Saturday, July 20, 2024

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 listing. Overlook large cruise ships with casinos and water slides – this expeditionary vessel is all about one factor: exploration.

Assume 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 (significantly!) 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 & Nice 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 gorgeous 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, calm down muscular tissues and stimulate circulation. And regardless that I hate being chilly, there’s no approach I used to be lacking it.

Nordic Bathing SpaNordic Bathing Spa

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

P.S. The snow bathe that shoots precise snow down from the ceiling is additional bucket listing worthy. So, should you skip the whole lot else, at the very 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: should you 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 InteriorThe Hide Interior

This speakeasy is sort of tough to search out, as a result of they deliberately preserve it under-the-radar. The concept is that, like every 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 gradual stream of drinks and wonderful (and generally academic) tales from its host/audio system.

Trace: you possibly can solely get there from the bow facet of the boat and solely from sure flooring. And being a speakeasy, you possibly can’t get something however straight-up liquor inside (so, I introduced my very own wine, in fact).

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 per week they launch and monitor a climate balloon in distant areas like Antarctica and the Nice Lakes, and the visitors get to see it! 

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

Enjoyable truth: 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 distinct theme!). Most of them are Norwegian, that are made by famend in addition to up-and-coming artists. In addition they are available in all types of mediums, like digital prints, pictures, and oil work.

Art Viking OctantisArt 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. For those who go to the Viking Voyager app. you possibly can key on this quantity and get much more details about that particular piece of artwork.

Art Walk VikingArt 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 vice chairman, Karine Hagen. 

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

7. Trip on a Zodiac

For those who’re taking an expedition cruise, then it’s virtually a positive factor that one in all your excursions will embody a Zodiac journey (climate allowing in fact). The ship has 17 of those Particular Operations Boats, so don’t miss taking a journey 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 possibly can 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 a number of video games of blackjack each evening earlier than dinner.

Video Tables AnnetteVideo Tables Annette

9. Learn a Good E-book

Additionally on Deck 5, there are a lot of seating areas with loaded bookshelves which makes it straightforward to dive into a superb e book. The books have 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 AnnetteLibrary Onboard Viking Octantis Annette

10. Trip in a Submarine

If there’s a chance to journey within the submarine…DO IT! My itinerary didn’t embody 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, be sure that to ask earlier than reserving.

Submarine Viking OctantisSubmarine Viking Octantis

11. Get a Signature Spa Service

There are lots of distinctive spa companies provided onboard, however why not attempt one in all 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 the usage of cold and hot 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 totally different was engaged on finishing one.

Halfway via the cruise most have been completed and the employees 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 advised 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 purple 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 large elevator for boats. Canals aren’t at all times flat, so locks elevate or decrease boats between totally 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 via the Welland Canal (connecting Lakes Erie and Ontario) which had a whopping 8 locks and took about 12 hours to get via! It was fascinating to go to the bow to observe because the our ship went via one in all 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 can even 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 Discuss

Being an expedition/scientific kind of ship, Viking Octantis incorporates a group of resident specialists on board. They provide lectures and displays all through the cruise on quite a lot of subjects associated to the itinerary. A few of these may embody 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 panoramic panoramic auditorium modeled after the famend ceremonial corridor of the College of Oslo.

Viking Octantis LectureViking 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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