Viking has taken delivery of the first of two expedition ships, ahead of her inaugural cruise next month. Viking Octantis will officially be named in April 2022 before making her way to the Great Lakes for a series of spring and summer itineraries. The second purpose-built expedition ship, Viking Polaris, is set to join the fleet in August 2022.

Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking, hailed the beginning of a “new era of exploration” for the cruise line.

“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 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,” he commented.

Viking Octantis has a maximum capacity of 378 guests and was designed by the same team behind Viking’s longships and ocean ships. A number of exciting onboard features ensure the new Viking expedition ship is well-equipped to make the most of her destinations. Among them is The Hangar, an industry first, in-ship marina where passengers can embark and disembark excursion craft from an 85-foot slipway inside the vessel.

Other highlights include The Science Lab, which will facilitate a wide range of important research activities. Guests can access the area under supervision and see first-hand the work being undertaken by the scientists based on board.

Each stateroom on Viking Octantis is kitted out with a unique floor-to-ceiling drying closet that circulates warm air, so guests are able to dry and store their clothing and expedition gear with ease.