Torstein Hagen’s Viking cruises has taken delivery of Viking Octantis, the first of two new purpose-built expedition ships. The delivery ceremony took place yesterday at Fincantieri group member Vard’s Søviknes, Norway, shipyard.
Viking Octantis will be officially named in April 2022 in New York City by her ceremonial godmother, explorer and educator Liv Arnesen. The ship will then make her way to the Great Lakes, for a series of voyages during spring and summer. A second, identical sister ship, Viking Polaris, is set to joins the fleet in August 2022 for journeys to the Arctic and Antarctica.
Viking Octantis has a length of 205 meters and a beam of 23.5 meters, and has been designed and developed for comfortable expeditions in the Arctic, Antarctica and the Great Lakes. The vessel hosts 378 guests in 189 staterooms.
Characteristics of the vessel are a straight bow, longer hull and state-of-the-art fin stabilizers. The ice-strengthened Polar Class 6 hull will allow the ship to explore in polar regions, and the ship’s U-tank stabilizers are designed to significantly decrease rolling when the ship is stationary.
LARGEST VESSEL BUILT BY VARD
“With its length of more than 200 meters, Viking Octantis is the largest vessel built by Vard so far, and I would like to express my gratitude to each and everyone involved in the project for their dedicated effort and commitment to secure delivery according to plan,” said Attilio Dapelo, general manager for Business Unit Cruise at Vard.
Vard signed the Letter of Intent (LOI) for the two cruise vessels with Viking in April 2018. The contracts for the vessels became effective in July 2018. On December 22, 2020, the float out ceremony of Viking Octantis took place at the Vard Tulcea shipyard in Romania. The vessel arrived Vard Søviknes in Norway in July 2021, for further outfitting, testing and finalization.
Several of Vard’s and Fincantieri’s specialized subsidiaries have been heavily involved throughout the shipbuilding process, and the building of Viking Octantis has involved a broad range of suppliers and partners. In the final stage of the outfitting phase, there were more than 1,000 workers on board the ship/
“We all had one common goal – to deliver the vessel before Christmas. And we did it,” said Arnt Inge Gjerde, yard director at Vard Søviknes. “Despite all the challenges posed by the pandemic, we have nevertheless managed to complete the building, outfitting, testing and successful sea trial of the vessel. We are all looking forward to seeing Viking Octantis in operations. She will be a fabulous experience for the passengers on board and a great workplace for its crew.”
“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.”