Viking’s inaugural season in America’s Great Lakes is well underway. The line’s first expedition ship, Viking Octantis, recently wrapped up a roundtrip through the Welland Canal — a part of the St. Lawrence Seaway that connects Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. That makes it the largest passenger vessel to ever transit the canal.
Octantis is set to remain in the Great Lakes until early October of this year, operating a variety of itineraries between Toronto, Ontario and Duluth, Minnesota.
Next year, Viking’s second expedition vessel, Viking Polaris, will join Octantis for the Great Lakes season.
“Our expedition ships were designed with the Great Lakes in mind. This region has been historically underserved by cruise lines, and we are delighted by the warm and enthusiastic reception we have received from the local communities,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “With our first season now underway, we are pleased with the strong demand among our guests and look forward to introducing even more curious travelers to these fantastic destinations in 2023.”
Viking’s arrival to the Great Lakes brings the newest and most modern vessels to the region, as well as an economic boost for the states of Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ohio (starting in 2023), as well as Canada’s Ontario province.
To help develop the scientific enrichment program for its Great Lakes voyages, Viking has partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, which conducts research on the environments and ecosystems of these lakes and their coastal regions.
These expedition ships have also been designated as official NOAA/U.S. National Weather Service weather balloon stations, and launches will be regularly undertaken from their decks.
The four itineraries Viking is operating in the Great Lakes this year are:
- Undiscovered Great Lakes: 8 days, Thunder Bay to Milwaukee
- Great Lakes Explorer: 8 days, Milwaukee to Thunder Bay
- Niagara & The Great Lakes: 8 days, Toronto to Milwaukee
- Canadian Discovery: 13 days, New York to Toronto
In 2023, Viking will add a new Great Lakes voyage:
- Great Lakes Collection: 15 days, Toronto to Duluth
From now through May 31, 2022, Viking is offering special fares and reduced airfare on Great Lakes itineraries. Call Viking or contact your travel agent for information.