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Iconic sight Viking Splash Tours battle to stay afloat

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The Viking bus enters the water at Ringsend

The Viking bus enters the water at Ringsend

The Viking bus enters the water at Ringsend

The owners of the popular Dublin Viking Splash Tours are hoping a buyer will throw it a lifeline after it got swamped in financial difficulties.

Companies behind the amphibious-vehicle tour of the city, which culminates in a trip on the Grand Canal Basin in the docklands, has not operated since Covid-19 struck in March.

Companies behind the tour business, including Duk Tours Ltd, will hold creditors’ meetings on November 26 after nominating corporate rescue specialist, Jim Luby of McStay Luby, as liquidator.

The news was greeted with regret by many on social media who expressed a sense of disappointment at the thought of no longer being roared at on the streets of Dublin by passing tourists and school groups.

According to joint director Des Rogers of Viking Splash Tours, they had invested profits into the future.

“We’ve got the new equipment, the new version of the next generation of the amphibian sitting on our shop floor which has been through its design and build and certification and we can’t put it into play,” he explained to the RTÉ’s At The Business show.

Mr Rogers explained that there is no commercial value in the vehicles "as you cannot get them certified in a new location, and you have to meet the European rules”.

“They’re in Dublin and they’ve been a feature of the city so they’re not going anywhere. The trucks are WWII. One of our trucks is 404021. They are the original of the species and they demand a lot of TLC.

“They are worthless in that sense. The only way we would go back is we retire the old fleet and brought in the new fleet and we have the technology, we own the rights, we’ve patented it. We built it ourselves. We are absolutely, dare I say it experts with a small 'e'.

“We have a version one sitting on our floor that’s been through our certification process and we have two under construction for the UK market sitting on someone else’s shop floor which are 80 per cent complete.”

Des and his brother Fergal Rogers, whose family owns the business, are directors of Viking Splash Tours which employs 30 people.

The latest accounts show that co-owner Duk Tours made €284,000 profit in 2018, while net assets were close to €3 million.

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