Q&A: Peter Hult on Health & Hygiene
Peter Hult is the CEO of VIKAND. VIKAND are a medical services company supplying to over 170 cruise ships, impacting more than 14,000,000 guests and 120,000 crew annually. We sat down with Peter to talk about the most topical subject of the day – health & hygiene. VIKAND are powering the Health & Hygiene Zone at Cruise Ship Hospitality Expo, making Peter the perfect person to discuss the importance of onboard hygiene with.
CSH – Can you tell us a bit about your experience in the maritime industry?
Peter Hult – I began my career onboard Silversea ships in the late 90’s and came ashore after several years to work in their corporate human resources department. In the early 2000s, I was part of the shipboard human resource launch team for The World, the world’s first residential condo ship. Following my time at The World, I joined MHG Insurance, a maritime health insurance broker, who led the effort of helping cruise lines, yachts, and commercial shipping companies develop and install employee benefit programs for their officers and crew, such as medical insurance, life, disability, and retirement and savings programs.
Why did you decide to start VIKAND Solutions?
Around 2009, as the industry was looking to meet the need for an enhanced medical presence onboard, MHG was approached by several major cruise operators to see if we could assist with these new requirements. Together, with Dr. Bill Heymann, who I knew from The World and Silversea Cruises, we developed MHG Medical Consulting to provide the industry with a more comprehensive healthcare approach. In 2014, as the company continued to grow, we recognized the need to differentiate the insurance side and the medical services side at MHG, so we decided changed the name to VIKAND. VIKAND is derived from the Swedish “vi kan” meaning “we can” and is part of our tagline “We can because we care”.
How does VIKAND impact the cruise industry today?
Today, VIKAND is a one-stop shop that encompasses everything needed to provide the industry with comprehensive healthcare onboard. Our solutions include medical operations, biomedical equipment management, COVID-19 screening, public health consulting, regulatory and compliance support, logistics, and more for 32 separate cruise brands. During the pandemic, we have increased our service offering to assist the industry in their return to service.
We have worked with several organizations to identify solutions and new approaches to meet the challenges that emerged during COVID-19. During the past 18 months, we have also strengthened our educational and thought leadership outreach. Together with Simwave, we have combined our expertise to provide the cruise and maritime industry at large an educational program by way of VIKAND’s Maritime School of Medicine and Public Health.
VIKAND were recently selected by Marella Cruises for medical management services – read more on that below…
Why is the Health & Hygiene Zone at Cruise Ship Hospitality Expo so important?
It is an opportunity to showcase the latest technologies, products, and solutions to deliver a safe onboard experience for guests and crew. Proactive healthcare and public health approaches have become important for all areas of onboard operations and now run as a common thread throughout the entire ship’s operation. Public health today is truly impacting all aspects of decision making and operational delivery ensuring a safe environment for all.
We can’t wait to reunite the industry at CSH in October this year. What are you most excited about for the show?
The opportunity to share our knowledge and experience with new and old friends in the industry face to face. We believe that the cruise lines’ approach to public health is best in class, but there are steps that we can take to build on our learning and further improve by way of sharing openly amongst all of us.
Join the cruise industry at Cruise Ship Hospitality Expo, 28 – 29 October 2021, Miami Beach Convention Center – apply to exhibit today!