Viking cruise ship will have world’s first PCR lab at sea

Posted by Anita Froneman on 6 November 2020

The world’s first full-scale PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) laboratory at sea has been installed on a Viking Cruises passenger vessel.

The laboratory has enough capacity for daily COVID-19 testing of every crew member and guest aboard the Viking Star, which can accommodate 930 persons.

New cruise ship will have world's first PCR lab at sea

The Viking Star features the world’s first seagoing PCR laboratory.

‘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,’ he added.

The Viking Star will depart for a 136-day cruise around the world in December 2021, stopping in 56 ports in 27 different countries.

The cruise will visit Central America, the Panama Canal, travel up the west coast of North America, down to Hawaii, across the Pacific to New Zealand and Australia, then through Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean before ending in London, according to Travel + Leisure. 

Picture: Twitter/shipmonk

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