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Viking has announced that it will recommence its European river operations from July 2021, offering itineraries in Portugal, France and along the Rhine.

Viking’s Welcome Back itineraries will be offered exclusively to vaccinated guests, and follows the decision by the European Union to reopen its borders to vaccinated Americans and other travelers.

The first five European river itineraries in the Welcome Back collection are available now for travel in July, and include the 8-day Rhine Getaway from Amsterdam to Basel; the 10-day Portugal’s River of Gold itinerary, sailing from Lisbon to Porto; Paris & the Heart of Normandy, an 8-day Paris roundtrip; Lyon & Provence, an 8-day journey from Avignon to Lyon; and France’s Finest, a 15-day journey that combines the northern and southern France itineraries into one seamless voyage.

“The response to our initial Welcome Back ocean voyages has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking, in a press release statement. “It is clear that many people are eager to get back out into the world, and I would like to thank all of our destination partners for their support as we plan our return to service. We have been delighted to greet our first guests back on board in England this week — and we are looking forward to welcoming travelers back on board some of our European river vessels in July.”

Viking’s restart of European river cruise operations follows the launch of Welcome Back itineraries exclusively for vaccinated guests in England, Iceland, Bermuda and the Mediterranean. Viking has announced it is developing further Welcome Back itineraries in a variety of destinations, and plans to announce further 2021 sailings as soon as possible.

Vaccinated guests sailing the itineraries will experience Viking’s health and safety program, grounded in scientific research and developed in partnership with an international team of medical advisors. Every Viking ocean ship has a full-scale laboratory installed onboard, as well as access to a strong network of dedicated shoreside labs, and all guests and crew will receive frequent quick and easy non-invasive saliva PCR tests throughout each voyage. New air purification technology has also been installed on all Viking ships, as well as additional health checks, sanitization and physical distancing measures.

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