Viking takes delivery of first expedition ship
Viking Octantis

Viking takes delivery of first expedition ship

LOS ANGELES — Viking has taken delivery of its first purpose-built expedition ship, Viking Octantis.

The ship, the first of two expedition vessels that have been ordered, was officially delivered during a ceremony at Fincantieri’s VARY shipyard in Norway on Dec. 22. It set sail on Dec. 23 toward South America to welcome guests this month for Viking’s first voyages to Antarctica.

Accommodating 378 guests, Viking Octantis will be officially named in April 2022 in New York City by its ceremonial godmother, Liv Arnesen, the famed explorer and educator. The ship will then make its way 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.

At the Dec. 22 ceremony, Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking, said the day was a proud one for the entire Viking family.

“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,” he said. “With the arrival of Viking Octantis, Viking is now exploring all seven continents and we look forward to welcoming her first guests onboard in the coming weeks.”

Viking takes delivery of first expedition ship

Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen at the delivery ceremony in Norway.jpg

The new Polar Class Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris host 378 guests in 189 staterooms, and have been purpose-built for expeditions. An integrated bow creates a longer waterline for the ships, while state-of-the-art fin stabilizers allow the ships to glide over waves for the calmest possible journey. Other design features include ice-strengthened Polar Class hulls and U-tank stabilizers that significantly decrease rolling by up to 50% when the ships are stationary.

Highlights onboard include:

  • The Hangar: An industry first, The Hangar is an enclosed, in-ship marina that features an 85-foot slipway, allowing guests to embark and disembark excursion craft from a flat, stable surface inside the ship.
  • The Science Lab: Both ships are the first expedition vessels with substantial onboard laboratories. They’ve been developed in partnership with the University of Cambridge and Akvaplan-Niva, The Science Lab, and is designed to support a broad range of research activities.
  • Expedition Equipment: Expedition equipment available for guests on Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris includes a fleet of military pro zodiacs, a fleet of two-seater Arctic-tested kayaks, and two 12-seater convertible Special Operations Boats. Each ship also features two 6-guest submarines with revolving seats and 270-degree spherical windows.
  • The Aula & Finse Terrace: The Aula is a panoramic auditorium at the stern of the ship designed for lectures and entertainment, with floor-to-ceiling windows and 27-degree views. Adjacent to The Aula is the Finse Terrance, an outdoor lounge area just above sea level with recessed couches and lava rock ‘firepits.’
  • Nordic Balcony: A first for polar expedition vessels, all staterooms onboard Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris feature a Nordic Balcony, a sunroom that converts into an al fresco viewing platform. Should guests wish to get closer to nature, the top of the panoramic glass lowers to transform the stateroom into a sheltered lookout, with an observation shelf at elbow level to stabilize binoculars or a camera. Guests can choose from six stateroom categories: Nordic Balcony, Deluxe Nordic Balcony, Nordic Penthouse, Nordic Junior Suite, Explorer Suite, and Owner’s Suite.
  • Aquavit Terrace & The Pools: Located at the stern and featuring a retractable glass dome, this indoor-outdoor heated sanctuary allows guests to swim and lounge in three different temperature-controlled pools, including an ‘inside-out’ swimming experience.
  • The Nordic Spa & Fitness Center: The Nordic Spa features a thermal suite equipped with a sauna, Snow Grotto and chaise lounges, as well as a hydrotherapy pool and a traditional Norwegian ‘badestamp’ (wood-sided hot tub).
  • Dining choices: Onboard dining options include The Restaurant (fine dining), the casual World Café featuring live cooking and premiums seafood and sushi; Mamsen’s (Scandinavian), Manfredi’s (Italian), as well as 24-hour room service that’s complimentary for all guests.

For information on Viking’s Health & Safety program, go to www.viking.com/health-safety.