Viking Cruises has taken delivery of its first Expedition ship, Viking Octantis, and the ship is now sailing toward South America in preparation for Viking’s first cruises to Antarctica. The vessel is the first of two purpose-built ships coming soon to Viking Cruises.
Viking Octantis Delivered
Viking Cruises took delivery of Viking Octantis at Fincantieri’s VARD shipyard in Søviknes, Norway, on December 22, 2021.
“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,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “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.”
Viking Octantis is ready to welcome guests in January 2022 for Viking’s first voyages to Antarctica. After the short Antarctic season, the ship will be officially named in April in New York City by her ceremonial godmother, Liv Arnesen, the famed explorer, adventurer, and educator. Viking Octantis will then move to the Great Lakes for a series of voyages during spring and summer.
“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,” said Hagen.
Designed for Exploring
Designed by the same interior designers, nautical architects, and engineers that designed Viking’s Longships and ocean ships, the new Polaris-class expedition ships – Viking Octantis and her forthcoming sister ship, Viking Polaris – are purpose-built to provide an ideal size for safety, comfort, and onboard amenities in remote destinations.
Rough waters are a common hazard for Antarctica cruises, and these new ships have been meticulously designed for smooth journeys through those sailing conditions. An integrated bow creates a longer waterline, state-of-the-art fin stabilizers allow the ships to glide over the waves for the calmest possible journey, and ice-strengthened Polar Class hulls provide the safest way to explore. While the ships are stationary, U-tank stabilizers decrease rolling by up to 50 percent.
Yet Viking Octantis does not skimp on the luxury touches Viking Cruises is known for. The new ship features the company’s signature Scandinavian design, as well as new spaces created specifically for expeditions to allow passengers to intimately experience these outstanding destinations.
A particularly outstanding feature is the Hangar, an enclosed, in-ship marina with an 85-foot slipway where passengers will embark and disembark excursion craft, shielded from wind and waves.
The Science Lab, Developed in partnership with the University of Cambridge and Akvaplan-Niva, will support a broad range of research activities with its wet and dry laboratory facilities, and guests will also have the opportunity to participate in ongoing research.
Both Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris include a fleet of military pro zodiacs, two-seater Arctic-tested kayaks, two 12-seater convertible Special Operations Boats, and two six-guest submarines, giving guests outstanding options to explore unique destinations in every possible way.
Yet guests who may prefer to stay onboard aren’t left out of the experience, as the Aula is a stunning panoramic auditorium and will feature lectures, viewing opportunities, and other onboard activities.
Convertible balconies, indoor-outdoor pools, thermal spa suites, outstanding dining, and a full array of onboard enrichment including daily briefings, expert lectures, citizen science projects, photography excursions, and more complete the experience aboard Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris in immersive ways guests cannot imagine.
Furthermore, these two expedition ships provide all this luxury and immersion in environmentally-responsible ways, with an energy-efficient design that exceeds Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) requirements by nearly 36% – more than any other expedition ship.
The ships have also received one of the industry’s first SILENT-E notations—the highest-level certification for quiet propulsion, minimizing underwater noise pollution so as to provide minimal disturbance for the delicate ecosystems they will visit.