Soon there will be a new option for cruising in the Midwest.
Viking, the Swiss ship company known for its European river cruises, is building a new luxury cruise liner designed for the Great Lakes.
The company recently introduced is “Viking Expeditions,” with options for the arctic, Antarctica and the Great Lakes coming in 2022.
Photos: See Inside the New Cruise Ships Heading for Great Lakes, Antarctica
The company's chairman, Torstein Hagen, said they aim to perfect "polar expedition cruising" and "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," he said.
The ship headed for Lake Michigan in 2022 is called the Viking Octantis and it is designed to be small enough to navigate remote polar areas and the St. Lawrence Seaway but large enough to handle rough seas. The ship holds 378 guests in 189 staterooms, though it is currently under construction, the company said.
Viking has also partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, whose scientists will join expeditions to study the Great Lakes’ clime and ecosystems.
While the cruise line’s initial Great Lakes offerings do not include Chicago, Milwaukee will serve as an origin point for several excursions.
Trips range from eight to 13 days, with the lowest ticket running around $6,600. Bookings began Wednesday and continue through Feb. 29.
Great Lakes trips will be offered between April and October, with the Octantis heading to the arctic for the remainder of the year.