First Cruise Ship of Season to Thunder Bay: The Viking Octantis
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First Cruise Ship of Season to

First Cruise Ship of Season to Thunder Bay:The Viking Octantis

by Scott A. Sumner

We had the opportunity to tour and ask some questions about the Octantis ship after making it's first stop of the season in Thunder Bay.

Jorgen Cardestig is the Captain of the Viking Octantis and is from Sweden.


How was your journey to Thunder Bay?

“ We had a very good journey here. Probably 10 days of the last two weeks has been sunny and the wind has been very good.We went all the way from Toronto and ended up in Duluth, so we have covered all the five Great Lakes.The transit through the Welland Canal went very well and we went to Tobermary for the first time which is a beautiful area. It was through the Soo Locks and up to Silver Islet and Thunder Bay. It takes two weeks from Toronto. We will turn around tomorrow in Duluth with new guests and reverse the trip. After that we begin weekly cruises including to Milwaukee.

How do the guests enjoy the voyage with the Octantis?

“The guests like the whole itinerary to get to all these different places. The improvements we see in Thunder Bay are impressive. Every place we visit has it's own charm. The berth has improved and the Art Museum going up is nice.”

“ On this trip we have 340 guests and can take 370, so are almost full. A typical day for the guests when we come to Silver Islet is we have a lot of toys on board- submarines, special operation boats, zodiacs and kayaks. They go for a hike or a cruise. In larger cities like Detroit the guests go to museums- there are different activities on shore. Most of the time they come back for lunch and then have a second itinerary in the afternoon. We have lectures and some entertainment with classical musicians and singers.”

“ In Detroit they have a new berth and they are working in Duluth to dredge a new area so we can have a birth. In Duluth at the moment we keep the ship in the same position, don't anchor and hold in one position.”

“ The guests mostly come from the US, say 95%, and we have also have some Canadians, Australians and British.”

“ The food is good every day and it is like going to a nice restaurant ever day. We have a crew of 265 for 370 guests.”

You can experience different weather conditions?

“We came here and saw water temperatures from Georgian Bay at 12 degrees to 4 degrees. It can be a challenge at times. For instance going through the Welland Canal we have 1 foot ofclearance on each side. In the Soo Locks we have 10 feet on each side. It is quite easy to navigate the ship.”

The Octantis is an impressive ship?

“ The Octantis is very high tech 2 1/2 years old ship and is worth about $400 dollars. We have over 6000 HP and have been tested in up to 40 to 50 knot winds and can handle it.We are always following the weather and can alter our route if needed to avoid the weather. As well we have stabilizers more or less like on a aircraft wing to help we can use by folding them out. The normal cruising speed is 15 knots.We try to fill up on fuel when ever possible. We can go a month without fueling up so have good capacity. Also we make our own water with reverse osmosis it is called. The crew work 8 weeks on and 8 weeks off.”



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