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Viking Expeditions Thread


emileg
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11 hours ago, FoggyEthan said:

I've been wondering how time aboard the Octantis feels, compared to time aboard a Viking Ocean ship. Obviously Antarctica itself is completely different, and there are features of the ship oriented around the polar experience. But while on board, is it like a mini Viking Ocean cruise?

 

Apparently much of this is discussed on a private F B group, but to join you have to say that you are booked on an Antarctica trip, which I'm not. It seems like we need more ways to isolate ourselves from each other...

We're going to cruise on Octantis all the way from Antarctica to Milwaukee later this year.  It appears that while in the Antarctic region time is spent resting up for the next adventure as no one has talked about anything on board but the food and given a general impression of rooms and ship layout.  I know there is a pianist on board from her Facebook page, but not much more.  

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3 hours ago, eylarson said:

We're going to cruise on Octantis all the way from Antarctica to Milwaukee later this year.  It appears that while in the Antarctic region time is spent resting up for the next adventure as no one has talked about anything on board but the food and given a general impression of rooms and ship layout.  I know there is a pianist on board from her Facebook page, but not much more.  

Looked unsuccessfully to find “your” cruise …is it a B2B you put together?

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It is actually a back to back to back from Antarctica to Bridgetown to New York leaving March 9. We are on the same cruise going from Antarctica to Bridgetown, and I was wondering what will be going on on the cruise between Buenos Aries and Bridgetown, Barbados. 

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4 hours ago, eylarson said:

We're going to cruise on Octantis all the way from Antarctica to Milwaukee later this year.  It appears that while in the Antarctic region time is spent resting up for the next adventure as no one has talked about anything on board but the food and given a general impression of rooms and ship layout.  I know there is a pianist on board from her Facebook page, but not much more.  

 

Discussion of the food and rooms and layout would be nice. 😎 So far I've seen a photo of the sushi bar and that's it. e.g. how is the "Nordic Balcony" working out? Are people satisfied with it as an alternative to a real balcony? Do you get a wide-angle view from the couch?

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5 hours ago, Clay Clayton said:

Looked unsuccessfully to find “your” cruise …is it a B2B you put together?

Yes.  When Jones Act prevented the New York to Milwaukee B2B we booked in the "before times" Viking offered a deal if we added Bridgetown to New York leg that we took.  When the first Antarctic departure was cancelled because the ship wasn't ready, I started looking at those and found we could string them all together.  People look at us funny when we say we are cruising from Antarctica to Milwaukee, 61 days with every climate one can imagine.   

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1 hour ago, eylarson said:

Yes.  When Jones Act prevented the New York to Milwaukee B2B we booked in the "before times" Viking offered a deal if we added Bridgetown to New York leg that we took.  When the first Antarctic departure was cancelled because the ship wasn't ready, I started looking at those and found we could string them all together.  People look at us funny when we say we are cruising from Antarctica to Milwaukee, 61 days with every climate one can imagine.   

Sounds great to me!

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7 hours ago, Easyeddie66 said:

It is actually a back to back to back from Antarctica to Bridgetown to New York leaving March 9. We are on the same cruise going from Antarctica to Bridgetown, and I was wondering what will be going on on the cruise between Buenos Aries and Bridgetown, Barbados. 

We are also on that cruise going all the way to Milwaukee in May.   I found a link for Viking Expedition Cruises somewhere on Cruise Critic and it is very interesting and helpful.   Here is the name and once on that site there is an join button.   See you on the cruise:  Viking Expedition Antarctica Cruises

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On 1/31/2022 at 8:15 AM, Clay Clayton said:

So how those of us that are extra fluffy and in my case extra tall and some balance issues.  Just how hard is it to get in the Rib/zodiacs and more importantly how hard is it to got out once onshore?  Would love to do this cruise and it would certainly be inspiration to loose some weight and increase our fitness level but given I had to use my hiking sticks to climb the Great Wall worry that I won’t be able to really take advantage of being in Antartica. 
 

TIA for your and anyone else’s advice!

Wondering the same thing as Clay … how difficult is it to get into/out of the zodiacs? It might be a make-or-break deal for someone with mobility issues, alas.

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We are interested in the topic, this ship, and the previous discussion. Can't seem to find how to subscribe to this thread.

Thought I would post and return by that means. We have deposited and itinerary on this ship in June in the Great lakes.

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3 hours ago, bsrkent said:

Can't seem to find how to subscribe to this thread.

Look down at the bottom of any CCF thread and click "following".

 

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Of course if you post to or create a threadyou are automatically added to the follow list. Searching for threads in CCF is doable too but difficult and a test of one's patience (got my "training" in searching web sites with AltaVista buttressed by an overall familiarity with Boolean logic)

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13 hours ago, OceanPatter said:

Wondering the same thing as Clay … how difficult is it to get into/out of the zodiacs? It might be a make-or-break deal for someone with mobility issues, alas.

 

I watched a short film about the ships and recall seeing an internal zodiac garage/dock. If pax are loaded inside, rather than at a floating pontoon, entry and exit at the ship will be easy. Will be interesting to hear from pax on the ship, if they enter the zodiacs inside the ship, or at a floating pontoon.

 

The floatation collars are about 2.5' in diameter, so it can be a good step into a zodiac. When getting out, I find it easiest to step up onto the collar and then step ashore, with crew assisting keeping you stable. The other option is to sit on the collar and swing your legs out.

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2 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

I watched a short film about the ships and recall seeing an internal zodiac garage/dock. If pax are loaded inside, rather than at a floating pontoon, entry and exit at the ship will be easy. Will be interesting to hear from pax on the ship, if they enter the zodiacs inside the ship, or at a floating pontoon.

 

The floatation collars are about 2.5' in diameter, so it can be a good step into a zodiac. When getting out, I find it easiest to step up onto the collar and then step ashore, with crew assisting keeping you stable. The other option is to sit on the collar and swing your legs out.

It is called the Hangar Deck. You get in the RIBs (rigid inflatable boat) in the hangar deck. I am not sure yet of how the Zodiacs are loaded. I'll let you know in two weeks.

Viking Octantis The Hangar Pictures

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56 minutes ago, emileg said:

It is called the Hangar Deck. You get in the RIBs (rigid inflatable boat) in the hangar deck. I am not sure yet of how the Zodiacs are loaded. I'll let you know in two weeks.

Viking Octantis The Hangar Pictures

I'm very much looking forward to your report.  Are you planning to set up a separate thread?  

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We are also doing the US/Canada expedition trip. I have looked at several (some of the larger cities) of the ports on CruiseMapper to see where we will be docking and have not seen the Octontis listed. Is there any other place I can look to check on this? 

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4 hours ago, Frenchberet said:

I'm very much looking forward to your report.  Are you planning to set up a separate thread?  

Probably not on a separate thread, unless I decide to do a full review.

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6 hours ago, emileg said:

It is called the Hangar Deck. You get in the RIBs (rigid inflatable boat) in the hangar deck. I am not sure yet of how the Zodiacs are loaded. I'll let you know in two weeks.

Viking Octantis The Hangar Pictures

We entered the ribs via the door in the last photo attached. There is a step down to it and 4-5 people helping if needed. Everyone I saw was fine on this including people in their 80s.

 

I also saw on vikings website saying you will enter the inflatable crafts whilst being inside the ship. We did not find this to be the case.

 

The only boat entered whilst inside the ship was the special ops boat that you can see below on the wheel slipway photos.

 

The submarine was also entered being away from the ship. 

I hope you are able to do the submarine activity. On the second dive they videoed a 33 feet phantom jellyfish which is hardly ever filmed.

It is not out of the question that on some of the sub dives there will be new species discovered!

 

Also attached photos of the 6th deck communal areas as I'm not sure if this has been seen much.

 

I've got other photos of the hanger if interested

 

I bet you are looking forward to your trip!

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They appear to be very interesting ships.  Obviously a lot of thought went into the design.  The biggest downer is the passenger load given most Antarctic landings are limited to 100 persons, or so I am told.  But I could also see these ships being very good for the smaller islands in the Caribbean.  Similar to the itineraries SeaDream specializes in.   Or any number of small port options.

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14 hours ago, Hazard10 said:

We entered the ribs via the door in the last photo attached. There is a step down to it and 4-5 people helping if needed. Everyone I saw was fine on this including people in their 80s.

 

I also saw on vikings website saying you will enter the inflatable crafts whilst being inside the ship. We did not find this to be the case.

 

The only boat entered whilst inside the ship was the special ops boat that you can see below on the wheel slipway photos.

 

The submarine was also entered being away from the ship. 

I hope you are able to do the submarine activity. On the second dive they videoed a 33 feet phantom jellyfish which is hardly ever filmed.

It is not out of the question that on some of the sub dives there will be new species discovered!

 

Also attached photos of the 6th deck communal areas as I'm not sure if this has been seen much.

 

I've got other photos of the hanger if interested

 

I bet you are looking forward to your trip!

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Screenshot_20220203-012747_WhatsApp.jpg

Screenshot_20220203-012259_Gallery.jpg

Excellent photos.  Thanks 

 

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7 hours ago, deec said:

was there an extra charge to do the submarine?  so excited to do this trip next January!  New Year's Eve on the snow!!!

 

There was no extra charge. You just needed to register interest onboard 

That sounds lovely!

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6 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

They appear to be very interesting ships.  Obviously a lot of thought went into the design.  The biggest downer is the passenger load given most Antarctic landings are limited to 100 persons, or so I am told.  But I could also see these ships being very good for the smaller islands in the Caribbean.  Similar to the itineraries SeaDream specializes in.   Or any number of small port options.

Yes 100 people on land at once but we found they staggered shore landings at say 6:15am, 7:30, 9:30am and 11ish. One day I did a shore landing to see a penguin colonies, kayaking 2 hours later amongst icebergs and near a glacier and then early afternoon I did whale watching on a special ops boat.

 

They could also have people on the submarines at the same time as the 100 people onshore and then another 24 on the special ops boats and then others doing kayaking 

If they really wanted to I'd say they could have the majority of passengers off the ship at one time or at least prepping for a landing.

I counted 31 ribs/Zodiacs, 2 subs, at least 10 kayaking + spares 

 

 I wouldn't think the amount of passengers would have any negative effect on your experience.

The staff get up very early so I'd feel they could get everyone off and on the ship twice a day if needed via the slipway and two doors leading into the specials ops boats.

 

Looking at the smaller ship in comparison in ushuaia they mostly only had one route of getting off the ship, whereas the octantis had 3 so they would be able to board and reboard passengers a lot faster than the smaller ships with older systems.

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I agree, the Viking ships look amazing.  Way better than some of the converted icebreakers or otherwise smaller ships in the region.  I have always been a fan of the Viking ships overall look and feel.  Way better than some of the exaggerated themes out there.   The engineering in these ships is quite awesome.

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13 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

They appear to be very interesting ships.  Obviously a lot of thought went into the design.  The biggest downer is the passenger load given most Antarctic landings are limited to 100 persons, or so I am told.  But I could also see these ships being very good for the smaller islands in the Caribbean.  Similar to the itineraries SeaDream specializes in.   Or any number of small port options.

Jim - the limit on passengers going on landings is outside Viking's control and applies to every cruise line that travels to Antarctica. Even NatGeo.  So you can't call that a downer. It's just reality. 

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