For those looking to make up for travel time lost during the pandemic, Viking Cruises might have the answer. The cruise line recently announced two all-new “longitudinal” trips—moving north to south or south to north—where guests will travel between the Great Lakes and Antarctica over the course of 65 days.
Passengers on the first sailing, called Longitudinal World Cruise I, will meet in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 2, 2023, before flying to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in Argentina, to board the Viking Octantis and head directly to Antarctica for a week. From there, it’s back across the Drake Passage and up the coast of Chile, where blue-tinged glaciers, dizzying fjords, and national parks are on the itinerary through the end of the first month. Then it’s onwards to Peru, Ecuador, through the Panama Canal and the Gulf of Mexico, before enjoying East Coast cities like Fort Lauderdale, Charleston, and New York City. The final two weeks explore various Canadian coastal cities on the St. Lawrence River and communities in the Great Lakes region before wrapping in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on May 5.
The second sailing (appropriately called Longitudinal World Cruise II) is essentially the same, but in reverse and on the Octantis’s sister ship, the Viking Polaris. The few alterations include embarkation in Duluth, Minnesota (on September 12) and some changes in the Great Lakes and Canada ports (for example, it spends time in Georgian Bay, Canada, while its predecessor visits Detroit, Michigan). The second sailing wraps up on November 12 (for those counting, that’s 71 days later).
How much the cruise costs
Fares start at $44,995 on the Longitudinal World Cruise I and $49,995 on the Longitudinal World Cruise II for the Nordic Balcony rooms, which have floor-to-ceiling windows, a king-size bed, 55-inch OLED flat-screen TV, heated floors in the bathroom, individual climate control, a mini-bar, and more. The most costly room is the Owner’s Suite ($139,995 on I and $159,995 on II), including a private garden lounge, a boardroom, a library, a guest bathroom, complimentary laundry, dry cleaning, and additional perks. Would you believe it: That suite is already sold out on each sailing.
All fares include flights to and from the ship, Wi-Fi, alcoholic beverages, 24-hour room service, and complimentary shore excursions at each port. Both ships feature four dining venues, a bar, a library, pools, spa amenities, and multiple communal spaces. They can hold a maximum of 378 guests.
Where to buy tickets
Tickets can be purchased on the Viking Expeditions website, by calling 800-381-4596, or through your travel advisor.
Other long cruises by Viking
While it’s not a short trip, it’s far from the longest out there. Viking Cruises also offers a 138-night, 28-country sailing (starting in December 2023), Regent Seven Seas Cruises recently announced a 150-night, 25-country trip (embarking in January 2024), and Oceania Cruises is planning a 180-night, 34-country vacation (setting sail in both January 2023 and 2024), just to name a few in the 100-plus nights range. The soon-to-be longest ever will be a Royal Caribbean sailing that departs in December 2023—it’s a 274-night adventure that will visit all seven continents and 65 countries.