Thunder Bay Announced As Major Embarkation Point for Viking Expeditions Cruises

Thursday January 16, 2020 – Tourism Thunder Bay is pleased to announce the largest vessel and investment in Great Lakes cruise shipping will see Thunder Bay positioned a major embarkation hub for Viking Expeditions. On Jan. 15, Viking announced that it will expand its destination-focused travel experiences with the launch of new expedition voyages.

Viking Expeditions will begin sailing in January 2022 with its first vessel, Viking Octantis, embarking on voyages to Antarctica and North America’s Great Lakes. The new Polar Class 6 Viking Octantis will host 378 guests in 189 staterooms. The vessel will welcome seven inbound cruises and seven outbound cruises to Thunder Bay totaling 14 itineraries. Thunder Bay will welcome an anticipated 5,200 vessel guests over the course of the year who will generate an anticipated economic impact of between $1.6 and $2.3 million annually.

Similar to Viking’s award-winning river and ocean ships, the new expedition vessels will feature modern Scandinavian design with elegant touches, intimate spaces and attention to detail.

 “We invented the concept of modern river cruising when we launched in 1997; then we reinvented ocean cruises and became the ‘World’s Best Ocean Cruise Line’ in our first year of operation, as well as every year since then,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “Now, in creating ‘the thinking person’s expedition’, we are perfecting polar expedition cruising, and we will usher in a new era of comfortable exploration in the heart of North America. Our guests are curious explorers. They want to continue traveling with us to familiar and iconic destinations, but they would also like to travel further.”

“We have always believed in Lake Superior as a destination as exotic as anywhere else on earth,” said Paul Pepe, Tourism Thunder Bay Manager and Chair of Cruise Ontario. “We’ve enjoyed a wonderful working relationship with Viking’s executive team and staff for almost a year now and are elated that they have selected Thunder Bay as a major embarkation point for their Great Lakes expedition cruises.  Our proximity to quality unique natural and cultural attractions, Pool 6 dock’s capacity, and our exceptional airlift capacity are assets to be proud of in our community and we look forward to showcasing the very best of our community and region to Viking’s guests in 2022 and beyond.” 

Cruise shipping development has been a part of Tourism Thunder Bay’s development strategy since 2004. In 2010, Tourism Thunder Bay developed and assumed cruise shipping operations management of the Pool 6 dock as the city’s dedicated passenger facility. The Dock has welcomed 26 cruise, tall, and military ships since that time. 

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Contact: Paul Pepe, Tourism Manager at, 807-626-3968

About CEDC: The CEDC is responsible for business development, retention and expansion, entrepreneurial support, opportunity promotion, and the collection and assessment of key business data. The CEDC receives formal proposals for projects that will contribute to economic development. It responds quickly to new opportunities and initiatives to attract direct financial involvement from the government and private sectors. For more information, visit

About Tourism Thunder Bay: Tourism Thunder Bay is the destination management organization for the city of Thunder Bay.  The organization positions the community as Canada’s premier outdoor city and urban gateway to attract leisure, convention and sport tourism visitors from around the world.  For more information, visit VISITTHUNDERBAY.COM

About Viking Cruise: The company currently operates a fleet of more than 70 vessels, state-of-the-art ships that have received numerous accolades since their launch from industry experts and travelers alike. Viking was voted the #1 River Cruise Line by Condé Nast Traveler in their 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards, and for the fourth year in a row, has been named the #1 Ocean Cruise Line* by Travel + Leisure readers in the World’s Best Awards 2019. For more information, visit:

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