Gibraltar’s Minister for Business, Tourism, Transport and the Port Vijay Daryanani met with Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking, and Matt Grimes, VP maritime operations, on board Viking Venus during a technical call of Viking’s newest ship to Gibraltar.
The Viking executives flew to Gibraltar to join Viking Venus and meet with the minister, who also toured the ship including its full-scale COVID-19 PCR laboratory.
Viking Venus is scheduled to be named in the UK on May 17 before embarking on a series of cruises exclusive to vaccinated UK residents. The ship will then move to the Mediterranean where Viking plans to restart operations in in July with new ocean voyages for vaccinated travelers on Viking Venus and Viking Sea from Valletta, Malta.
Now Minister for Tourism, Transport and the Port Vijay Daryanani has stated that Gibraltar is is ready to welcome back cruise ships, their passengers and crew.
He has acknowledged that the cruise companies have carried out impressive work in terms of on-board testing and screening facilities, which will be part of their protocols and if passengers and crew have either a valid PCR or lateral flow test taken up to 72 hours before arrival, they will be able to disembark and visit Gibraltar.
"I have now written to all the cruise lines that normally call at Gibraltar and others I would like to attract or welcome back, to let them know that we are open for business again," Daryanani said.
I also explained the testing procedure at our airport following the advice of the UK Prime Minister and Public Health Gibraltar. We will continue testing people on arrival, it will be a free lateral flow test, which will give you a result within 15 minutes.