Viking takes delivery of first expedition ship Octantis
By Katie McGonagle | 23 Dec 2021
Viking’s first expedition ship, Viking Octantis, has set sail for South America, ready to start taking guests to Antarctica from January.
The 378-passenger vessel is the first foray into the expedition sector for Viking, which is better known for river and, more recently, ocean cruising.
It was officially delivered by Fincantieri’s Vard shipyard in Norway on December 22 and was immediately dispatched to South America to begin a season of Antarctica sailings.
Viking chairman Torstein Hagen said: “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. 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.
“Leveraging our long history of destination-focused travel, enrichment and innovative ship design, we are now perfecting expedition voyages and offering curious travellers the opportunity to visit some of the world’s most pristine destinations in the most responsible way possible.
“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.”
The ship will be officially named in April 2022 in New York City by cross-country skier and adventurer Liv Arnesen, before operating a series of voyages in the US and Canada’s Great Lakes region.
It will be joined by a sister expedition ship, Viking Polaris, in August 2022, which is set to cover polar journeys to the Arctic and Antarctica.
Both vessels feature an integrated bow, ice-strengthened Polar Class hulls, state-of-the-art stabilisers,and an onboard laboratory, along with The Hangar, an enclosed marina that lets guests board Zodiac boats inside the ship while shielded from the elements.