Viking Doubles Great Lakes Capacity For Second Season

Viking is celebrating the start of its second season in the Great Lakes, as the new purpose-built Viking Polaris arrived in Toronto for its first port of call in the region.

The Viking Polaris joins its identical sister ship, the Viking Octantis, which began sailing in the Great Lakes for the 2022 season and returned to the region in April 2023. With two 378-guest expedition vessels now in the region, Viking has doubled its capacity in the Great Lakes for 2023. The ships will remain in the Great Lakes through September 2023, sailing all five lakes and a variety of itineraries that operate between Toronto and Duluth.

Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking, said: “We are proud to welcome both of our expedition ships to the Great Lakes. 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.”

Hagen added: “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.”

Designed specifically to reach the Great Lakes, Viking’s expedition fleet brings the newest and most modern vessels ever to explore this region of North America, as well as a significant commitment to local tourism and economic development for the states of Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Canadian province of Ontario.

Beginning this season, Viking will also call on 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 has partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL), which conducts innovative research on the dynamic environments and ecosystems of the Great Lakes and coastal regions to provide information for resource use and management decisions that lead to safe and sustainable ecosystems, ecosystem services, and human communities. Viking’s expedition ships have also been designated official NOAA / U.S. National Weather Service weather balloon stations, from which regular launches are undertaken.

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