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Five years ago, Viking reinvented ocean cruising with the launch their first ocean cruise ship, Viking Star.  Now, the cruise line plans to reinvent expedition cruising with the launch of two new expedition ships in 2022.

Last night, Viking unveiled their first two expedition ships (Viking Polaris and Viking Octantis) that will sail to Antarctica, the Arctic, and the Great Lakes.

The new Polar Class 6 Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will host 378 guests in 189 staterooms; both ships are currently under construction and will be delivered in Norway by Fincantieri’s VARD.

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Here is a first look at the incredible new expedition ships from Viking. All photos are courtesy of Viking.

Rendering of Zodiacs and Sub stored within the Hangar on-board the Viking Expedition ships Polaris and Octantis

The ships will have two submarines, each holding six passengers.  They will be included in cruise fares.  This is in addition to the RIB – Rigid Inflatable Boats that will be launched from the Hangar.

The Hangar’s most innovative feature is an 85 ft. slipway that allows guests to embark on RIBs from a flat, stable surface inside the ship, shielded from wind and waves. There is also a FerryBox, a set of instruments continuously collecting and displaying data on water quality, oxygen content, plankton composition and more.

Rendering of a Viking Expeditions RIB – Rigid Inflatable Boat supplied by Boomeranger

The Auditorium Theater on-board the Viking Expedition ship

The screen and the shades will go up in the theater to provide incredible views as you sail to the most remote locations on the planet.

Rendering of the Deck 2 Aft area, Finse Terrace and Theater Auditorium on-board the Viking Expedition ship

Rendering of the Viking Expedition ship: Penthouse Junior Suite – Polar Option

A first for polar expedition cruise vessels, all staterooms on board Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris feature a Nordic Balcony, a sunroom that converts into an al fresco viewing platform. This will maximize space in the cabin and allow for the best views from the comfort of your stateroom.

Rendering of the Viking Expedition ship: Nordic Balcony Stateroom

Rendering of the Aquavit Terrace and Infinity Pool on-board the Viking Expedition ship

Located at the stern and featuring a retractable glass dome, this indoor-outdoor heated sanctuary will allow guests to be surrounded by their destination as they swim and lounge in three different temperature-controlled pools, including an “inside-out” swimming experience.

Rendering of the Deck 2 Aft area, Finse Terrace, on-board the Viking Expedition ship

The Deck 2 Hydrotherapy Pool Spa and Gym area on-board the Viking Expedition ship

Rendering of the Viking Expedition ship – Spa Badestamp – Hot Tub

Rendering of the Explorer’s Lounge on-board the Viking Octantis

Rendering of the Viking Expedition ship: Deck 5 Explorers’ Lounge Upper Deck

Rendering of the Owners’ Suite on-board the Viking Expedition ship.

Viking’s expedition ships will offer an array of dining options that build on the successful venues from Viking’s ocean ships, but which have been redesigned for expeditions. The Restaurant will offer fine dining featuring regional cuisine and always-available classics; the casual World Café will be a new “market” concept that offers live cooking, an open kitchen, bakery, grill and premium seafood and sushi choices, as well as a wide range of international flavors; Mamsen’s, named for “Mamsen,” the Hagen family matriarch, serves Scandinavian-inspired fare; Manfredi’s offers the best of Italian cuisine; and 24-hour room service will be complimentary for all guests.

Rendering of The Market World Cafe area on-board the Viking Expedition ship

Rendering of the Viking Expedition ship: The World Cafe – The Market – Bakery

Rendering of the Viking Expedition ship: Deck 5 Mamsen’s

Rendering of the Viking Expedition ship: Deck 5 Living Room – Library

Every Viking Expeditions cruise fare includes a Nordic Balcony stateroom or suite, virtually all shore excursions, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Just as with Viking’s ocean cruises, guests will also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; premium dining reservations; lectures; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry; access to The Nordic Spa; and 24-hour room service.

As part of their fare, Viking Expeditions guests will also receive charter flights for hard-to-reach locales and the use of Viking Expedition Gear specialty equipment for land and sea excursions. On polar itineraries, guests also receive their own Viking Expedition Kit, which includes everything needed to be comfortable – as well as a Viking Expeditions Jacket to keep.

Viking Polaris rendering

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