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VIDEO: Behind the Scenes Tour of the Submarine Hangar on a Viking Expedition Cruise

Viking has two expedition cruise ships and each is equipped with 2 ‘yellow submarines,’ zodiacs, kayaks, and special operations boats that allow guests to launch into excursions right off the ship – no port infrastructure required!
That opens up a whole new way of experiencing the world, even in remote regions from pole to pole, on one of Viking’s polar-class expedition ships, the Viking Octantis and the Viking Polaris.
Cruise/ travel journalist Lynn Elmhirst and our cameras spent a day aboard the Viking Octantis with the director of Viking’s expedition operations during a recent expedition cruise of the Great Lakes for a fascinating, behind the scenes tour.
We were fortunate that Jorn Henriksen had come from Norway to be aboard during our 8-day Great Lakes cruise. We departed from Milwaukee, WI, cruised through Lake Michigan to the famous, car-free, horse-drawn-carriages-only Mackinac Island, then into Canada’s Georgian Bay on Lake Huron, where all the expedition ‘toys’ came out to allow us to explore North America’s “Inland Seas” as we sailed north west through the Soo Locks, into Lake Superior and onwards to Thunder Bay.
The expedition way of experiencing the world gives you a complete change of perspective on land and seascapes you may already think you know! From quiet kayaking along the shorelines to zodiac tours and special operations boat rides further afield from the ship. Not to mention the thrill of diving up to 300 meters in a sub into the depths of the waters you’re cruising!
All that takes a specialized team of expedition leaders – and some very specialized space.
Viking calls the large space devoted to the expedition ‘toys’ aboard the Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris the “Hangar,” inspired by military jargon. And it’s designed with ingenious ways to load and unload the two submersibles, special operations boats, and get guests out exploring on the water, fast, no matter where the Viking Octantis finds itself.
Jorn was part of the team that designed the Hangar and the ship for the unique requirements of expedition cruising.
Don’t miss his behind-the-scenes insights into expedition operations on Viking cruises!
By: Lynn Elmhirst, cruise/ travel journalist
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