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Expedition cruising: Viking Polaris meets water for the first time

Viking is celebrating the float out of its second expedition ship, the 378 guest Viking Polaris, scheduled to debut in summer 2022.

Viking is celebrating the float out of its second expedition ship, the 378 guest Viking Polaris, scheduled to debut in summer 2022.

Viking today announced its second expedition ship, Viking Polaris, was “floated out,” marking a major construction milestone and the first time that the new ship touches water.

Scheduled to debut in summer 2022, Viking Polaris will spend her maiden season sailing voyages to the Arctic and Antarctica; her identical sister ship, Viking Octantis, was floated out last December and is set to debut in early 2022 for journeys to Antarctica and North America’s Great Lakes.

“We are now one step closer to our launch of ‘the thinking person’s expedition,’ with new voyages that will allow our guests to explore the ends of the world and closer to home—in comfort,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking.

“We are grateful for our long-standing partnership with Fincantieri, who has helped us build the world’s most beautiful ocean ships and are now helping us perfect expedition cruising. We look forward to welcoming guests on board Viking Polaris and Viking Octantis next year.”

Viking Polaris

The float out is significant because it denotes a ship moving into its final stage of construction. The float-out ceremony of Viking Polaris took place yesterday, July 27; she was then moved to a nearby outfitting dock for further construction and interior build-out.

After final outfitting, Viking Polaris will be delivered at Fincantieri’s VARD shipyard in Søviknes, Norway.

Viking says that esteemed explorers Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft will be honoured as ceremonial godmothers to Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, respectively.

Arnesen, a native Norwegian, became the first woman in the world to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole in 1994. Bancroft is the first woman to successfully ski to both poles. Arnesen and Bancroft also became the first women to ski across Antarctica in 2001.

Together they co-founded Bancroft Arnesen Explore / Access Water, an initiative that aims to engage and empower more than 60 million minds to create a sustainable tomorrow.

Viking’s expedition ships

Viking Octantis

The new Polar Class 6 Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will host 378 guests in 189 staterooms.

Designed by the same nautical architects and engineers that designed Viking ocean ships, the ships are optimally sized and built for expeditions—small enough to navigate remote polar regions and the St. Lawrence River, while large enough to provide superior handling and stability in the roughest seas.

Viking says the ships will feature public spaces that are familiar to its ocean cruise guests but that have been reimagined for expeditions, as well as new public spaces created specifically for expeditions.

Straight bows, longer hulls, and state-of-the-art fin stabilizers will allow the ships to glide over the waves for the calmest possible journey; ice-strengthened Polar Class 6 hulls will provide the safest way to explore, and U-tank stabilizers will significantly decrease rolling by up to 50 percent when the ships are stationary.

Viking’s expedition ships will feature modern Scandinavian design with elegant touches, intimate spaces, and attention to detail.

Click here or visit your local travel agent for more information.

Viking has also developed a series of short videos about the new expedition voyages, ship design, and prestigious scientific partnerships, which can be found on its website here.