Viking took delivery of its first expedition cruise ship, the new Viking Octantis at the end of last year in Norway.

The ship is the first of two expedition ships from Viking. The ship headed to South America for her inaugural season of sailing to Antarctica. During the Northern Hemisphere’s summer months, will offer cruises on the Great Lakes.

Her sister ship, the Viking Polaris will enter service in August 2022.

Viking Octantis will be christened in New York City in April 2022 by godmother Liv Arnesen, the famed explorer and educator.

“Today is a proud day for the entire Viking family as we welcome our first expedition ship to the fleet and usher in a new era of exploration. Our guests have asked us to build on our award-winning river and ocean voyages to take them further, and that is just what we have done,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking.

“Leveraging our long history of destination-focused travel, enrichment and innovative ship design, we are now perfecting expedition voyages and offering curious travelers the opportunity to visit the world’s most pristine destinations in the most responsible way possible. With the arrival of Viking Octantis, Viking is now exploring all seven continents, and we look forward to welcoming her first guests on board in the coming weeks.”

The 378 passenger expedition ships from Viking have 189 staterooms and were designed by the same nautical architects that designed the cruise line’s Longships and ocean ships.

They are custom built for expedition cruises with ice-strengthened Polar Class hulls for safety. The ships also have U-tank stabilisers to reduce rolling by up to 50% when they are stationary.