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Viking doubles capacity for second Great Lakes season

Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris were expressly designed to fit through the Welland Canal
Viking began its second season on the Great Lakes, this year with two ships as Viking Polaris has just joined sister Viking Octantis there.

Viking Octantis began sailing in the Great Lakes in 2022. The expedition vessels were expressly designed to fit through the Welland Canal, a section of the St. Lawrence Seaway connecting Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.

All five lakes

The 378-passenger pair will remain in the region through September, sailing all five lakes and a variety of itineraries between Toronto and Duluth.

'With historic canals that are engineering marvels, cities with thriving arts and culture and unmatched wilderness, this is a phenomenal region of North America that may be familiar to many — but few have had the opportunity to explore,' Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen said.

'After our first full season of Great Lakes voyages in 2022, we are grateful for the warm welcome we received from each destination and look forward to introducing even more curious travelers to the region this season and in the years to come.'

New destination Cleveland

With this deployment, Viking is making a significant commitment to local tourism and economic development for the states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin and the Canadian province of Ontario. Beginning this season, Viking will also call at the new port of Cleveland, Ohio, during the new 15-day itinerary, 'Great Lakes Collection.'

To further develop the scientific enrichment program for its Great Lakes voyages, Viking partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, which studies the dynamic environments, ecosystems and coastal regions to provide information for resource use and management decisions. Viking’s expedition ships are designated official NOAA/US National Weather Service weather balloon stations and operate regular launches.

Two new itineraries

The 15-day 'Great Lakes Collection' itinerary between Toronto and Duluth accesses all five Great Lakes. Travelers can experience culture-rich urban centers, thundering Niagara Falls and the granite islands and sheltered inlets of Georgian Bay and traverse the Soo Locks. They can study the aquatic ecosystems of the lakes and venture into the dense boreal forests lining the shores of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan.

Also new, the 16-day 'Canada & the Atlantic Coastline' between Toronto and Fort Lauderdale pairs the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Atlantic coast of the US on a voyage that combines scenic landscapes and storied cities. Travelers can go into the wilderness near Trois-Rivières and explore Louisbourg and Lunenburg by land and water. City stops include New York, Québec, Norfolk and Charleston.

Other voyages, from eight to 65 days

Viking also sails several eight-day itineraries, a 13-day program and 'grand voyages' between the Great Lakes and 'the end of the world,' including the 'Viking Longitudinal World Cruise I,' which will complete its inaugural 65-day journey from Antarctica to Milwaukee on May 5. In September, Viking Polaris will embark on the 'Longitudinal World Cruise II' from Duluth to Ushuaia and Viking Octantis will also begin an epic journey from Milwaukee to Ushuaia on the 'Longitudinal World Cruise III.'

Following Viking’s third Great Lakes seasonCan, Viking Polaris will also sail the 'Longitudinal World Cruise IV' from Milwaukee to Ushuaia in October 2024.