Viking has announced it is expanding its destination-focused travel experiences with the launch of new expedition voyages. Viking Expeditions will begin sailing in January 2022 with its first vessel, Viking Octantis, embarking on voyages to Antarctica and North America’s Great Lakes. A second expedition vessel, Viking Polaris, will debut in August 2022, sailing to Antarctica and the Arctic.
Viking’s arrival to the Great Lakes will bring the newest and most modern vessels ever to explore this region of North America, visiting the states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as the Canadian province of Ontario.
As part of an exclusive preview, past Viking guests have been able to book select Viking Expeditions polar itineraries since 9 October 2019. From 16 January 2020, all expedition voyages – including the new Great Lakes itineraries – are available to the Australian and New Zealand public for booking.
“We invented the concept of modern river cruising when we launched in 1997; then we reinvented ocean cruises and became the ‘World’s Best Ocean Cruise Line’ in our first year of operation, as well as every year since then. Now, in creating ‘the thinking person’s expedition,’ we are perfecting polar expedition cruising, and we will usher in a new era of comfortable exploration in the heart of North America,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking.
“Our guests are curious explorers. They want to continue travelling with us to familiar and iconic destinations, but they would also like to travel further. We began as Viking River Cruises; then we evolved into Viking Cruises with the addition of ocean cruises; today we stand singularly as Viking, offering destination-focused voyages on more than 20 rivers and five oceans, visiting 403 ports in 95 countries and on all seven continents.”
To develop the new expedition voyages, Viking has partnered with some of the world’s most prestigious scientific institutions. The lead partner is the University of Cambridge’s Scott Polar Research Institute. This relationship is underpinned by a major Viking endowment for scientific research into the polar regions, The Viking Chair of Polar Marine Geoscience, a Cambridge University full professorship based at the Scott Polar Research Institute, as well as a sponsorship fund supporting the Institute’s graduate students. As part of this endowment, the Institute’s scientists will undertake fieldwork on board Viking expedition vessels and join voyages to share their expertise with guests. Viking has also partnered with The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, a globally recognized bird research facility, whose ornithologists will regularly be on board the expedition ships, providing guest advice and interaction. Additionally, Viking has partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), whose scientists will join expeditions in the Great Lakes to conduct research focused on changes in the region’s weather, climate and ecosystems. NOAA scientists may also offer lectures about the Great Lakes’ unique environment to Viking guests during these voyages.
About Viking Expedition Ships
The new Polar Class 6 Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will host 378 guests in 189 staterooms; both ships are currently under construction and will be delivered in Norway by Fincantieri’s VARD. Designed by the same experienced nautical architects and engineers that designed Viking ocean ships, the ships are optimally sized and built for expeditions – small enough to navigate remote polar regions and the St. Lawrence River, while large enough to provide superior handling and stability in the roughest seas.
Straight bows, longer hulls and state-of-the-art fin stabilizers will allow the ships to glide over the waves for the calmest possible journey; ice-strengthened Polar Class 6 hulls will provide the safest way to explore and U-tank stabilizers will significantly decrease rolling by up to 50 percent when the ships are stationary.
Guests will recognise the distinctly Viking experience from the moment they set foot on board. Customised to navigate the planet’s most remote environments, Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will offer the same comfort as Viking’s ocean and river ships. The ships will feature public spaces that are familiar to Viking’s ocean cruise guests but that have been reimagined, as well as new public spaces created specifically for expeditions. Modern Scandinavian design will feature throughout, with elegant touches, intimate spaces and attention to detail, including panoramic views from any location on the ship.
Guests can choose from six stateroom categories that range from 222 sq. ft to 1,223 sq. ft: Nordic Balcony, Deluxe Nordic Balcony, Nordic Penthouse, Nordic Junior Suite, Explorer Suite and Owner’s Suite. All staterooms feature a Nordic Balcony, as well as a king-size bed and large bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and anti-fog mirror. Every stateroom is also equipped with a unique floor-to-ceiling drying closet that circulates warm air to dry and store clothing and expedition gear.
Details of Viking’s plans were unveiled by Chairman Hagen during a celebratory launch event in Beverly Hills, California. Hagen announced that famed adventurers and educators Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft will be honoured as ceremonial godmothers to Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, respectively. Arnesen, a native Norwegian, became the first woman in the world to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole in 1994. Bancroft is the first woman to successfully finish a number of arduous expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. Arnesen and Bancroft also became the first women to ski across Antarctica in 2001. Together they co-founded Bancroft Arnesen Explore / Access Water, an initiative that aims to engage and empower more than 60 million minds to create a sustainable tomorrow. Arnesen will also periodically serve as a member of the Viking Expedition Team.
This announcement is the most recent development as Viking continues to increase its award-winning presence in the travel industry. In the last eight years alone, the company has introduced more than 60 new river cruise ships and six ocean cruise ships to become the largest small ship cruise line with a current fleet of 79 river and ocean vessels around the world. In 2020, Viking will launch seven new river ships. Six more ocean sister ships are on order, with options for four additional ships. These options could bring Viking’s total ocean fleet to 16 ships by 2027.
2022-2023 Viking Expedition Inaugural Voyages
Book before 31 March 2020 and save up to $2,000 per couple with Viking’s Inaugural Offer on 2022 & 2023 Viking Expedition itineraries. Conditions apply. For additional information, contact your local Mondo Travel Specialist on 0800 110 108 or email email@example.com.
Source: Viking Cruisessubmitted by -- Tony Terrill
Uniworld has announced that it will set sail in South America for the first time with two new itineraries throughout the Peruvian Amazon aboard the Aria Amazon, set to debut in September 2020. The new itineraries include the 15-day Peruvian Amazon & Machu Picchu Exploration that starts off with a land portion in Lima staying at a 5-star hotel, followed by the seven-night cruise through the Amazon rainforest, and ends in the heartland of the Inca Empire with trips to the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and Cusco; and the 11-day Peruvian Rivers & Rainforest Discovery that takes guests to explore the colourful capital of Lima, immerse in the pristine Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve and sail through the Amazon River roundtrip from Iquitos.
For more details or to book one of these fantastic Amazon cruises please contact your local Mondo Travel Specialist on 0800 110 108.submitted by -- Tony Terrill
Expanding its commitment to making a cruise vacation more accessible for everyone, Carnival Cruise Line has become the first cruise operator to be certified “sensory inclusive” by KultureCity, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to accessibility and inclusion for individuals with sensory needs and invisible disabilities.
The rollout of the program started in October and all of Carnival Cruise Line’s South Florida-based ships are certified, with the balance of the fleet scheduled to be completed by March 2020.
As part of a comprehensive fleetwide training program, hundreds of guest-facing team members, including guest services personnel and youth staff, have been trained to understand and help adults, youth and children with sensory related questions or needs relating to conditions such as Autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, PTSD, etc.
In addition, KultureCity sensory bags are available for check out for the duration of the cruise and contain a variety of items to help calm, relax and manage sensory overload. Items include comfortable noise cancelling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget toys, and a visual feeling thermometer (produced in conjunction with Boardmaker), as well as a KultureCity VIP lanyard to help staff easily identify guests.
These measures have proven to be helpful in the more than 450 landside venues like stadiums, arenas and amusement parks that have partnered with KultureCity. Since the program has been implemented aboard the first wave of Carnival’s ships, feedback from guests and their families has been overwhelmingly positive.
Once on board, guests should inquire at the Guest Services desk to inquire about borrowing a sensory bag and any other accommodations that are available.
Informational videos featuring actor Christopher Gorham, a member of the KultureCity board of directors, designed to create greater awareness among all guests, are playing on in-stateroom television on the line’s six certified ships and will expand across the fleet as the program rolls out to other ships.
“Carnival Cruise Line and KultureCity share a heartfelt commitment to acceptance and inclusivity. Working together, all of our guests can maximize their enjoyment and be the truest versions of themselves during their time on board,” said Vicky Rey, Carnival’s vice president of guest care and communications and the company’s ADA Responsibility Officer.
“We’re proud and grateful to partner with Carnival Cruise Line, offering guests with sensory needs an opportunity to more fully enjoy their vacations and create wonderful memories with their friends, families and loved ones. We appreciate Carnival Cruise Line for taking this important step in making their vacations accessible to everyone,” said Dr. Julian Maha, co-founder, KultureCity.
In addition to the KultureCity certification, Carnival will be the first cruise operator to complete an additional special needs certification program offered by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES).
The IBCCES program includes 17 continuing education units (CEUs) of training in a variety of special needs, such as Autism, Down Syndrome, mobility issues, and various other disabilities. Additionally, Carnival’s youth staff have different resources on hand to help soothe, calm and entertain children participating in our youth programs, such as weighted vests, conversation cards, sensory games and other aids. Myron Pincomb, board chairman of IBCCES: “It has been a pleasure working with the Carnival team. Their unwavering passion to go above and beyond to create the best experience possible allows guests of all abilities to 'Choose Fun'.”
“Carnival Cruise Line is to be commended for training their staff about autism and offering sensory bags that will enable individuals with autism and their families to have an enjoyable cruise,” Dr. Temple Grandin, a renowned autism advocate and author and one of the first individuals on the autism spectrum to document the insights she gained from her personal experience with autism.
To obtain more information on the KultureCity program, please visit the Guests with Disabilities page on Carnival.com.
For more details or to book a Carnival Cruise please contact Mondo on 0800 110 108 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Francis Travel Marketingsubmitted by -- Tony Terrill