Viking, the world’s largest river cruise line, made modern river cruising into what it is today. Four years ago, Viking reinvented ocean cruising with the launch of ocean cruises and their first cruise ship, Viking Star. In a little over two years from now, Viking will begin to offer expedition cruises.
In 2022, Viking Cruises will launch the first of two new expedition cruise ships, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris. These 379 passenger ships will be rated as Polar Class 6, allowing Viking to operate during summer & autumn in medium first-year ice.
Viking Expeditions will start off by offering two different itineraries, one to Antarctica and one to the Arctic. The cruises to Antarctica will be 13 day roundtrip voyages from Buenos Aires, Argentina. In addition to spending an entire week on the last continent that is teeming with penguins, seals, whales, and other wildlife, the cruise will include scenic cruising days in the Drake Passage and around the legendary Cape Horn.
Viking Expeditions lists the following description for the voyages to Antarctica:
“This ultimate adventure takes you to the Antarctic peninsula, where you will witness towering glaciers, snow-covered landscapes, massive icebergs and once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounters. In the footsteps of explorers such as Amundsen, Shackleton and Scott, you will be one of the few to discover the world’s last truly wild frontier. Each day brings new surprises and the opportunity to change plans to maximize wildlife sightings and adapt to ever-changing weather.”
The voyages to the Arctic will also be 13 days in length beginning and ending in Tromsø, Norway. You will sail from Tromsø to the western coast of Svalbard and experience the stark beauty of the Arctic, where polar bears reign and blue ice floats serenely on the horizon.
Here it is silent and still one moment, a cacophony of migrating birds, barking seals and calving glaciers the next. From this northern archipelago of frozen tundra, dramatic fjords and remote human settlements, you will witness this world awakening from winter slumber to a land of midnight sun.
The first sailing to Antarctica is scheduled for January 12, 2022 and the first sailing to the Arctic is scheduled for August 16, 2022.
Loyal past Viking guests can begin to reserve one of the Viking Expeditions now. If you reserve by December 31, 2019, you will receive free gratuities and the Silver Spirits Beverage Package.
Viking confirmed to Cruise Fever that a formal announcement of Viking Expedition cruises will be made on January 15, 2020 and more details will be announced at that time. Here is what we know so far.
The expedition ships will be 30,000 gross tons in size and carry 378 passengers. The ships will have many of the features that are found on Viking’s ocean ships including Manfredi’s, a spa with hydrotherapy pool, Mamsen’s, Explorer’s Lounge, Aquavit Terrace, the Living Room, The World Cafe, and the Restaurant.
There will also be one pool in the aft section of the ship by Aquavit Terrace. Decks 3 and 4 will have a Laundry room.
All staterooms will have an outside balcony and will be the most spacious and elegant of any expedition ship afloat. The cabins will start off at 218 sq. ft. including the private veranda.
Cruise Fever will have more details on Viking Expedition cruises when the formal announcement is made on January 15, 2020.