Viking Cruises is expanding its brand to expeditions. Its newest ships, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, will be embarking on itineraries off the beaten path starting in 2022.
Viking Octantis will be heading to locations like Antarctica and the Great Lakes of North America, and Viking Polaris will be sailing to both Antarctica and the Arctic.
The ships will also have some great company to help launch the ships. Liz Arnesen, the first to woman to ski solo to the South Pole, has been named the ceremonial godmother of Viking Octantis. Ann Bancroft, to first woman to complete an expedition to both the Arctic and Antarctica, was named the ceremonial godmother of Viking Polaris.
Viking was launched in 1997 and currently has 73 river ships and six ocean-going ships. With the addition of the two new ships, they now offer journeys on 20 rivers, five oceans, and five Great Lakes. Their journeys also span over 95 countries.
“We invented the concept of modern river cruising when we launched in 1997; then we reinvented ocean cruises and became the ‘World’s Best Ocean Cruise Line’ in our first year of operation, as well as every year since then. Now, in creating ‘the thinking person’s expedition,’ we are perfecting polar expedition cruising, and we will usher in a new era of comfortable exploration in the heart of North America,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking. “Our guests are curious explorers. They want to continue traveling with us to familiar and iconic destinations, but they would also like to travel further. We began as Viking River Cruises; then we evolved into Viking Cruises with the addition of ocean cruises; today we stand singularly as Viking, offering destination-focused voyages on more than 20 rivers, five oceans and five Great Lakes, visiting 403 ports in 95 countries and on all seven continents.”
Both of the new ships will be very intimate, according to Viking. Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will both have 189 staterooms with a capacity of 378 guests. People who take the cruises will have access to nature, science, and education while on board. Viking will also be welcoming scientists from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to do their research during the expeditions.