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The Octantis: A New Standard For Purpose-Built Expedition Ships

To explore the ends of the earth in comfort and style, Viking has set a new standard for purpose-built expedition ships by launching the striking new Viking Octantis. Designed for discovery, the star of Viking’s first Antarctic season is outfitted with state-of-the-art nautical tech, academic labs, and libraries to enrich guest experiences, and quiet luxury with first-of-its-kind amenities.

Norwegian heritage and attention to detail are infused throughout. With sheltered outdoor observation areas from bow to stern and a state-of-the-art stabilizing system, Viking’s new expedition ships optimize exploring the remotest parts of the world in comfort.

“We hope our guests will feel at home onboard these elegant vessels, with spaces that are familiar from our ocean ships — such as the Explorers’ Lounge and Mamsen’s — as well as innovative new spaces like The Aula and The Hangar that are first of their kind in the travel industry,” said Karine Hagen, Executive Vice President of Viking.

The new Polar Class Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris host 378 guests in 189 staterooms. With more indoor and outdoor viewing areas than other expedition vessels, guests are as close as possible to magnificent scenery.

Onboard public spaces include The Aula, a panoramic auditorium inspired by the University of Oslo’s famed ceremonial hall, the former venue for the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. Used for lectures, daily briefings, documentaries and films, this spectacular venue features a 4k laser-projected screen that retracts to expose floor-to-ceiling windows and 270° views.

Finse Terrace is a scenic outdoor lounge area just above sea level with recessed, heated seating and lava rock “firepits.” It’s named after the Finse Plateau in Norway, where some of the greatest polar explorers, including Nansen and Amundsen, did their expedition training in preparation for their North and South Pole expeditions.

The Hangar is an industry-first in-ship marina providing ease of embarkation and disembarkation of Special Operations Boats and other equipment while sheltered from the elements. The Bow is a forward-viewing platform that also serves as a partially-enclosed shelter for guests during inclement weather.

The Science Lab is a wet and dry laboratory facility developed in partnership with the University of Cambridge and Akvaplan-Niva to support research activities. Guests have supervised access to learn from and participate with scientists.

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Dining areas include The Restaurant offering fine dining featuring regional cuisine and classics; the casual World Café has an open kitchen, bakery, grill and a wide range of international flavors; Mamsen’s, named for the Hagen family matriarch, serves Scandinavian-inspired fare; and Manfredi’s offers Italian cuisine.

The Nordic Spa offers healthy Nordic traditions and treatments, an indoor heated pool set against expansive windows, and a badestamp (wood-sided hot tub) that is open to the outside.

Located high on the ship with floor-to-ceiling windows, the Explorers’ Lounge is a social space to take in the scenery, chat with fellow travelers and enjoy a drink. The Living Room is located to maximize views of the surroundings through floor-to-ceiling windows. Its library is curated by acclaimed London bookshop Heywood Hill and Cambridge University’s Scott Polar Research Institute.

In a first for polar expedition vessels, all staterooms onboard Viking’s expedition ships feature a Nordic Balcony, a sunroom that converts into an al fresco viewing platform with an observation shelf to stabilize binoculars or a camera. Six stateroom categories range from 222 sq. ft. to 1,223 sq. ft.—all with a Nordic Balcony, as well as a king-size bed and large bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and anti-fog mirror. Every stateroom also has a unique floor-to-ceiling drying closet that circulates warm air to dry and store clothing and expedition gear.

Nordic Junior Suites (322 sq. ft.) and Explorer Suites (580 sq. ft.) on Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris have wood detailing and perks including additional storage and seating, an expanded bathroom with generous shower and double sinks, a fully stocked minibar replenished daily, welcome champagne, complimentary laundry, priority restaurant reservations and more. Explorer Suites feature two separate rooms, a Nordic Balcony and a full outdoor veranda. The special Owner’s Suite (1,223 sq. ft.) has a living room, board/dining room, and a bedroom, plus a 792 square foot private deck with a Norwegian hot tub.

The Octantis is built to take on weather extremes with a state-of-the-art stabilizing system, and sheltered outdoor observation areas from bow to stern. Octantis recently crossed the Antarctic Circle in Viking’s southernmost journey in its 25-year history. A few hours later, the Viking Venus crossed the Arctic Circle under spectacular northern lights – an impressive double achievement.

Viking’s new expedition ships were designed by the same team behind the award-winning Viking Longships and ocean ships, including Richard Riviere, Founding Principal of internationally acclaimed interior design firm Rottet Studio of Los Angeles. SMC Design of London contributed with their expertise in the maritime sector. Together, the two firms were awarded “Design Studio Team of the Year” in the 2021 Cruise Ship Interior Awards for their work on Viking’s expedition ships.


Image Source: Cruise Lockdown

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