If visiting Antarctica is on your bucket list and you have $50,000 to spare, a new two-month cruise from Viking will make that possible — with a departure or arrival right in your backyard.
Viking is expanding its Great Lakes offerings next year with three new Longitudinal World Cruises that will travel between the Great Lakes and the world’s southernmost continent.
The first, Longitudinal World Cruise I, will sail from Buenos Aires to Milwaukee beginning March 2, 2023. The 65-day cruise will be aboard the Viking Octantis, the largest cruise ship to sail the Great Lakes. It made its inaugural visit to Milwaukee in May.
The cruise will first sail south to Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world, before spending five days cruising around Antarctica. From there, it will head north along the west coast of South America, through the Panama Canal and the Caribbean, then up the East Coast to the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes. The ship is scheduled to stop in dozens of cities in nine countries along its route, including Mexico, Ecuador, Peru and Chile.
The 71-day Longitudinal World Cruise II will sail from Duluth, Minnesota, to Ushuaia, with a stop in Algoma, beginning Sept. 12, 2023. That cruise will be aboard the Octantis’ twin Polaris, which will make its Great Lakes debut next year.
The final cruise, the 70-day Longitudinal World Cruise III, is scheduled to sail from Milwaukee to Ushuaia beginning Sept. 8, 2023, aboard the Octantis.
Prices for the cruises start at $44,995 for a Nordic Balcony room on Longitudinal World Cruise I. The other two start at $49,995. In addition to all food, beer and wine, the fee includes at least one excursion in each port of call, a Viking expedition jacket and, for a limited time, free airfare.
Both the Octantis and Polaris can carry up to 378 passengers. The seven-deck ships feature multiple restaurants and bars, Nordic spas, indoor-outdoor pools, outdoor seating around lava rock fire pits and plenty of windows inside for taking in the views, including from a two-deck lounge at the bow of the ship.
All staterooms on Viking ships — including the Octantis and Polaris — are exterior rooms with Nordic balconies — essentially, a window that opens halfway with a small ledge for wildlife viewing; binoculars are provided in-suite.
Viking will continue to offer other Great Lakes itineraries in 2023, including three that begin or end in Milwaukee: Niagara & the Great Lakes (Toronto to Milwaukee), Undiscovered Great Lakes (Thunder Bay to Milwaukee) and Great Lake Explorer (Milwaukee to Thunder Bay). An additional cruise, the Great Lakes Collection, makes a stop in Algoma on its way from Duluth to Toronto.
For more on Great Lakes cruises from Viking, see vikingcruises.com/expeditions.
Contact Chelsey Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @chelseylew and @TravelMJS and Facebook at Journal Sentinel Travel.