University of Cambridge main partner for expeditions to polar regions
Viking is teaming up with University of Cambridge’s Scott Polar Research Institute as its main partner to launch expedition cruises into the polar regions.
This collaboration is possible through a major Viking endowment – The Viking Chair of Polar Marine Geoscience. This grant offers a Cambridge university full professorship based at the Scott Polar Research Institute.
It also features a sponsorship fund that supports the institute’s graduate students for scientific research into the polar regions. This research will offer scientists close-up views of the rapidly changing Antarctica and Arctic Circle.
This new expedition line exploring the polar regions features two working research vessels, the Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris. Viking Octantis will embark on voyages to Antarctica and North America’s Great Lakes while Viking Polaris will debut in August 2022, sailing to Antarctica and the Arctic.
Both vessels will feature The Laboratory, a 430 sq. ft. research facility designed to support a broad range of research activities. This research facility was developed in consultation with Cambridge University and Viking’s other academic partners.
As part of this grant, scientists from the research institute will undertake fieldwork on board Viking’s expedition vessels. Through the sponsorship grant, graduate students from the Scott Polar Research Institute will also be able to share their expertise with other explorers aboard the cruise ship during lectures and other interactive experiences.
Additionally, Viking has partnered with leading bird research facility, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Viking’s exclusive partnerships will match researchers and educators with each expedition.
Each journey will be accompanied by more than 25 experts from the Viking Expedition Team and Viking Resident Scientists. Therefore, this new expedition will offer its guests the opportunity to learn about nature and the environment through lectures, participatory research, and immersive experiences.
Guests on board the Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris will have supervised access to the laboratory where they will be able to learn from and participate with scientists undertaking primary research. The vessels also feature a panoramic auditorium, The Aula, which serves as a venue for both lectures and entertainment.
The onboard expedition program will prepare guests for their onshore experiences through daily briefings and lectures about their destination. In contrast, guests can assist in fieldwork or interact through experiential activities during landings or once onshore.
In addition, guests will be also engage with working scientists from renowned academic institutions or participate in citizen science programs. They will also have the opportunity to participate in activities such as bird monitoring to help identify migratory pattern or even accompany scientists to collect samples.