Viking this week floated out its second expedition ship, the 378-guest Viking Polaris, marking a major construction milestone and the first time that the new ship touches water.
Viking Polaris was then moved to a nearby outfitting dock for further construction and interior build-out. After final outfitting, the ship will be delivered at Fincantieri's VARD shipyard in Søviknes, Norway.
Scheduled to debut in summer 2022, Viking Polaris will spend its maiden season sailing voyages to the Arctic and Antarctica.
Sister ship Viking Octantis was floated out last December and is set to debut in early 2022 for journeys to Antarctica and North America's Great Lakes.
"We are now one step closer to our launch of 'the thinking person's expedition,' with new voyages that will allow our guests to explore the ends of the world and closer to home—in comfort," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "We are grateful for our long-standing partnership with Fincantieri, who has helped us build the world's most beautiful ocean ships and are now helping us perfect expedition cruising. We look forward to welcoming guests on board Viking Polaris and Viking Octantis next year."
Explorers Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft will be honored as ceremonial godmothers to Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, respectively. Arnesen, a native Norwegian, became the first woman in the world to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole in 1994. Bancroft is the first woman to successfully ski to both poles. Arnesen and Bancroft also became the first women to ski across Antarctica in 2001. Together they co-founded Bancroft Arnesen Explore / Access Water, an initiative that aims to engage and empower more than 60 million minds to create a sustainable tomorrow.
Viking has also developed a series of short videos about the new expedition voyages, ship design and scientific partnerships, which can be found on its website here.