What You Cannot Miss Onboard

Ever dreamt of exploring untouched corners of the earth? Yeah, me too (like all day lengthy)! That’s why being onboard the Viking Octantis is topping my cruising bucket checklist. Overlook big cruise ships with casinos and water slides – this expeditionary vessel is all about one factor: exploration.

Suppose zodiac landings, submarine dives, and lectures by specialists who actually know their sciency stuff. Plus, the Octantis is full of cool onboard actions, from snow showers (critically!) to climate balloon launches.

Right here’s my picks for issues to not miss whereas onboard your Octantis, whether or not your Viking Cruise takes you to the Arctic or on the 8-Day Niagara & Great Lakes cruise that I took. 

Must-Do Activities on Viking Octantis

Issues to Do Onboard the Viking Octantis

1. Expertise the Nordic Bathing Expertise

The beautiful onboard spa features a bathing expertise from the Nordic Tradition—which is all included for FREE! This custom alternates between heating up and cooling all the way down to detoxify, chill out muscle tissue and stimulate circulation. And though I hate being chilly, there’s no means I used to be lacking it.

Nordic Bathing Spa

The steps had been to first chill out within the sauna, then refresh with a chilly bucket bathe (brr!), afterwards warmth up within the outside badestamp and eventually step into the snow bathe. Then repeat.

P.S. The snow bathe that shoots precise snow down from the ceiling is further bucket checklist worthy. So, for those who skip every little thing else, at the least do that!

2. Order a Lobster Sushi Roll

It was a particular deal with that they served lobster EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. And I positively ate my share slathered in clarified butter. 

However, right here’s an insider tip: for those who take that lobster from the World Cafe Grill over to the sushi part they are going to flip it right into a yummy sushi roll!

3. Discover The Disguise

A dimly lit speakeasy that options a number of the crew telling fascinating expedition tales? Signal me up! Viking Octantis has simply the place for like-minded individuals who have a way of journey and exploration: The Disguise.

The Hide Interior

This speakeasy is sort of difficult to search out, as a result of they deliberately preserve it under-the-radar. The concept is that, like several good explorer, you’ll discover it solely by exploring the ship and asking round. However as soon as you discover it, what awaits you is a gentle stream of drinks and superb (and generally instructional) tales from its host/audio system.

Trace: you’ll be able to solely get there from the bow facet of the boat and solely from sure flooring. And being a speakeasy, you’ll be able to’t get something however straight-up liquor inside (so, I introduced my very own wine, after all).

4. Watch the Climate Balloon Launch

The Viking Octantis (in addition to its sister ship, Polaris) focus on significant scientific work, so as soon as every week they launch and observe a climate balloon in distant areas like Antarctica and the Nice Lakes, and the company get to see it! 

This often is introduced within the every day schedule and occurs on the highest deck, so be sure you catch it if you wish to see science in motion! After they let the balloon off you’ll be able to go to the expedition middle and watch the graphs of them stay monitoring it, to see how excessive and much it goes. 

Enjoyable reality: The Viking Octantis is definitely the primary civilian ship to be designated as an official climate balloon launch station by the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


5. Take the Artwork Stroll

There’s art work displayed all through the ship (every space has a special theme!). Most of them are Norwegian, that are made by famend in addition to up-and-coming artists. Additionally they are available all kinds of mediums, like digital prints, images, and oil work.

Art Viking Octantis

One thing that I discovered cool is that subsequent to the art work there’s a small informational plaque displayed that has the artist’s data plus a quantity. Should you go to the Viking Voyager app. you’ll be able to key on this quantity and get much more details about that particular piece of artwork.

Art Walk Viking

6. Eat Grandma’s Norwegian meals at Mamsen’s

All of the meals on this small eating part are conventional Norwegian recipes straight from “Mamsen”, the grandmother of Viking’s senior vp, Karine Hagen. 

DON’T miss out on the Ertesuppe (Break up Pea Soup), it was my favourite! Different must-tries embrace Mamsen’s authentic recipe waffles and open-faced sandwiches. One thing that caught my eye too are billboards of her grandma’s recipes displayed all through.

7. Journey on a Zodiac

Should you’re taking an expedition cruise, then it’s nearly a certain factor that one in every of your excursions will embrace a Zodiac trip (climate allowing after all). The ship has 17 of those Particular Operations Boats, so don’t miss taking a trip on one.


8. Play Video games on a Video Desk

Within the “Residing Room” on Deck 5, you will see that an interactive video desk the place you’ll be able to play video games like air hockey, checkers or blackjack. You’ll be able to even flip the desk right into a digital canvas and choose to attract a masterpiece! If was a routine for my husband and I to play just a few video games of blackjack each evening earlier than dinner.

Video Tables Annette

9. Learn a Good Guide

Additionally on Deck 5, there are a lot of seating areas with loaded bookshelves which makes it simple to dive into a very good guide. The books had been expertly curated by Heywood Hill Libraries in London and most are associated to particular locations, just like the Arctic and Antarctica. 

Library Onboard Viking Octantis Annette

10. Journey in a Submarine

If there’s a possibility to trip within the submarine…DO IT! My itinerary didn’t embrace it, however we did get to go inside and take a look. They’ve two 6-seater yellow submarines onboard, named Paul and John (from the Beatles). 

Tip: You are able to do this as a part of their non-obligatory tour program on a few of their Antarctica, The Arctic, Nice Lakes, and Grand Journeys itineraries. If it’s one thing you actually wish to do, make certain to ask earlier than reserving.

Submarine Viking Octantis

11. Get a Signature Spa Service

There are numerous distinctive spa providers supplied onboard, however why not attempt one in every of their signature ones? The Arctic Face Firming is one that’s particular for the ship, whereas the Nordic Facial is featured onboard all of the Viking Cruises. I had the latter of the 2, it was uber-relaxing and included using cold and warm stones on my face.

12. Assist with a Puzzle

All through the cruise unfinished puzzles are randomly positioned across the ship. Cease and assist out with one! Each time I walked by one, somebody completely different was engaged on finishing one.

Halfway by the cruise most had been completed and the workers allow us to benefit from the masterpieces for a day after which changed them with contemporary puzzles.


13. Get the Viking Bistecca at Manfredi’s

A number of folks informed me that the Viking Bistecca on the Italian restaurant Manfredi’s was their absolute favourite dish on the boat. So, I needed to attempt it—and so do you. It’s a thick-cut ribeye coated in garlic oil and rubbed with porcini mushroom powder, kosher salt, brown sugar and crimson chili flakes. Want I say extra?

For the Antipasti dish don’t miss the parmigiana di melanzane di manfredi! The layered eggplant dish was so scrumptious I had it two nights in a row!

14. Witness A Lock

A lock in a canal is sort of a big elevator for boats. Canals aren’t at all times flat, so locks elevate or decrease boats between completely different water ranges. This manner, boats can journey all the size of the canal, even when there are adjustments in elevation. It by no means ceases to amaze me to see this intelligent engineering feat at work!

Our cruise went by the Welland Canal (connecting Lakes Erie and Ontario) which had a whopping 8 locks and took about 12 hours to get by! It was fascinating to go to the bow to look at because the our ship went by one in every of these.

15. Order Room Service

Nothing says luxurious fairly like ordering room service — breakfast in mattress anybody? They’ve 24-hour room service, with a complimentary menu that options gadgets all through the day, from breakfast choices like oatmeal and pancakes to dinner selections like pasta, grilled salmon, and burgers. 

What’s extra, you may also order from the menus of the ship’s specialty eating places throughout their open hours. Throughout lunch and dinner hours, they provide complimentary wine, alcohol, and mushy drinks.

16. Attend a Lecture or Speak

Being an expedition/scientific kind of ship, Viking Octantis includes a group of resident specialists on board. They offer lectures and shows all through the cruise on a wide range of matters associated to the itinerary. A few of these may embrace a chat on climate balloons, a knots workshop, and even an explorer diary story telling (which usually occurs in The Disguise). 

Many of those talks are held at The Aula, a wide ranging panoramic auditorium modeled after the famend ceremonial corridor of the College of Oslo.

Viking Octantis Lecture

From climate balloon launches to snow showers these distinctive moments onboard the Viking Octantis aren’t simply actions—they’re recollections within the making. 

This submit was in partnership with Viking Cruises. All opinions my very own. For extra data learn my full disclosure.

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