Viking’s 1st expedition ship delivered before Christmas

Viking Octantis, the first of two Viking’s expedition ships, has been delivered by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri at Vard shipyard in Søviknes, Norway.

Viking
Viking Octantis (Courtesy of Viking Expeditions)

To remind, the ship was floated out on 22 November 2020 at a ceremony that took place at Vard Tulcea in Romania, two years after Vard and Viking had signed the Letter of Intent (LOI) for the two cruise vessels.

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As informed, Viking Octantis arrived at Vard Søviknes in July 2021, for further outfitting, testing and finalization.

The vessel, especially designed and developed for expeditions in the Arctic, Antarctica and North America’s Great Lakes, has a length of 205 metres and a beam of 23,5 metres. It can host 378 guests in 189 staterooms.

Viking Octantis is characterised by a straight bow, longer hull and state-of-the-art fin stabilizers that allow the ship to glide over the waves for the calmest possible journey.

Like her sister ship Viking Polaris, to be delivered next year, the ship has the “Polar Class 6” certification for expeditions in the polar regions and is fit to navigate remote areas and the St. Lawrence River and provide superior handling and stability in rough seas, Fincantieri said.

According to Attilio Dapelo, general manager for Business Unit Cruise in Vard, Viking Octantis is the largest vessel built by Vard so far. At the same time, is the ninth cruise unit completed in 2021 in Fincantieri’s domestic and foreign sites, Giuseppe Bono, the company’s CEO said.

Vard highlighted that several of Vard’s and Fincantieri’s specialized subsidiaries have been heavily involved throughout the shipbuilding process, and the building of Viking Octantis has engaged a broad range of suppliers and partners. The company reports more than 1000 workers on board in the final stage of the outfitting phase.

Arnt Inge Gjerde, yard director at Vard Søviknes said: “We all had one common goal – to deliver the vessel before Christmas. And we did it! 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 onboard and a great workplace for its crew”.