $250 Holiday Payment