Viking Octantis embarked on its inaugural voyage to Antarctica and the Great Lakes of North America, in May 2022. Credit: Viking Cruises.
The new Polar Class 6 Viking Octantis hosts 378 guests. Image courtesy of Viking Cruises.
The expedition ship includes a fleet of two-seater Arctic-tested kayaks and two 12-seater convertible RIBs. Credit: Viking Cruises.
The ship was delivered by Fincantieri’s VARD shipyard. Credit: Viking Cruises.
The Viking Octantis cruise ship completed a roundtrip journey crossing the Welland Canal in May 2022. Credit: Viking Cruises.
The naming ceremony of the cruise ship was held in September 2022. Credit: Viking Cruises.
The ship is designed to have a minimal environmental impact, as well as meet biosecurity standards and stringent emission norms. Credit: Viking Cruises.

Viking Octantis is a Polar Class 6 ship built by Fincantieri’s subsidiary, VARD, in Romania. It embarked on its maiden voyage in May 2022.

Viking Cruises took delivery of the Viking Octantis cruise ship in December 2021. The delivery event was held at shipbuilding company Fincantieri’s VARD shipyard in Søviknes, Norway. The naming ceremony of the cruise ship was held in September 2022.

The new expedition vessel sailed her inaugural season on voyages to the Great Lakes of North America in May 2022. The Viking Octantis cruise ship completed a roundtrip journey crossing the Welland Canal, becoming the largest passenger vessel ever to transit the canal.

In January 2024, Viking Octantis visited Astrolabe Island in the Bransfield Strait of the Trinity Peninsula in Antarctica. During the visit, Oceanites, Viking’s onboard scientific partner, conducted a survey, the first in nearly 40 years of the known chinstrap penguin colony on the island, resulting in the discovery of an additional colony.

The ship is designed to have a minimal environmental impact and meet biosecurity standards and stringent emission regulations.

Viking Octantis design and features

Viking Octantis measures 665ft long and 77ft wide, built for expeditions. It can accommodate 378 guests in 189 staterooms. The expedition ship is built with a modern Scandinavian design.

The straight bows, long hulls and state-of-the-art fin stabilisers enable the ship to efficiently sail over the ice waves. The straight bow can reduce fuel consumption while the onboard dynamic positioning system can enable the ship to hover over the seabed without anchoring.

The ice-strengthened Polar Class 6 hull ensures a safe voyage and U-tank stabilisers can decrease rolling by up to 50% when the ship is stationary.  The hangar or the in-ship marina on the ship can enable the launch of small excursion craft through the multiple shell doors of the ship. The hangar offers an 85ft slipway that allows the guests to embark on rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) from a flat, stable surface inside the ship.

The on-board laboratory occupies an area of 430ft² on a glass-enclosed mezzanine floor above the hangar. It enables guests to engage with scientists conducting primary research.

Viking Octantis staterooms

The ship offers six stateroom categories, namely Nordic Balcony, Deluxe Nordic Balcony, Nordic Penthouse, Nordic Junior Suite, Explorer Suite, and Owner’s Suite. The staterooms offer a floor space ranging between 222ft² and 1,223ft². Each room is equipped with a unique floor-to-ceiling drying closet.

Nordic Junior Suites and Explorer Suites are designed with abundant wood detailing. The rooms offer amenities such as an expanded bathroom with an extended shower and double sinks, additional seating and storage, and a minibar.

Explores Suites include two separate rooms, a full outdoor veranda, and a Nordic Balcony. The Owner’s Suite occupies an area of 1,223ft² and features two separate rooms, a private garden with a traditional Norwegian badestamp, which is a wood-sided hot tub.

Entertainment venues on Viking Octantis

The ship features The Aula, an auditorium for lectures, films and presentations. The auditorium can be converted to offer a panoramic al fresco view and 270° views from the floor-to-ceiling windows.

The library on the ship includes a collection of books curated by London bookseller Heywood Hill. The cruise ship features Aquavit Terrace and Pools that feature a retractable dome and three different temperature pools, including an indoor-outdoor swim-through pool.

The Nordic Spa and Fitness Centre features a sauna, Snow Grotto and chaise lounges, along with a hydrotherapy pool and badestamp. The Explorer’s Lounge at the bow section is designed for the visitors to view the scenery through double-height windows.

Itineraries of Viking Octantis expedition ship

The inaugural voyages of Viking Expedition included Antarctic Explorer, Antarctic and South America Discovery, Arctic Adventure, From the Arctic to the Antarctic, Undiscovered Great Lakes, Great Lakes Explorer, Niagara and The Great Lakes and Canadian Discovery.

The 13-day Antarctic Explorer inaugural voyage started from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia. The ship sails to the heart of the Antarctic Peninsula, allowing the guests to explore penguins, seals, whales and other wildlife.