The Covid-19 pandemic had caused the suspension of most cruises for around two years. So having sailed many times with Princess, P&O, Azamara, Regent and other cruise lines, we have been hoping for a cautious resumption. At the time of writing, the UK government allowed cruise ships to sail with no more than 1,000 passengers (or 50% capacity, whichever was less). So clearly, it would have been be uneconomic for large ships to operate with only 1,000 passengers.
Several lines are promoting “seacation” cruises from Southampton. However, most of these voyages remain offshore and do not visit any ports. That is why we were attracted to the programme of one-week voyages from Portsmouth, offered by Viking Ocean Cruises. Viking operates a fleet 11 new, and virtually identical ships, with capacity for up to 930 passengers.
The first part of this review describes the safety measures that Viking have implemented.