Cruise passengers boarding Viking Polaris in Duluth, Minnesota in fall 2023 will embark on an epic 71-day, eight-country, three-continent voyage that includes stops in Canada, New York and Mexico, transit from Panama Canal and a week in Antarctica, before disembarking in Argentina.
Viking Cruises’ expedition ship Octantis has already started plying the Great Lakes this spring, with Duluth as its port of call. Her new sister ship Polaris will sail from Duluth to Toronto and return to the major Great Lakes circuits next summer.
But now the Swiss-based cruise line has quietly begun selling tickets for a successful new itinerary that begins in Duluth on September 12, 2023. The “Longitudinal World Cruise II” will explore the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence, Eastern US Coast and Caribbean, Chilean fjords and glaciers, and parts of Antarctica before ending Nov. 21 in Ushuaia, Argentina, about 7,000 miles south of Duluth.
That makes it a roughly north-south trip between the world’s farthest inland seaport (Duluth) and the world’s southernmost city (Ushuaia).
Pricing for this new route starts at an equally impressive $49,995. An ongoing promotion on Viking’s website offers unspecified savings and free international airfare until June 30.
“The Vikings World Cruise from Minnesota is totally unprecedented,” said Colleen McDaniel, editor of Cruise Critic, a TripAdvisor website. “It’s an amazing itinerary that no other cruise line offers. The price is right in line with other ships of a similar nature – and the fare also includes a ton, helping to deliver even more value travelers.”
The “Longitudinal” voyage is what is called a repositioning cruise, in which a cruise ship makes the transition between regions – such as moving from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean – at the beginning or end of a season. In this case, the Viking Polaris will complete its Great Lakes season and reposition to the Antarctic region for the Southern Hemisphere summer.
The Duluth-Ushuaia cruise will be Viking’s second “longitudinal” voyage of 2023. For the first, the Octantis will reposition from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Milwaukee from March 2 to May 5, excluding Duluth. This 65-day trip starts at $44,995.
The midsize 378-capacity Octantis and Polaris are themselves unparalleled in Great Lakes cruising. Polar Class 6 luxury expedition ships feature an onboard marina called the Hangar, which can launch expeditions on special boats, kayaks, and even six-passenger submarines.
“We’re seeing tremendous interest in these types of global cruises,” McDaniel said. “They are an exciting vacation option for those looking to see the world, and do so in a comfortable and convenient way.”
Here is a partial list of stops on the Longitudinal World Cruise II.
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Sault Ste. Mary, Michigan
Mackinac Island, Michigan
Door Peninsula, Wisconsin
Georgian Bay, Ontario
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
New York City
Charleston, South Carolina
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Punta Arenas, Chile
Point Damoy, Antarctica
South Shetland Islands, Antarctica
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