CruiseThe cruise line says its shipboard lab can test pax and crew for Covid daily.

Viking touts 'first PCR lab at sea'

The first laboratory has been installed on Viking Star.
The first laboratory has been installed on Viking Star.

Viking said Monday that is has installed a laboratory capable of running daily Covid-19 tests on all guests and crew onboard its 930-passenger Viking Star.

The cruise line said the lab, designed to run PCR tests from non-invasive saliva samples, will undergo extensive review to ensure the procedures and protocols are effective.

The announcement comes on the heels of the CDC on Friday lifting its No Sail Order on cruise ships in U.S. waters, but with a series of requirements that include development of onboard testing capabilities. 

"We have been working on this for a number of months, and today is important as it moves us one step closer to operating cruises again, without compromising the safety of our guests and crew," said Matt Grimes, vice president of maritime operations for Viking.

"The recently announced CDC guidelines are clearly aligned with our public health research, and we welcome the agency's push toward testing, as we believe this is the only way to safely operate. In our view, continuous PCR testing, along with our extensive onboard hygiene protocols, will lead to making Viking ships a safe place to get away to and explore the world."

This story was first published in Travel Weekly.

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