Viking took delivery of their first expedition cruise ship, Viking Octantis, yesterday at the VARD shipyard in Norway.
Viking Octantis is the first of two expedition ships from Viking. The ship will now head to South America for the vessel’s inaugural season of sailing to Antarctica. During the spring and summer months, the ship will offer cruises on the Great Lakes. A second, identical ship, Viking Polaris will enter service in August 2022.
Viking Octantis will be christened in New York City in April 2022 by godmother Liv Arnesen, the famed explorer and educator.
“Today is a proud day for the entire Viking family as we welcome our first expedition ship to the fleet and usher in a new era of exploration. Our guests have asked us to build on our award-winning river and ocean voyages to take them further, and that is just what we have done,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “Leveraging our long history of destination-focused travel, enrichment and innovative ship design, we are now perfecting expedition voyages and offering curious travelers the opportunity to visit the world’s most pristine destinations in the most responsible way possible. With the arrival of Viking Octantis, Viking is now exploring all seven continents, and we look forward to welcoming her first guests on board in the coming weeks.”
The 378 passenger expedition ships from Viking have 189 staterooms and were designed by the same nautical architects that designed the cruise line’s Longships and ocean ships.
They are custom built for expedition cruises with ice-strengthened Polar Class hulls for safety. The ships also have U-tank stabilizers to reduce rolling by up to 50% when they are stationary.
Guests on Viking’s new expedition voyages will also experience the cruise line’s industry-leading health and safety program. Grounded in scientific research, the Viking Health & Safety Program was developed in partnership with an international team of medical advisors, including Raquel C. Bono, M.D., Viking’s Chief Health Officer.
Dr. Bono is a board-certified trauma surgeon and retired Vice Admiral of the United States Navy Medical Corps—and in 2020, led Washington State’s medical and healthcare systems response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Viking requires all guests and crew to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Furthermore, Viking is the first and only cruise line with full-scale PCR laboratories installed on board its ocean and expedition ships.