Social distancing precautions on display aboard Viking's Gabriella vessel in Helsinki (Image: Lehtikuva)

News in brief

THE SHIPPING COMPANY VIKING LINE will be resuming its thrice-weekly cruises from Helsinki to Mariehamn, Åland on July 1 for the first time since the outbreak of COVID-19 caused cruise operators to shutter their business. 

According to a press release from the company, it is also the first shipping company in the world to receive an official DNV GL Certification for its infection preparedness, meaning that industry experts believe that Viking is specially prepared to manage potential risks stemming from COVID-19. 

A number of measures have been put in place by Viking Line to reduce risk to passengers. All ships will be running at less than 50% capacity to ensure that social distancing is possible on board. In addition, passenger controls have been put in place during the boarding and disembarking process, while the onboard saunas and other recreational venues have been closed. 

The Åland Islands, an autonomous region of Finland, has only had 19 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 0 deaths. Tourism and shipping make up the bulk of Åland's economy, both of which have been particularly hard-hit by the ongoing pandemic. 


Adam Oliver Smith - HT

Image Credit: Lehtikuva