Two submarines, Great Lakes, Antarctica and the Arctic for Viking Expeditions.
Viking Cruises has just announced full details of its highly anticipated expedition cruising product, which will see the January 2022 debut of the 378-passenger Viking Octantis.
Some of Viking’s expedition cruises have been able to be booked by past passengers since last October, but effective from today the full range of voyages are available to cruisers from Australia and New Zealand.
The Great Lakes itineraries will visit the US states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as the Canadian province of Ontario. Octantis will also cruise to Antarctica, while sister ship Viking Polaris will launch in August 2022 and sail to both Antarctica and the Arctic.
Viking Chairman, Torstein Hagen, described the offering as “the thinking person’s expedition…we will usher in a new era of comfortable exploration in the heart of North America”. He outlined a range of scientific partnerships underpinning the programs, including with the University of Cambridge’s Scott Polar Research Institute, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The Polar Class 6 Octantis and Polaris will feature 189 staterooms, and have been designed by the same nautical architects and engineers behind the Viking ocean ships. Highlights include an industry first in the form of “The Hangar” – an enclosed, in-ship marina which allows the launch of small excursion craft through multiple shell doors, giving guests easy, comfortable and safe access to the water using a 30-metre elevated slipway which then delivers the loaded vessels into the water.
Complimentary experiences include on-board Zodiacs, kayaks, RIBs and two six-guest submarines. Guests will also be offered supervised access to The Laboratory, an on-board research facility. All cabins will feature a “Nordic Balcony” which converts into an al-fresco viewing platform, and the Aquavit Terrace and Pools is described as an “indoor-outdoor heated sanctuary” with three different temperature-controlled swimming areas.
Viking’s popular Nordic Spa and Fitness Centre offers a sauna, snow grotto, hydrotherapy pool and hot tub, surrounded by panoramic windows. Four dining venues will be complemented by 24 hour room service which is available at no additional charge to all guests.
Inaugural voyages include a 13-day Antarctic Explorer from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, priced from A$20,995 per person as well as an 8-day Niagara and the Great Lakes itinerary from Toronto to Milwaukee which starts at A$8,395 fully inclusive. Bookings confirmed before 31 March 2020 will also attract savings of up to $2,000 per couple.
Renderings of the new vessels can be viewed online now at facebook.com/cruiseweekly.
More details in tomorrow’s issues of Travel Daily and Cruise Weekly.