As Viking’s first expedition ship Viking Octantis continues the beginning of her maiden Antarctic season, the line marked a special milestone last week. Viking passengers explored at both ends of the earth, when Octantis crossed the Antarctic Circle, marking the southernmost journey in the company’s 25-year history. Just a few hours later, one of the line’s ocean ships Viking Venus crossed the Arctic Circle under the northern lights.
Now, Viking has released new photos of Octantis, showcasing the vessel’s interior architectural details. Many spaces are similar to those guests will find on the line’s traditional ocean ships, but some venues are brand-new and just for the expedition ships.
The expedition ships — Viking Octantis and her upcoming sister ship Viking Polaris — were designed by the same team behind Viking’s Longships and ocean ships, including Richard Riviere, Founding Principal of interior design firm Rottet Studio of Los Angeles.
SMC Design of London contributed with their expertise in the maritime sector. Together, the two firms were awarded “Design Studio Team of the Year” in the 2021 Cruise Ship Interior Awards for their work on Viking’s expedition ships.
“We hope our guests will feel at home on board these elegant vessels, with spaces that are familiar from our ocean ships—such as the Explorers’ Lounge and Mamsen’s—as well as innovative new spaces like The Aula and The Hangar that are first of their kind in the travel industry,” said Karine Hagen, Executive Vice President of Viking. “As always, our Norwegian heritage and thoughtful attention to detail are infused throughout.”
Some of the new photos showcase spaces such as:
The Aula is a stunning auditorium inspired by the University of Oslo’s famed ceremonial hall, the former venue for the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. It is used for lectures, daily briefings, documentaries, and films, and features a 4k laser-projected screen that retracts to expose floor-to-ceiling windows and 270 degree views.
Finse Terrace is an outdoor lounge area just above sea level, featuring recessed, heated seating and lava rock “fire pits.”
It is named after the Finse Plateau in Norway, where some of the greatest polar explorers — including Nansen and Amundsen — did their expedition training in preparation for their North and South Pole expeditions.
The Science Lab
Developed in partnership with the University of Cambridge and Akvaplan-Niva, The Science Lab was designed to support a broad range of research activities and is equipped with wet and dry laboratory facilities.
Guests have supervised access to The Science Lab to learn from and participate with scientists in undertaking meaningful research.The Science Lab (Photo courtesy of Viking)
This state-of-the-art, industry-first marina provides easy embarkation and debarkation of Special Operations Boats and other equipment, while keeping everyone sheltered from the elements.
Expedition Central is the hub for the expedition team to consult with passengers on their expedition activities and share knowledge about the destinations on a one-on-one basis, with the aid of 3D printed maps, digital screens and a spatial data visualization chart table.
The Restaurant offers regional dishes and always-available classics, the World Café is the ship’s buffet-style venue, Mamsen’s serves Scandinavian-inspired fare, and Manfredi’s offers the best of Italian cuisine.
The Nordic Spa
The Nordic Spa features an indoor heated pool set against expansive windows, as well as a badestamp (wood-sided hot tub) that is open to the outdoors.
Located high on the ship with floor-to-ceiling windows, the Explorers’ Lounge provides guests an ideal space to take in the scenery, chat with fellow travelers, and enjoy a drink.
The Library is curated by acclaimed London bookshop Heywood Hill, as on all Viking vessels, as well as Cambridge University’s Scott Polar Research Institute.
Nordic Balcony Cabins
A first for polar expedition vessels, all cabins on Viking’s expedition ships feature a Nordic Balcony, a sunroom that converts into an al fresco viewing platform with an observation shelf at elbow level to stabilize binoculars or a camera.
Passengers can choose from six stateroom categories that range from 222 square feet to 1,223 square feet — all with a Nordic balcony, as well as a king-size bed and large bathroom with a spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor, and anti-fog mirror.
Every cabin also includes a drying closet that circulates warm air to dry and store clothing and expedition gear.