The float out is significant because it denotes a ship moving into its final stage of construction. The float out ceremony of Viking Octantis took place on December 22; she was then moved to a nearby outfitting dock for further construction and interior build-out. After final outfitting, Viking Octantis will be delivered at Fincantieri’s VARD shipyard in Søviknes, Norway.
Scheduled to debut in early 2022, Viking Octantis will spend her maiden season sailing voyages to Antarctica and North America’s Great Lakes. A second, identical expedition ship, Viking Polaris, is set to debut in summer 2022 and will sail journeys to Antarctica and the Arctic.
Viking has also developed a series of short videos about the new expedition voyages, ship design and prestigious scientific partnerships, which can be found on its website here.
Esteemed explorers Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft will be honored as ceremonial godmothers to Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, respectively. Arnesen, a native Norwegian, became the first woman in the world to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole in 1994. Bancroft is the first woman to successfully ski to both poles. Arnesen and Bancroft also became the first women to ski across Antarctica in 2001.
The new Polar Class 6 Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will host 378 guests in 189 staterooms. Designed by the same experienced nautical architects and engineers that designed Viking ocean cruise ships, the ships are optimally sized and built for expeditions – small enough to navigate remote polar regions and the St. Lawrence River, while large enough to provide superior handling and stability in the roughest seas.
The expedition ships will feature public spaces that are familiar to Viking’s ocean cruise guests but that have been reimagined for expeditions, as well as new public spaces created specifically for expeditions.
Straight bows, longer hulls and state-of-the-art fin stabilizers will allow the ships to glide over the waves for the calmest possible journey; ice-strengthened Polar Class 6 hulls will provide the safest way to explore; and U-tank stabilizers will significantly decrease rolling by up to 50 percent when the ships are stationary. Viking’s expedition ships will feature modern Scandinavian design with elegant touches, intimate spaces and attention to detail.