Viking Cruises has revealed the first details of its ground-breaking expedition fleet, including two brand new ships – Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, which will start sailing beginning 2022.
They have revealed their first itineraries – two 13-day voyages, one in the Arctic and another in the Antarctic.
The expedition ships will be smaller than Viking’s ocean fleet, carry 378 guests. The Arctic expeditions will sail roundtrip from Tromso, Norway while the Antarctic expeditions will operate from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia.
The Arctic sailings are currently priced from $14,000 pp and the Antarctic sailings from $15,000 pp, according to passengers who have been approached to sail on them. This puts them almost on par with luxury expedition competitors.
As part of the exclusive soft launch, past guests and their travel agents have first access to the pricing and availability of the sailings to make their bookings from now till December 31, 2019.
Further information on Viking Expeditions will be unveiled on January 16, 2020.
The 378-guest expedition ships are currently built by VARD who specialises in expedition ships and is also currently building expedition ships for Coral Expeditions, Ponant and Hapag-Lloyd.
Viking are keeping much of the detail of the ships under wraps. But advertisements for expedition leaders are asking for qualifications in submarine operations and and on-shore safety regimes like polar bear protection.
According to reports, the project will be developed by Vard Design in close cooperation with the customer, according to the highest safety and reduction of the environmental impact standards, drivers which have increasingly greater weight also in the cruise sector.
It is expected the ship designs will be totally innovative.
The shipyard previously said that the two new ships would be delivered to Viking in the second quarters of 2021 and 2022, respectively.