Viking Polaris expedition ship floated out

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T0802VIKINGPOLARIS_C_HR [Credit: Viking]
The Viking Polaris being floated out at the Vard shipyard in Alesund, Norway. Photo Credit: Viking

Viking's second expedition ship, the 378-passenger Viking Polaris, was floated out July 27 in Norway, a year ahead of the ship's summer 2022 debut.

The Polaris will spend its maiden season in the Arctic and Antarctica. 

Its sister ship, the Viking Octanis, was floated out last December and is set to debut in early 2022 on sailings to Antarctica and North America's Great Lakes. Both ships are being built by Fincantieri's Vard shipyard in Alesund, Norway. 

"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 Viking chairman Torstein Hagen in a statement. 

Explorers Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft will be the ceremonial godmothers to the Octantis and Polaris, respectively. Arnesen, a native Norwegian, became the first woman in the world to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole in 1994, and 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. 

Viking's expeditions ships will feature the Hangar, an industry-first enclosed marina that permits the launch of small excursion craft through the ship's multiple shell doors. Its 85-foot slipway will allow guests to embark exploration boats from a flat, stable surface inside the ship, shielded from wind and waves. 

Viking launched its expedition cruise arm, Viking Expeditions, last January. 

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