Viking Takes Delivery of First Expedition Ship

Viking has taken delivery of Viking Octantis, the company’s first of two new purpose-built expedition shipsThe delivery ceremony was held at Fincantieri’s VARD shipyard in Søviknes, Norway. Viking Octantis will set sail toward South America to welcome guests in January 2022 for Viking’s first voyages to Antarctica. Viking Octantis will be officially named in April 2022 in New York City by its ceremonial godmother, Liv Arnesen, an explorer and educator. The ship will then sail to the Great Lakes for a series of voyages during spring and summer. A second, identical sister ship, Viking Polaris, will join the fleet in August 2022 for journeys to the Arctic and Antarctica.

The new Polar Class Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris host 378 guests in 189 staterooms. The new ships are purpose-built for expeditions and sport the company’s signature Scandinavian design, with public areas that are favorites on Viking’s ocean ships, besides new spaces created specifically for expeditions.

An industry first, The Hangar is an enclosed, in-ship marina and its most innovative feature is an 85-foot slipway that allows guests to embark and disembark excursion craft from a flat, stable surface inside the ship, shielded from wind and waves. There is also a FerryBox, a set of instruments continuously collecting and displaying data on water quality, oxygen content and plankton composition.

Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris are equipped with substantial on-board laboratories. Guests have supervised access to The Science Lab, which is located in a glass-enclosed mezzanine above The Hangar, to learn from and participate with scientists undertaking primary research.

Flag Exchange for Viking Octantis at VARD, Soviknes

Flag Exchange for Viking Octantis at VARD shipyard in Soviknes, Norway. (Viking)

Viking will offer complimentary experiences for guests to experience their destination, according to their interests and activity level. Expedition equipment available for guests on Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris includes a fleet of military pro zodiacs designed for professional use; a fleet of two-seater Arctic-tested kayaks; and two 12-seater convertible Special Operations Boats. Each ship also has two six-guest submarines with revolving seats and 270-degree spherical windows for an incomparable undersea experience. Everything guests need will be provided in the Viking Expedition Kit. Guests will also receive complimentary use of Viking Excursion Gear, which includes specialty items like trekking poles, snowshoes and skis.

The Aula is a dynamic venue for lectures and entertainment, with floor-to-ceiling windows and 270-degree views. Adjacent to The Aula is the Finse Terrace, an outdoor lounge area just above sea level with recessed couches and warming lava rock “firepits”—ideal for panoramic views of the surroundings.

Guests can choose from six stateroom categories that range from 222 to 1,223 square feet. All staterooms have a Nordic Balcony, a king-size bed and large bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor, anti-fog mirror and a unique floor-to-ceiling drying closet that circulates warm air to dry and store clothing and expedition gear.

Nordic Junior Suites (322 square feet) and Explorer Suites (580 square feet) on Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris are similar to those on Viking’s fleet of ocean ships, with wood detailing and amenities that include additional storage and seating, an expanded bathroom with extended shower and double sinks, welcome champagne, a fully stocked minibar replenished daily, complimentary services and priority restaurant reservations. Explorer Suites have two separate rooms, a Nordic Balcony and a full outdoor veranda. Additionally, each ship has an Owner’s Suite spanning 1,223 square feet. It comprises two separate rooms—a living room with a six-seat dining table and a bedroom—as well as a 792-square-foot private garden with a traditional Norwegian badestamp (wood-sided hot tub) and outdoor dining table.

Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris have a two-deck Explorers’ Lounge at the bow of the ship to take in the stunning scenery through double-height windows. The new ships also feature the Aquavit Terrace and pools, the Nordic Spa & Fitness Center and a range of dining venues.

More than 23 experts will accompany each journey as part of the Viking Expedition Team. Guests will enjoy daily briefings and world-class lectures about their destination —and engage with working scientists from renowned academic institutions in The Science Lab or participate directly in citizen science programs. On shore, guests can assist in fieldwork or interact through experiential activities during landings.

Viking’s expedition ships have set a new standard for responsible travel with an energy-efficient design that exceeds the Energy Efficiency Design Index* (EEDI) requirements by nearly 36 percent—more than any other expedition ship.

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