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Viking Announces Summer 2023 Expeditions Including New Great Lakes Itineraries

A rendering of Viking's expedition ship
A rendering of Viking's expedition ship

Viking has announced new expedition voyages for summer 2023, including a new two-week itinerary in the Great Lakes, as well as more offerings in North and South America.

Debuting in JUN 2023, the new 15-day Great Lakes Collection itinerary will sail between Toronto and Duluth, providing guests with ports of call in all five Great Lakes. Viking has also announced 2023 sailing dates for four existing Great Lakes expedition voyages: the 8-day Niagara & the Great Lakes, Great Lakes Explorer, and Undiscovered Great Lakes itineraries, as well as the 13-day Canadian Discovery itinerary. According to the cruise line, additional sailing dates were announced due to high demand.

Three additional expedition voyages in North and South America will also debut in summer 2023. The new, 16-day Canada & the Atlantic Coastline itinerary will expand offerings along the St. Lawrence River and Atlantic coastline, featuring destinations that include Quebec City, Trois-Rivières, Charleston, Norfolk and more. Guests can discover Patagonia while sailing from Santiago to Ushuaia on the new 14-day Patagonian Shores & Chilean Fjords itinerary, while guests looking to explore destinations in North, Central and South America, can choose the new 18-day itinerary Panama & Scenic South America.

“In creating ‘the thinking person’s expedition,’ we are offering curious travelers the opportunity to visit some of the most pristine destinations on earth in the most responsible way possible,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “As we prepare to welcome our first guests on board for voyages to Antarctica this coming winter, we are also pleased to unveil even more new journeys closer to home for summer 2023.”

A rendering of Viking Polaris
A rendering of Viking Polaris

Highlights of new Viking Expeditions Summer 2023 Itineraries:

Great Lakes Collection – On this 15-day itinerary, guests sail the waterways of all five Great Lakes. Sailing between Toronto, Canada and Duluth, Minnesota, guests will experience urban centers and admire Niagara Falls. Along the journey, guests can also explore the islands and inlets of Georgian Bay and traverse the Soo Locks. On Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, guests can study the aquatic ecosystems of the lakes and venture into the boreal forests that line the shores.

Canada & the Atlantic Coastline – On this 16-day itinerary, guests sail along the legendary St. Lawrence Seaway and the Atlantic coast of the United States on a voyage that combines landscapes and cities between Toronto and Ft. Lauderdale. Led by a team of experts, guests can explore the wilderness near Trois-Rivières, Louisbourg and Lunenburg by land and water. Guests can experience the metropolis of New York City and immerse themselves in the histories of Quebec City, Norfolk and Charleston.

Patagonian Shores & Chilean Fjords – This 14-day itinerary discovers the beauty of Patagonia while sailing from Santiago to Ushuaia. Guests can admire the peaks and ice shelves while navigating the iceberg-crowded channels of the Chilean Fjords. Guests will follow a team of onboard experts for an up-close encounter with the glaciers that dominate the landscape and gain insight into Patagonian life during stops in the towns of Tortel and Castro.

Panama & Scenic South America – On this 18-day itinerary, guests can explore cultures and landscapes of North, Central and South America. On the journey between Santiago, Chile and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, guests can discover the culture of ancient civilizations of the Yucatán Peninsula and transit between two oceans through the Panama Canal. Guests can immerse themselves in Lima and enjoy the Iquique, nested between the Atacama Desert and the Pacific.

Viking Expedition The Hangar
The Hangar

Viking Expedition Ships

The new Polar Class Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will host 378 guests in 189 staterooms. Designed by the same architects and engineers that designed Viking ocean ships, the ships are small enough to navigate remote polar regions and the St. Lawrence River, while large enough to provide handling and stability in the seas. The ships will feature public spaces that are familiar to Viking’s ocean voyage guests but that have been reimagined for expeditions, as well as new public spaces created specifically for expeditions. Straight bows, longer hulls and fin stabilizers will allow the ships to glide over the waves; ice-strengthened Polar Class hulls will provide the safety to explore; and U-tank stabilizers will decrease rolling by up to 50 per cent when the ships are stationary.

Highlights of Viking's new expedition ships can be found below.

The Hangar: This enclosed, in-ship marina permits the launch of small excursion craft through the ship’s multiple shell doors. It features an 85 ft. slipway that allows guests to embark on excursion craft from a flat 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.

The Science Lab: Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, while hosting guests, will also be working research vessels with an onboard team of scientists working on a variety of studies. Developed in consultation with Cambridge University and Viking’s other academic partners, The Science Lab, at 380 sq. ft., is designed to support a broad range of research activities and is equipped with wet and dry laboratory facilities, a sample processing area, fume cupboard, freezer and cool storage, comprehensive microscope optics and bench space for analysis-specific instruments. Guests will have supervised access to The Science Lab, which is located in a glass-enclosed mezzanine above The Hangar, to learn from and participate with scientists undertaking primary research.

A rendering of Viking's new expedition ship
A rendering of Viking's new expedition ship

Expedition Equipment: Viking will offer a variety of ways for guests to experience their destination, according to their interests and activity level, at no extra charge. Expedition equipment available for guests on Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will include a fleet of military pro zodiacs designed for professional use in harsh environments; a fleet of two-seater Arctic-tested kayaks; and two 12-seater convertible Special Operations Boats. Each ship will also feature two six-guest submarines that feature revolving seats and 270-degree spherical windows. A Viking Expedition Kit will contain items like boots, binoculars and waterproof pants; each excursion will carry a full range of Safety Equipment, such as satellite phones, VHF radios, ropes, life jackets and a shore survival kit; and all guests will receive complimentary use of Viking Excursion Gear, which includes specialty items like trekking poles, snowshoes and skis.

The Aula & Finse Terrace: Inspired by the University of Oslo’s ceremonial hall where the Nobel Peace Prize was historically awarded, The Aula will offer a panoramic auditorium at the stern for lectures and entertainment, with floor-to-ceiling windows and 270-degree views. Adjacent to The Aula is the Finse Terrace, an outdoor lounge area at sea level with couches and warming lava rock "firepits."

Nordic Balcony: All staterooms on board Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris feature a Nordic Balcony, a sunroom that converts into an al fresco viewing platform. The Nordic Balcony’s floor-to-ceiling, distortion-free glass at the very edge of the ship lets guests take the views in, while keeping the elements out. Should guests wish to feel even closer to nature, the top of the panoramic glass lowers to transform the stateroom into a sheltered lookout, with an observation shelf at elbow level to stabilize binoculars or a camera. Guests can choose from six stateroom categories that range from 222 sq. ft to 1,223 sq. ft: Nordic Balcony, Deluxe Nordic Balcony, Nordic Penthouse, Nordic Junior Suite, Explorer Suite and Owner’s Suite. All staterooms feature a Nordic Balcony, as well as a king-size bed and large bathroom with glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and anti-fog mirror. Every stateroom is also equipped with a floor-to-ceiling drying closet that circulates warm air to dry and store clothing and expedition gear.

Expedition Ship Suites: Nordic Junior Suites (322 sq. ft.) and Explorer Suites (580 sq. ft) on Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris contain wood detailing and amenities that include additional storage and seating, an expanded bathroom with extended shower and double sinks, priority restaurant reservations, and more. Explorer Suites feature two separate rooms, a Nordic Balcony and a full outdoor veranda. Additionally, each ship features one Owner’s Suite, which at 1,223 sq. ft, is twice the size of the Explorer Suites. With exclusive accommodations and amenities on board, it features two separate rooms – a living room with six-seat dining table and a bedroom – as well as a 792 sq. ft. private garden with a traditional Norwegian badestamp (wood-sided hot tub) and outdoor dining table.

Other amenities include Aquavit Terrace & Pools located at the stern and featuring a retractable glass dome; the Nordic Spa & Fitness Center featuring a Sauna, Snow Grotto, a hydrotherapy pool, and more; the two-deck Explorers’ Lounge at the bow of the ship; more than 4 dining choices including the Restaurant's regional cuisine, the "market" concept World Café, Mamsen’s Scandinavian-inspired fare, and Manfredi's Italian cuisine.

According to Viking, Octantis and Polaris are compliant to all guidelines and regulatory requirements from AECO, IAATO, the Antarctic Treaty System and the Governor of Svalbard to minimize environmental impact and meet emissions and biosecurity standards. Additionally, the straight bow reduces fuel consumption, and a dynamic positioning system enables the ship to hover over the seabed without anchoring, allowing access to environments without damage.

For more information on Viking, visit its web site.

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