Fincantieri’s Norwegian subsidiary, VARD has delivered the ‘Viking Polaris’, the second of two ice-strengthened expedition vessels ordered by Viking.
Built at Vard Søviknes in Ålesund, Norway, ‘Viking Polaris’ is specifically designed for adventure cruises in Polar destinations.
She has a length of 205 m and a beam of 23.5 m, especially designed and developed for expeditions in Antarctica and North America’s Great Lakes. The vessel hosts 378 guests in 189 staterooms.
“Together with her sister, ’Viking Octantis’, ‘Viking Polaris’ is an amazing and unique ship that represents innovation and development of the cruise segment for both Viking and VARD,” said VARD’s General Manager for Business Unit Cruise, Attilio Dapelo.
“Both vessels are over 200 m long and the largest vessels built by VARD so far and once again confirm VARD’s capabilities to build excellent vessels at the highest standards of cruise ships.
“I am grateful to everyone involved in the project for being dedicated to their tasks and to the commitment to deliver ‘Viking Polaris’ on time and with high quality’s levels. A special thanks to Viking for the trust and for the excellent, fruitful, and continuous co-operation all along the designing and building process,” he said.
‘Viking Polaris’ is an ice-strengthened Polar Class 6 vessel with a longer hull, straight bow, and modern fin stabilisers to provide the calmest possible journeys in remote regions. The u-tank stabilisers will significantly decrease rolling when the ship is stationary.
The hull was built at Vard Tulcea in Romania, which also partly outfitted the ship.
“We are proud to deliver the second ice-strengthened expedition vessel to Viking,” added Vard Søviknes’ Yard Director, Arnt Inge Gjerde.
“The vessel is fantastic, and with a very high standard. Considering the sistership effect, and that we brought the synergies from the first vessel, we are very satisfied with the result.
‘Viking Polaris’ is equipped with the latest technology and automation systems, all commissioned and tested by VARD in a very close co-operation with Viking.
“Our in-house competence in innovative design and technology, executed at our yards through all the steps in the process, is a huge strength which is supported by our owner Fincantieri,” he said.
VARD signed the Letter of Intent (LoI) for the two cruise vessels with Viking in April, 2018. The contracts for the vessels were firmed up in July, 2018.
‘Viking Polaris’ was delivered from Vard Søviknes on 27th September, 2022. The float out ceremony took place in Vard Tulcea in July, 2021 with the vessel arriving at Vard Søviknes on 22nd January, 2022 for further outfitting, testing and finalisation.
Her sister, ‘Viking Octantis’, was delivered from Vard Søviknes on 22nd December, 2021.