Viking has taken delivery of 378-passenger Viking Octantis – the first of two purpose-built expedition ships entering the line’s fleet.
The delivery ceremony took place at Fincantieri’s Vard shipyard in Søviknes, Norway, on Wednesday.
From Norway, the vessel will reposition to South America and start operating passenger voyages to Antarctica next month.
The ship (pictured) will be officially named in April 2022 in New York City by its godmother, Norwegian explorer Liv Arnesen. It will then make its way to the Great Lakes for a series of spring and summer voyages.
Sister ship Viking Polaris is due to join the fleet in August 2022 before operating a programme of itineraries in Antarctica and the Arctic.
Viking chairman Torstein Hagen highlighted how passengers had urged the line “to take them further” and build on the river and ocean voyages it currently offered.
He said: “Today is a proud day for the entire Viking family as we welcome our first expedition ship to the fleet and usher in a new era of exploration.
“We are now perfecting expedition voyages and offering curious travellers the opportunity to visit some of the world’s most pristine destinations in the most responsible way possible.
“With the arrival of Viking Octantis, Viking is now exploring all seven continents, and we look forward to welcoming her first guests on board in the coming weeks.”