VIKAND Facilitates Return Testing by Bupa for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Borealis, image courtesy of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
Borealis, image courtesy of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Published Aug 23, 2021 10:05 AM by The Maritime Executive


VIKAND Solutions, LLC is working with Fred. Olsen Cruise  Lines and Bupa to provide COVID-19 PCR testing for Fred. Olsen’s cruise aboard Borealis. Borealis is the  first international cruise from the UK since the start of the COVID pandemic and sailed to Iceland. 

The cruise departed 14 August and returned, today, 23 August 2021, carrying 765 guests. 

“We are the first cruise line to complete an international sailing, which is a big milestone for both our  business and our industry,” says Peter Deer, Managing Director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. 

“Wherever we are sailing in the world, the health and wellbeing of our guests and crew remains our top  priority. We have adopted a multi-layered approach which includes establishing social bubbles and the  wearing of masks whilst moving around inside the ship. Testing is a critical part of our approach. We  value the support of VIKAND and Bupa to provide a safe and efficient service for our guests both on  board and on their return home,” Deer continues. 

While currently supplying Fred. Olsen with PCR tests to comply with pre-arrival testing requirements for  the UK, VIKAND facilitated PCR tests through leading healthcare provider, Bupa, to further meet UK requirements for return testing. Together, the companies provide passengers with a solution that meets criteria and makes the customer journey seamless and easy. 

“The simplicity of the return-testing solution Bupa, Fred. Olsen and VIKAND have engineered establishes  a best practice template to meet COVID criteria and governmental guidance,” says Paul Morgan, VIKAND  VP of Compliance and Quality Assurance. “It is in VIKAND’s DNA to provide collaborative platforms to  solve complex issues with our partners and clients to understand what they need and the most  appropriate public health solution.” 

Alaana Woods, Commercial Director at Bupa Health Clinics, comments, “We’re very proud to be able to  support Fred. Olsen on their first international cruise from the UK since the start of the pandemic. 

“As the travel industry continues to open, it’s important that we safely manage return testing to ensure  infection control. The PCR program we’ve developed with Fred. Olsen and VIKAND does just this,  allowing customers to enjoy their cruise experience.” 

The cruise aboard Fred. Olsen’s Borealis—with its timeless style and classic open deck spaces—to  Iceland, with its magnificent landscapes and waterways, marked the first international cruise from the  UK since the onset of COVID-19. The full itinerary included calls into Reykjavík, Ísafjörður, Eyjafjörður  and Seyðisfjörður, with chances to experience the Golden Circle, Gullfoss Waterfall, the Hornstrandir  cliffs, whale watching, scenes of towering mountains and colorful villages.  

“The smaller size of our ships allows us to offer personal, attentive service,” says Deer. “By working with  Bupa and VIKAND, we have been able to provide two-day testing as our guests return home, taking  away the hassle of organizing these on their own thereby extending the personal service our guests  have come to expect from us.” 

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.