Viking, the world’s leading river and ocean cruise line, is launching two new expedition cruise ships next year as the cruise line will begin sailing to Antarctica, the Arctic, and the Great Lakes.
Viking’s second expedition ship, Viking Polaris, completed a construction milestone this week when the ship was floated out of dry dock and moved to the final stage of construction, the interior build-out.
Viking Polaris will spend her maiden season sailing cruises to the Arctic and Antarctica; her identical sister ship, Viking Octantis, was floated out last December and is set to debut in early 2022 for journeys to Antarctica and North America’s Great Lakes.
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. Together they co-founded Bancroft Arnesen Explore / Access Water, an initiative that aims to engage and empower more than 60 million minds to create a sustainable tomorrow.
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 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.
All cabins will feature a Nordic Balcony that is perfect for taking in the views while cruising to some of the most remote places on earth. Staterooms will range from 222 sq. ft. to the 1,223 sq. ft. Owner’s Suite. Each stateroom will also equipped with a unique floor-to-ceiling drying closet that circulates warm air to dry and store clothing and expedition gear.
The 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.
The ships will have a fleet of military pro zodiacs, kayaks, RIBs, and two submarines that can hold six guests at a time. The submarines will feature revolving seats and 270 degree views.