Viking’s second expedition ship was floated out from a Romanian shipyard on Tuesday (July 27), marking a construction milestone ahead of its debut next summer.
The 378-passenger 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.
Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking, said: “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.”
Following the float-out ceremony at Fincantieri’s Vard shipyard in Romania, Polaris was moved to a nearby outfitting dock for further construction and interior build-out.
The ship will then be towed to Norway for final outfitting and delivery at Fincantieri’s Vard shipyard in Søviknes.
Features on the ships include The Hangar, an in-ship marina which permits the launch of small excursion craft, and The Laboratory, which hosts a team of scientists working on a variety of research programmes.
Explorers Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft will be 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 sustainability initiative.