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  • Viking-Octantis-aft.jpg -  The aft of Viking Octantis, the pioneering new expedition ship from Viking.
  • Viking-Octantis-explorers-lounge.jpg -  Get up-close captivating views of wildlife and landscapes from the Explorers’ Lounge on Viking Octantis.
  • Viking-Octantis-marina.jpg -  The marina of Viking Octantis is the area from which Zodiacs and mini-subs can launch.
  • Viking Octantis.jpg -  The 378-passenger Viking Octantis, the first expedition ship from Viking, will explore Antarctica, the Arctic and the Great Lakes.
  • Viking-Octantis-in-antarctica-rendering.jpg -  A digital rendering of Viking Octantis in Antarctica.

Viking Octantis: Viking's sleek expedition ship sails the Great Lakes


Viking Octantis is the first expedition cruise ship to be introduced by Viking Cruises under the banner of its new Viking Expeditions brand. Given Viking's stellar fleet of midsize ocean ships, this new entry into the cruise market promises a new way for adventure travelers to explore the world.

The 378-passenger ship, which debuted in January 2022, chiefly features trips to Antarctica, the Arctic and the Great Lakes of North America, instantly making the 665-foot-long Octantis the largest cruise ship to ply the Great Lakes' waters.

Some of the most popular amenities of Viking's ocean ships carry over to Viking Octantis, including the forward-facing Explorers’ Lounge, the Aquavit Bar, the inviting Living Room theme throughout ship's lobby and interior atrium, the library and (my favorite) the spa with a Thermal Suite, sauna, Snow Grotto, chaise lounges, hydrotherapy pool and fitness center.

Octantis was designed by the same team as its award-winning ocean ships, like Viking Star — one of my all-time favorites. Those 47,800-gross-ton ships never feel crowded with 930 passengers and 465 crew members. Octantis, a more svelte 30,150 gross tons, has an even lower passenger capacity, carrying just 378 guests with a crew of 260. That means the ship has a passenger-to-crew ratio of 1.66 and a generous passenger-to-space ratio of 79.76, putting Octantis in a class with high-end luxury ships. 

Like its ocean-going forebears, Octantis has a modern Scandinavian design with light woods, tasteful furnishings and cheery, open public spaces. Also like the other Viking ocean ships, passengers must be age 18 or older. 

Where Viking Octantis sails

Viking Octantis explores Antarctica, the Patagonia fjords, South America, Atlantic Canada and the Great Lakes, with eight-day cruises between Milwaukee, Thunder Bay and Ontario as well as between Milwaukee and Toronto. Octantis is designed to have a minimal environmental impact and to meet biosecurity standards and stringent emission norms. Contact a Cruiseable travel consultant for information about specific itineraries.  

Ratings & awards

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Cruises on this ship

Features of the ‘ice-class’ ship 

Octantis sports a Polar Class 6 hull to ensure a safe voyage through polar regions and U-tank stabilizers that decrease rolling by up to 50% when the ship encouters icy waves. Its straight bows and long hulls will reduce fuel consumption while the dynamic positioning system on board will enable the ship to hover over the seabed without anchoring.

One innovative feature debuting on Octantis will be the Hangar, an industry-first enclosed marina that enables the launch of small excursion craft through the ship's multiple shell doors. Its 85-foot slipway lets guests embark expedition boats from a flat, stable surface inside the ship, shielded from wind and waves. 

Expeditions & experiences

Expedition ships always carry lecturers and field experts, and Viking's 25 person-strong Expedition Team will join every voyage. These experts, includng biologists, botanists, geologists, glaciologists and photographers, will host daily lectures and briefings. 

On top of that, Viking Octantis takes things to a whole new level with the Laboratory, a space where guests can interact with resident scientists and can even take part in field research projects on shore, which might mean tracking migratory patterns of penguins or accompanying scientists as they collect samples of flora and fauna.

In addition, Viking has partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), whose scientists will join expeditions in the Great Lakes to conduct research focused on changes in the region’s weather, climate and ecosystems.

During voyages, guests have the opportunity to ride in one of the ship's six-person submarines (with revolving seats and spherical windows), which take off from The Hangar, an enclosed marina at the ship's aft. Expedition equipment — provided complimentary and to all passengers regardless of cabin category — includes Zodiacs (rigid inflatable high-speed boats), two-seater sea kayaks, two RIB boats (12-seat rigid inflatable boats) and Expedition Kit (cold-weather boots, jacket, waterproof pants, snowshoes, trekking poles, skis, binoculars). Each tour boat is fitted with safety equipment: satellite phone, VHF radio, ropes, life jackets and survival kits.

Inclusions in the base fare

Fares on Octantis follow the Viking tradition of including the following in the base fare:

  • shore excursions — including rides in one of the ship's six-person submarines
  • beer and wine at lunch and dinner
  • Wi-Fi
  • self-service laundry
  • 24-hour room service

Some Viking Expeditions guests will also receive charter flights for hard-to-reach places included in the fare.

Perfectly prepared lamb chops served at Manfredi's Italian Restaurant  on a Viking ocean cruise.
JD Lasica / Special to CruiseablePerfectly prepared lamb chops served at Manfredi's Italian Restaurant on a Viking ocean cruise.

Dining & lounges

Dining venues on Viking Octantis include:
  • The Restaurant, offering regional cuisine specialties and classic dishes with a rotating menu. All dishes feature locally sourced ingredients. 
  • The World Cafe, a market-style buffet restaurant with an open kitchen offering international food choices, bakery, grill stations and seafood bar with premium sushi
  • Manfredi's Italian Restaurant with upscale Italian cuisine
  • Mamsen's Restaurant, a great breakfast choice offering a mix of pastries and homey Scandinavian dishes
  • Room service that's complimentary and available 24 hours
Cocktails, beer and wine are available at The Bar, the Explorers’ Lounge and the Aquavit Terrace. Optional drink packages are available or included with specific room packages. 


The ship will offer six stateroom categories: Nordic Balcony, Deluxe Nordic Balcony, Nordic Penthouse, Nordic Junior Suite, Explorer Suite and Owner’s Suite.  All 189 cabins aboard Viking Octantis offer ocean views and what Viking terms a “Nordic balcony,” similar in some ways to a French balcony. It's a large window that can partially drop down and turn part of the room into an open-air space with the push of a button. Nordic Balcony and Deluxe Nordic Balcony cabins have a comfortable 222 square feet of living space and make up the majority of the staterooms on the ship. Other cabins range from 269 to 1,223 square feet.

Rooms come with a king-size bed and a bathroom with a glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floors and anti-fog mirrors. There will also be a floor-to-ceiling "drying closet" where circulating warm air dries clothes and expedition gear. 

Sister ship

Octantis was followed by a nearly identical second ship, Viking Polaris, in August 2022.  Both vessels are small enough to shimmy through narrow waterways like the St. Lawrence River in Canada but large enough to handle long ocean voyages. Both ships are designed to have a minimal environmental impact and to meet biosecurity standards and stringent emission norms.

Interested in a cruise on this ship?

For pricing, itinerary information and to reserve your spot on Viking Octantis, contact a Cruiseable travel consultant by email or call 1-877-322-3773.


JD Lasica
I'm Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Cruiseable. Follow your cruise bliss to any land where it may lead. Let's connect! I'm @jdlasica on Twitter.

Top highlights on this ship

  • What: Stunning destinations
  • Where: Antarctica

  • What: Easy departures
  • Where: Ship's marina

  • What: Sightseeing
  • Where: Explorers’ Lounge

Fast facts

378 Passengers [?]
260 Crew
7 Decks
2022 Maiden voyage
30,150 Tonnage [?]
665 Length in feet
79 Width in feet (max beam)
189 Cabins

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