On my recent trip on the Viking Octantis, I was sitting in the Aula Theater onboard this elegant floating working science lab and was overcome by how interesting it was. The Aula theater onboard is breathtaking, with recreations of Edvard Munch paintings on the walls and a retractable screen. Waiting for the Chairman of Viking Cruises, Torstein Hagen to share with us what the future of Viking holds, I realized that this ship was very different than any other ship in the world.
The Octantis, named for the southern star, is an extensive enrichment experience. Understated elegance and attention to detail, distinct Viking characteristics are around every corner. A sublime private reading nook with a fireplace? Check. A science lab to research microplastics? Check. A submarine so guests can explore underwater? Check. A luxurious spa with a snow room and sauna? Check. Multiple daily lectures on everything from Antarctic research to the history of the Caribbean? Check. Igor the great bartender who had a Gin and Tonic ready for me before I even walked in? Check. The most incredible crew and staff in the world? Check.
Viking prides itself on being destination-focused, but I cannot help being equally curious about Sam the Volcanologist (yes that is a thing I learned) telling us about his underwater research as I am wandering around the 16th century Castillo San Felipe del Morro in Puerto Rico. This truly is a thinking person’s adventure. I learned so much (thank you Rob the glacier expert for the tip about polar bears are only in the Arctic, NOT Antarctica -mind blown!)
Listening to Torstein speak about Viking emerging as the leader in environmental matters, then watching the incredible screen retract to reveal the vast ocean in front of us, everyone let out a collective “Wooooooooooooooow”. every day is different on a Viking experience, from exploring and learning, to making new friends and trying new foods. But the one thing that is a constant, is the family feeling among the staff. It doesn’t take long once you step onboard to feel welcome, curious and ready for adventure. A thinking person’s adventure.
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