Viking Cruises has made a prediction for calmer waters ahead, announcing the return of its "world cruise" for the 2021 season.

The luxury cruise line which specialises in round-the-world itineraries announced that the popular 136-day sailing will return next year aboard the Viking Star.

"This has been an unusual year for all travellers," said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking, "but we remain focused on the future and are pleased to offer our guests a new destination-focused World Cruise that allows for extensive exploration in 2021-2022."

The cruise line was one of the first to suspend both ocean and river sailings on March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Viking Sun, which was carrying passengers on the world cruise had to cut the trip short by two months, stopping in Indonesia.

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At the beginning of the month Viking further extended this pause in operations until at least September 30th.

However, the cruise line predicts that it will be able to return to long-distance sailing soon.

The Viking World Horizons, sailing from Florida to London, will now depart on Christmas Eve next year.

Arriving in New Zealand for February 2022, the Viking Star will carry the cruise line's first world trip passengers to arrive in the country for over two years.

The Star, which takes over from the Sun as the world cruise vessel is a 930-guest cruiser and will be home to some passengers for up to five months.

Many of the top cabins, including the palatial 135 square-metre 'Owner's Suite' is already sold for the voyage. Standard suites are selling for NZ$81,365.

The new itinerary will be adding three new destinations to the trip, including Phillip Island and Eden in Australia as well as a stop in Myanmar.

At the beginning of the month, Viking was named Travel and Leisure's "number 1 ocean cruise line" for a fifth year in a row. The readers' choice awards – which was compiled before the US CDC's "no sail" announcement – was welcome news for the cruise line, even if there was little to celebrate at the time.

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"While we may not be travelling together at this time, Viking remains focused on the future and continuing to expand our fleet with more award-winning ocean and river ships, as well as new expedition vessels," said Torstein Hagen. "When the time is right, we look forward to welcoming our guests back".